This One’s For The Girls…

Seriously. This post is all about girls and girl crap that comes with being a runner. So if you are a boy, you should skip this post. I will not be held responsible for your grossed out-ness, or how I am about to break the bubble that women are all beautiful all the time when it comes to all the female runner things I am about to complain about under the cut.

So guys, skip this one.

Are they gone?

For reals?

Last check for testosterone….If you are a man, you should stop reading.

OKAY –

I’m not that kind of girl who is over the top girlie by any means, but there are some things that make us beautiful, wonderful creatures in our own right… and there are things that make us want to claw ourselves apart. This post is going to be about the latter, only including running. If you – as a female – want to skip this post as well, feel free. This is basically just going to be a giant rant about periods, bloating, bras, and chafing in intimate locations and running. However, if you have any advice or similar stories, read ahead and let’s wallow in our misery together.

Let’s start with periods and running: I’m well aware that a woman having a period is normal. Natural even. Part of being a female. Whatever. I’ve also been told that running when you are cramping is awesome, because the exercise will decrease cramps! Huzzah! Here’s what they don’t tell you: I hate running on my period. I’m always afraid that I’m going to go through my tampon when I run because the pound pound pound of my feet sometimes makes my “normal flow” heavier than Niagara Falls in the middle of the summer. EVERY. TIME. And then go back to “normal” after I quit running. Really, uterus? Really? And those “sport tampons” are a marketing ploy. I swear it. And running with cramps? Sometimes. For me, my cramps get so bad that I’m doubled over in pain and wanting to stab my ovaries with rusty forks and fling them out of my body…and that’s on the first day. After that, yeah I can run with cramps. But not when my body is revolting against itself. Someone tell me I’m not the only one.

OH! And how about trying to carry stuff with you when you are running for accidents? Where am I supposed to put an extra tampon!? Thankfully, my friend got me onto OB tampons that are small enough to fit in my belt behind my gels, but still. Not everyone uses tampons.

Now…bloating and running: This has less to do with being a girl, and more to do with being a bad digester of all things gluten. When you are bloated, one of the best feelings in the world is a nice, long, airy fart. (Yep, I said it. A FART. I’m a girl and I fart.) but when you are running and you fart? Well, that’s a whole other story. Is it really a fart? Or is it a “shart?” Does it smell and the people running near me smell it? Oh my God, now I need to poop. And I don’t have anything to wipe with if I dip behind that tree. Forget that, I’m not dipping behind a tree. UGH.

Who has the right fitting sports bra? Not me: Maybe there is a magical place that you can walk into and will fit you into the perfect sports bra that lets your girls LOOK like girls and not smooshed melons on your chest. It could be the sports version of Victoria’s Secret. You go in, they measure you, and then you test drive a few of the sports bras and have a professional tell you yay or nay on the correct fit. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one so I’m stuck going to Target to get their amazing Champion brand compression sports bras. I’m a big girl. And along with beingΒ  a big girl, I have big boobs. So the compression bras are my favorite because they are the bras to least likely let me get a black eye from running. The Large fits great, but doesn’t offer much support in the world of non-bouncing. So I throw a Medium over that. The bouncing has stopped (huzzah!) but now breathing because the bands of two sports bras are crushing my lungs is almost impossible. (DAMMIT) And so the story goes. I’ve tried a plethora of sports bras and this is the only solution I have been able to come up with. At least with wearing two sports bras, I have a built in pocket for my phone (which I shouldn’t have in my bra, I know) my keys and my gels for when I am too bloated to wear my running belt comfortably.

And my favorite one ever, CHAFING: Chafing happens when skin rubs against skin for a long time, and redness occurs, and then rawness occurs and then bleeding occurs and pain occurs. We always joke about the guys getting chafed and bloody nipples, but sometimes us ladies get chafing too. And sometimes it’s in the most intimate places on our body. And if you don’t run with underwear on (which I don’t, thanks to my humiliating black out at the Gate a few years ago where they had to pull everything out of the way to take my temp rectally and I had a sweaty thong shoved up my butt) it can be more common than you think. I actually know quite a few women who don’t wear underwear when they run due to chafing, it being uncomfortable, or they wear the shorts that have the undies thing already in them. Chafing is awful, and when it’s in a very intimate location on your body, the rest of your day gets frustrating too. For example, my current situation: I ran Saturday morning, felt good, came home and showered. While in the shower, I shaved. I had hopes of going to the beach or the pool that day so I figured I’d shave my bikini line as well in order to be prepared for no accidental strays while I soak up the sun. Well, the beach didn’t happen because it rained, and I went about my day. Flash to Sunday night, where I’m geared up and ready to run my 7 miler. I waited till later in the evening so I could keep cooler (total crap in Florida. It was humid as hell even at 6pm) and half way through, I felt it. Something was stinging, and I knew before I finished my run that there was going to be some chafing in a spot I didn’t want it. And now, three days later, I am still recovering. No runs until this is cleared up. Usually my “chub rub” chafing between my legs is runable a day later once it scabs over. But this? This is not runable. And it makes me frustrated. (and long for breathable undies I can wear with my form fitting running shorts.)

