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Never thought myself a quitter(12 posts)

Never thought myself a quitternoveread
Jun 20, 2003 7:14 AM
Ya know, I never thought myself a quitter, but I did last night. We had the Thursday night hammer fest. Last year, in my first year of doing serious riding, I never could hold this group. This year I have been able to, well, except for the last couple of weeks. I'm sure you've seen my rants on my side stitches, well, they reared their ugly head again last night.

The group was 15 strong at the start. And it was a very strong group. 2x state games champ in the 4s, father of a Jr. World Champion, a pair of 2s, and others equally as strong as these.

I was rested, legs felt reasonably good despite coming to the end of the third week in a 4-week cycle. Resting HR was nice and low in the morning. Everything seemed fine. As we started out, my HR was elevating nicely. Now it was fast, no doubt. I was at 85%-95% of my max for at least 30 minutes. But about 25 minutes in I felt the side stitches coming on yet again. A few minutes later I had to let the group go.

I rode up to the top of the next hill, rode over to the side of the rode and plopped myself down. I just laid there. I am so frustrated. I have worked very diligently this year to try to get myself into decent shape and the biggest races are one month away and it's like it's all crumbling before me. Sure, my legs were hurting but I couldn't breathe and that's why I dropped off.

A few minutes later the three guys tailed off came by (including the shop owner, former cat2 10yrs ago) and they stopped. Shop owner convinced me to get back on and ride with them but another 30 minutes later I wanted no part of it, tailed myself off the group and ambled around on country roads for another hour.

It sucked. The weight of their stares when I returned to the shop parking lot was almost too much to bare. Couple didn't even know what side stitches were and others couldn't seem to comprehend why they should hold me up.

Felt like tossing it all in. I thought I was getting so close to where I wanted to be for this year and now I am so far away again. Overtraining you say? Well I exhibit none of the typical symptoms. I could tell I didn't push my legs to the limit last night as my resting HR was only a couple beats higher this morning (a jump in 5-6bpm is typical for me after a hard ride), my legs are neither tired or sore. Always I can feel fatigue in my legs after a hard ride. But not today. ARRRRGGGHHHH...

On the bright side, the most recent new rider to our club is a former Cat2 who is one serious rider. Wicked, wicked strong. He's also incredibly friendly and willing to share his knowledge. Since LFR suggested I get a mentor, I asked him as he lives only about 40 min away and he was more than willing to help out however he could. Just not sure there's any hope for me now!

Well, that's my depressing post for the year. And on a Friday no less. I've got a race on Sat. We'll see how long I last b4 the side stitches come on. But then I'm taking 4 days totally off the bike. It hope, no, pray a rest will do me some good. It certainly couldn't make things any worse.

Noveread
dude, you feel like crap, and then you let some numbers tellbill
Jun 20, 2003 8:37 AM
you that you don't or shouldn't or something. Listen to your body, because you obviously haven't been listening to what you've been saying -- I don't mean to be harsh, but it's been right there in front of you.
You're taking some time off? Good, because you need a break. Big race one month from now? One month can be a pretty long time. Take a week or more. Turn down the volume.
I don't know enough to give you specific advice about how best to regain your edge for your race, but I'm sure that there's a way. Whatever you do, it can't be worse than what you were doing.
I'll bet things will look up in about a week. Good luck.
'course, I was guilty of the same sort of thing (see,bill
Jun 20, 2003 8:39 AM
below), where the workout felt like total crap and I kept it up wondering about whether my heart rate justified my keeping up or quitting. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I suppose. This mind-body thing -- it's a total package.
Give yourself a break!!rollo tommassi
Jun 20, 2003 8:51 AM
Oh....I feel so old....an Old RBR-er....every year, just about this time (mid June, early July) the psychosis sets in....people are freaking out, they can't go hard, they can't take it easy, the big races are coming up, and !!!!!!!!!!! PANIC!!!!!BRING ON THE XANAX!!!!!!

none of this has anything to do with side stitches.

Take heart, Noveread - you are doing the right thing - a couple days off the bike. Make these positive days, get a massage, see a movie, take that drycleaning in (finally). Do everything but think about the Big Race coming up. Will the world change if you don't race this Saturday? How much money could you win, if you place? Is gas money worth beating yourself up so much?

Your 7th paragraph says it all. You need a break! Above all, you need to acknowledge how WELL you have done this year - staying with the group you couldn't hold, being in the best shape of your life. You are so LUCKY, and deserve some positive self-appraisal.

If you don't pat yourself on the back, you will continue to get your a** kicked ;)

You've only been 'riding seriously' a year? What a year you've had. It's taken me 20 years to stay in shape. (haha).

LFR is right, so chat up your new mentor - buy him a coffee or lunch, and listen to his stories. There is only hope for you if you allow yourself to be positive and passionate.

FORZA!!
Thanks.noveread
Jun 20, 2003 8:10 PM
I guess I needed that too.

Reallity checks are always good.

Noveread
re: Never thought myself a quitterVeloflash
Jun 20, 2003 10:25 AM
They say it takes about 5 years for the body to adapt to cycling. Your statement that in your first year you could not hold on to this group proves you are developing as you can hold them this year.

