How does ‘it’ affect your running?

But first—>  a few scenes from today!

My cute friend (we worked together at a sushi restaurant for years) that is 36 weeks pregnant is continuing to rock it at spin.  

One of the million reasons that I love spin= it is such a great workout, you get to sweat and it is pretty easy on your body (aka low-impact).  I also taught or went to spin classes throughout my entire pregnancy!  

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After I run it takes me a few minutes to get hungry but after a spin class I am starving.  I usually have a little something in my car ready for me to eat in order to make it the 5 minutes home to eat breakfast.  Brooke and I both love this one.  

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Brooke got to experience what it is like to run with size 10 feet.  It’s hard work.

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I caught my dad taking his first ever selfie.  I taught him everything I know.   

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Catching a few snowflakes on our tongues.

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And then we went to get my car detailed.  My mom gave me a gift card to do this for my bday and I thought it was going to take 30 minutes or something.  Nope, 2+ hours….

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So, my mom came and picked us up for a lunch date together at Cafe Rio.  FYI their tortilla soup is deliciouso.  

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Boys, you may want to stop reading here.

Let’s talk about how our cycles affect our running.  

Usually my period affects me emotionally way more than it does physically.  I will notice that my running slows down a tiny bit but probably because I am crying over something… but really I get pretty sad during this time.  This time around my cramps are killing me and I had no desire to run today.  I didn’t even want to try, spin was plenty.  I am sure by tomorrow I will be fine and ready to run but I think it is important to rest when you need rest and go easy on yourself when you are just not feeling well.

I’ve only ever raced on my period once (I know, lucky) and I do think it slowed me down a little.  I definitely wasn’t very positive mentally during the race, that is for sure.  

Two great articles about this topic:

How Menstruation Affects Your Running.

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Running Around The Menstrual Cycle

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I REALLY wanted to hear from you guys about this topic.  Hoe does your period/ovulation/whatever affect your running!?!?  How does it affect you emotionally?

Where was your last lunch date?  With who?

Is it snowing where you live?

Favorite type of Larabar?

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100 comments

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We are getting a cold front coming in starting tonight and lasting thru mid next week. We haven’t really gotten much snow this year, so it’d be nice to get a little bit (sorry East coast!).

I can’t eat most Lara Bars because of a nut allergy, but I keep hearing how good they are!

If I’m not on some form of birth control, my emotions are all over the place and physically I feel pretty gross (cramps and bloating). On the pill, my emotions stay in check and I don’t have any of the physical symptoms.

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My period always affects me during the week I have it. I find it makes me definetly slower and a but sluggish and I am definetly more tired. I do find running does help improve my moodiness during my period!
No snow here in So Cal!
I like choc chip cherry torte Lara bars!

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the one upside of PMS: I get really angry really easily, and that pent up aggression translates nicely into running speed work.

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Hahaha that is awesome!!! Take advantage of the anger… I do the rest of the month;)

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When I was in high school, I had a really hard time at cross country and track practice the day I actually started my period. I was in big trouble if that corresponded with a workout or a meet. The next day, however, was ALWAYS my best day of running for the month. Very strange. I stopped running for a few years in college and now I’m training for half and full marathons…while on birth control. I don’t notice a thing. I barely have a period at all, and have basically zero side effects.

My last lunch date was with my coworkers at Olive Garden for a birthday. Carb loading at its finest!

It is snowing here in Indiana, but only a few inches at a time, generally. It is extremely cold, though, so I’ve been doing a lot of treadmill runs. :(

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Olive garden is the best…. soup, salad and breadsticks? Doesn’t get much better. Stay warm!!!

Super interesting that day 2 was your best day… I wonder why!?!? Must be the spike in a certain type of hormone or something!

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Yes! I have certain days (sometimes second/third) that are my super power days, better than any other all month long! Almostttt makes the struggle of the other days worthwhile ;)

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My periods really affect my running. I have endometriosis and lean PCOS, and even on my medication I get awful, nauseating, stabbing cramps that make even sitting feel painful. Surprisingly, if I can convince myself to workout, an easy run really helps the pain. I also get emotional on my period, so running helps because of all the endorphins. My endo was so bad that my doctor has me take medicine to skip periods, which makes it a lot easier to train and race (and function overall). I’ve heard so many people discourage women with endometriosis or lean PCOS from running (for endo because of the impact of running, for lean PCOS because it’s hard enough for those women to maintain the right amount of body fat) but I really think running does more good than harm, both physically and mentally.
That was long and totally TMI! I hope your cramps are gone and you feel better for your run tomorrow!

