If you wondered why Allyson Felix was absent from the track for most of 2018, the answer is she was pregnant.
In a lengthy “as told to” post on the ESPNW site, Felix shared with ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that “So when I ran a 51-second 400 at a race in Poland on June 8 and then 52 seconds at a race in France the next week, I knew what everyone was thinking. …
“My coach, Bobby Kersee, talked to me about shutting it down for the season. My brother and agent, Wes Felix, wanted to make sure I wasn’t hurt.
“It was time to tell them what was really going on.
“I was pregnant.”
She also shared the pressures of being Allyson Felix … and being married (in 2016 to Kenneth Ferguson, who ran 45.91 for 400 m and 48.15 for the 400 m hurdles back in 2007) … and wanting a family.
“I was so excited to be pregnant. I’ve always wanted to be a mother. I feel so incredibly blessed. This shouldn’t be a secret. I want to share this journey with everyone who has ever known me or cheered for me. So why has it taken me eight months to share this news?
“I think it’s the same reason it took me until now to feel ready to start a family and have a child.
“Somewhere along the line, that pristine nice girl image I was trying to live up to became more important than who I really was. I was putting other people’s needs and expectations of me ahead of my own. I was doing things because I felt like I was supposed to, rather than what I wanted to. It felt like ticking off boxes on a checklist rather than living my life.”
Her daughter, Camryn, was born prematurely on 28 November and is in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The post says her prognosis is good.
She closed with “If I come back and I’m just not the same, if I can’t make a fifth Olympic team, I’m gonna know that I fought, that I was determined, and that I gave it my absolute all. And if it doesn’t end up the way I imagined in my head, it’ll be OK. I just have to go for it, because that’s just simply who we are now.”