Monday, June 27, 2011

Side stitches

Yesterday had to be the suckiest ride I have had all year long.  I had mapped out a new route from my house that got me to 50 miles and was excited to try it out.  I then foolishly slept in and Sunday morning and was either going to have to ride in the heat of the day or what until the end of the day.  I chose the end of the day when it cooled off a little bit.  This allowed me to get things done around the house which was nice.  At 5pm I decided it was time to get out there and try this new route out.  It was an out and back with a loop on it.  The nice thing about the loop is that I can add more miles if I want by just going back around the loop.  The 50 mile plan had me going around the loop twice.  This is the first time in a looong time that I didn't have my Garmin FR60 with me as it has been sent back to Garmin due to water under the face which took out most of the screen.  Thankfully they are fixing it free of charge but it sucks not having data.  I used my Cat Eye cycling computer to keep track of things but it just isn't the same.   I was using my new Mavic Tri Race cycling shoes (1st time) and realized a few miles down the road that the cleat on the right shoe need to be adjusted slightly.  It was putting my foot in a weird position which was causing discomfort.  I stopped at mile 4 and loosened the shoe which helped a lot but by then the right foot just wasn't happy.  Don't get me wrong I love the shoes; I just should have had tools in my bag or used a much shorter ride to shake them out.  The biggest issue was side cramps or stitches or whatever you want to call it.  It started about mile 3 on the right side and showed up on the left side about a mile later.  I wish I knew what brought it on but I don't.  All I can tell you is that it got worse and worse as the ride went on.  By mile 20 it was really beating me up and the more I pedaled the worse it hurt.  I would have to pedal hard and then when it hurt to breathe I coasted until it eased up enough to get back to it.  Those last 10 miles where much slower than I would have wanted and I was feeling totally drained by the whole thing.  I was hoping to try for another 20 miles but my body had let me know it wasn't having anymore without upping the pain.  I decided to shut it down and head home.  It was mix feeling kind of thing.  I hated not doing the goal of 50 miles but felt good that I had pushed through the pain for 26 miles.  It took a little over an hour before the effects of the cramping went away.  I am going to do some research on this to try and figure out how to avoid it in the future. I have a feeling that my lack of core workouts recently may play a factor.

Has anyone else had side cramp issues on the bike or run that they were able to resolve?  How did you resolve it?


  1. I get them a lot, I think it has something to do with how you're breathing. When it happens I try to breathe in deeply through my nose and out through my mouth and usually it goes away. If that doesn't work, stop and rest for a minute while breathing deeply and you can even kinda massage the stitch with your fingers. Sounds like a fun ride in spite of things.

  2. monkeywebb - Nick WebbJuly 13, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Mike! You found my shoes! I was telling my good friend Alicia (stuckinmypedals) this morning that I forgot them when I went to get the car to load things up. She mentioned squirrelhead from NC found some New Balance w/ Fatty socks and I totally knew who she was talking about.
    My wife Abby and I were the SAG drivers who kept yelling "Go North Carolina" at you. Hope we didn't trigger any cardiac or epilepsy issues.
    At any rate, I'd be stoked to get the shoes and Fatty socks back. I'm a little jealous that they got to go to NC...I haven't been since 1995. If you give me a call I can give you a UPS shipping number or figure out what else might work. You can find me at 53O-945-2I76.
    And congrats on the 72 miles!