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Oh Laura, I am truly so so sorry about both the endometriosis and lean PCOS. That sounds absolutely miserable. Never TMI on this blog. Thank you for sharing your experience especially for those that can relate to your struggles!

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Oh man, I just commented below – I have PCOS, too, and it is hard to explain the level of pain you get. It’s NOT like normal cramps, the cysts on your ovaries swell and can seriously get to be the size of a melon. Youch.

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I just commented below as well… I also have endo. I had a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy D&C last Spring and they were able to burn off what they could find. The pain during my period has lessened, but it seems like they are heavier than they used to be. I’ve heard that it can come back, so I am praying that if it does, it is long after we (hopefully) have babies! Painful periods are no joke.

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I also have endo and have found that running really helps. When I’m going long distance training, my cramps almost disappear. But…I’ve been dealing with a chronic injury over the past year so my running has been at a minimum…..and the cramps came back full force. My OB/Gyn threorized that maybe all the pounding helps to prevent the adhesions from forming. Who knows?? But it works for me!

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I’m experiencing what you are experiencing this week ;) It doesn’t have a huge affect on running, but if I really have cramps or just don’t feel well, I will just opt for spin class as well. I’ve never had it during a race, and I’m not so sure how I’ve always gotten that lucky! Emotionally, that’s a different story! I had a massive bawling breakdown Tuesday night over very minor things.

Even with a wait, there is nothing better than a freshly detailed car, in my opinion!! I love having a clean car, even if 10 pairs of possibly smelly running shoes will go back in it the second it’s cleaned. :)

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We should have cried together on Tuesday night;)

And I totally agree about a clean car. It feels like a big hug every time I get inside.

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I really don’t feel like it has any affect on me…..though maybe the ex-boyfriend may disagree ;).

My last lunch date was with my momma who came and met me at work for a lunch date. Moms are seriously the best. How are they so smart?

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I definitely feel the effects of my period on my running. There is one day about a week and a half before my period where I feel like I am the strongest and fastest runner EVER, then there is a steady decrease in my physical ability until the days when I have it and feel super tired, sore, and crampy! Aaaaand repeat. I’ve always wondered if anyone else felt the same way!

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That is super interesting! I bet there are people that can totally relate! I need to keep better track of everything and I’ll get back to you. Make sure your races are always on that golden day:)

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I unfortunately have the same problem, Kris! I can’t for the life of me run a decent run the few days leading up to and the week of my period. And leading up to it I have the worst cramps ever. Exhuastion really kills me during this time. But then once I’m done, its back to speedy runs and feeling the greatness of those endorphins! You are not alone :)

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I just got into LaraBars and I’m loving them! I love that most of them are vegan and the peanut butter chocolate chip is to die for!

I definitely don’t feel like I’m performing my best during that week but lighter workouts actually help my symptoms. I’ve had a couple races that occurred on like the last day or two which wasn’t a huge deal but I’d really never want to schedule a race on the first day or two! That would be rough!

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For many years, I was 100% certain that PMS was a ruse – that it wasn’t real, at least for me. More recently I’ve definitely experienced (emotional and physical) symptoms that are truly associated with PMS, and some months it really does suck! Mostly, I don’t think it does have an affect on my running but sometimes I think it makes me physically more tired and mentally less ready to handle a hard run. Mostly I’d like to think we do have the control but sometimes my body seems to take over!

Chocolate chip cookie dough larabar is the bessttt!

It’s snowing here in Ohio!

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Actually this is an interesting topic for me, because when I first started running I totally lost my cycle for about 3 years, and it took going on the pill to get it back (not the best option, gaining fat would have been healthier!)
BUT, the pill my doctor gave me gives me 90-day (3 month) cycles instead of one month, so I REALLY can plan out when I’m going to have “it” since it comes every 3 months! When I do get it I’m hungrier, but also know my runs are more important to keep me happy!

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Has the pill helped your running, and how you feel/energy? Sorry if that’s personal but I’ve gone without a cycle for 5 years and have been on the fence about this….

