My 100 Day Running Streak and battle with Endometriosis
I am looking back at my 2014 training log (what I logged anyway) and it’s tragic. I did a 100 day running streak at the beginning of the year and completed 1 mile per day for 100 days as part of that running streak. By running, I totally mean walking. You see, I had intended then on getting back into running shape. The sad thing is my total mileage for 2014 was 162.1 miles.
I only ran/walked an additional 62.1 miles in 2014. In my defense, there are some miles missing and I am not entirely sure why I didn’t log them, but I logged the time and everything else. As I was going through my journal tonight I happened upon some notes that I wanted to share. Before I share them I want to tell you a brief history of why I quit running in the first place.
I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in my early teens. I have a very high pain tolerance but menstruation was extremely painful for me and I would literally vomit from the pain. Along with the diagnosis came surgery, painfully long periods, bleeding outside of my period, and an additional diagnosis of infertility (Hello, three children?!). I often heard that pregnancy can help with the symptoms of endometriosis and it was slightly true for me. After having my boys, I didn’t seem to have as much pain though I can honestly say that labor was easier for me than my periods were.
After I had my daughter in 2008 the pain came back. I feel like it was a combination of my endometriosis and having a rough cesarian. Due to a complication with the placenta, a portion of my uterus was removed. That of course lead to more than normal scar tissue which when combined with endometrial tissue is painful.
Around 2012 it got to a point where I was consistently bleeding and made an appointment with a gynecologist. She recommended a few things, but we ultimately decided to try an IUD. After a few months, the IUD completely stopped my periods, but it did not stop my pain and random bleeding and I began having other symptoms.
I could manage them as long as I was pretty stationary. As soon as I began moving, the pain and bleeding would begin again. I could not run without pain and I had to wear pads because I would bleed. Even if I walked slowly (we are talking slower than a normal pace) I would bleed. I have notes at the end of my journal entries about my pain and bleeding. Nearly every day is marked with bleeding and pain.
I can’t tell you the number of times I started and stopped training in 2014 after my streak. I knew I was capable of running the goals I had set for myself, but my body had other plans.
I finally had enough in 2015 and removed my IUD. My cycles came back as normal for me as they were before (sidenote I think having the IUD made my PCOS worse. I don’t recommend anybody ever getting an IUD) and my mid-cycle bleeding hasn’t been too much. The pain? It’s still there. If I move a certain way, it is excruciating. I am tired all of the time. But, I refuse to let endometriosis stop me. The best thing is that I am slowly venturing back into exercise. While this may seem silly to some, it has been terrifying to me. As I mentioned, I know what I am capable of, but I am scared that my body isn’t ready.
I am trying to remain positive, and I feel like putting this out there could be a disaster. What if I have to stop again and somebody asks me why? It isn’t easy to say “My vagina bleeds every time I run”.
So, while I am having a great endo-day I will share some notes from my 2014 training log and my 100 day running streak.
Notes from my 2014 Training Log:
“Day 1 of 100 – Can I do it? 100 days; At least 1 mile running/walking everyday. Cycling DOES NOT count.”
“Day 6 of 100 – I know why people quit so easy.. because it is tough and doesn’t seem to be getting easier at times. I thought the only thing saving me is knowing what I’m capable of.”
“Day 8 of 100 – It was a “uhhhh don’t wanna” kinda day.. but I don’t regret doing it. Kept the treadmill at a slow pace again. It helps physically but mentally going slow sucks.”
“Day 20 of 100 – I made a little extra effort to celebrate 20 days straight. My legs were slightly heavy, but I felt fine/great/not bad. I stayed slow and steady. Had a cute little audience watching me..
And then BAM – The negativity..”Wow, your legs are so fat that they have dimples” – A grown ass lady should know tact. I’m unamused, and frustrated that she is always so negative about me, my running, getting into shape, and my body! UGHH! I’ve learned to just ignore the nasty comments, but it still hurts.”
“Day 32 of 100 – Dedication. Got home late after a busy day and squeezed this mile in at 10:30pm”
“Day 100 of 100 day running streak: As my final mile came and passed I thought about all the miles before and my goal for starting a 100 day streak. I wanted to get back into running shape, but my training journal shows that didn’t happen. I took the easy way out and did the bare minimum most days. I walked (slowly) instead of running. I didn’t accomplish my goal. I feel like I did 100 day streak and gained nothing.”
“FEW MONTHS LATER: It feels good to be getting back into running, even if its only .10 or .15 at a time.”
And that brings me to today, here I am again, feeling good to be able to run .10 to .15 miles at a time. Will it last? I don’t know, but I am certainly optimistic. In the meantime, if I stop running, you can just assume it is my reproductive organs to blame.
Do I plan on doing another 100 day running streak? Not anytime soon! For now, I am just building my base.