6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Runner Girl vs. Mother Nature

Yesterday I posed a question on Facebook HERE:

Being a Runner Girl is not fun when Mother Nature comes to visit. Anyone want to chime in on this taboo subject and give advice for Running through that time of the month?

There were some great responses, thanks ladies!! What brought up this question?? TMI post ahead BEWARE.. I had a Mirena IUD put in after Little Stud #2 was born. I LOVED it because I did not have my monthly visitor, not in the normal sense anyhow. However during the 3++ years I have had the IUD I have experienced debilitating Stomach pains. I have had every test done with no results, so I finally pulled my IUD and the pains went away.

This weekend was my first visit from PMS since the IUD removal and WOW!!!

Call it what you want.....

Mother Nature

That Time of the Month

Monthly Visitor

Aunt Flow

Any way you shake it, it SUCKS for Running!!

Reading the Comments on Facebook HERE some women have had accidents while Running, now that is a bad day...

I did a quick Google Search for "Tips for Running while on your period" various articles came up. This one HERE was pretty helpful....below is some info from the article..

Because of the sharp drop in hormone levels prior to menstruation, many women experience some of the following symptoms:
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased insulin responsiveness
  • Food cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
Obviously, these symptoms can make exercising during your period unpleasant to say the least. But exercising can actually make your period more manageable, decreasing many of these symptoms. It is safe and beneficial to exercise during your period, unless your doctor advises against it.

There are many benefits to exercising during your period. Working out can help:
  • Decrease the pain of cramps by releasing endorphins (the body's natural painkillers), increasing blood flow, and by loosening muscles in your lower abdomen, back, and thighs.
  • Rid your body of excess water so you aren’t bloated.
  • Improve and stabilize your mood, making you less anxious, angry, or depressed.
Of course, there are even more benefits to a regular exercise program. By exercising consistently, you may be able to achieve a lighter and shorter menstrual flow, a lower incidence of mood swings, and a stronger pelvic floor, which can better support your reproductive organs.

The following suggestions will help you develop a synergy between menstruation and exercise, so you can optimize your workouts, and your periods.
  • If you are just beginning an exercise program, and you suffer from cramps and other period-related issues, then start out slowly. Make sure you're listening to your body and not overdoing it.
  • Increase exercise around your period, which will improve oxygen circulation throughout the body.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Avoid lots of salt (but use spices, especially spicy ones, liberally).
  • Avoid refined sugars and fried foods.
  • Avoid caffeine—it can make cramps worse.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Use heat to relieve cramps so you can get to the gym and stick to your workouts.
My Advice???
Slow down, this is not the time for speed work, turn off the Garmin and listen to your body.
Look at a calendar and try not to plan and "A" races during that time if you can avoid it.
Over prepare, always have supplies in your running bag and while on the run.
Wear dark colored bottoms and layers of protection, accidents are not fun.

Runner Girl vs. Mother Nature

We don't have to let Mother Nature Win!! Give in to the square of chocolate if you need to, take a few pain relievers, reduce your long run or save it for another day, get out there and do what you can!! You wont regret it.

Signing off from PMS Land- Tall Mom

Ps.. Sorry to my Male readers, pretty sure there are only a few.. Coach Ken if you are reading this, Hi :)


financecupcake said...

Wow, I must say that I've never put that much thought into running during my period. I just put in a tampon and go. If I'm running more than 2.5 hours, I bring a replacement. I've never avoided racing because of my period; I actually will be on my period during a 30-mile race I have in a few weeks. This post certainly made me consider another perspective!

fancy nancy said...

I would say the worst is just the overall feeling like crud! I try to work around it and on those days when all I want to do is stay in bed...I keep it short and slow! Yikes to Christina....30 miles during your period...no thanks!

sandi said...

I ran my first marathon this month. Two months ago I "counted days" and discovered that "my monthly visitor" would arrive two days before my marathon. Not good.
I went to my doctor and I ended up going on the pill for one month and we timed it so I got my "visitor" one week before.

Scarlett said...

I have to say I think it's worse if you think about it. Push through the cramps and you'll feel better for it!

Heather said...

I got my vistor the day before my first Marathon ever! Not fun adding to the stress, trying to figure that one out. Luckily I made it without bathroom break or accidents but I did worry.

Ali Mc said...

I have only been running almost 6 months now and I have run through my period it's never given me too much problems. I usually just shove a tampon up there and I'm good to go. I do sometimes take my runs slower but I agree with lots of your tips. I also agree with running slower and trying to avoid races. Good post

Marlene said...

No fun at all! maybe this one was worse b/c it is the first time in so long? Hopefully things will be less uncomfortable next month.

I don't experience many symptoms generally (lucky, I know), except those darn CRAVINGS! But then, I have those all the time....

Unknown said...

Two words: DIVA CUP

TNTcoach Ken said...

Thank God for the scroll bar! I think you lost one of the other male readers, LOL...........

chattynatty said...

One more added badness of periods and exercise in a competitive way- most female athletes who tear their ACL do so during their monthly visit from Aunt Red. Here is the article title: “The Effect of the Menstrual Cycle on ACL Injuries in Women as Determined by Hormone Levels,” Dr Kurt Spindler. They found mid cycle greatest time at risk for ACL, but many also occur during menstrual cycle. One of my running buddies is a doc who won't run during her monthly cycle- she thinks it is not smart and uses the week off as a time to rejuvenate and rest.

I tore my ACL back in high school and don't know if Aunt Red was visiting, but I totally agree that slowing down is the best treatment. I also love 600 mg Ibuprofen to treat those unfriendly cramps.

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

That PMS graphic was so funny. Great advice, except avoiding caffeine. I think I would rather have horrible cramps than skip my coffee. Like the commenter above, I tore my ACL in high school and I do believe I was on my period. Interesting.

Run with Jess said...

I find running thru it helps... but like you suggest, I modify goals - just run by feel.

Marathon Lar said...

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and run, like me when I woke up marathon morning to my monthly gift! :)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Having run for so many years I have repeatedly ran while I had my period. Never fun. Those you can simply use a tampon and not worry are lucky. Not everyone can do that. I am getting a DivaCup to see if that might be the answer (esp. for ultra length events) for me. Aside from protection from embarassment are the physical and mental issues that can reek haovic on race day!
And FYI: Simply putting a tampon in the pocket of you pack or your sports bra is a receipe for disaster. You'll end up with a sweat soaked tampon. Not very helpful when you are in the middle of a forest and you've been running for four hours and still have over 2 to go...It wasn't pretty!