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I wouldn’t say its “helped” my running but its DEFINITELY helped my health. When I went on it, I gained a little weight which at the time I needed to. It made my running stronger because I was at a proper weight, but I slowed down a little from when I was at my very thinnest (underweight) just because I was carrying more! My endurance definitely went up though.

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Thank you for your thoughts! I need to do something!

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It snowed in Texas yesterday and today! Of course, nothing stuck, but it was definitely coming down!

Running is always tough for me on the first day of my period, but after that it gets a little easier. I do hate running while bloated, that is such a miserable feeling! I just try to remind myself to lower my expectations, slow down and try to enjoy it. If nothing else, I’ll run just so I can justify all the chocolate I’m going to eat :)

All time favorite Larabar is chocolate chip cookie dough, but I also love the peanut butter cookie! Anything with the word “cookie” in it is just automatically a favorite.

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I get them really badly, I’m even on medication because it’s so painful! So running is a hit or a miss when I’m on! Usually it’s too painful to do anything but I usually find some sort of exercise helps me feel better. I’m a little more emotional than I usually am but I get angry very quickly when it’s my time of the month, I feel like I’m really snappy to people and I don’t mean to be!

Last lunch date was with my best friend at Panera when I was visiting her in Chicago, I really wish I could have their broccoli & cheddar soup right now :)

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I don’t usually have a period because I have Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but I *do* get really painful cysts swelling up sometimes. They hurt the most when they are rupturing, and one was in the middle of rupturing in the middle of the last half marathon I did. The pain got so bad around mile 8-9 that I started to get tunnel vision.

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The cashew Larabar is so good!!!

I notice that the week leading up to my period is the worst. I’m fortunate enough to not have cramps, but I’m tired and bloated…fun times!

Last lunch date: catching up with one of my old interns that just moved back to town.

It snowed here again last night. It’s been a crazy winter in TN!

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Am I the only one who could eat ALL THE THINGS right before my period starts? Seriously, it’s nearly impossible to satiate my appetite for a 24-36 hours. That’s usually my reminder that IT it is coming. I usually have a day or two of really bad back pain but the benefit of this is that I’m reminded to stretch my hamstrings and hip flexors. Gotta find the silver lining. :)

My last lunch date was a sweet coworker who took me out so we could chat.

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I am shaking my head ‘yes’ throughout your entire comment.

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Nope, I was just about to put up the same comment: I am hungry ALL the time! It’s usually just the days my period starts; I eat everything in those 2-3 days because I’m so used to the “cycle” of it and I know I’ll be back to normal within a few days.

Bon appetit! haha :)

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I can’t say I have this problem. Running actually caused my periods to disappear. I mysteriously lost them 4 years ago. My doctor at that time told me this was fine. After suffering 2 stress fractures last year, I discovered I have no estrogen despite being on the pill. The lack of estrogen is a mystery that no doctor has yet to solve. It’s been a frustrating road trying to get answers. The Mayo Clinic doctors I’ve seen don’t seem that interested in figuring it out. It’s been months of an emotional roller coaster.

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Oh Megan, I am truly so sorry about what you’re going through. It infuriates me that your doctor said that it is ‘fine.’ Losing your period is your bodies way of telling you that things are not right! Keep searching for a doctor that will be able to help you figure this out. I didn’t have a period for almost 2 years and it caused Osteopenia.

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Megan, I have also lost my periods due to running, so I understand your frustration. I have not had a period for four years, and I have tried so many different things to get my cycle back. I have tried eating more fats, running less, taking birth control pills but nothing seems to work. I am going to meet with a nutritionist soon, and hopefully she will have some good advice. I hope you are able to find a good doctor who can help you out and good luck with getting your cycle back!

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Overall, my cycle just makes me feel tired. I have not kept a journal to know how it may have possible negative side effects on my running (or just working out). I tend to just be highly competitive with myself with my running…so if I run the same route one week at “x” pace…and 2 weeks later it is slower (even if by only a few seconds, I can get way too discouraged). :/ Seriously, though…being a female is tough work!

My last lunch date was………….TODAY! My boyfriend picked me up from work. :)

Hope you feel better soon!

