Moms on the Mat: Jen Bigham (aka The Local Elite)

Jen Bigham is a mom of three and elite runner for Oiselle. She has a 1:15 PR in the half marathon and lives and trains in Pittsburg. 

Thanks for chatting with us Jen! First of all, introduce us to your crew!

Currie, 6

Wells, 2.5

Ryles, 1.5 months

You recently had your third baby, congrats! How many weeks ago was little Ryles born?

6 weeks ago

How are the older siblings adjusting? Happy to have a new buddy? Currie’s an old pro at being big sis now I’m sure!

Currie is adjusting well. She wants to hold him, sing to him, and play her violin for him. It’s very sweet! She was 3.5 when Wells was born so she remembers when he was a baby and knew what to expect this time around. Wells was pretty blindsided by the whole ordeal. He wasn’t quite 2.5 when Ryles was born and he expected the baby to pop out then start talking, running, and playing games. Instead, he got a little human who does nothing but eat, sleep, cry and poop. Not as much fun as he expected! But Wells is such a sweetheart, a very gentle and kind little boy. He’s really nice to baby Ryles and I think they will be best buds in another year or so!

Saw you had a great first 5k back, hello sub 19! How’d did that feel?

It felt great! I mean, as great as a 5k can feel! I’ve been missing the pain of running hard for 9 months so I welcomed the pain train with open arms! A few days before the race our hot water heater died and before we got someone over here to repair it, I ended up taking an ice cold shower. It was so frigid it took my breath away and I had large goose bumps covering my whole body for at least 30 minutes post-shower. During the race when things got more difficult I just laughed out loud thinking, “well, this isn’t as bad as that cold shower!” and “hey, this feels a lot better than child birth!”

How did you use Jasyoga when you were pregnant?

I had intense pain inside my ribs, along my shoulders and neck, and in my back for a good month of my pregnancy. I talked to my midwife, my ART specialist, my physician, and no one could give me much relief. I couldn’t run for a few days and I remembered how much yoga always helped me. I started doing all the videos that had “shoulder” or “back” in the title and I finally got some relief!

When did you start back to your practice after birth?

I started thinking about yoga 2 days postpartum, but didn’t actually practice until 5 days postpartum. I did 10 minutes of meditation – nothing strenuous.

Which video did you start with?

Make Balance Your Baseline Meditation and Establish a Balanced Foundation

These videos were just what I needed at the time. I felt like I was doing something for myself, and bringing balance back to my crazy new life. 

You’ve been an elite (mother) runner for many years, have you noticed a difference in your running since introducing the Jasyoga videos to your routine?

Yes! When running 70 miles in a week, including 2 harder runs, minor imbalances and aches and pains show up often. Whenever my body is feeling a little off, yoga helps brings me back. 

How do you find time to fit in the training and the strength and recovery?

This is one thing I absolutely LOVE about Jasyoga videos - I can do them at home anytime (my kids have been known to join in on the fun!) Many of the videos are 5-10 minutes long, yet incredibly effective. When I’m feeling lazy, I tell myself “just do a 5 minute video”. With a newborn I sometimes don’t get even those 5 free minutes after my run, so I’ll just start a video and do as much as I can, maybe 2 minutes here and then finish the 3 minutes later or tomorrow, whenever I can.  

As a mom of three what is your advice to new moms?

You are doing great!

Take time for yourself every day.

Be kind to yourself and other moms. We all do the best we can.

Thanks again for chatting with us Jen! Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!


Follow Jen’s fast life at her blog The Local Elite, on Twitter and Instagram