Marathon Runner Gives Birth After Finishing Race

FOX Chicago News
Amber Miller felt contractions just minutes after crossing the finish line at the Chicago Marathon. A few hours later, the suburban Chicago woman — who slogged her way through 26.2 miles while nearly 39 weeks pregnant — delivered a healthy baby girl.

“For me, it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I was running up until that point anyway,” Miller told The Associated Press in an interview from the hospital where she was recovering Monday. “I am crazy about running.”

Sunday’s marathon was the eighth for the 27-year-old, who has been running for more than a dozen years. She found out she was pregnant with her second child days after signing up for the Chicago race and decided to play it by ear on whether or not she would run.

When the baby hadn’t been born by Sunday, she got clearance from her doctor to run half. She completed it with a with a half-run half-walk approach, drinking lots of fluids and eating a lot along the way. She finished in 6:25:50, much slower than her usual marathon time, but still content.

“Lots of people were cheering me on: `Go pregnant lady!”‘ she said. “I was expecting some negative comments. I don’t remember anything.”

It was not Miller’s first marathon while pregnant.

In May, the Westchester woman ran the Wisconsin Marathon in 4:23:07 while 17 weeks pregnant with her daughter. In 2009, she ran the Indianapolis Marathon in 4:30:27 while she was 18 weeks pregnant with her son Caleb, who’s 1.

Elite runners have trained while pregnant, but doctors say Miller is a rarity. She was 38 weeks and five days pregnant. Full-term is typically defined as 40 weeks.

Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe ran 14 miles a day while pregnant and resumed training weeks after the birth of her first child. She won the New York City Marathon in 2007 just 10 months after delivery. American marathoner Kara Goucher, who gave birth to her son last year, also trained while pregnant, running 80 miles a week at times.

“It’s probably the rare woman who is in good enough shape to run a marathon while pregnant. It’s probably the exception more than the rule,” said Dr. Priya Rajan, an assistant professor in obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

Medical guidelines generally say that if a woman was a runner and healthy before she got pregnant, running during pregnancy is fine. Doctors even recommend exercise for low-risk pregnancies. However, medical experts agree that pregnancy is not the time to begin any exercise endeavors, such as starting marathon training for the first time. For pregnant runners, close monitoring by a doctor is recommended.

Miller who was looking forward to getting rest, said she the only effects she felt from the marathon, which she finished around 3:30 p.m., were blisters on her feet. She was just happy to see her daughter June, who was born at 10:29 p.m. at 7 pounds, 13 ounces with no complications.

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The Stitch

Description:
We’ve all had this one, a sudden sharp pain in the side of the upper abdomen at the base of the ribs. A side stitch typically happens when you’re really pushing yourself and fades quickly when you slow down or stop. The stitch is particularly common for new runners still adjusting to the rigors of running.

Likely causes:
The pain is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, the muscle that controls your breathing. There are a number of possible reasons for this. If your breathing isn’t controlled and disciplined, the diaphragm may be complaining. If you are running too soon after eating, your heavy stomach may literally be tugging at the ligaments connected to the diaphragm. Or you may simply be running too fast for your body’s breathing machinery to keep up.

Remedy:
A stitch will usually go away quickly after just slowing down or stopping. If you’re in a race or you just don’t want to stop, however, you can often make it go away by bringing your breathing into careful control. Concentrate on belly breathing, pushing your belly out when you breathe in and relaxing it as you breathe out. Take deep breaths on the intake, and exhale suddenly, even noisily. To get the diaphragm to contract in rhythm with your steps, try to inhale and exhale as you land on your left foot. Strange but true, this can help prevent spasms by encouraging the diaphragm to bounce along in sync with your stride.

If the pain is just too much and you have to stop, try bending over and raising your knee on the stitch side while pressing your fingers deep into the painful area and tightening your stomach muscles. Or just walk while belly breathing.