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I am a newlywed and after our wedding I stopped taking my birth control. My cycles are so out of whack, I hate it! I am more emotional than ever, it’s kind of embarassing lol. My husband can just tell without even knowing for sure that I am getting ready to start or am on my period. It is so hard to track your cycles when you are used to the consistency that bc pills gave you. We are on month three of trying to get pregnant, and I’m trying to track my cycles/ovulation/fertility with an app, but it’s never the same each month. I’ve decided to stop using the app and to stop worrying about it, it will happen when it’s supposed to happen :) sorry I kind of took that topic a different direction, but it’s hard being a girl!

My last lunch date was with myself at Subway :) I am loving the Italian herbs and cheese bread! Oh, and we woke up to about two inches of snow this morning in IL and they’re saying 4-6 inches more are headed our way this weekend.

Hope you’re having a great day, Janae! Love reading your blog as always!

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I used to get awful cramps while I would run when I would ovulate. It would be so bad that I felt like I would throw up around mile 2. That has stopped recently…but while marathon training my cycle is SUPER short. Like 20-21 days hut very light. I am trying to find someone else who has super short cycles while running a lot?! I know most people lose their period but I seem to be the opposite!

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My 5k PR is from a race when I was on my period. Due to long term anorexia, I didn’t get my period for YEARS, and am now so happy it comes… I just don’t want it to come during a race. I’ve done several ultras, and that’s my biggest fear!
As far as how I feel… usually pretty bad. I just tell myself that running is going to suck for the first two days or so of my period, so I give myself a break.
It’s so snowy and cold here in Upstate, NY :( Can’t wait for spring!!
I love the apple pie larabars.

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When choosing your next marathon, do you consider if your time of month may interfere? I have done 2 races in the last year where, if I had checked ahead, I would have noticed that it would be that time of the month but I never thought to do that… While not a huge factor, I definitely think it prevents me from doing amazing on a race day.

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I’m probably the most affected the week before – I am more emotional, hungry and feel bloaty and slow. I might get some minor cramps during, but exercise really helps then!

No snow for us! I’m hoping we still have a few days of summer heat left to come!

I’ve only had a couple of Larabars when I was visiting Hawaii, so I’ve tried a couple of flavours, and can’t really remember any particular one I loved.

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So I was actually just wondered about this with you (weird I know) because you are such an athlete and I was wondering if you still got your period because you are so fit! (I have heard it’s pretty normal to lose your period at a certain point.) So good to know!

I went out for a training run without my dog on Sunday (he is a jerk and ruins my pace) and immediately I felt awful. I ran ten steps and wanted to fall down and die. My whole body felt exhausted and drained and terrible and I ran maybe 30 seconds or a minute and then just switched to very sad little intervals. I think I averaged 13:50 minute miles. It was terrible. I got very weepy, and was texting friends in frustration about how awful a runner I am, and why can’t I ever improve. When I got home I changed my race registration for a 15k to a 8k because I figured I couldn’t meet the 14 minute mile time requirement because my time on this easy run was so awful and I just felt terrible. It was awful.

… Got my period that night.

OH.

Yeah, so I am going to say my period affects me pretty profoundly and makes me feel like crap. It was like I had ZERO ENERGY WHATSOEVER. It was really frustrating actually and I’m not sure how to avoid it, other than maybe going on the pill and just suppressing it all the time. That run was so terrible though, I’ve actually been afraid to run again since this week. Truly. It was truly awful. (cringes)

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I can’t say that I specifically notice it getting in the way of anything, but I might not be paying enough attention. Sometimes I will be lethargic during a workout but just get annoyed that I am, not actually take the time to see what is causing it. I think I may pay a little more attention next time. I recently had an IUD taken out, so my body is still working on regulating itself back to normal and hormone free.

It is doing weird random snows today. One minute it is completely white outside and the next it is crystal clear.

My favorite Larabars are cashew cookie, peanut butter, and PB chocolate chip.

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Wow Thank you Janae this is seriously what I wanted to read. I did ask you a few mths ago if you could do a blog about it and so thanks heaps. I struggle really bad a week before my period and a few days into it, I feel like cement, I’m bloated and tired, running feels ten times harder for me and I feel hotter quicker, I think being a woman is sometimes difficult unfortunatly.

