The Connection Runners + running

How Far Would You Go?

Barely had the dust settled from the Chicago Marathon before I started seeing Tweets, texts, e-mails, and Facebook posts concerning the 39-weeks pregnant runner who competed in the race.

Friends and family sent me links to the story as it made the rounds of national news outlets, with some jokingly wondering why I hadn't taken a cue from Amber Miller, who gave birth to a healthy baby girl hours after finishing the race in 6:25.

(source)

After all, I was initially registered for the race and if Miller could do it at 39 weeks, why didn't I run it at a "mere" 26 weeks?

I'll be honest: Immediately after hearing about this woman, I felt regret that I, too, hadn't attempted the same feat.

Three minutes of feeling that regret passed, and then I wised up.

Months ago, I made the decision to give up my Chicago entry because I knew that I didn't want to be running 26.2 miles at 26 weeks pregnant. I knew that I'd be uncomfortable and unhappy. I knew that Chicago would be there for me next year, and the year after that, and the years after that.

So while I opted to be a sideline spectator, Amber Miller opted to run/walk the marathon. While I garnered zero attention for choosing to sit, Miller has captivated the media's attention as controversy exploded today over her decision.

My two cents?

Cent One - What I Appreciate About Miller's Decision:

  • She proved that pregnant women are NOT disabled. We merely take longer to get things done.
  • She showed that maintaining a rigorous fitness regimen throughout pregnancy can be perfectly safe provided it is executed under a doctor's watch and care.
Cent Two - What I Dislike About Miller's Decision:
  • Other pregnant women may mistake her success in the race as a sign that they, too, can take on a marathon while pregnant.
  • She continued through the second half of the race despite starting to have contractions.
Bottom line: While I admire Miller's determination and will to run a marathon at 39 weeks pregnant, I can't say that I'd be comfortable making the same choice in my current state or beyond. Granted, I, too, ran a marathon while pregnant (at 4 weeks), but that was the decision I made based on how I felt at that point in my pregnancy.

Overall, Amber Miller's story makes me consider just how far we push ourselves as runners sometimes. I wonder how many runners out there have carried on with their running goals despite being sick or injured or pregnant or anything else.

Weigh In:
-Why do you agree or disagree with Amber Miller's decision to run the marathon?
-Have you ever (or would you ever) run a race despite a particular medical condition arising?

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How Far Would You Go? + running