The story of professional marathoner “Speedy” Beatie Deutsch is nothing short of remarkable. She went from someone who never exercised to an elite marathoner as a mom of FIVE within a handful of years.
In 2016, Beatie and her husband had four kids and exercising wasn’t a priority. In fact, she hadn’t exercised in six years. She wanted to get back into shape but struggled with consistency and motivation. After supporting her husband on a 180-mile charity bike ride, Beatie decided she needed to set a goal for herself to make fitness a priority.
The goal? A marathon.
That was 2016. And, Israel-based Beatie ran a time of 3:27. A year later, at 7 months pregnant with her fifth child, she ran a 4:08. Two years later, she shaved close to an hour off her original marathon time running a 2:42 and then a 2:36, qualifying her to run for her country’s Olympic team. This year, Beatie clocked a 2:32 marathon.
It didn’t take long for Beatie to catch the world’s eye. She ran a marathon while in her third trimester and also runs in unconventional running attire. As an Orthodox Jew, Beatie runs in a head covering, long skirt, and long shirt—even in Israel’s scorching hot desert.
Of course, Beatie, a SUPER mother runner, caught my eye, too. I was continually amazed that she had this hidden talent inside her that she didn’t discover until adulthood. I was also continually amazed by how she balances being a mom to five and training at such a high level. Thus, I was ecstatic when she agreed for me to feature her.
Below is my interview with “Speedy” Beatie. You’ll get more than a glimpse into what life is like training for the Olympics as a mom of five, what keeps her motivated, and what makes her so exceptional.
Here’s “Speedy” Beatie Deutsch:
On running while pregnant and postpartum:
You ran your second marathon while 7 months pregnant. Can you tell us what that experience was like and why you decided to do it?
I loved running so much and I knew how good I felt when I did it, I didn’t want to lose it all during pregnancy. I felt like during this time I needed to make sure to take time for myself and I wanted to keep running. Having the goal of a marathon is what really kept me motivated to train because it’s a lot harder to push yourself when you are pregnant.
What advice do you have for pregnant runners?
Listen to your body! Make sure you have a doctor who knows you well and you trust who can answer any questions. Movement is healthy and can really help you during pregnancy.
What advice do you have for runners postpartum?
I really liked the MuTu system for healing diastasis, I always have one and need to repair it. Thank god my pelvic floor muscles are very strong and I was able to return to running a month after giving birth to my fifth child without any issues.
What do you think your “secret to success” has been?
There are no secrets to running fast, the biggest thing is putting in consistent work and training. When I increased my weekly volume and joined a group to actually run speed workouts with, I jumped from 3:09 to 2:42 in the marathon. In order to keep improving, I’ve had to really work hard but I’ve also learned and grown so much through these experiences.
What keeps you motivated and inspired to run?
Knowing that every step brings me closer to my goals. Enjoying the feeling of moving my body. The freedom that running gives me. Getting the chance to push my limits and dig deep, discovering what I am truly capable of.
What are some of your favorite mantras?:
1) Whatever Happens in this Race Will be for the Best, No Matter the Results – this statement comes along with complete acceptance of whatever the outcome is. It may take a couple of minutes of meditation and deep breaths to allow yourself to feel total acceptance no matter what happens but doing this also allows me to feel relaxed and trust in God’s plan
2) It’s Party Time! – Your Race is an Opportunity to Celebrate Your Training. You’ve put in the hard work, now it’s time to experience your accomplishments. If you made it to the start line it means you’ve already invested a tremendous amount of work and that’s something to be proud of.
3) I Can Handle Anything – I’ve given birth to five kids and get through every day with them.
4) I’m Incredibly Lucky – It’s a gift to enjoy running and have a body that’s healthy and strong. Thank you Hashem for giving me this opportunity.
5) If God’s Strength is Infinite, Why Limit Myself? – When you know where your strength is coming from, you realize that anything is possible. Tap into the Divine spark inside of you and never stop believing in the gifts God has given you.
6) If It Doesn’t Challenge Me, It Doesn’t Change Me. – Growth never happens when we stay in our comfort zone. It’s not easy to push past the point of comfort, to struggle and feel the pain, but it’s the only way we’ll ever get stronger.
7) Nothing Stands in the Way of Desire. – There’s nothing as powerful as my own desire and motivation. If I truly want it, anything is possible!
8) The Pain is Only Temporary, but the Joy I’ll Feel at the End Lasts Far Longer. – Focus on the finish line, and remember the discomfort you feel in the moment will soon be over.
9) I Am. I Can. I Will. – My belief propels me forward. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.
10) I Have Support for Every Step of the Way. – I have the support of my family and friends behind me, and they are cheering me on every step of the way. – I’m not here alone and I’m not just doing it for myself, but for all of them.
On time management:
What does a typical day as a mother runner look like to you?
On workout days, I wake up at 5 a.m. and run until 8:30 a.m.. I do strength training at the gym, work out some more (often a swim or another run) and complete a flurry of tasks — clean the house, post on social media, respond to emails and pick up the kids from school — all before bed at 10 p.m.
What support do you have for your training?
I’m lucky because it’s my job so I don’t have to juggle as much as
other mother runners. My husband has always been super supportive, but I support his cycling as well so we both are there for each other.
What is your advice to fellow mother runners trying to balance it all?
It takes a village — make sure you have people to support you. You can’t really do it all — if you like your house clean, hire a cleaner. Try to outsource the jobs that don’t need you as much so you can focus on your kids.
On religion and running:
You have petitioned the International Olympic Committee to change the date of the marathon so that it does not fall on a Sabbath. Can you share how you balance strongly held values and priorities (of religion, running, and motherhood), particularly when they come into conflict?
I have a Rabbi who serves as my mentor and I’m able to ask him any questions that come up. I always remind myself that the choices I make here are really the only thing I’ll take with me to the next world and I want to make good choices
You run wearing a lot more clothing than your competitors who are mostly in spankies and sports bras. Do you get hot?
Totally. I know how good it feels to run without all my clothes and it’s definitely gotten harder as I’ve gotten more serious. But I am committed to upholding my values.
On the power of running:
How has your running impacted your kids?
My kids have tons of energy and are active, and yes they do enjoy running
What is it about running that you love so much?
I love so much of it, the simplicity, and how it allows you to appreciate life on the most basic level. The chance to push my limits in a safe way, movement, and freedom.
On running for the greater good:
You donate all your winnings. Can you share how your running contributes to charity?
I raise money for Beit Daniella. The goal of Beit Daniella is to provide a safe and empowering space for teens who are struggling and give them an opportunity to discover their unique gifts. With dog therapy, horse therapy, a tranquil location, and an incredible support team, Beit Daniella is transforming the lives of children who are struggling with mental health. I recently had the opportunity to visit Beit Daniella, and all I could think about was how perfect it would have been for Daniella. I don’t want another child to have to suffer the way she did.
I wish I didn’t have to post about Beit Daniella, I wish I didn’t have to raise money for this incredible rehabilitative program, and most of all I wish our sweet Daniella was back with us. But unfortunately, she is gone and there are still many more teens suffering. So I will do my part and continue to run for Beit Daniella, raising support and funds for our mission.
I hope, dream, and pray for the day when no one is struggling with mental health. Thank you for partnering with me to support Beit Daniella!
Read more about Beatie at beatiedeutsch.com.