Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hope You Didn’t Come Here Expecting Goals

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.

Anyway.

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?

4 comments:

  1. Holy hell you said more about shoes than I ever knew existed. I'm just glad you fixed your problem. LOL

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  2. yes, yes and YES! I ran my first marathon in 2004, didn't realize how important wearing the right shoe was. I bought shoes according to the aesthetics and price. I always knew my stride was different (special) :)! It really didn't start affecting me until the middle of 2011 (after LB marathon). My first shin splint, toe injury (during Vegas). Finally, finally decided to throw down the dinero for the orthotics and I'm so glad I did. I had persistent pain in my right toe after 10-11 miles. Miraculously, the next day I ran 13 miles and felt perfect. I recently read in an article that only 25% of runners actually have proper running form. The rest of us over-pronate or pronate inwards. Orthotics I feel really can help with deficiencies in our bio-mechanics. So happy that you're going to Carlsbad with them! I currently run in Asics kayano's but, I'm curious about the Brooks. I've heard a lot of great things about them. :)

    Have a great rest of the week! rest, rest and get ready to rock 26.2!!!! :)

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  3. I had a Eureka moment the other day. It was like this: Eureka, I need to find a new job! Too bad it's not as easy as getting custom orthos and sweet new kicks.

    I tell you what, the Kinvaras are great. I love them for short distance. They are fast and light and awesome. My only gripe is they wear out fast. But that's to be expected given they are a minimalistic type shoe.

    I have been wearing the Cortanas on my long runs and dig them big time.

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  4. OMG - yes, your shoes will make all the difference. I never knew till I got the right pair! HA, funny how that works.

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