Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Great Expectations

Did you know that you can only be disappointed by something if you have expectations about that thing? Another one of those duh revelations for you. Why do I bring this up, you ask.

Well, I have been struggling with feelings of disappointment for quite some time. I'm not talking acute and normal disappointment that comes from running a subpar race. I'm talking about the kind that comes from expecting life to generally be a certain way only for it not to go that way. Wa wa, right?

Here's what I expected. I expected to run a strong marathon in October, one that left me satisfied. Then I expected to have an amazing wedding to mrp in November. Then I expected to train for one more month for club nationals and to run tough and help my team there. Then I figured I'd take a break from running and mrp and I would focus on starting our family and within a month or two I'd be pregnant and here we would be expecting. More expecting.

Here's how it went. My marathon was far from satisfying. Sure, it was a pr and I have learned to live with it. If I never run another marathon I really won't feel that bad about a lifetime personal best of 3:10:15. Whatever. Sure, I know I can do better, but if I never have the opportunity, so be it. If I do, bonus!

Our wedding was amazing. In fact, it exceeded my expectations, if you can believe it. The marriage itself is going swell too. I am very happy and thoroughly satisfied on that front and I trully am not just saying that 'cause I'm supposed to.

I did continue training but a couple of weeks before club nationals we and I had my first ever pregnancy "scare." My period was seemingly late for the first time ever and I had been feeling things I normally don't feel. Well, turns out gaining a couple of pounds and decreasing mileage by 40% or so will do that to a girl. It appears my hormones were balancing out and those symptoms were normal pre-menstrual symptoms and the late period was just a slightly longer normal cycle. False alarm, but it got us thinking and it distracted me from training and racing my best at nationals. I still had a blast, which was really the point, but it was the beginning of the muddled feeling of confliction and disappointment.

So, I took December and January off from training. I ran a bit, but not much to speak of thinking I'd get pregnant. Nothing. People told me I could keep training and still get pregnant--afterall, many people had done it. "I knew this one woman who got pregnant three times on 60+ mpw" or "My friend was shocked to find out she was pregnant the week before her marathon" or "Paula Radcliffe..." So, I thought maybe I was being overly cautious and since I felt antsy and wayward I talked to Tinman about it and he helped me come up with a lower mileage plan (45-50 miles per week).

Still nothing. Actually, those pounds I had gained started to flee. What's worse is that I attempted to run three races in this time. I legitimately had a horrible stitch in NY, but I have to wonder if somehow it was self-sabotage and in the next two races I consciously could not put the pedal down and push my body to the brink. I want to devote my body's resources to nurturing a child now, not running a pr. Even on my fartleks I started to feel conflicted. I just couldn't do it. As hard as it was to realize and accept that training and getting pregnant are pretty mutually exclusive for me, I felt instantly better once I decided to focus on one over the other.

So, that's where things stand for me. I am still running, just not much and not very fast. I am not to exceed 30 miles per week and I am not to run hard. My doctors agree. Tinman agrees. I agree. This is what's best. It's just not easy.


DaisyDuc said...

Wow, putting it all out there!

I expect great things from you as I know you have it in you and I am sure it will all work out!!!

The Salty One said...

Haha, DD. Thanks :)

Yeah, it might seem a bit tmi. I did hesitate for a long time whether or not to address the topic here. I kept it to myself for a long time, but it is what it is. It would help me to know I'm not alone in this, so I figure maybe it will help someone else. And as I struggle with my mixed feelings about things, writing and sharing help me sort things out.

TrainingtoTri said...

sometimes we all just need to say things "out loud", thanks for putting it out there. You might check out the link to scott & twila's blog on my blog. Good friends from home who tried for a year before it finally happened for them. Best of luck on this endeavor.

Miss Adventurous said...

I'm so proud of you! See? Two comments that are really supportive and happy for you! (Plus me, but I'm always supportive and happy for you, so maybe that doesn't count as much.)

And this is YOUR blog. Don't worry about tmi for other is and should be about you, and not necessarily about what you think others want to read.

Snuggles, bunny! ;)

Meghan said...

Aw, Salty! I hope this happens for you soon.

And nothing is TMI on one's own blog. It's your blog and you can do whatever you want with it.

Thanks for sharing this new/next step in your life. I have a biker chic friend who's in the same life stage as you and, so far, it hasn't happened for them either. We were just having the almost-same conversation earlier this week.

I'm sending all the, ahem, fertility vibes I can muster your way. 'Kay? Good luck. :)


Chelle said...

A runner friend of mine swears by her ovulation watch. It senses your hormones through your skin or somesuch and gives you an alarm when you're fertile. She was 38 and she and her hubby had been trying for a while and she got this thing and boom...first try.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Best of luck to you!! Hope everything works out!

Mindi said...

HMMM. If you changed the first paragraph of this blog it would be one of the most uplifting, happy blogs.

Don't be disappointed. Your life is fantastic. And things will happen. It just takes a painfully long time (no matter how long it realistically is). Trust me, I have the same personality and when I want something, I want it now and I want it to be exactly how I want it. Everytime. :)

I think the lower mileage will help. AND, I have heard many say that coming back after a baby women are often stronger. Good luck! I can't wait to hear great news from you soon!

Joseph P. Wood said...

A few days late to the party I know, so pardon the tardiness. Anyhow, I had a teacher in grad school who once told me about going to Italy with her girlfriend. To make a long story short, the significant other was having a terrible time in Rome. Her lunch was messed up and she was tired. They were walking around and her friend kept saying and I can't believe I didn't tell them to take the food back.... Meanwhile, Rome was laying out there in all its grandeur and my teacher's lover was missing it...

It's hard for super-motivated folks to nitpick their accomplishments. You ran A MARATHON, a very amazing time. It doesn't suck: think about all the physical sensations what you had during the race and the surroundings. It's pure joy to be doing it, even if the race didn't turn out like you want. No one can take that from you.

Per pregnancy, that's a tougher shell to crack. I'm not a woman--obviously--so any advice on this end would be hollow. I will say Amy & I did track her fertlility and that helped some. Regardless, I obviously do hope this comes sooner than later; it's really hard.

All-in-all, fuck TMI. You know, I read your blog because you do a very good job of showing the dilemma of trying to live how you want emotionally vs how are you living--and all the contradictions and ambivilances wrapped up in it. You know--writing about being a human being honestly. That's rare--and a pleasure.

Audrey said...

Ahhh...yes...the elusive PMS symptoms that return when I'm injured and my mileage drops and body fat% rise. I HATE THOSE SYMPTOMS! But I think it means your body is in a good place for a baby. I'm not trying to have a baby now or anything, but when my mileage was higher (and for me higher is 20-25 mpw) and I had lower body fat % I definitely didn't think I could get pregnant even if I wasn't on the pill.

Anywhoo, best of luck!!!!