Saturday, 22 May 2010

Son of a Stitch

I'm beginning to think it's a mental thing. Some kind of cruel, masochistic trick my mind plays on my body to try and prevent it from doing what it loves best: The blessed side stitch.

I dream about running like a Kenyan: Gliding along effortlessly on the wings of the wind. Placing in my age group. Hey, what the heck, even winning the whole damn race. But then...  Ouch.  You son of a stitch.

I've tried it all: Exhaling strictly on the footstrike opposite to the side on which the stitch usually strikes; belly breathing; not belly breathing; magnesium supplements; ingesting sweet blue nothing before a run; ingesting sweet blue everything before a run...  Nothing seems to help.  After decades of regular running I'm still plagued by The Stitch.

Recently I've noticed that The Stitch usually only strikes during races.  Especially local ones held on home turf.  Ones where it would be most embarrassing to suddenly grind to a halt.  One kilometer into a race.  Ones where you get passed by fellow club members wearing wordless frowns: "What the...?"

So to anyone out there who is able to assist with my dilemma: Please hurry!  Generous portions of all future winnings up for grabs.

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