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So, I would always dread having my period on big race days (but it has happened a lot with college XC and other 5ks and my last half marathon! It always seems to work out great! Other than a little inconvenient… I have some of my best races on my worst period days! For me it’s more mental and I’ve kind of convinced myself I like running with my period! Ha! :)

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My cycle definitely affects my running. Since having kids I get ovulation pain as well as “pressure” cramps that are aggravated when running, especially long distances! It is what it is and with all the factors that impact running, I try to have that one be the least of the issues! Love that lara bar flavor too – that and pecan pie.

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Leading up the my start day my workouts are always HARD and I am physically and mentally wiped out. Once I start I get the worst cramps ever and it’s hard for me to make it out the door. I also tend to get a lot of “tummy” trouble on the first day (if you know what I mean) which makes any distance a challenge.

Once I am past the first day though I usually start to feel better during my work outs. I try to slow down my pace and go a little easier on myself. I also try to eat more iron. AND I totally agree with you, spin is so much easier than running when its that time! Lol.

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I am always really tired, grouchy, and hungry during my period. Thankfully working-out helps restore my positive mood during my period.

I don’t think I have had a lunch date recently, but maybe a year ago I went with my little sister for fries and shakes.

Yes, it is still snowing here.. and Chicago is supposed to get about 3 or 4 more inches this weekend… I don’t remember what grass looks like.

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Oy vey, this has nothing to do with my period. Okay, I guess it kinda can, because I turn into cranky ho0-haa around my period, but the other night I was in a FOUL mood–it was bad. I was showering before work, and I was like, “ya know, if I just had a good bawl-fest, I would feel muuuch better.” (It’s hard for me to cry, unless I’m on the phone with my mamma, then the floodgates get removed.) So I am in the shower, trying to cry so I feel better, even making the weird cry faces and sounds…and nothing. So I continue on with my foul mood and shower, sans bawl-fest. The struggle.

BUT, if I can get my crankiness under wraps for a run while I’m on my period, it never really affects me. It’s just the getting started part that’s the hardest for me.

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I had an IUD put in after my second child was born. Haven’t had a period (or cramp) in over 3 yrs! Never going back.

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So for some reason, I tend to be really lucky and have had my period land on many race days….including my very first full marathon!! Yes it wasn’t ideal, but I just dealt with it. I don’t usually get bad cramps, it’s more the tired feeling and just the inconvince, lol. My next full is in about a month and it may or may not land then too!! So frustrating.

There’s never any snow here (Northern California)….we’d be happy with some rain though!

Last lunch out was with a friend to a place called smashburger. Best burgers.

Your dad is cute taking that selfie!

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My period usually makes things more difficult the week before, but I am often fine the week of. This may have stuff to do with the pill I am on, though. It did make me gain about 3 or 4 pounds once I started it, but I love being able to plan for things…my wedding, honeymoon, races, etc.

I had a lunch date with my hubby and sisters in law and brother in law……Chinese, my favorite ever! Steamed rice, egg drop soup, and chicken and broccoli with no sauce, then I added some sweet and sour sauce to it!

And the snow is gone now that we are home from Nashville, it melted quickly, but our hometown got 7 inches in some places! We have not had that much in over 10 years!!

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I feel like I am kind of rusty on this subject because I haven’t had my period in almost two years (pregnant and still nursing), BUT my cramps have always been very bad, so there are some days that I just didn’t run because I was in so much pain. Other days it was dull, but definitely still effected my runs :(

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Leave it to me to be totally gross here, but the biggest issue I have while running during my period is the period-induced diarrhea. Oh don’t even say that I’m the only one who gets that because I KNOW I’M NOT. Right?????? Oh please say I’m not the only one ha ha ha!

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Aside from the bloated gross feeling I get around my period, I haven’t noticed it affecting my running too much. My motivation drops for sure!

It snowed again here today, but it warmed up a little bit so most of it didn’t stick around.

I like so many of the Larabars, I don’t like to play favorites. :)

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B vitamins! I used to be crazy emotional during my cycle but consistently taking additional b vitamins helped a ton.

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Thank you so much for sharing this with me! Time to take some b vitamins asap!

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Ugh, I am such an emotional wreck that time of the month too! It’s like the world is ending. I hate it! Running is the only thing that helps my cramps though.

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During my period I’m really tired, so I’ve noticed that if I exercise a lot I feel even more drained. I try to lighten up on my running when I’m on my period, especially the first day or two which seem to be the worst.