Legond Marthoner Grete Waitz Dies From Cancer At 57

Waitz finishing 2nd at 1984 Olympic Games

The marathon world is still celebrating the amazing times set  at Monday’s Boston Marathon by the Kenyan men. The NY Times reported the sad news that one of the legends of the Marathon , Norway’s Grete Waitz, has succumbed to cancer  at the age of 57.  Grete Waitz was  a former world record holder in the marathon, and nine-time winner of the NY City Marathon and silver medalist in the 1984 First Olympic Woman’s Marathon at the Los Angelos Games.

Grete Waitz, the Norwegian runner who won a record nine New York City Marathons starting with her first in October 1978, died Tuesday in Oslo. She was 57.

Waitz revealed in 2005 that she had cancer, without disclosing details. Her death was confirmed by her husband, Jack Waitz.

Waitz’s nine victories in the New York race is a mark that no woman or man has duplicated. Unassuming and yet fiercely confident, she inspired runners around the world and stayed involved in the running community even as she battled cancer.

“Grete was a great champion in life as well as in sport,” said Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners and the marathon director. “We will forever celebrate Grete in our hearts and as an inspiration and role model for women’s running.”

Waitz (pronounced vites) was a geography teacher from Norway who came to New York for the first time with her husband. She came on a whim, for a chance to explore a new city, an opportunity to run a different kind of race.

Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York City Marathon, thought Waitz might be a good pacesetter, since she was a world-record holder in the 3,000 meters in track. She had never run more than 16 miles in a training run. Jack, who was her coach as well as her husband, knew that she could run more.

Grete Waitz did not come to set a pace. She not only won the 1978 New York race, but also set a world best, finishing in 2 hours 32 minutes 30 seconds — two minutes faster than the previous mark.

The only problem was when Waitz crossed the finish line, nobody knew the blond woman wearing Bib No. 1173.

The world, and the city, soon found out.

“Every sport should have a true champion like Grete, a woman with such dignity and humanity and modesty,” said George Hirsch, the chairman of the New York Road Runners, and a friend of hers since 1978. “New York adopted her as one of its true heroes, but unlike so many sports champions, Grete was down to earth. She was just happy to visit, blend in, talk to people, runners who came from all over the world always went right up to her. She just had time for everybody. She symbolized what was so great about what was so great about the community of marathoners.”

When Waitz won her first New York City Marathon, women’s distance running was far from widely accepted. The women’s marathon would not be added to the Olympics until 1984. But she did so well, her winning time in 1978 would have won the men’s race as recently as 1970.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won that first women’s Olympic marathon by beating Waitz, said Waitz was her inspiration.

“I just lost a dear friend and true competitor in every sense of the word,” Benoit Samuelson said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I lost a mentor and a role model as well.

“I think what will endure forever is the fact that she was able to balance a highly competitive career with the most gracious lifestyle and character that emanated good will throughout.”

In New York, Waitz’s victories became a ritual of autumn. She was presented each of her nine Samuel Rudin trophies by the Rudin family, the original business sponsors of the marathon.

“She was an icon, one of the greatest athletes of our century,” said Bill Rudin, fighting back tears as he recalled talking to Waitz at the start of last year’s race and introducing her to Edison Pena, the rescued Chilean miner who ran in it. “She was a class act, a real lady, who came back year after year in spite of her illness. She became a part of New York, a part of our family.”

Grete Andersen was born on Oct. 1, 1953, in Oslo, and grew up running in the woods near her house with her brothers, Jan and Arild. She is survived by her brothers and her husband.

She was just 18 when she competed in the women’s 1,500-meter race at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. She was eliminated in the first round, but her career as a competitive runner and pioneering athlete was just getting started.

She set the world record at 3,000 meters in the summer of 1975, but did not make the finals of the 1,500 at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Her chance at a third straight Olympics was foiled when Norway joined the American-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In 1984, suffering from back spasms, she finished second to Benoit Samuelson in the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon.

Waitz also won the London Marathon in 1983 and 1986. She also won the world cross country championships five times, including four straight from 1978 to 1981.

