At the end of May, I said I wanted to run a mile without stopping. I'm still not quite there, but I am almost there. My mile time has decreased from about a 20 minute speed walk to a 15 minute jog/run. To most people, maybe it's nothing, but to me, it's progress. I haven't been able to distance run since high school, and even then it was a struggle.
Yesterday, I got off the treadmill after pushing myself pretty hard on my run, and I felt an enormous wave of menstrual-like cramps wash over me. It was a feeling that I hadn't felt since my high school basketball conditioning sessions.
In high school, I was constantly yelled at and belittled by my psychotic coach as he chased me around the track. I usually fell behind when it came to long distance running. He'd blow his stupid whistle in my face, and sometimes I'd cry in anger because these menstrual cramps were eating me from the inside. I thought every girl probably got these cramps, and that I was a wimp, a baby, and a loser. I pushed myself to the brink physically. I don't know how I did it. In the end, I used basketball to get into college. My dick coach got fired two years later for verbally and physically abusing his players.
Revenge is sweet sometimes.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon I did some research on women runners and cramping. I wasn't able to find any solid scientific evidence or medical studies citing links between endometriosis and vigorous exercise. I'm not surprised. Endometriosis research has many holes and unknowns. This article was pretty helpful, and I did uncover a number of chat threads in runners' forums about it. Apparently, a lot of women with endometriosis get cramps after running. I also turned to Twitter, and a couple of my EndoSisters (Layla and Lauren) chimed in saying they, too, get the infamous cramps.
For the first time since high school (umm, like twelve years?!) I felt this joy like, "Hey, I'm NOT a wimp after all! I was and am an athlete. I'm not a long distance runner, but I am an athlete.
Eff you, Coach H., and my other female coaches that never stood up for me. And eff you, doctors, whom I asked numerous times about these odd cramps and you shrugged your shoulders and did nothing.
So I'm back to pushing myself physically. I'm going to do the best I can. I know that the best I can do isn't going to win any prizes, because I do have limitations. But, nonetheless, I'm proud of myself.
Anyone else out there have physical limitations when it comes to working out? How do you cope? Please share your story, if you so desire.