Category Archives: chicago marathon

Chicago Marathon: Woman runs race, then gives birth; Man collapses and dies just 500 yards from finish line

Amber Miller, on the right, talking to the Chicago-area media. Miller, 27, gave birth to a healthy baby girl just a few hours after finishing the Chicago Marathon October 9..

The running of the Chicago Marathon Sunday giveth life and, sadly, took it away.

First, the good news: Of the 45,000 who entered the race, one was a 27-year-old woman who was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

Amber Miller’s doctor had given her permission to WALK the half marathon, but she felt so good at the 13-mile mark that she continued on, finishing the race in 6:25:50 according to the official race site.

“I went into it not expecting to finish,” Miller told the Chicago Tribune. “I started running, I ran two [miles], walked two, and I was feeling really good … so I just kind of kept on going.”

Amber Miller’s race splits according to the Chicago Marathon race site. Shortly after crossing the finish line, Miller gave birth.

According to news reports, Miller started to feel contractions as she crossed the finish line. She tried to eat something and then was rushed to the hospital wearing her marathon medal.

Miller told WGN News that people were looking at her funny.

“Everybody just kind of stared as I’m running by,” said Miller.

The sad news from the Chicago Marathon was the death of North Carolina firefighter William Caviness, who was running the race to raise money for burn victims. Just 500 yards from the finish line, Caviness collapsed and later died at an area hospital.

According to the Chicago Marathon race site, Caviness, a veteran marathoner, was on pace to finish in 3:05. He had crossed the 40k mark in 2:56.

Will Caviness had crossed the 40k mark of the marathon in 2:56, according to the Chicago Marathon race site.

It was the race’s first death since 2007, and sixth since 1998.

My marathon weather history

The latest conditions for the Austin Marathon call for temperatures at the start around 60 degrees and a high of about 75. And humidity will probably be 1,000,000 percent.

Ok. Ok. I’ve done this before. Run marathons in much worse conditions, what with freezing winds at the 2009 Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth and a freak heat wave at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.

Here, in fact, is a look at the weather conditions for each of my previous seven marathons. I pulled the weather from the weather underground site I list what the weather was at the start and finish of the race (7 a.m. and noon for continuity).

A look:

December 11, Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: 38 degrees at the start. 60 at the finish.

December 9, Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: 46 at the start. 39 at the finish. (brief periods of light rain)

December 14, Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: 66 at the start. 75 at the finish with speeds averaging 21 mph. (Cramped real bad here.)

February 28, Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon: 35 at the start, 46 at the finish. 24mph wind speeds made it feel like it was 23 degrees. (Chilly)

October 4, 2009 Portland Marathon: Start 44, Finish 50. (The most perfect day to run a marathon. Unfortunately, I didnt run a perfect marathon).

December 13, 2009 Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: Start 48, Finish 54 (Great weather. Ran a PR of 3:36)

October 10 Chicago Marathon: Start 59, Finish 81. This is not a misprint. EIGHTY ONE DEGREES!!!! (Yes, I cramped up all over the place. Just like 2008. Hmmm. A trend. Lesson: When its that hot, take it easy!)

Again, with temps expected to be pretty uncomfortable during Sunday’s race, my goal is to take it easy, real easy for the first 13 to 18 miles, running wayyy slower than my marathon goal pace (7:40 min/mile), and then if I have something left, turn it on at the end.

I will take it easy.

I will take it easy.

I will take it easy.

Confidence level for Chicago: On the rise.

Today's workout with Gilbert's Gazelles: 4x 1-mile repeats with a 2 to 3 minute rest between each session.
Gilbert gave us a little formula before our run. Whatever time we plan on running for the marathon, we should double that figure, and the result should be the min/mile speed we maintain during our workout. He then added this, "if you can't keep that speed, you have no business aiming for that time on your marathon."
For instance, I need a 3:20 to qualify for Boston. When you double 3:20, you get 6:40, and this is the time, in minutes per mile, that I needed to be able to hit in each of my mile repeats this morning.
My splits….
6:32 – just a little warm-up
6:26 – getting into a groove
6:27 – wishing the recovery period was a little longer
6:12 – Let myself go knowing it was the last repeat
Clearly, it looks like I'm in shape to run a 3:20 marathon. And from this workout, it looks like I could run anywhere from a 3:16 to a 3:06. Ha. Ha. Ha. No need to get greedy for me. When marathon day gets here, I'm sticking to a 3:20 pace until well past Mile 20.
Still, I've put together two good quality workouts in a row for the first time this summer. And today's workout came even though my legs were still a little – no make that, a lot – rubbery from Saturday's 22-mile jaunt.
Confidence level for Chicago: On the rise.

Nice birthday training run

Sometimes the running Gods smile on you.

Sometimes its 66 degrees and you’ve eaten right all week and you’ve hydrated and the light bulb about how you eat and drink on the run goes off.

Sometimes was Saturday.

And on my 42nd birthday, no less.

I don’t wanna make to much of a training run, even though this was a 22-mile training run I completed in under 3 hours. I’d prefer to keep the giddiness inside until they put a medal around my neck and I’ve qualified for Boston.

But I’ve had probably the worst summer ever for long runs. My energy level at the end of my two previous 20-milers was lower than an old jalopy on fumes. And at the beginning of Saturday’s 22-miler, that self doubt was all over me. My legs felt just dead for the first three or four miles and keeping an 8:30 pace was really difficult to do without trying harder than I wanted to try.

My plan was to stop being hardheaded and take my energy GU every five miles, no matter how good or bad my stomach may have been feeling. I figure I’ve run out of gas during my previous long runs because I don’t fuel up, so to speak. So around Mil 5, I took a GU. By then, my legs were starting to feel better, and so I didnt have some great energy boost or anything, but I do remember remarking to myself at around six that, “Hey, we’ve already hit 6 mile and it doesnt feel like weve been out here that long.”

I kept taking the GU every five miles, and a Succeed salt-table every hour. The self doubt was still kinda hovering around as we hit the middle miles and I wondered when the bottom would fall out, but it never did. We got to Mile 14 or so and hit Duval St. (mostly downhill) and I felt stronger and stronger. I did each of the last 9 miles in 7:50 pace or better and averaged 7:30 or better the last four miles.

I was supposed to take a final Gu at Mile 20 and took Succeed salt instead and took off. I remember looking down at my Garmin at one point and the mile pace said, “6:50″ Whoa..lets back up and keep some of this for Chicago,” I thought.

I flew to the finish in 2 hours and 54 minutes, a nice and tidy pace of about 7:55 min/mile.

If I had to run the distance that day, I could have.

Now, I just have to build on this, what I ate, what I drank, and keep myself focused for Chicago.