If you are here for the first time, visiting from another site that shared about Infertility Awareness Week, welcome! If you are interested in our journey so far, please click on the tab above "Me, The Man, and Infertility." Please feel free to jump right in and consider leaving a comment to say hello! You can contact me using the "contact me" tab above. You'll find there is a post for each day this week, with links to the others at the bottom of each.

5.06.2012

One Step Forward

I have frequently talked about how one of the hardest, if not the hardest for me personally, parts of IF is the straddling of the fence between the life I have and the life I'm wanting. While I've tried hard to not stop living my life for hoping, it became very clear to me this weekend that I've been doing just that.

On Saturday I ran the Pittsburgh 5K for the 2nd year in a row. This year's route was much better than last year's and even though it wasn't my best time finish, it was in many ways one of my best runs ever. Two years into this whole running thing, I think I've finally figured out how to pace myself so I'm not close to death at the end of a race.

After a shower which was pretty close to what I'd like heaven to be like, Sara and I headed to the Expo so she could pick up her number and stuff for the Half Marathon and we could walk around. In one sense, it was very positive, life-affirming thing as it was clear to me how much I've grown in the past few years because I was able to walk by vendors with lots of cool stuff and not have to buy something nor did I have to buy something every time Sara did just to keep up (trust me, this is a HUGE improvement). In another sense though, it became difficult. There were of course cute kids with their running mamas and cute t-shirts, stickers, and charms that said things like "run mommy, run" that served as a reminder of what I'm hoping and praying for. But, it was when we approached the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon booth that the two sides of my fence collided. For the first time, after a successful 5K (I know 3.1 miles is not the best judge for surviving 13.1 miles, but it's how my brain works) I was feeling like I could probably do a half-marathon, especially one that isn't until August of NEXT year!

But. Oh, the but. Then my brain kicked in with the usual "you should wait to register for this, hopefully you'll be pregnant or have a newborn by August of next year," and "grrr, I really wish I could plan my life so that I could live it," and "why? why is this so hard." And then, while Sara registered I headed off to the bathroom and told her I'd see her in a few minutes. Mostly because I had to pee, but partly because I could feel the tears building.

And as I walked, and thought and prayed, it hit me. What was the worst thing that could happen? There were 2 possible outcomes: 1) I spend the $55, get pregnant and can't run the race because I'm in late pregnancy or post-partum and lose the $55 or 2) I spend the $55, don't get pregnant/have a baby and I run a half-marathon. So, when looking for a worst case, there really wasn't one: I either lose $55 and have a baby or I run and finish a half-marathon. When I thought of it that way, I realized it was definitely a no-risk situation. And with that decision, in a bathroom stall in the Pittsburgh convention center, I immediately felt lighter and more at ease. Who says God isn't everywhere? :) So, I washed my hands and headed back to the booth. Fully expecting to lose my nerve before I got there. And then, I saw Sara, smiled big and said "I'm signing up too." The smile of support on her face was the proof that I'd made the right decision.

And, to prove to myself I don't need over a year to get ready, I'm seriously considering running a half-marathon right here in Morgantown this fall. I'm giving myself a month to run consistently and then I'll send in my registration form for that race.

While we have decisions to make regarding our infertility and what, if any, treatments come next for us, it has become clear to me that I can't keep not doing things because of what might happen. I didn't train well for this 5k because I kept hoping that I'd be pregnant and not be able to run it. While I'm pleased with how the race turned out, I wonder how much better it could've been? I'm pretty sure I could've broken my personal best time if I'd been training well. I refuse to beat myself up over this fact, but I also refuse to have this experience again. I know that exercise is good for my overall health, especially with PCOS. I enjoy running (and frankly, I can't believe I can say that truthfully) and I enjoy race days with Sara.

I'm deciding to take one step forward - in the form of 13.1 miles. The countdown on the sidebar is to remind me to live the life I have. While this doesn't mean the prayers for a baby will stop or the pain of failed cycles will lessen, but it does mean I won't look back in 5 years and have a list of regrets, of things I missed or didn't do well because I was trying to plan instead of follow His will.

