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Pregnant runner ran a mile in under 6 minutes shortly before her due date


Professional runner Makenna Myler celebrates her life's big moments by running an all-out mile. That is a mile-long sprint as fast as she can run.

MAKENNA MYLER: The mile is just so iconic. So when I was getting married, I thought, you know, I'm becoming a Myler. Maybe I should just do an all-out mile the morning of my wedding.

MARTÍNEZ: During her first pregnancy, one week before her due date, Myler ran a mile in under 5 1/2 minutes. Her second baby is due any day now. And this time, her all-out mile was even faster, five minutes and 17 seconds. I had to find out what that run felt like.

MYLER: It's kind of funny. The weight almost just catches up to you in a sense. Like, all of a sudden it hits your body that, like, you're carrying this much weight. You need to slow down, even though you can kind of start out at a similar cadence. And being pregnant, you can kind of just feel it in your hips a little bit more, and my lower back kind of straining to hold all the weight that's in front. I get people in the comments all the time like, this baby is shaking. You're not really bouncing that much. You have quite a solid protection around that baby and that bump. If anything, it's more my quads that are, you know, taking the hit than belly.

MARTÍNEZ: Did you feel your baby move at all during the race, kick at all? Anything down there?

MYLER: No. The baby was moving during the warm-up. Not during the race but definitely after the race, there's little kicks happening, which is awesome and also a great sign that baby's OK. And the adrenaline's kind of going. So I think if the baby was moving, I didn't notice.

MARTÍNEZ: There was a time - and maybe that time isn't quite over yet - when a professional athlete decided to get pregnant that that meant her career was over, or at least in the eyes of many people that that's it. OK, you've had a nice run. Now you're becoming a mother. Forget about being a pro athlete. Talk to Allyson Felix, the American sprinter, about this exact topic because she went through this a while back. Are we at the point where, finally, that mindset is starting to turn around?

MYLER: It really was so recent. Like, you could potentially lose your contract. And there's actually been a lot of women who've gotten pregnant on the elite level this past year. And we all have different sponsors. And I've talked to them about kind of how they've been treated. And I've been so fortunate. My sponsor, they just treat me like a human being first. And I'm really grateful for the trailblazers - like Allyson Felix and Kara Goucher, Paula Radcliffe - who had those pregnancies and had to kind of face those consequences.

MARTÍNEZ: Well, you did, too, you know? I mean, I remember reading some of the comments that you were getting when this happened the first time. I mean, you were hearing some of the most awful, disgusting things that someone could hear because you decided to run while you were pregnant.

MYLER: Yeah. Yes. That is very true. And, you know, the first time it happened, when people did come back with these negative comments, I for sure had this kind of shocking - like, oh, my gosh. There's so many people who think I'm an absolute idiot. And this time around, it's just been quite a laugh with what people have to say. The comments are just absolutely ridiculous (laughter). The best is, if men could run while pregnant, they would be running a four-minute mile, so this isn't impressive (laughter).

MARTÍNEZ: Makenna Myler is a professional runner with ASICS. Makenna, thank you very much for the time.

MYLER: Yeah, thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.