For the record: I bought the Gold Bond Friction Stick. I plan to start using it, and shaving less. I’ve decided that if your eyes are that close to my bathing suit bottoms, you better be allowed to go there or else you’ll get a knee to the face. And might catch a few stray hairs.

So that’s it. That’s my girl rant for the day. None of this is going to stop me from running, but I certainly feel better ranting about it. Do you have any girl runner rants? Tell me in the comments. Come, let’s rant together. πŸ™‚

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12 thoughts on “This One’s For The Girls…

  1. d20girl says:

    OK, this comment is going to be way TMI, but I got an IUD in the hopes that my period would go away. The darn thing FELL OUT during a local 5k. Not kidding! Who has that happen to them? This girl!

    I have chub rub problems too, but my sparkleskirts have helped reduce that to just every now and then… And I hate running on my period. Just hate it!

    • jljohnson says:

      OMG! It fell OUT!? How does that even HAPPEN!? I’d be on the phone with my doctor like WTF dude… W. T. F.

      And yeah, since I moved to Bermuda length shorts, I have had less of an issue, but they get hot in the summer.

      • d20girl says:

        No joke. I got home from the race, got in the shower and was like WHAT?!?!?! So, my husband got a vasectomy instead, I figured my body was trying to tell me something! Crazy! Love this post BTW.

  2. Jen says:

    LOL! I love this post! I’ve had more trouble with the tampon thing on my bike than running. Even with an added panty liner I’ve found it’s better to just not push the exercise that first day or two if I value my clothing. I also have a car with light upholstery…I don’t even want to imagine the possible issue there.
    The sports bras are hard for me too, because I’m petite. If the straps aren’t adjustable, sometimes they just dip too low to make any sense. I’ve had some luck with Lululemon’s Ta Ta Tamer lately, but I did get some chafing. Not that that doesn’t happen with EVERY bra….

    • jljohnson says:

      Yeah, I am so scared that I’m going to have a massive disgusting accident from running with a tampon. Even with the super. Thankfully it’s only happened twice and I was near home. Needless to say I didn’t finish those miles. πŸ™‚

      And I have to try Lululemon’s bras. I haven’t been in there, but we have one in Jax now!

  3. outrunningthefork says:

    Excellent post!!!
    Since the boys are all gone…I’m happy to not have to deal with running with cramps or on my period anymore. I believe up until a couple of years ago I had NEVER done a half or a full marathon withOUT being on my period – or joy of joys, starting in the middle of the event!) Seriously, medical tents should also stock these supplies in addition to all the freakin’ vaseline!!
    And my worst private chafing has been/is between my cheeks…yes. Those cheeks πŸ™‚

    • jljohnson says:

      OMG That chafing HURTS. I always get it there when I do my really long runs, or races, or run in the rain. It hurts too! And I’m always like “How do you get chafing THERE!?”

      I just got back on the pill, so I’m hoping that my cramps will go away. Really hoping. πŸ™‚

  4. Julie Perry says:

    I get frustrated that the whole week before my period my runs just suck. I don’t know if it’s the bloating or the hormones or what, but I just feel so sluggish. I get pissed off if I have a race that falls the week before my period is due!

    • jljohnson says:

      You know what, I do notice that my running suffers when I’m near my period. I never put two and two together. Now I have to track it. I wonder why that happens.

      But I totally agree!

  5. Mandi says:

    No need to buy expensive chafing things: just use deoderant! I put it anywhere I chafe. The spray kind is great, but I mainly just use the regular stuff.
    Oh- and I NEVER where undies when I work out. I work out during my lunch break, so keeping my gooch-tasticness contained is just not in the cards unless I want people to give me stank face all afternoon. πŸ™‚

  6. Dd says:

    Ok, as long as we’re sharing and all… Lunette menstrual cups. I love them more every month. Also, Panache sports bra for boob-like boobs that will.not.move.

  7. starpulp says:

    Have you thought about trying a diva cup? I’ve had less cramps since I switched (not really sure why. was surprised when i realized this) AND I don’t have to worry about messes during a run.

    Sometimes I completely forget it’s even my week. When’s the last time you FORGOT you had a tampon in?

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