Am I tempting fate here? Nah. I HAVE SOLVED MY STOMACH PAIN MYSTERY!
I was getting extreme stomach cramps at about 4 miles into a run. They felt like a mix of an upset stomach that might result in needing the toilet, and lady pains. Charming, eh? Anyway when they kick in, game over. Recover composure foaming at mouth on park bench, take easiest route home, die.
The World Wide Web told me this was a known issue that many people. People had described exactly the pain I was experiencing – hurrah, I am not alone! So how do you fix it?
I wondered if it was what I was eating as it tended to happen more in the mornings. I tried eating toast, eating cereal, leaving two hours between eating and running. No banana. I thought perhaps it was drinking wine the night before. Nope, unrelated (thank God).
As it has become warmer, I have started carrying my handheld water bottle again. It annoys me, but it’s better than getting thirsty. Knowing I had a drink on me when I ran, I was guzzling less water immediately before setting off. BINGO. The pain has gone.
The only thing the internet suggested was that the pain was caused by the bouncing movement (well, duh!) and that having certain foods – OR LIQUIDS – at certain points in your digestive system could increase the internal friction which caused the pain. Now Dr. Internet has offered many a misdiagnosis, but in this instance, not drinking much before I run has eliminated the problem.
This also explains why it was happening in the in the mornings. I would wake up, chug a couple of pints of water (I know, what a dummy) and then run and end up in pain.
Later in the day I felt better hydrated and so wasn’t drinking loads right before a run. Hence no pain. In the mornings I now just sip water from my handheld bottle as I need to when I am running.
Fingers crossed this remains fixed. If that pain kicked in during a race, I would be dunzo.