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How to Accept PMS and Run Through It

By Peter Lawton


There is no reason to be ashamed about suffering from PMS. And after 23 years of running and suffering, I feel qualified to speak with authority about this ailment.

No, not that one, the other kind: Premarathon Syndrome. It's a condition that probably affects most of us, is rarely acknowledged in public, and gets little sympathy from those not afflicted. The medical establishment hasn't a clue.


The symptoms of PMS appear a few days or weeks to even a month or more before race day. Novice runners may get PMS before even short-distance events. Those who are more experienced generally develop immunity for any competition under 10 miles. Marathons affect almost all of us. That's why it's called PMS.

PMS hits everyone differently. A scratchy throat or tickle that's surely heading for acute bronchitis. Un

mentionable digestive disorders. Pain in every part of the body that's ever had a running injury, as well as some areas that haven't been heard from in years. Insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and a sense of impending doom. The flu? Now? With PMS, you're a mess.

A trip to the doctor is usually not reassuring. Invariably, the medical examination is negative. "I can't find anything wrong with you." Apart from the expense and wasted time, it's not worth

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