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I’m in need of a good lunch date. And it’s nice and mild in Northern California right now. Oh and don’t you love getting into a freshly clean car?

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I’ve always wondered about this too! Personally, I don’t think I’m as intense/good of a runner to actually see significant changes in my running during that time of the month. I just get super hungry and emotional….and super hungry. Oh did I mention I get hungry? :P

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I started taking a supplement called Raw Maca made by NOW Foods. I haven’t had one cramp or other related period symptom since. I now swear by it. It gives you energy, and is good for overall reproductive health for both men and women. Also great for athletes which is why I started taking it.

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As much as you hate the period, remind yourself how good you are taking care of you body to have kept your cycle during marathon training. Proud of you!!

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I just notice that I can feel more tired and less motivated, but I think a lot of it for me might just be mental. I always feel better and more like myself after a good run, even on my period, so I try to push through it as much as I can even when I just feel like staying in bed :)

And my favorite Larabar is the apple pie one. Yum!

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Ohhhhh my gosh. I so strongly dislike running and training when I am PMSing and on my period. Everything just seems harder and I feel that I don’t perform as well. Like you, I have been lucky to not have raced much on my period (knock on wood). I just checked for Boston and it looks like I am home-free, thank goodness!!

My favorite Lara bars are apple pie and carrot cake. #nom!

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Thanks for bringing up this topic Janae, I think it is so important! I definitely notice running feels harder physically, but for me the real issue is the mental side of things. I always get really down about a week before I get my period, and I find it incredibly hard to bring myself out of this mental blue-ness. During that time everything seems pointless to me and it’s pretty much a horrible feeling. For the last few years I’ve been taking a pyridoxine supplement, which is a form of vitamin b6 which has been shown to help women who struggle with pms. I notice a HUGE difference on this. At first I wondered if it was a placebo effect but when I’ve been travelling and forgotten to take it, I’ve realised that I feel so much worse when I forget like that. Obviously different things work for different people but this has made my life a lot easier and I would definitely recommend giving it a try (after speaking to a doctor).
Sorry for the huge comment but I just never want anyone to feel down like I have in the past, simply because of crazy pms!

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i actually ran 2 marathons on my period, and both were PRs at that time. I’ve also had some great long runs on my period. I consider myself very lucky!

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It snowed really gently most of the day, but because it was so gentle, barely anything accumulated. It was really pretty to look at though!

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I get really weepy and angry, so I’m a lot of fun to be around! Actually, running does me the most good during my period because of the endorphins. i might be the only one on the planet, but I hate tampons! Running with a pad is the worst, but I put up with it. I safety pin it on, haha!

I’ve only had one race on my period-my very first marathon! I hadn’t had my period for two years, and it chose to start on marathon day!

It’s been snowing and sleeting off and on in Texas since Monday. I am so so so happy!

Hope you are feeling better!

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I don’t get a period because of the birth control I’m on, but I definetly don’t miss getting it.! When I did used to get one, it always made me feel so slow and sluggish. I hated it.

Oh and the car detail thing.. I work at a car dealership and we do details. We ask customers to bring in their cars at 8 am and pick up around 5pm. Crazy huh.!? but they really do a lot to them. Think of it as your car being at the spa :) lol

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Some months for my period are better, and some are worse. I get all over leg cramps, and some months I get headaches leading up to my period. And the emotional roller coasters are horrible! I have realized that even though my runs suck when I’m on my period, my body feels SO much better when I do run.

I don’t remember when my last lunch date was. Isn’t that crazy!?

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bottom line: it affects running. different ways at different times for each of us. boo!

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I really want to try Cafe Rio! You make it sound awesome.

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I love this topic! I don’t have real life running buddies so nobody to really talk to about it! Since I started running a lot more about 7 months ago, I think my period has changed a lot like it’s so so light and it comes a day early. It had been the exact same since I went on the pill like 17 years ago. So I’m still getting used to that. I still make myself run on the first day of my period if it’s on the schedule, but the only way I can describe it is it feels like I’m running in molasses. Even if my time doesn’t come out terrible I feel like I’m not moving. But whether it helps with physical symptoms or not, I feel better about things if I run or do my other workouts when I have it!

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My period affects me way more emotionally than it does physically. My birth control really helps to make it more manageable.

