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For professional runner Makenna Myler, running when there are major life milestones coming up has been a pattern. Before her wedding, for example, she ran an all-out mile that morning. That’s a mile that’s just as fast as she can run, at a full sprint. So it was only logical that she did it again before the birth of her first child, with a mile in under 5.5 minutes.
Now she’s about to give birth for the second time, and her mile for the little one’s celebration was run in 5 minutes and 17 seconds. When asked about why she does it and what it feels like, Myler pointed out that the biggest issue is the extra weight carried almost all in front. It’s harder on the hips and quads, and makes balance something she has to be more aware of.
In the past, most athletes took a long hiatus when they were pregnant, or they ended their careers completely and turned their focus to family life. While Myler loves her growing family, she also loves to run. Fortunately, her sponsors treated her well and worked around her developing pregnancy. That’s not always the experience female athletes have when they’re expecting a child.
During her first pregnancy, Myler received a lot of hateful, derogatory comments about running while pregnant, which many commenters insisted was unsafe. But by working closely with her medical team, Myler has been able to have safe, healthy pregnancies and still continue to run.
Not only does running help keep her in good shape for the child she’s carrying, but it’s good for her mental health and helps her continue a career she enjoys and finds important. More and more women at the elite level are choosing to also become mothers, and the days of that not being acceptable to sponsors are changing.
Myler doesn’t get bothered by the comments anymore, as she knows what’s safe and what her doctors agree on. Now she just ignores the people who get upset, or who don’t believe she should be running as her due date gets closer.
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