HEBER CITY — On Oct. 12, Makenna Myler of Heber City ran a mile in 5 minutes 25 seconds, and she is nine months pregnant with her first child. In fact, it was just one week before her scheduled due date when she ran the lightning-fast-time-for-any-runner, time.
To put this in perspective, the 3A high school state qualifying mile time for a girl is 5 minutes 33 seconds. She, at nine months pregnant, would have qualified for state by eight seconds.
The run was captured on video by her husband, Mikel Myler and was posted on his TikTok page. It has garnered over three million views, even capturing the attention of NBC's TODAY Show. According to Makenna Myler, however, she didn't set out to run that fast, nor did she do it for the attention. In fact, it all started with a desire to remain fit her entire pregnancy and was solidified with a small bet between her and her husband.
"I really wanted to remain capable throughout my pregnancy," Makenna Myler wrote in an email. "Neither Mike nor I had any idea what to expect during a pregnancy. We've always heard that I'd naturally shut down as I got further in. By the second month, Mike was convinced that running an 8-minute mile in my ninth month was a pipe dream, so when I bet him I'd run a 7-min mile, he put $100 down, and gave me an extra minute, (mind you, we have a joint bank account)."
Makenna's confidence in her ability to run a 7-minute mile had some validity. A runner since high school who also ran all four years at BYU, and currently trains post-collegiately with Valor Track Club, is a legit runner. Not only that, but she said that she has built a solid base before and during pregnancy that prepared her to run what some are saying might be a new record of its kind.
"I have been averaging 80-100-mile weeks for many years, and dropped back to 40-50 during pregnancy," she wrote. "I wasn't training for the mile (it was more of a last-minute realization that I could make $100). The preparation has been the many years I've spent running."
And while Makenna was confident in her abilities, she said that she made sure she had the support of her doctors.
"Both my doctors were on board (the first immediately, as he'd worked with athletes before) and the second after seeing my regimen and a very healthy ultrasound and vitals," she wrote. "I am very careful about my training, diet, and supplementary weight training to make sure my pelvic tilt is in alignment with what should be happening. And of course, the baby's health always took priority over running."
As for the run itself, Makenna said that she felt really good, but also felt like she was running while 9-months pregnant.
"The weight of pregnancy really does a number on my cadence," she wrote. "The first 2.5 laps were pretty comfy, but from there my form turned into more of an emperor penguin style … Afterward, I was exhausted like at the end of any other race, but this time, I was more rich as well — by $100!"
While it has been over a week since Makenna completed the run, the video continues to expand its reach throughout the world. She said that the response has been really good, and she hopes that her accomplishment can show others that they too are capable of great things.
"The responses to the video have ranged from encouraging to curious, to self-degrading," she wrote. "Mike and I were honestly sad to see how much others with different goals compared themselves to what I was doing. We were both pretty sad to see how prevalent the 'I am worthless' type of comments there were, especially among the women in the chat."
After reading the comments, the Mylers have thought about developing an online course centered on raising body/self-image via running. For now, however, the couple is anxiously awaiting the birth of their baby who is due to arrive any minute.