She won her last New York City Marathon title in 1988. Her most famous race in New York — which she considered her 10th victory — was the 1992 marathon, which she ran with Mr. Lebow, whose brain cancer at the time was in remission. The two crossed the finish line with their hands joined, their arms high. Lebow died in 1994.

“To me, the race of her life was the time she ran with Fred in New York,” Benoit Samuelson said. “That was a superlative effort on both of their parts.”

They finished in 5:32.34, an impossibly slow pace for a world champion marathoner, and Waitz said it was the hardest race she had ever run, and her most meaningful.

Recently, because of her health problems, Waitz sat in the pace car for the women’s race in New York. In Norway, Waitz established a foundation for cancer, Aktiv Mot Kreft, which sponsored runners in major races and supported activity centers at hospitals in Norway, much like the one in Oslo, where Waitz had received treatments.

“I am convinced you can go through a lot more when you are physically fit,” she said. “It is both physical and mental. With the athletic background, you think more on the positive side — you can do this.”

In 2006, Waitz met Lance Armstrong, the cancer survivor and cyclist who was running the New York City Marathon while on a brief retirement from cycling. Waitz said at the time that she hugged Armstrong and thanked him for all he had done for those stricken with cancer through his Livestrong Foundation.

“I was in the room when the two of them met, and it was incredible,” Rudin said. “Here were these two titans of sport relating to each other, not on a sports level but on a human level. She was asking for advice from him.”

Armstrong acknowledged Waitz’s death on his Twitter page “So sad to hear. She was a good friend and an incredible athlete.”

How Running Helps Your Body

Cardiovascular exercise:

Running is a very good cardiovascular aerobic exercise. When a person runs, you  strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, which helps facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs. It also helps improving circulation efficiency and reduce blood pressure.

Regular running helps keep one’s stamina up, and gives you more time before you get that “out of breath” feeling.

Most running watches are equipped with logs for a history of your training to help the individual keep track of workouts.  It checks whether you were truly able to improve your running strength and endurance by checking how fast or how long you were able to maintain a certain pace.

Strengthens leg and foot muscles:

Aside from being out of breath, one of the reasons that people are not able to “go the distance” is  because of the pain in their weak leg muscles. When a person lives an inactive lifestyle, these muscles weaken and are unable to endure moving long distances.

On the other hand, a person who runs regularly would be able to strengthen these muscles making them more capable of enduring longer distances.

Individuals will notice this improvement more today because of  running GPS watch’s  that could accurately track the distances that you have traveled during each training session.

Increases speed and reflexes:

Running regularly would help you increase your speed reflex times. This is because you are able to make your muscles move more efficiently and in a pre-programmed manner due to the continuous training or running movements that you do while running.

You would be able to see a drop in your lap or split times because your muscles in your entire body have now become stronger and more capable to push your pace.

Individuals are able to track this improvement because of  running watch’s capability to track your time accurately up to the hundredths of a second.

Now that you see the benefits of doing running training regularly, what are you waiting for? P{ut your sneakers on, strap on a running watch and get on the road, oval, or athletics track and begin your running training now!  Your body will thank you in the future.

A Barefoot Ethiopian Conquers Rome

This video will make you think how lucky we are to have running shoes.   In some countries they run without shoes. Can you imagine running without shoes?  How about in the Olympics.  Imagine running a marathon without shoes.  The pounding of your feet on the pavement, with gravel for over 2 hours.

Running watches, GPS watches, Heart rate monitor and more

Timex, Garmin and Silva Tech watches.  Training tips and articles for the novice to the elite runner.

Running watches, GPS watches, Heart rate monitor and more.

Born To Run-Kenyan

I have had the chance to meet some of the Kenyan runners in the Philadelphia area.  Some told us by Kenyan standards they where a “slow runner” but then would run the race and easily win the race.  One year I ran a 5k race in North Wales , PA.  At the water stop was a new runner to the United States running scene named Cathrine Nderiba. She was cheering on all the runners and giving  out water.  A few years later she won Boston for the second time. Watching this video will make you think about how hard they work to get out of poverty. The hard work in why Kenya is a power house in long distance running.