Figuring more stuff out (kinda)

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.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Figuring more stuff out (kinda)

  1. Secret Sloper

    WHY do people ask such terribly invasive questions? Ugh! They think they’re being all cute and jokey but they hurt us so much. I’m sorry 😦

    I am amazed at your athleticism, because your no-big-deal workout would have flattened me! I’m glad you like the place you are in with your exercise. Fit, not fit, somewhere in between– I think having trouble getting (or staying) pregnant forces all of us to reexamine our relationships with our bodies. It’s painful, but necessary.

    I hope you come up with a good excuse for those nosy parkers.

  2. LTB

    So wonderful that you are coming to a peaceful place with your exercise! Keep doing what feels good! I’m also glad you have a plan for next cycle! I’m sure you will be a perfect responder! And your doc seems really reassuring, realistic and thorough! All great things!
    :)LTB

  3. Tarah

    I am happy for you, I’m happy you’re at a point where you’ve found a good middle ground in exercise and not fearing that is the reason you’re having TTC issues. I love yoga, I’m still a beginner but I love being able to focus on my breathing and my body position during that time. It’s heaven. I’ve even started checking out books on CD from the library and putting them on my iPod and then taking a walk around my neighborhood for a few chapters. It’s nice to just be self absorbed for a bit – to not worry about any outside stresses, no matter if it’s TTC, bills, jobs, family – whatever. It’s nice to “escape”.

    You are amazing. 🙂

  4. i hate invasive questions from nosy folks. i had an old friend from college reappear in my life out of the blue. she’s asked me 4 times now in 3 months if i’m pregnant, or planning on it. “you’re not getting any younger”, she says. to which, i sooo desperately wanted to say “are you dating? STILL single?!!”. and she wonders why i won’t meet up with her. i’m starting to run out of excuses in my quest to avoid her till i’m 9 months pregnant. i might just have to flat out scream at her “i’m infertile!!” if it comes up again.

    anyways, an excuse i use time to time is “i have a UTI”, when ppl question either why i’m not drinking, or not doing a certain activity. it quickly shuts them up, esp if men are near. so, maybe you can use that excuse too in the future. altho, using it *too much* might make ppl think you’re a *dirty* girl :o)

  5. People are SO nosey. IF has really taught me not to ask such personal questions about people anymore. You never know what they are going through. I wish people would stop asking you so you didn’t have to keep coming up with excuses.

    I love your new exercise outlook and plan. Yoga is wonderful. When I was really into it a few years ago, I think my body was the most tone it’s ever been. So I bet you’ll still have that flat stomach. 🙂 It’s a great way to get in shape physically and mentally.

    You are awesome, Egg. I just think you need to know that!

  6. zully

    I’m so glad that you are running again!! I also love running but for now hubby wants me to stay put booooo. I hate when people ask that question, ughhhhh or are you already trying?, what are you waiting for?. 2 more days!!! Wohooo

  7. So glad you are enjoying where you’re at- it certainly sounds like it is the right balance for you at this moment in time!!

  8. You are one amazing eggie, your list of accomplishments is just awesome!! And I can only imagine how hard it is to pull back from something your so passionate about, but as long as you’re okay with your middle ground…that’s all that matters. You were there once, and you’ll be there again…and in this interim you can think of it as training your body for pregnancy! And when you do run your next Chicago marathon I will definitely be making you a sign pal!!

  9. Oh man, I hadn’t even considered the loss you might feel about saying goodbye (if only temporarily) to that part of your life. SUCKY! It sounds like it really bites. I’m glad the decision is voluntary. Mostly comfortable is where it’s at.

    (And, okay, maybe I take a little secret satisfaction in the idea of one more woman out there who is not more toned than me! Welcome to MY WORLD!)

  10. JC

    Ugh, I wish people wouldn’t ask stuff like that! Today someone asked me (in front of 2 other people) when I was having kids…happens all the time. It was at work so I had to lie and say nope, never. =( I’m glad the Dr said you can excercise however much you want. I agree in that I’m not strict anymore either. Although I was never as good of a runner as you ;). But I’m more relaxed about it and most of my work outs include walking really fast on an incline, haha.

  11. I just read your last few posts and I feel like you’re turning a corner. A fresh medical perspective, a new plan, NO CYST!, and an amazing attitude towards exercise, waiting, and life in general. I hope that everything comes together for this next cycle. Even when shooting in the dark, you might get lucky – here’s hoping injects can get you one step closer.

  12. I’m glad that Dr. K said that you could get back into the exercise you enjoy. I think your “smaller” work out you described would kick my butt.

  13. The first time we were TTC/going through IF, I reached a point smilar to yours…not running as much, different attitude re: need to exercise, and embraced yoga. It was a much softer and gentler place to be than in the midst of go go go training mode. I think it really helped me deal w/ the lack of control that you have when pregnant (when I finally got pregnant). There were weeks where I was up and raring to get in high mileage and other weeks where my body just wasn’t feeling it and I was OK with it. In the end, we just need to have some activity to be healthy. You will someday get back to that marathon/heavy training place, trust me (you know I am:>).

    And, ug, people ask the WORST questions. Lie, lie, and lie again. Just tell them you want to take a break from training. People just ask b/c they know you’re a runner and are trying to connect to you. It’s easy small talk.

  14. I’m SO GLAD Dr. K was so unequivocal about how training having nothing to do with your IF challenges. It’s so nice to get a straight answer!

  15. I’m relieved for you that Dr. K. didn’t ask you to give up exercising “just in case.” Too often we’re asked to restrict our lives on the strength of an unproven “maybe,” and it sounds like your doctor has a really levelheaded approach to your care.

    Not to mention your own levelheaded approach to your life! I admire you for the strength you are showing in this post. (And for your workout–you ran *to* the gym? I’m tired just thinking about that!)

  16. I’m so glad that the doc said to keep up your exercise! It is good for YOU!! That is what important, YOU! I’m so proud of you for finding your balance in the exercise world. It is so easy to be all or nothing and you seem to meet those two worlds in the middle.

  17. It’s so great to hear that you are finding a way to enjoy exercise and reap the benefits, with balance. You have accomplished SO much, it is completely understandable to miss the very long, intense workouts. But it sounds like you’re finding how to get more out of less 🙂
    Hope you’re having a fab weekend at the spa!

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