Side Stitch

I’ve been running for a month now. Running but not a runner. Especially since half of my ‘runs’ are of me keeled over with cramps. I guess it’s more commonly known in the runners circle as a ‘side stitch’ but that makes me think of a sidekick. Which makes me imagine Ed McMahon in Richard Simmons-inspired exercise gear running up the path ahead of me boasting “Heeeereeee’s Kari!” If running is for the psychotic, it should really come easier for me. Sigh.

I have tried eating better, drinking more water, and timing my eating and drinking better. Failing all that, I try alcoholic laced coffee before heading out. Sadly, that too fails.

I google it which is always dangerous since any ailment researched by google most commonly results in death. Fortunately, my prognosis is better than that. Slightly. It’s all very scientific and technical. Something to do with jiggling livers and diaphragms and stretching ligaments and for one horrific moment, stretching ligaments triggers ‘pregnant’ in my brain. Almost as bad as death then…

But no, it’s just that I run funny. Something absurd like my right foot hits ground on my exhale while most people’s left foot hits. Of course it does. So I head out on my run trying to put my left down on the exhale. This confuses my brain (granted, this is not difficult) and I end up looking like Kramer entering a door that hits Elaine who is dancing. It is not pretty.

So I give up on that solution and try the lift my right arm in the air while pushing into my rib cage with my left arm. This, however, is a little too Heil Hitler-ish and I do not want to be confused as a Nazi, nor a mistress of Jesse James. The only solution left? Stop running until it passes. Which gives me a good 10 minutes snooze on a bench and the return of the cramp about thirty seconds into starting again.

I don’t know. I suppose I could try the deep breathing option. Though I have not yet figured out how to meditate with children climbing all over me. And if they are miraculously absent, how to not fall asleep instead. Meditative breathing to aid in both my running and grumpiness? I do always enjoy a good 2 for 1 promo so yes, I’ll give it a go. As long as my deep inhale can be used to scold, nag and/or bellow once in a while too.

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