It has been said that childbirth is an endurance test unto itself. It certainly was for Cassie Watt, 37, who owns a toy and bookstore in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and three children. During her first labor in 2012, Cassie, a former all-state high school runner turned casual road racer, suffered a sacral stress fracture that required a long recovery. Then, in 2017, it happened again while case gave birth to her third child, and the fallout was even worse.
“I ended up on doctor-directed bed rest for nearly six months post-delivery with cascading health woes,” she recalls, “including recurrent wound and lung infections and edema that was going into my lungs. I also ended up putting on a lot of weight and losing a lot of fitness. By the time I had stabilized my health I was 90 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight and had trouble walking up a flight of stairs. My resting heart rate was in the 80s and so was my blood oxygen rate on most days.”
Things began to turn around for Cassie when she read Coach Matt’s Racing Weight. Matt’s pragmatic, value-neutral approach to athletic weight management appealed to her, as did the balanced and science-backed training system she learned about subsequently in 80/20 Running. Armed with these tools, Cassie began a long process toward regaining her prior levels of health and fitness. Today, she is more than 100 pounds lighter than she was at her peak, and her 5K race time has been literally cut in half, to 22:30.
Having completed a comeback that seemed impossible in the beginning, Cassie has a word of advice for those at the beginning of their journey: “Keep moving forward and don’t be so harsh on yourself.” Very wise.