I woke up in a pool of my own blood.
Pretty standard stuff really, it happens once every few months, when I’m too tired to register my early-warning alarm system (cramps) and wake up to tend to my uterus.
Horrific enough, but it gets worse.
That morning was a Tuesday. I run with a social run group at 6.05am before work on Tuesdays. Since it was Halloween, and we’re suckers for themes, it was going to be a Spooky 605 Run. I have a skeleton costume, a skin-tight all-in-one suit that my husband stole from Beyonce. But that’s another story.
It was a high-quality sports fabric dancer’s outfit, so it was perfect for a Halloween run. Despite feeling like the period truck hit me, I sorted myself out with a super tampon and squeezed into my skeleton suit, got my husband to zip me up and I drove the five minutes to the beach to meet my group.
Of course, everyone thought my outfit was the shit, and we started our run along Beach Road. Chris, the run group leader, was dressed like a ghost and he couldn’t see anything and kept tripping on a sheet. We looked like a funny bunch, and we got quite a few high-fives from other runners and toots from drivers.
We’d gotten about two kilometres down the road when I got the unmistakable tickle downstairs. The warm-drip trickle that meant that my super tampon might not be up to the job. We were due to turn back soon anyway, and I hoped that any excess dribble would be masked by the black of my costume.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
I felt what can only be described as a gush. In horror, and still running at a 5.30 pace, I looked down and saw that the white skeleton bones on my legs were starting to turn red.
I turned to Regina, my running buddy. She was always overdressed and had a jumper tied around her waist. “Regina, can I borrow your jumper?” I hissed at her.
She looked confused and slowed a little. “What?”
I gestured to my crotch, where the white bones were taking on an unmistakable red tinge. “I’ve just got my period!” I wailed like a ghost.
She immediately started to undo her jumper but we both paused. I was dressed like a fucking skeleton. The only way I could draw even more attention to myself would be to tie a jacket around my waist, where it would highlight the fact that I was hiding something.
I once ran a marathon behind a lady that had sharted at one point and had poo stains on her butt. She unashamedly and determinedly finished the race. I was both grossed out and incredibly impressed, and I wondered what I would do in that situation.
I’m no hero. I was 3km away from my car, and me and Regina had both worked out that trying to cover my lower half was only going to make it look more obvious.
Regina’s face mashed into a weird mixture of pity and encouragement. “Don’t worry, it looks like part of your costume!”
Yeah, sure Regina. I’m dressed as a skeleton which is inexplicably bleeding from a non-existent uterus. “I’m going to have to dash back to the car,” I said out loud.
Regina nodded furiously. “Yes, go. I will cover for you.” (Side-note, Regina is German and speaks plainly and with perfect diction. Her idea of ‘covering’ for me would be to calmly explain to the group that I am menstruating and unable to continue the group run.)
I turned back and started to sprint.
And I mean, really sprint. My tempo pace sits at about 5.10 minutes per km. I reckon I was going under 4 minutes for that 3km.
As part of a group dressed as ghosts and ghouls, I got whoops and high-fives from runners. As a single, sprinting skeleton blowing hard, I just got worried looks and obvious swerves.
But I made it back to the car where I could take stock of my appearance. It actually wasn’t bad, just the tops of my femurs were a little red. And you wouldn’t notice unless you were really looking hard at my crotch, which I hoped no one was.
After my Tuesday run I have to dash to work to open up, and today was no exception. It wouldn’t be hard to get there and clean up before I had to open.
That’s when the real horror story began.
It was a fucking skin-tight onesie.
I had to find someone to unzip me.