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Running for Two

18 October 2012

Hello runners, it’s been a while.

I last wrote in July, when leaves were green and the English summer rain was in full flow. Throughout the rest of July, August and September I didn’t run once, the longest time I’ve gone without running in 18 years.

I wasn’t injured. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to run. I was having my second and last round of ivf treatment.

And then, amazingly, I was pregnant.

I’m still pregnant, 13 weeks now. I never thought I would be able to write that and I want to be mindful of the feelings of those who don’t care about such things, or care too much for reasons I fully understand. I won’t go on about it, I promise, but I do want to be honest now that I feel I can be – I hope that’s ok.

One of the first things I asked my doctor, when I got the Big News, was “can I start running again”? Running during the stimulating stage of ivf is not advised, and I didn’t run during my “two week wait”, so I had already endured six weeks of rest. I had to get back out there. The doctor said yes, of course. No questions, no hesitation.

I contemplated the trainers in the hallway, 4 weeks pregnant and reeling. A conversation with my mother was ringing in my ears – “You won’t run will you? Please don’t”. I examined my motives. Why did I want to run? Was I just being selfish? What if there was the slightest risk that running could make me miscarry this, my only ever pregnancy and the last chance I never believed I’d get? I chickened out. This brave new world of pregnancy made me too scared.

Over the next two weeks, as the news started to sink in, I read a million and one articles on the internet. I tried in vain to find proper studies of running in early pregnancy. The only one I could find is the scary Danish one, but as it found risk to women who did over seven hours of strenuous exercise per week, i.e. marathon training, it was not too helpful to someone contemplating three gentle 20 minute runs per week.

At 8 weeks I had an early scan and left knowing that a jelly-baby blob with a heartbeat was growing inside of me. It really was. I knew that running was going to be ok. Everything was going to be ok. It was time.

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The first run was weird: terrifying and fantastic. I was a jogger, running very slowly and walking every five minutes. I managed 18 minutes’ nervous plodding, panicking at every twinge. Ivf leaves you swollen inside for weeks and I think most of the discomfort I felt during that first run was related to that.

The next run was fine – completely great in fact. I ran for two sets of 10 minutes in the autumn sunshine, nothing hurt, and when I got back I felt like myself for the first time in months. Endorphins rock! I may be slow, I may only be running occasionally, but I am running. I am back!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 18 October 2012 12:59 pm

    Congratulations 🙂 I had wondered why you were so quiet. x

  2. 18 October 2012 1:06 pm

    Congratulations! That is such good news. And I’m glad you’re back! x

  3. 18 October 2012 2:03 pm

    OMG THIS IS FANTASTIC NEWS!!!

  4. Cat permalink
    20 October 2012 3:55 pm

    Congratulations .. Running will now never ever be the same!!! Xx Cat (the Ellwood’s friend in Chislehurst) Xx

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