I don’t really think it affects my running, or I just don’t pay enough attention. ;)

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The day I start my period I don’t feel like running at all!! Crampy, bloated and emotional.
Days leading up to it and day after I am fine. Such a interesting topic!

Lunch date with my sweet girls and my Mom today – so special :)

Definitely chocolate chip cookie dough on the Larabar!!

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I think my period did slow me down pace-wise, but running would actually help alleviate any physical crap from my period (cramps, headache, etc.), which was good!

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The worst days of my period are usually 2-3 days as it starts. That was this past weekend for me; on top of debilitating cramps (from the comments above perhaps I should look into PCOS or endo?), the lethargy, and distended stomach (with intense bloated feeling), I don’t really care if I skip out on work-outs until I feel better because I’m so used to this pattern, that I just do whatever workout I feel – like long walks – and skip out anything that I think doesn’t jive with what my body wants.

I say “workout” not because I absolutely must workout (in some obsessive way), it’s just that it’s nice to get up and move, so I do something easy. If I didn’t want to move (from pain or whatever), I stay on the couch. It’s no big deal – I know I’ll be back to my “normal” (that’s a stretch of the imagination! haha), pain-free, excited-to-run self in no time.

I will say this as a precautionary warning to other runners/active people who take advil (or other painkillers) during their period: careful with training because while it numbs cramp pain, it also numbs other pains. I worked up some MEAN shin splints years ago when I trained right through my period (at a more intense pace, obviously). Just sayin’ – it can happen!

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forgot to mention: your dad with the selfie – love it!!! :)

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I do a ton of writing on this subject! I have always had horrendous periods (nauseous, TERRIBLE pain and fainting) until I changed my diet to vegetarian. That absolutely helped me but I learned last year that I definitely cannot run a race when I have it, or when I am about to have it (I got really dizzy/didn’t feel “right” during a half last year and decided to stop running and not finish. Went to bathroom and there IT was). It’s not easy basing your race schedule around a menstrual cycle but it’s not worth it to me to not feel well /risk fainting while running a race.

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I am a physical therapy student doing a rotation on Women’s Health and I never considered how my menstrual cycle could affect my running! Yesterday I was complaining to my boyfriend on how my six miles felt slow and sluggish, even though my time really wasn’t that much slower. It just FELT terrible. I (am very lucky) and my periods are pretty mild, so I never considered it. Interesting post!

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Chocolate chip cookie dough larabar is the best!!

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“Shark week” totally messes up my workouts. I think I do really well with lifting when I have PMS ’cause it’s easy to get good and angry and lift heavy. But I can’t seem to run fast or far during my period. Then I get all emotional about it. Grr. Plus I get all weird about my body. Not only am I bloated but the hormones turn gym mirrors into funhouse mirrors that put about 15 pounds on me.

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My PMS RUINS me. It’s generally right before “my week” that I am an absolute emotional disaster. Crying over absolutely everything and getting extremely worked up and anxious about the tiniest details. I’ve found that even when I’m on birth control and “skip” my period for the month (just go right into the next month without breaking to have my period), I have this week at about the same time every month. But when I have my period I’m ok from an emotional standpoint I just physically feel like a failure. I’m convinced I gain at least 80 lbs and running is much much slower for me as I tend to have a lot more tummy issues.

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I don’t know that being on my period makes me any slower, but I do notice that my cramps are better after running.

I can’t even remember my last lunch date, this is what happens when you have a 35 min. lunch!

No snow here :) Sunshine – check!

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Apple Pie!!!
I don’t think my cycle effects me excepts on the first day. Then I usually have more cramps. I have noticed the higher my mileage the less it bugs me like my body knows I just want it to be OVER! :)

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I’ve had the serious bad luck of my period timing up with races, a LOT. Even if it means it comes early. I’ve had it for 3 of my last 4 marathons, and wasn’t supposed to have it for any of those. Something about the taper I guess. I’ve gotten ‘skilled’ at handling it- my biggest issues is the emotional stuff/short fuse the days leading up (which makes taper even more…FUN). I up my Iron intake when it’s here, and also magnesium/potassium intake- it makes a difference!

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I have terrible periods and they defiantly impact my running. Leg pain, back pain, cramps the works. Just a few months ago though I started using essential oils and the difference has been huge.

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I agree with Nicole on the angry running!! Ha!

