619. Jess Movold, On Her First Year of Motherhood & Returning to Racing


“I’m telling myself I’m going to crush it. I think that’s something I used to shy away from — the Midwesterner in me, saying, ‘I’m just going to do my best.’ But no. Let’s crush it!”

Last year, running and strength coach Jess Movold came on the Ali on the Run Show for an honest and vulnerable conversation about her experience running through pregnancy. She was 21 weeks along with her first baby. No one could have predicted or planned for what happened next: Jess gave birth to her son, appropriately named Battle, just five weeks later, at 26 weeks and 2 days into her pregnancy. Battle spent 167 days in the NICU. Jess and her husband, Kyle, spent 167 days visiting their son, holding him, navigating life as new parents — and then having to go home each night without their baby. (More on that journey in this episode.) Fast-forward to today, and Jess, Kyle, and Battle are thriving! Battle is about to celebrate his first birthday. He’s happy, healthy, and always growing! Kyle ran his first marathon in New York City in November, and now it’s Jess’s turn to return to the roads. Jess, a 3:13 marathoner, is training for this year’s Boston Marathon — her first postpartum 26.2-mile adventure. Here, she reflects on her first year of motherhood, the challenges and realities of being a NICU parent, and how far she has come in the past 365 days. Plus, what it was like returning to running after giving birth, the realities of postpartum running, and how she’s feeling heading into the NYC Half next weekend.


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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What’s making Jess happy today, and all about her morning run (4:10)
  • All about Jess’s morning routine (9:30)
  • How Jess is feeling heading into the NYC Half next weekend (19:20)
  • On returning to running after having a baby last year (26:20)
  • Jess’s message to fellow NICU parents (35:00)
  • Why Jess decided to run the 2023 Boston Marathon (37:45)
  • How Jess’s marathon training is going (48:30)
  • What Jess is like on race morning (58:00)
  • Jess reflects on her first year of motherhood (1:04:35)

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