Monday, January 28, 2013

Running On A Sudden Period

Running is a challenging endurance sport and now in the Philippines, the playing field is leveled between men and women, but we cannot discount the fact that men runners has a lot of advantage over women runners, one thing is that they don't have to deal with monthly period that usually affects us in trainings and races.
I am visualizing Carrie when she was spilled with blood while being crowned as Prom Queen. Nah! That's too much shame! (Photo from

When I posted a teaser about this blog entry a week ago, a lot of my runner friends took wild guesses on what I used as a temporary solutions for quick relief from this emergency situation. Some says, tissue paper, handkerchief, towels and believe it or not, someone says I might have used an Eco Bag! LOL! 

I have experienced running a race with a period. I have read many articles online about it so I equipped myself and finished my race feeling okay at that time. What I didn't realize is that there will come a time that I will be caught off guard, and this happened while running on a race!

Yes, I have an irregular menstruation and this is a normal thing for me. My menstruation comes in like a thief in the dead of the night, without a hint. I've been living with this condition eversince and I've learned to adapt. I am now doing something to correct this because this can affect me if ever I wanted another child in the future.

Like Snake who can attack someone and before they knew it, they're dead! That's how my monthly period is most likely.

Okay, so as I've mentioned, this happened "while" I'm running a race. Last January 20, 2013 at 7-11 Run 800. I started on the race late since I got confused where the starting line is. Anyway, everything was great, the route was refreshing since it's in Cavitex, a new route and it's the first time a race was held on that place. There is abundance of water and electrolyte drink on those plenty Hydration Stations placed along the route. Medics, Race Marshals, Policemen and Ambulance were all over. The breeze of the wind is cold and the scenery on the bay, especially when the Sun starts to rise was so breathtaking.

Everything was perfect until at around Kilometer 9, I felt a sudden gush of liquid and it flows to my behind. It made me feel so uneasy since it felt lubricated and I keep on moving my undies while running. After a few minutes I saw an Ambulance and run as fast as I could to reach it. I talked to the Medic and asked for a tissue paper and he told me he don't have any. He asked me what will I use it for. Since he is with other Medics I walked towards him and whispered in his ears "I think I'm having my period". He was very polite and offered me the back of the ambulance so I can discreetly check on my undies and yes, it's positive. I'm bleeding!

After that I came back to him and asked if they have towels he can give me and then he said "We got Gauze Pads here but I don't know if this will work."

GAUZE PADS! When I hear those words it's like I heard that sound when you finished your hand at Solitaire. TA-DA!!!

Usually they come in packs like these... (Photo from

What are Gauze Pads? Well, every emergency kit at home has this. It usually comes in a paper packaging in various sizes usually square in size. Some Gauze are in a roll form and is used as a bandage to cover wounds after it is being cleaned. Every Ambulance or Medic have plenty of these on stock so it's readily available, just ask for it!

Closer view of Gauze Pads. Looks weak but it's strong in handling fluids. (Photo from

According to, A gauze pad is a piece of gauze fabric used to guard and cushion a wound, to absorb blood or other fluids, to apply ointments, or to rub cleansing fluids, such as rubbing alcohol or iodine, to a wound or site of incision. Gauze is a light, thin, loosely woven fabric commonly made of cotton or a synthetic fiber, though it can be made from other materials, such as silk, as well. Most gauze dressings are non-adherent and may be dry, moist, or impregnated. Sterile pads are used for many medical purposes, especially on open wounds, but non-sterile pads may be used for cushioning, cleaning, and absorbing areas less at risk of infection.

I hope I got his first name but I was too busy with my Emergency situation. Anyway, thanks again Mr. Medic! (Photo from:

So the polite Medic gave me a few pieces of this wonderful cloth while his other colleagues are wondering why. I use the side of the ambulance to do my regimen and I'm glad it is faced on the bay because that time the sun is starting to show up. Since I'm already bleeding, I use some to wipe away the blood from my private part. I took a piece, fold it in half and stick it in my back crack. I put the other ones by slipping it in on the bed of my undies like an emergency sanitary pad

Okay the story sounds gross but doing this saved me from shame. I finished my 21K race with a chip time of 3 hours and 2 minutes, considering the fact that I have frequent stops to check my menstrual support system whenever I see an Ambulance. LOL!

Why the Gauze Pad works? Well, this cloth is very absorbent yet, it traps the liquid inside, making you feel drier. Since I just had my period, the flow is still weak so it can still handle it.

What I have learned from this experience? Well, I seriously need to follow my Doctor's orders and correct my menstrual cycle so I won't have to undergo this scenario again anymore.

Tips for women runners: If you feel you're about to have your period and you have to do your long runs or races, better bring a piece of tampon with you.

This is the same brand that I use. I prefer Playtex Gentle Glide regular flow because the applicator is made of cardboard and it glides easily. The string is longer which leaves me worry free that it might get stuck inside. I only use tampons on this purpose. On my regular menstrual days I use pads. I just don't like that something is stuck in there for a long time, it's psychologically uncomfortable for me.

For Women Ultramarathoners, I think this will be very beneficial so you won't have to endure the uncomfortable feeling of the pads while running that may cause chaffing.

I just wonder if this will work for Women Triathletes too. Well, since it's situated inside, I think it may just work for them as well. Geez! I don't want to try it out and see what I'll look like after the swim! LOL! :P

Nothing can stop me from running my race, not even that sudden period!

If you have questions, you can reach me on my page, The Sweet Life Runner or follow me on my Twitter @sweetliferunner.

Good Vibes everyone and Sweet Running! ^_^


Anonymous said...

Thanks Amanda for adressing this important topic.

For women triathletes, I think tampons are better. Pads on the bike are just yuck, and really interfere with a good seat on the saddle and can cause abrasions....

beng said...

Thanks for sharing. Where do you buy tampons? I've been looking for them. I'm scheduled to have my period during TBRDM 2013 Day :(

Michelle Manait said...

Hi Beng! Tampons are available in all major supermarkets in SM and Ayala Malls. It's quite expensive but if you're gonna use it just to run with your period, then it's gonna last long.

Buy the regular flow. The heavy flow tends to get bulky when full...

beng said...

Thanks! Probably not looking well enough that's why I haven't found it. Goodluck and God bless on TBRDM 2013!