On the last 8 minutes of my run, I suddenly felt like someone grabbed my uterus in both hands and squeezed. Now let’s just say the timing of such an event was off by at least a week. I decided I would breathe and run through the pain, because exercise is actually quite good for cramps, and if my system had decided to go off schedule, this was probably the best thing I could be doing for myself.
The pain just got worse. And worse. And worse, until it felt like someone was not just squeezing, but twisting. I had about a minute and twelve seconds left to go, so I just kept on. It’s like labor. You ride it out. It was going to stop when I stop running, so hang in there and finish the run.
My timer went off and, because stopping dead and standing is not a good idea after a run, I slowed to a walk.
That invisible person inside me decided my uterus was taffy. Squeezing and twisting became pulling, and now wrapping it all around the base of my spine. And yanking.
The pain did not stop after I walked all the way home in near tears, gulping and gasping against it. Finally, after 30 minutes of slow subsiding, the pain quit.
I decided to see if anyone else out there was having the same problem, and if they were, what they were doing about it. What was the cause? More importantly, what was the treatment?
Search “menstrual-like cramps while running” and you’ll find what I found: a lot of women posting the same symptoms, a lot of other women “me too-ing,” and a lot of other people misunderstanding and not offering real help.
It’s not gastrointestinal. I know where my frigging uterus is and I know what it feels like when it hurts. So stop telling me it’s gas or IBS. It’s not menstrual cramps. Though at my age, my cycle is harder to predict, I am pretty damn sure that it’s not coming back after one week.
Why in the world would my uterus be cramping off schedule because I’m running? And why are there lots of women with the same symptoms, but no answers?
Only one of the women posting the question mentioned she had run without eating. That she had gotten up and run before breakfast. Someone else said do not do that–your glycogen stores are depleted and your body will go after less efficient sources of fuel such as fat stores (GOOD!) or muscle groups (BAD!).
As it happens, I had also run before breakfast. I came home and had a V8–what I always drink right after a run–and later, some breakfast.
I’m still kind of sore.
I am good with my uterus, a muscle inside my body–also getting toned, but I’m not good with that kind of pain during and after running. I’ll try eating something before my run Sunday morning and see if that makes a difference. If not, I may need to use my brand spanking new health insurance and go see if everything is in working order.
Any more me-tooers out there? Or anyone with a genuine answer?