Editor's Note: This story has been updated with Sarah Brown's post to Instagram after failing to qualify for the Olympics. It's attached at the bottom of the story.
Olympic hopeful Sarah Brown, 29, did not expect to get pregnant the year before she planned to go to Rio.
“‘Why would one of America’s top 1500m runners decide to have a baby leading into arguably the biggest year in a track athlete’s career, an Olympic year?’ Well, the answer is actually quite simple. I didn’t,” Brown wrote on her blog September 15.
But despite a copper IUD (“I am the less than 1 percent,” Brown wrote on her blog, for whom the birth control method is not effective), Brown and her husband and coach, Darren Brown, found themselves expecting a baby girl early last fall — just as her Olympic training was supposed to kick into high gear.
"Tough little lady” Abigail Ann Brown was born March 4, and Brown, now a breastfeeding mother of a four-month-old, competes in the first round of the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials in the 1500m race in Eugene, Oregon, Thursday.
Brown documented her training during her pregnancy on her blog as well as her social media accounts. She and her family are living in her parents’ basement apartment in Warrenton, Virginia, so they can have extra help with the baby while Brown trains.
Though she never gave up her training — taking just a week off from exercise when she gave birth under her doctor's supervision — Brown has also been savoring her moments with her newborn while on the road to Rio. Before Abigail was born, Brown wrote a letter to her on her blog. “My quest to continue training for the Olympic Trials will never compare to the continuous quest I will be on to be the best mother for you,” she wrote.
Like any new mother, Brown is learning how to adapt to her new life; she’s just figuring out sleep schedules and breastfeeding in between workouts and foam rolling. In one Instagram post, she used the hashtag #Mommyintraining — “double meaning intended,” she added. Brown joins other new moms and elite runners like Clara Peterson and fellow Olympic hopeful Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, determined to show the world just how strong mothers are.
Update: While Brown did not quality for the Rio Olympics, she posted the following to Instagram on July 7.