Q&A with....Jo Pavey
JO Pavey has recently followed in the footsteps of fellow British long-distance runners Paula Radcliffe and Liz Yelling and given birth to her first child, Jacob.
FOCUS: Jo Pavey is looking towards the London 2012 marathon as returns to action following the birth of her son
Before taking 2009 off, Pavey performed admirably at the Beijing Olympics and with plans to move up to marathon running, she is champing at the bit to get back into competition.
Here she is sharing all with Sportsbeat's Chris Cottrell.
Q - First things first, how are you finding motherhood?
A - I'm really enjoying being a mum and baby Jacob is doing well. It is so lovely to be a family.
My life now feels more complete and I think I'll enjoy running even more than I did before.
The sleepless nights are definitely worth it! My husband Gav and I are so happy to be parents.
Q - You took some time off, all of last summer, in fact, was it difficult to watch the World Championships in August, knowing you couldn't compete?
A - It did feel unusual not being at the championships, but I enjoyed watching it on TV.
I kept fit throughout my pregnancy with some gentle running and also by using an exercise bike and aqua running in the pool.
I also kept busy by doing a bit of writing. It was great to have more time to do activities with some of the organisations I am involved with.
Additionally we made the most of not being in such a strict regime by spending a lot of time in Devon catching up with friends and family which was nice.
Q - Was it a difficult decision to take such an extended break to start a family?
A - Having a child is the most wonderful and special thing, so I never felt like my running was being sacrificed.
I was starting to feel unsettled about the thought of continuing my career without having a child, as it so important to us.
I now feel even more motivated as I feel happier.
Things went really well during the pregnancy and I enjoyed the time.
Obviously I couldn't race and I did miss being at the championships but it was also fun to watch it for a change.
The good thing was that I realised how much I like running. It was good that I missed my running rather than being relieved not to be doing it!
Q - As soon as you found out you were pregnant did you stop training immediately or did you ease down?
A - I scaled back my training as soon as I knew I was pregnant. I wore a heart rate monitor for all my runs and got a lot of professional advice.
I also replaced runs with cycling on the spinning bike and aqua running in the pool.
The training got gradually less and I stopped two weeks before I gave birth. I actually felt quite good during the last few weeks as I had less nausea.
I had to have a Caesarean section, which I was not expecting.
This slightly delayed my return to running but obviously the main thing was that baby Jacob was ok. I am very grateful to all the staff at Kingston Hospital.
I have started back running, although I still have to be sensible at this stage and build up my training gradually.