Since my surgery four months ago, I have been trying my hardest to get back in shape. I wrote about it a little in this post back in May. I’ve been doing well, but I got a bit sidetracked after our New York trip. I think I have some kind of exercise attention deficit disorder, because the slightest variation in plans knocks me off my workout schedule. It’s frustrating, but I’m determined to win this workout war!

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. 

thelessthandomesticgoddess

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Layla

    July 12, 2011

    It's actually a relief to me as well, to know that others feel the post run cramps. I honestly thought every woman felt it and that those that could run longer or push themselves harder were just stronger than me! I agree, it is nice to know that I'm not a wimp. πŸ™‚

  2. Reply

    -J.Darling

    July 12, 2011

    Sounds like a great discovery! πŸ™‚ I never put two and two together. I just pushed through. I thought the cramps I experienced in high school were "normal" too. Turns out some of us just have a high tolerance to pain! But it does make sense. When you work out, your blood is pumping more, expanding blood vessels, so it makes sense that would bother any inflammatory condition. Maybe a more sustained easier burn would be more healthy for you?
    Sometimes, too little body fat or too much hard core cardio can influence your body's fertility (as evidenced by the cramps). You might want to add it to the list to ask your fertility specialist. πŸ™‚

  3. Reply

    Michelle

    July 12, 2011

    Wow. I'm still reeling about reading about your douchebag coach. What a dick.

    Moving on. I know how frustrating it is to deal with spotty research and medical unknowns. It sucks. I'm so happy to read that you have other women you can relate to and poll and get real information from. Oh, and you are most definitely NOT A WIMP. β™₯

  4. Reply

    Woman Warrior

    July 12, 2011

    Ok first of all what a JERK that PE teacher was. Wow. Glad he got fired.

    Anyway, I JUST posted this question on Twitter as well because yesterday was the first time since the surgery that I walked a significant amount and afterwards, I didn't feel cramps but all my spots with endo got fired up. This has never happened to me pre surgery so I was wondering if it's scar tissue or something that just does not like movement? I'm glad you've been getting support about this and you feel less that it's your fault! Yay!

  5. Reply

    thelessthandomesticgoddess

    July 12, 2011

    @J.Darling: Great points! I think I'll ask the fertility specialist when we meet with him. I've decided as of now not to push my body any harder than I did yesterday. Thanks for the advice!

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