It appears your problems are side stitches. I did not read your rant on side stitches but this is the advice I saw to overcome side stitches while running (could be applied whilst on the bike).

Side Stitch can be a terribly frustrating problem. Here are some brief guidelines to help you out.

They are usually caused by cramps in your diaphragm, gas build-up in the intestines or food in the stomach. Stitches mostly occur during hard runs or races.

When you get a stitch on your right side slow down for a minute or so and breathe out hard when your left foot strikes the ground. If the stitch is on your left, exhale hard when your right foot hits. If this doesn't work, try slow, deep breathes expanding your lungs into your stomach cavity or run with your hands on top of your head, elbows back inhaling deeply from your belly.

Something else that works for a few people is to make a fist and push it under your ribcage, press the fist with your free arm and bend your body over at right angles. Run like this for a few steps. This stretches the diaphragm, and most stitches are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm. If none of these methods work, stop and walk until the pain stops.

Also, in case it is caused by food, try not to eat before you run.
Good advice. When I was a runner...jesse1
Jun 20, 2003 11:19 AM
...I'd get those stiches, and the only thing that would work for me was to very deliberatly alter & monitor my breathing. I would breathe deeper and slower for about a minute or two, and sometimes massage the area as well.
don't know if this relates to regular muscle cramps, but there must be some way to keep this from happening. Maybe better hydration or supplements? It sounds like in your care (as was in mine) that a lack of fitness is not the cuase.
re: Never thought myself a quitterRockyMountainRacer
Jun 20, 2003 11:35 AM
First of all, take a few days off before you kill yourself mentally. You are clearly putting a lot of pressure on yourself, and you need a rest mentally and physically right now. Here's an article that relates to exactly what you're going through that might make taking a break easier for you:

http://www.bike.com/template.asp?date=6%2F20%2F2003&page=2&lsectionnumber=5&lsectionname=Smart+Training&lsectiondirectory=training

Now, in terms of the side stitches I can give you a little advice on that because I ran into some of those fairly recently in a hill climb race I did. I think if you haven't already you should incorporate some ab work into your weekly routine, especially the "bike" type crunches where you work on your obliques (hands behind your head, touch the elbow to the opposite thigh as you do the crunch).

Also, after your break you should incorporate some VO2 max type intervals into your training. For me the side stitches have only struck when I am hammering really hard in a group or race and consequently breathing really hard for longer than I'm used to in training. When I incorporated some VO2 max intervals that had me really panting in training, I actually started to get the cramps a bit in training and consequently got my body used to those efforts so I'm not getting the cramps any more.

One last note: When you say you "felt like tossing it all in" I think most all of us that participate in racing can relate to that feeling. All of us have had really bad days where it feels like you have worked so hard for nothing (though I'm sure all of us will not admit it). That is why a few days off are so important--I guarantee that sitting on your ass for a few days will have you chomping at the bit to get back for some more punishment.
damn it will you re-read my posts?lonefrontranger
Jun 20, 2003 3:23 PM
And listen to RockyMtnRacer if you can't bother to take the time to go through all my endless drivel. Stop being so hard on yourself. Midseason doldrums; sounds like you are staring them right in the face.

I dnf'ed a race last Saturday and was ready to sell every cottonpicking piece of cycling related crap I own, only to win a race the very next day. We ALL have bad days. Hell, Lance freaking Armstrong has bad days. Except on his days he field finishes instead of getting dropped, but anyhow.

/rant
You know you're stupid when RMR says duh and LFR swears...noveread
Jun 20, 2003 8:09 PM
But what can I say. Beat me with a rusted chain.

I'm bagging tomorrow's race despite the fact it will be the single most tailored course for me all year. Instead I do a 50mile coffee trip and watch the, uh, birds down on State Street. I'm off the bike Sunday-Wednesday and then we'll see where I am.

This "guy" out in NM says:

"I believe that, most likely, you are just riding too far above your fitness level. Your cells are burning oxygen faster than your lungs and cardiovascular system can deliver it to the cells causing you to breath very intensely and harder than your diaphragm is conditioned to work. It is a muscle and will cramp when over worked just like any other muscle. It is also possible that you are not only over working it but that it is also going hypoxic because you have not yet developed your cardiorespiratory system to handle the work load required to furnish your diaphragm with enough oxygen for that work load."

No go fast for me! Still bummed I can't go fast and bummed I'm gonna miss that race tomorrow, but, c'est la vie! Maybe next year I'll get to go fast?! :)

Okay, I gotta go, the daycare teacher says I have to take my nap now. My tantrum's over.

Noveread
You know you're stupid when RMR says duh and LFR swears...YoungRcR
Jun 22, 2003 10:22 AM
i used to get them bad, my solution was:

1. Stop overhidratin... too much stuff in the stomach always made me stitch up.

2. raise your position slightly, you may be bent too far over to breath normally.
The first one always gives me a stitch...TFerguson
Jun 22, 2003 3:14 PM
I can drink as much water as I want while exercising, but only a couple of oz. right before. Even during a short break I have to be carefull.

Also, sometimes I can get rid of it by pushing my fingers real hard up under the bottom of my rib cage on the side of the stitch.

TF