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Thanks for touching on this topic – so interesting, and important. Over the last year I recently started tracking my cycle, and paying much better attention to my mood, symptoms, etc, around my cycle and it has been SOOO informative. The week before my period I always much more tired than usual, and I find running so hard, my legs feel like lead, and my motivation has gone completely out the window. Interestingly, immediately after I finished my period I feel my best running (or perhaps that because comparatively I’m significantly better than the week before..?). I find that when ever I train for a race, I end up missing my period for the month just before the race – right when the long runs and training is at it’s longest and toughest, but always get it back when recovering from a race. As a result of knowing my fatigue and moods are related to my cycle, I feel I can relax a little instead of stress that I’m getting worse and not better, or constantly having bad runs, when I know, next week will be better. However, I really don’t look forward to having a race week before or during my period, and I have little control over that as my period is somewhat irregular (no idea yet if where i will be in my cycle for my May Half-Marathon.

It’s not even close to snowing at all where I am – in fact spring is showing it’s head already, flowers are starting to bloom, and the ski slopes are looking very dry and depressing. Great running weather!!

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Hi Janae! Can you tell Megan at Skinny..something..the gal who doesn’t make estrogen that she needs to find a really solid Naturapth Doctor who can do a hair analysis test and blood serum mineral test…Md’s will not solve her problem of her bodies deficiency in making estrogen..its a mineral dificiency..I know that sounds too simple but thats all it is. I suffered for over 20 years of no estrogen and then no progestrone and finally after being with the wrong doctors ( MD’s) for way too long I branched out and found an ND and life has been so different..all it took was minerals! You need minerals to make hormones :) I cruise thru my cycles now barely know it comes and ends it so easy..not a drop of symptoms and I used to have a hundred symptoms of lacking hormones and the cramps would keep me in bed for days doubled over ..I never had cysts but because either progestrone or estrogen was absent, it was just mayhem in my body and lots of inflammation and adrenal issues-sleeping and blood sugar regulation issues and cold body temps all the time around 95-97 due to the thyroid and pituatory not communicating..and its not healthy to be anything but 98.6 all day long so tell her there is hope and its not a huge science project. xx Heidi

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I will be running my first trail race March 7th. Its a 50k and I am a bit nervous about getting lost, and the “river crossing.” I should be on my cycle starting Friday before the race too, so this will be an interesting race in more than one way.

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What an interesting topic that no one talks about. Thanks for sharing. AND you are lucky if you have only raced once on your period. It seems like I have never raced without being on my period! Crazy I know. Running 26.2 miles with a tampon was not fun. I definitely struggle more mentally and get really emotional in the days leading up to my cycle. During my cycle, despite cramps and all, I feel as though sometimes I have more UMPH than usual, but definitely not in the week leading up. I don’t even want to speak to anyone that week! ha!

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I jsut discovered Larabars a few weeks ago. So far my favorite flavor is cashew.

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Janae, you may want to look into the Depo shot. It is actually for birth control, but you get a shot every three months, it is covered by insurance, and most women do not have a period while on it. PLUS, it’s cheaper than menstrual-binge candy AND feminine products :) :) I did it specifically for running, and am very pleased for the past year.

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Running, and working out in general, usually really help me out with the symptoms of my cycle, especially all of the emotional-ness and cramping. I’ve also found that using a regular magnesium supplement lessens my cramps a lot, so that the whole week is generally less of a bust.

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The PMS affects me way more than the actual event!! I talked about this just a couple of weeks ago on my blog here: http://www.jessrunsatl.com/girl-talk-our-cycles-performance/

Hope you feel better soon!

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Ok so I guess this shows that I never get my car detailed, because TWO HOURS?! Good thing your mom was able to pick you up!

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Runs for me are a NIGHTMARE right before and during the first day or two of my period! I can’t find a rhythm and usually end up super frustrated or in tears. I have learned that those are better days to lift or do some yoga and avoid the dreadmill. Conversely, right after my period are usually my BEST runs! Maybe my body is just happy to be feeling better or extra fueled from all the chocolate chip cookies from PMSing…!

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I usually feel it more the week prior to my period than the actual week of my period. I feel bloated, tired, cranky, emotional and really lacking in any motivation to do anything. It’s not a recipe for a good run. That’s for sure!

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the ads on your blog always crash my browser…

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