Or a “Year in Review” – I am too lazy to drudge the information up! And it’s not really my style – I have never made a New Year’s Resolution in my life.
Since 2002 after getting a gait analysis done at a running store in Marina Del Rey, I have always assumed I was an pronator. Assumed I have low arches and need to be in at least stability shoes, maybe even light motion control. I had stuck myself in this classification without thinking a second thought about it after that first assessment. Until I did a RRS Shoe Dog analysis in August 2010 which revealed I actually actually have high arches and only have a semi-flexible pronation happening on the left. Visually, my arches don’t look high - I have wide, square feet a la Fred Flintstone.
Thanks to that weird weight/heat sensing thing you stand on for analysis, I found out that I have been wrong all along. Running in heavy-ass stability and motion control shoes for no good reason.
The latest long-standing assumption to fall for me was the idea that I am a heel striker. I have no idea where I got this run – I think I figured I just must be since that seems like what most runners are. I don’t know.
I started thinking about how many steps I take per minute on my standard easy pace… and it’s generally 175-185. Considering I’m not running that fast, that high of a cadence means I have got to be working a shorter stride length which is not inline with your standard heel-striker. Over the last week I have been thinking about mid-race photos, watching how my feet land when I run, stealing glances of my legs in the reflection of parked cars along the 101…
Midfoot, midfoot, midfoot.
I have no idea why I thought I was a heel striker.
What does this change? Shoes.
If I am a neutral midfoot striker, a lower heel-to-toe drop could work well and possibly be a better fit for my gait. Knowing that my left foot has some pronation and may not work 100% in a minimal drop neutral shoe, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and cough up the dough for RRS custom insoles. I also tried on a whole slew of neutral shoes with lower heel-to-toe ratios including the Saucony Kinvara (which I hate to say because of all the hype around them, I loved).
In the end, my old standard Brooks Ravenna 2 won out. Yes, it’s stability (minimal, though) but it only has a 9mm heel-to-toe drop – one of the lowest of all the Brooks trainers aside from the newest PureConnect. All this time running in the Ravennas, I had no idea – all I knew is I liked how easy it felt to run in them. And it’s only 9 ounces. Sunday, I put in my new custom insoles and ran 15 miles right out of the box. No blisters, no chaffing, no aches. Man, I love that shoe. I hope they don’t mess with it.
But I could not forget about how good those stinkin’ Kinvaras felt! So I drank the Kool-Aid and ordered a pair online (got a sweet deal from The Running Center’s website). I used to think I could run in a minimal drop shoe, but, I’m beginning to think I just make that up in my mind along with the heel striker and the low arches.
Anyone else have these types of weird self-realization Eureka moments?