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.