Being a Woman Athlete

Sometimes being a woman athlete isn’t easy. There is usually one day a month that swimming just isn’t an option on that day. One time I raced on that day and it was NOT pretty. Nobody else noticed, but I was completely freaking out the day before (luckily my woman training buddy helped calm me down and was very supportive – remember that Nav?).

On the week before a woman’s menstrual cycle begins, she can be a little bit… hmm… hormonally-charged. I don’t like using the word “emotional” because that implies things like crying, over-reacting, etc. I also don’t believe in over-reacting; I believe in reacting to a situation the way that I need to in that moment. Sometimes it is not done skillfully, but it is done with what I/we can do at that time.

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling super great (I have a cold brewing I think), but went running on the indoor track with my running buddy. It was all right, but I think I “tweaked” my neck on that run – maybe from running in circles on the dumb track? When I got home from work later that day, I knew that the slight neck headache was turning into a migraine. I ended up skipping supper and laying down on the couch. It turned out to be a pretty crappy night with that nap early in the evening and then not being able to sleep until 3am. That was not the best thing in the world. Needless to say, I skipped my swim this morning. I hate skipping workouts because of sleep issues or for any reason, but all of these factors just make it difficult some days/weeks.

So today I was telling my co-worker that I feel like I’m getting a cold AND I still have this headache AND I’m pre-menstrual! We agreed that there should be some sort of universal rule that prevents anything else happening when a woman is pre-menstrual (ie. right before she begins menstruating) and for the first two days menstruating. Not only does it make even living difficult, but training is ridiculously difficult! Come on, Mother Nature, work with me! We’re all women, right? (See? Hormonally-charged… I’m fighting with Mother Nature!)

All that being said, I am signed up for a half marathon on Sunday. The weather forecast is brutal: a HIGH of -17C in the sunshine. If this cold manifests more, then I might not do the whole thing. But if it stays where it is, I’ll probably give it a try. I might as well, I paid for it! I just don’t want to PAY for it. After all, it is called the Brain Freeze, I guess it is to be expected to almost freeze one’s brain. I just really don’t want to get hypothermia. That would not be cool.

Oh yeah, did I mention that it is frigidly cold in Saskatchewan right now and it’s not letting up for the foreseeable future? Well, it is… and it is not helping the womanly issues!

2 thoughts on “Being a Woman Athlete

  • March 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I totally remember that day, and I thought that you demonstrated a great deal of composure on that day. I had a similar situation with Boreal Offroad, but I was so dirty from the mud baths on the bike that I didn’t notice anything else.

    That hormonally charged can be useful I find. Often I have some of my best workout the 2 or 3 days before menses begins. I call them my “retribution” workouts. 🙂

  • March 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks! I didn’t feel like it at the time. Today I had an all right work-out day even though I am a little bit sick. I’ll have to keep track of my cycle and any retribution workouts that go along with it!


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