21 comments:

  1. A Half-Marathon! You go, girl! I can't imagine the training that goes into this kind of effort, but I know YOU can DO IT!!!
    Some of my best thinking happens in the bathroom. :-) I'm so pleased that I'm not the only one. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. 13.1 miles is quite a step, better yet a leap, right! Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that you signed up for this! You're right that there's no downside. I've had a lot of things that I wanted to do with someone when I got married, but sometimes I just do them anyway. I've yet to regret it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know that feeling. I sat on doing a photo session we had left over from the wedding for over two years. I wanted them used for baby pictures. I finally did it and don't regret it one bit. It was bittersweet.

    I've done TWO mini-marathons. If I can do it, YOU TOTALLY CAN!!!!!! And... I do remember a very pregnant gal running next to me. And my friend did it post-baby, so you are covered!!! And there happens to be one of the largest mini-marathons (36,000 people I think) right in my town. You should come run here!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I actually have tears in my eyes reading this! I'm so proud of you for signing up and not letting IF coordinate your every move. What a beautiful reminder! I try hard not to let it...failing miserably at times but then also triumphing over it other time! Good for you for letting this time be a winning time!! You're awesome!!

    Good luck on the training, I'm sure you will do awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love half-marathons. Seriously. I really do. Congrats on making this big decision. God is smiling down upon you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are so awesome!!!!

    I totally think this post is a sign for me -- Mr JB has been trying to get fit and since my last surgery my fitness hasn't been at its best. We were talking about starting to run together. You have totally inspired me!

    Thank you for your bravery!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I first started running, I used the Couch to 5K program...it was a great way to get going without overdoing it (and then just giving up). I wish The Man would run with me, but he is on his feet moving all day and is already skinny as a rail, so he can just enjoy his extra video game time while I'm out running (so. not. fair.).

      Delete
    2. I'm going to have to look it up. I ran while I was in university and early in my teaching career, but I just didn't like it. I think running with Mr. JB will be a good motivator for the both of us. I'm in much better shape than he is, and he needs the kick in the pants to get started. He got all excited when I suggested jogging together, so I'm going to run with that!

      Also our local marathon ran by our house yesterday so I was feeling all excited. Not that I want to run a marathon....yet!

      Delete
  8. Awesome! I love how God works in your life. And how good you are at sharing your journey. I'm so excited for you to finish the race!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good for you! I struggle with the same thing, and your description of your how you made your decision is so inspiring to me! Plus, I need to work on becoming more fit; though, no half-marathons for this girl. You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hate running ( I get panic attacks) but I'm so happy for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Well said! I kind of like the idea of daring, I guess, my body to get pregnant by buying things or signing up for things that we might not get to do or use if we end up pregnant. I've got $1,000 worth of kayaks in the garage that we got to use once before we found out I was pregnant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally thought of your kayaks while I was signing up!

      Delete
  12. I think that is a great choice, and I'm so glad you signed up. IF takes and takes and takes so much...I'm glad you took this back! And you're right, you'll either have a great race, or a baby in your arms (or belly) and the marathon gets a nice $55 "donation." Good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. So proud of you, Rebecca. I have run three half marathons and 1 marathon. and I think you have won the minute you decide to start. :)

    I registered for the Chicago Marathon in February 2008. I became pregnant in May 2008 with Dominic. You're right...it was okay. I spent the money, but didn't get to race...but I still went and cheered on my friend who WAS running it, still. :)

    When is the half marathon in Morgantown? (just curious)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Seems to me you've taken a giant step forward. Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Could have written this myself. God's been with me in many a bathroom. So glad you decided to go for it and live! We did the same waiting for FLA to be a babymoon, well you know the rest of that story ;) Hopeful for you my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been putting off my goal of qualifying for the Boston marathon for over three years because of stupid IF. I had surgery with Dr. H in February and had to take 6 weeks off running. But I am do sick of putting my life on hold that I signed up for a half with my sister in law for this fall. You put it wonderfully. Good luck to you! I am hoping to break 1:45.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rebecca, this is an AWESOME post, and you're so right--we must keep living our lives. I'm so glad that you pushed yourself, even when you felt outside of your comfort zone...and while your goal almost certainly made you leaner and healthier, my goal will hopefully involve a lot of French cheese and Spanish wine...is that still okay? ;) Congrats on conquering your fear and enriching your life...something I definitely need to do! Prayers for you today :) xo

    ReplyDelete