***Important! Due to unforeseen logistical stuff, the Boston Marathon giveaway will end this Sunday, February 13, not February 17. The winners will be required to fill out their registrations and have them postmarked by February 18.
Was that the corner? Because I think I might have turned it. Again.
I have four words for you.
Walk, run for a total of five miles.
Tuesday found me crying on the PT table out of frustration. Today found me crying on the treadmill out of euphoria. I am such an emotional dork/mess. A dorky mess.
Yesterday I spent some the most valuable 90 minutes I have spent in a long time. I had a gait analysis at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. I’ve had those drive thru gait analyses before at the running shoe store. The ones where they video tape you, then tell you which shoe is going to make your dreams come true and correct your pronation or penis curvature or whatever.
This was different.
If you’ve never had one of these done, and you are going to continue running, you need to invest. It will help you decrease chance of injury and increase performance. I'm not sure of the actual cost because insurance covered some of mine, so I ended up paying $105. I’m guessing if you paid cash it would be $300-$500?
I was really dreading this thing. I hate it when people watch me run and critique me. I hate it when I do anything and people critique me. It makes me feel critiqued. And vulnerable. And sometimes stupid and awkward and uncoordinated. This is why whenever I competed on the balance beam in high school I was a shaking, farting, sweating mess who always got 2/10. Try being nervous then dancing and somersaulting on a 4” piece of suede-covered wood.
I also knew that my form probably sucked due to the injury and I figured I’d walk out of there feeling even more defeated.
Surprise of surprises. My form was decent, with a few corrections to be made.
- I do not over stride, my feet land nicely under my hips when I run.
- My stance width is narrow, but this is because I’m bowlegged, so not something I need to work on changing.
- My hips are level with very little hip drop on either side.
- No pronation.
- Knees do not cave in
- Body is centered with the exception of some leaning to the left to compensate for the injury
- I have a decent hip tilt
Stuff to work on:
- Not leaning to the left (that’s what he said). They are not sure if I lean due to the injury or if it is related to scoliosis or a leg discrepancy.
- Increasing cadence. Mine is currently 166, and should increase to 176-180. This will apparently improve efficiency and performance and reduce overall impact. This is actually not too hard to do. On my run today, I checked in a couple of times each mile. My cadence was 180-200 (counting steps per 10 seconds and multiplying by 6). My PT suggested using a metronome or downloading music that has 176 bpm to help keep on track. There are several websites that give you song ideas depending on what type of cadence you want to keep. There is a good one from Runner’s World HERE. I found that a quicker turnover felt much better on my body today and allowed for a softer foot strike and a lighter feeling overall. I do strike on my heel, and the increased cadence will hopefully help to make me more of a mid-foot striker.
- Arm placement. I punch my arms too far forward (see above) which can decrease performance and slow cadence thereby resulting in higher impact per stride. Fortunately, this is also a relatively easy thing to correct. I am working on driving my elbows back and stopping them near my ribs without crossing the midline.
I wish I could show you the before/after videos of me running. Below is a still shot. The left is before, the right is after. You can see how much further my arms come out behind me). They gave me the video to bring home with drill tips for improved form. Pretty cool. And, I didn’t even fall off the treadmill like the balance beam. I also didn’t fart like I did that one time when I was getting my gait analyzed at a shoe store.
Don’t forget my Boston Marathon giveaway. I have two entries to give. I’ve really enjoyed reading the “essays” so far. Just to be clear, the “panel” will be comprised of myself and some of your favorite bloggers (who have not entered). If you’re interested in being on the panel, email me.