At least one of the finishers of yesterday’s Chicago Marathon was “running for two.” According to the Chicago Tribune, Amber Miller was 39 weeks pregnant and due to give birth at any moment when she laced up her sneakers and headed to the starting line of one of the nation’s biggest road races.
In an interview after the race, she shared that she had been cleared by her doctor to run half the distance (13.1 miles), but decided to keep going at that point and walk the second half. She crossed the finish line already feeling slight contractions, and gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 10:29pm that evening.
What do you think about this marathoning mama?
I have run five marathons myself, including Chicago back in 2008, but for a number of reasons I haven’t felt comfortable running through my pregnancy. Now sitting here at 39 weeks pregnant myself, and knowing from experience what a 26.2 mile race feels like, I truly can’t imagine covering that distance this late into pregnancy. A few days ago I walked six slow miles and thought my feet and ankles might explode from the swelling!
But with that said, Miller did get clearance from her doctor to run the first half of the race, which tells me that she has certainly maintained a good level of endurance fitness throughout her pregnancy. If pregnancy has taught me anything, it’s that we can’t judge others’ choices and actions, or assume that what is best for us is also best for others.
Would I personally run a marathon during my third trimester? Probably not. But I’m willing to give Amber Miller the benefit of the doubt that she felt healthy and strong enough to do just that, and I assume that if she felt her baby was in any danger, she would have stopped.
Luckily both mom and baby are feeling healthy, and both probably a little extra tired today.