From the Chicago Suntimes:
Amber Miller slowed her usual pace for Sunday’s Chicago Marathon, taking 6 hours and 25 minutes to complete the grueling 26.2 mile race, but she had a great reason for finishing three hours off her personal best time.Hats off to you, Amber Miller.
Miller was almost 39 weeks pregnant when she hit the starting line and finished despite running through contractions — then delivered a daughter Sunday night about 7 1/2 hours after completing the race.
Still, she said, the marathon was the easiest part of her day.
“The race was definitely easier than labor,” Miller said Monday as she cradled her new daughter, June Audra.
Miller, 27, a veteran marathon runner, decided to take part after getting the OK from her doctor — and because she and her husband had already signed up for the race.
She’s also been running regularly through her pregnancy without any problems.
“I know what I can handle. This is something I’ve been doing for a long time,” said Miller, who has completed eight marathons.
In fact, Sunday’s race wasn’t even her daughter’s first marathon — Miller was 17 weeks pregnant when she ran in the Wisconsin Marathon earlier this year.
The Westchester resident competed in another marathon when she was about 17 weeks pregnant with her son, Caleb, now 19 months old.
She set an easy pace, running two miles, then walking the next two, Miller said. Her husband, Joe, ran with her to keep a close eye on her.
She said some other racers did double takes when they noticed the visibly pregnant runner in the white T-shirt jogging along.
And some medical workers and race volunteers seemed startled to see her on the course.
“They kept looking at me,” she said.
While she experienced some contractions during the race, she’s not sure she actually was in labor because she typically feels some contractions when she runs while pregnant.
“I don’t know if I actually was in labor during the race,” said Miller.
She figures her labor really started about 3 p.m. just after she finished the race, but she still felt well enough to grab a late lunch before heading to the hospital.
“I thought I should probably get some food first,” she said.
She and her husband drove to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, where their 7-pound, 13-ounce daughter was born later that night.
The little girl, who slept through a Monday press conference, is in “excellent” shape, said Dr. Jeffrey Loughead, a neo-natalogist at the hospital.
The biggest risk Miller faced in running was dehydration, which could have sent her into labor, said Loughead, a doctor for 21 years.
But he said it was clear she was in good physical shape when she ran — and her pregnancy was already full term, though Loughead said he can’t recall any other patient running a marathon before giving birth.
“This is a first for my career,” he said.
Miller, for her part, said she felt good and was looking forward to going home on Tuesday.
“I don’t feel tired,” she said, smiling as she held her daughter.
But the race and delivery really took a toll on her 32-year-old husband. He said he didn’t train as hard for the marathon because he really thought his wife wouldn’t run because he expected their daughter to be born first.
“I was completely exhausted. I was placing my bet on June being here already,” said Joe Miller.
To paraphrase a talmudic expression, Hillel obligated the poor people, Joseph the handsome people, and Amber Miller all the pregnant women (l'havdil)