It took me 50 minutes to do 5k, but I did it.
50 minutes? You might say.
It all started off well enough. I set a nice easy pace for myself that didn't have me panting, but holding a conversation would have been tough. All well and good. My trousers fell down a little, I hopped along trying to pull them up. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Not until THAT stretch.
I'm sure you've experienced "that" stretch of road or trail. That stretch on your regular running route that always makes you think "life will be so much better when I get past here". Well, my stretch for road runs is a long, straight, slightly downhill stretch of pavement. Innocous, you might say. Boring, I would reply!
Anyway. I hit that stretch and it happened. It hasn't happened in years but it happened tonight. I got a stitch. I thought it'd been brewing for a while, but I'd shrugged it off and kept running, but now the stitch hit me. I carried on.
It took a while and several grimaces, but I'd run through the stitch. My first time ever! I felt smug. Aaha. Stitch: 0, me: 1.
There is, however, a good reason gloating is a stupid thing to do.
I got to the latter part of "that" stretch and BOOM. The stitch hadn't GONE it had ninjaed itself to a different place. My nemesis place - that bit under your ribs that makes breathing feel like you're sticking a pen in between your ribs and twisting.
This wasn't good.
So I tried the technique I used before: breathe shallow but even, slow the pace, breathe in through nose and out through mouth.
Nope, not having it.
It took about 2 minutes, but eventually the stitch won. I had to break pace and bend over to catch my breath. Luckily this was in an avenue of trees, so no one saw. Stitch: 1, me: 1.
I breathed for a moment and decided to carry on. About 30 seconds later, just as I'm getting to a busy part of my route the stitch comes back, full force. "Carry on and keep smiling" I think. About 15 seconds later, I was bent over double on the side of the road, clutching my ribs, grimacing like I was sat on a hedgehog and breathing like I was in labour.
Naturally at this point there had to be a sudden flow of traffic and pedestrians. One lady stopped and asked if I was ok, with that worried sort of look - the "please don't be dying here on me" look. I smiled, thanked her and told her I was fine. She looked at me like I'd gone slightly mad, but carried on. I have to say, I was touched she stopped and asked - there are some lovely people still around :)
Having made enough of a fuss I decided to move on, still grimacing and breathing like a pregnant hippo, but I was a MOVING pregnant hippo.
Stitch: 2, me: 1.
When I started running again I decided I would MENTALLY break the stitch. So i changed to an awesome song and started bopping along in time. I was on a busy road, so I decided to smile and look like I was having an awesome time. Then it got me again.
What do you do when you have a stitch on a busy road and don't want to look like you're just unfit? Well. I can assure you that the melodramatic portrayal of "dying runner" for the benefit of the passing cars did NOT help. I had to suck it up and look unfit....
49 minutes after I set out, I turned onto the road I live on and started my cooldown. Being FREEZING here at the moment I have to say, I'm pretty cool now....
Stitches have been my number one problem for a long time now, I have no idea to handle them. For the minor stitches in my lower obliques, I have decided the following advice is sound:
slow down, breathe shallow but consistently, relax the shoulders and chest, and keep an even pace.
For the big stitches that feel like you're dying....I have no idea! How do you guys deal with stitches?
Anyway, it's been awesome getting back into the routine of working out. I've been careful with this shoulder but all of a sudden I felt ready and raring to go - yesterday I took a well earned rest day, but Tuesday. Oh Tuesday. Pole night.
What a night.
I was eager to get to pole this week. More so than usual. It's been a while with my injury, 3 weeks in total and this week, all of a sudden I felt READY to use this shoulder and GET GOING!
Karen (who abandoned us last week!) of course was all for this. So, last pole consisted of a transition from Genevieve to Gold Rush - like in the pictures (I do have a picture of me doing Gold Rush but there is NO WAY I'm sharing it....I have my tummy out....)
There was lots of spinning and lots of trying to invert with a shoulder mount (I can now get my knees up- YAY!) which is amazing, but makes your core hurt for-EVER!
There were some normal inverts and some crucifix, there was even some thigh holding.
But what got me the most? Butterfly. Butterfly is my NEMESIS move. I can't even explain why I don't like it, but I've always been scared of it. Well, I decided that I am not going to allow such a pretty and simply move to have such thrall over me. I was going to do it and I was going to do it WELL. Plus Tom and Karen made me do it...
I can't say it's my fave move, but Butterfly has been relegated from NEMESIS to just plain "ICK".
Pole has taught me a lot of things about myself and about dealing with the world and one of the most important things is to put fear to one side and do the things you love. Just not butterfly. I don't love butterfly :p
The final thing I did, which may have been ill-informed and definitely was best left till last was this...
A bit of a wonky dart, but a dart none-the-less!
And with the dart I will wrap up my tale of bruises, stitches, pole dancing and road side theatrics and leave you with one thing I saw shared around today.