I mentioned that Dr. K doesn’t think my endurance exercise from 22-years-old to 30-years-old—10 marathons, almost four dozen half-marathons, one Half-Ironman, four Olympic-distance triathlons and too many 10Ks, 5Ks and Sprint triathlons to count—are responsible for my infertility. If they were, I’d have some red flags in my blood work. (Low estrogen, low LH and low testosterone.) And I don’t have them, except for the LH.
I told her I enjoy exercise and asked if she would give me some guidelines for a healthy amount of working out. If she had told me that it would be wise—even JUST IN CASE—to nix exercise, I would’ve gladly done it. I was so desperate to hear there was something else I could DO to help my chances, I would’ve given up my workouts. But she didn’t say that all. She said she doesn’t want me to stop exercising or doing so little I don’t get the benefits I enjoy—clearly for me it’s a stress reliever. That was encouraging!
This morning hubs and I jogged to the gym (about 1.25 miles) and then lifted for about 20 minutes and then jogged most of the way home (maybe 1 mile). The old Egg would’ve SCOFFED at that workout. I mean, really, I would’ve felt like I hadn’t even earned my breakfast. But I am totally cool with it these days. While we were jogging home, hubs asked if I felt like now I would get back into my old exercise routine (not training for anything, but running about 25-30 miles a week, plus Spinning/swimming/x-training and lifting) given that Dr. K doesn’t think exercise is remotely related to my fertility issues.
Honestly? No. I don’t have any desire to. I’m embracing this new way of working out. I’m excited about getting into yoga, which I’ve dabbled in over the past year. I’m enjoying running because I want to, because it feels good, because it makes me feel clear-headed and less-stressed and anxious. I’m learning that I do not have to run 6 miles to get those benefits. Sure, I miss my flat stomach and toned upper body….but I do not miss feeling guilty if I miss a day or getting so wrapped up in the intensity and sweat of exercising. Truthfully, if I want to be a little slimmer I can eat fewer cheeseburgers and cookies, I do not have to train for a half-marathon.
Now all of that said, I still struggle with this transition. I admit I did feel intense pangs of “I miss that soooo much” while I was following the Boston Marathon coverage on Monday. I am SO FAR from being in that kind of shape—or any racing shape—and it’s a difficult pill to swallow as races begin popping up around Chicago. An extra layer of complexity? Part of my job is covering racing/running/athletic–related news. So I cannot really escape that world. A couple of weeks ago a business contact emailed me about joining her team for an upcoming 10-mile race. I declined and recommended a couple other staffers who might be interested. She immediately emailed back: Are you pregnant? It kind of sucked. I turned bright red in my cube and felt like smashing a brutally rude reply into the keyboard. But I just said, No! Definitely not. We are traveling to so many weddings that I’ve decided not to train for any long distance races this summer.
I am SERIOUSLY considering feigning an injury—something I’ve never done!—to suppress more questions like hers. A lot of colleagues are already asking me if I’m training the Chicago Marathon this summer and my current bumbling response, “Maybe, I don’t know! I’m so burnt out on training so I’m not sure….” is literally inviting them to continue asking and asking. That—combined with the 10-15 pounds I’ve put on—is all a bit suspicious. I don’t want another person to ask me if I’m pregnant. I’ve taken to carrying Diet Cokes around the office.
The truth is, I’m comfortable with where I am, most of the time, and that’s what matters.