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Just like our ELITE team but their sweet spot is on the trails.

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There used to be this idea that pregnancy and parenthood represented the end of the line for female athletes. Not so much anymore: Edna Kiplagat, who has three children, came in third at the Boston Marathon last month—her 14th career podium at a major marathon; new mom Rachel Smith edged out mom of two Kiera D’Amato for the USA Track and Field 15K Road National Championship in March; Betsy Saina, who has a three-year-old, landed third on the American all-time list after running a PR at the 2024 Tokyo Marathon; and Makenna Myler finished in seventh place at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in February at 10 months postpartum. Mother runners have been so dominant recently, USA Track & Field finally expanded its maternity policy to give athletes more time to work their way back.

“The conversation is changing, and these things that women used to consider limitations are being taken off the table,” says RADrabbit athlete Latoya Harwell, who has nine children between 4 and 26 and is still chasing marathon PRs. “Women are realizing that no matter how many children we have, we can stay strong and run PRs as long as we’re willing to be patient, work hard, and stick with it.” While every woman is different, elite and amateur runners alike are showing how mother runners can conquer their everyday lives and keep running.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Right from the outset, pregnancy can be identity-shifting. “Your body’s changing and it’s outside of your control, and during my first pregnancy that was very mentally hard for me,” says rabbit co-founder Jill Deering. “I think I pushed back against those changes as opposed to acknowledging them and reshaping my relationship with running for the next X period of time.” Deering is now pregnant with her fourth child, and she’s been able to embrace a more day-to-day approach to running. “I’m more of the mindset that I’m very grateful to be moving and continuing to do what I love for as long as my body will let me,” she says. 

Some runners may be able to run throughout their pregnancy, while others may have to call it quits early on—and in those cases, the FOMO is real, says RADrabbit Desiree Linburg, who has a three-year-old son and is pregnant with her second child. “I’m used to having a running schedule every day, so for it to all of a sudden stop, I go nuts,” she says—she was training for a 100-mile race until she found out she was pregnant. “I try not to overthink it. I can’t run, but at the same time, I have another life that I’m building so I just have to be patient.”

Fully recovering from pregnancy and childbirth can take months, and also requires a ton of patience. “I hate to compare pregnancy to injury, but they do have a lot of parallels,” says rabbitELITE athlete Melissa Guillen. “It’s all about making sure you’re not trying to rush things, that you’re really paying attention to your body and taking each day, each week as it comes, without any preconceived idea of what’s going to happen.”

Guillen gave birth in June, but didn’t start training again until January; she raced the Ventura Half Marathon in February and is planning to race the Broken Arrow Skyrace in June. “It’s been challenging because you remember your old paces, your old efforts, what you used to do, and it’s so hard not to compare,” she says. “But you have to look at where you are right now and focus on that.”

Deering is less concerned about her return to running this time. “After I had each of my three kids, I didn’t really have the spark, the drive to train again for a while, and that’s OK,” she says. “I learned that it’ll come back for me when I’m mentally and physically ready for it.” She still ended up running a marathon PR when her firstborn was seven months old, and her first ultra after her second—but she did those races on a timeline that worked for her.

The biggest issue for many women once the physical recovery is over is the emotional angst that comes with re-starting running. “I think what tugs on a lot of mother runners is feeling guilty for taking that time for yourself,” says rabbit co-founder Monica DeVreese. “But taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your kids.”

And it’s probably not something you can do all on your own. “We really rely on our community—if it wasn’t for friends and family helping us, we couldn’t do any of this,” says Guillen. But carving out that time for yourself should be non-negotiable, says DeVreese, and eventually, things will settle into a new normal. “My family really understands that this is the one thing mama does for mama and when mama takes care of mama, I can in turn take better care of everyone else,” says Harwell. 

That’s especially important as kids get older, and parents have to start juggling everyone’sschedule, playing Tetris with play dates, sports games, and other extracurriculars. “It’s harder in a different way,” says DeVreese. “The challenge becomes staying present: I may be marathon training, but I can’t be horizontal all day after a long run, I’ve got to parent.”

But at a certain point, those kids may also discover the joy of running. Harwell’s oldest son is a marathoner, and the two are hoping to run the Boston Marathon together next year. “Watching him chase his goals and reach them is as rewarding if not more so than fulfilling my own dreams and goals,” she says. “It’s something that bonds us.” 

Whether they run with their parents or not, all kids are better off seeing their mothers chase ambitious physical goals. “I still see that old-school mentality, even from my own mother, who’s like ‘I thought you’d be done running now?’” says Guillen. “And it’s like, no, this is a part of my life. My goal is for my daughter to be able to see me continuing to chase my goals, to engage in a sport that I love so much.” 

And that’s easier now than ever before. “Social media helps get eyes on the amazing women who are sharing their journey, which makes women or mothers more comfortable in sharing their stories,” says DeVreese. That drives home the most important point, adds Deering: “If you allow yourself the time and the space to learn about your new body, it can be just as strong if not stronger than your pre-baby body.”

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Reusable Packaging

We at rabbit believe that the world needs better solutions to single-use packaging. That's why we now offer an alternative. It's called RePack - reusable and returnable delivery packaging.

RePack simply reduces packaging trash and saves up to 80% of CO2 emissions compared to single-use packaging.
Add a Repack to your order for $3.50 and receive your goods in a reusable, environmentally friendly packaging.

RePack is currently only available for USA based orders and shipments. Also note that orders containing hats are not eligible to be shipped in RePacks.