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First of all, no woman should ever have to experience the horror that I had to today. You may be wondering what kind of horrible, dreadful, and awful thing I had to do? I'll tell you. I had a running gait screening done. Sounds innocent right? Not. So. Much. 


It started out okay. The Screening Specialist took my height, my weight, my blood pressure, all that was fine. Then the screening specialist, we'll call him "SS" so I don't have to type that out a lot, started to manipulate my feet and take my complaints down. No problem! This is easy. While I don't like to be touched and I really hate to have other people touch my feet, this wasn't the horrible part of the Gait Evaluation.

Next I was walking barefoot on a treadmill. NBD, I can do this all day! Then the bad news. The SS asked me if I had worn a jogging bra under my shirt. Luckily he had prepared me before my visit that I needed to wear one. So I did. He asked that I take off my shirt so he could put on a monitor and also so he could see how my spine moved while I run. Aakkkk!!!! Are you kidding me?!? These cameras are recording full length body shots while I run! And they were displaying the footage on a HUGE TV screen right there in the room. It was like my overweight self was laughing at the fatty on the treadmill running. No way Jose'! Ugh, but I did it anyways. So the horrible, awful, and terrible event started. I had to run on a treadmill in my sports bra ON CAMERA. NO woman should EVER have to do that!! Nothing will make you drop the cookies and cupcakes faster than seeing yourself running in very little clothing. Ugh! 
Luckily, I started a low carb diet last week and I'm already down 5.4lbs. 

You may be wondering why I had a running gait evaluation today. Let's rewind a little bit. I've been running marathons lately...a lot of marathons. The Hubbo and I ran 4 marathons in basically 4 months. One of those being my first 50k. So naturally I ended up at my Chiropractor's office complaining of foot pain, calf tightness, heel pain, and a sore spot on the arch of my right foot. Most of those problems are fading but not 100% so he recommended a gait evaluation to see if there is something in the way that I run that is causing all these problems. Sure enough! I am one jacked-up runner! 

                                                   Warning! 
I am about to show you pictures from my evaluation today. If you don't want to see a pasty, overweight, white girl running a treadmill, turn away now!

                                                   Disclaimer
While I did not Photoshop these to make myself look better, I did crop out the unnecessary parts to make me feel better about posting them. 

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I learned several things about the way I run today. Turns out that my stride is a little too long and I am landing with my leg extended a little too far ahead of my center. The yellow line is showing where my center is and my foot it a little too far forward. 

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Also, my feet do something I've never even heard of before. The SS kept telling me that I have a "Heel Whip". Sounds terrible. Basically it just means that my heel turns inward as I'm running when it should be aligned better. This is probably caused by overpronating. 

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Speaking of pronating, this picture shows that my right foot is pronating at 18 degrees. That can't be good.

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I am also a heel striker when I run in shoes. If you look at the picture of me running barefoot 3 pics above this one, you'll see that I am a mid-foot striker when I run barefoot. The SS said it was normal for people to strike differently in shoes versus no shoes.

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Another fun fact I learned today is that my right leg likes to crossover a little too far. The yellow line shows my center again and you can see it is hitting me on my second toe. It should be on the inside of my arch or somewhere around there. This is probably caused because my right glute muscle is weak. Big booty exercises here I come! 

Picture
This one is another reason why I need to do some Big Booty Exercises. I apparently run in an up-and-down motion rather than propelling myself forward motion. The SS said it was because I am "using my big ol' calf muscles and I need a big ol' booty to move me forward not up." 
The green line is my normal height and the red line is how far up I go when I run. It's about 4-5 inches. Big Booty Exercises here I come! 

Picture


Ugh, the dreaded full length body shot. I put this one at the end hoping that some of my readers would be so bored they wouldn't scroll down this far and see this. 
But you are still reading so I'll tell you what's going on here.
My left hip drops when I run. In my bare feet my left hip drops 7 degrees, in my normal running shoes it drops 10 degrees, and in my running shoes with my special running inserts it drops 8 degrees. This is also caused by my weak booty muscles. Soo..Big Booty Exercises here I come! 

Now for the question I know you are all asking? How do you fix this, or what next? Well here's what is on the agenda:
  • Big Booty Exercises
  • Big Booty Exercises
  • Big Booty Exercises
  • Only running 2 marathons a year
  • Taking time off from distance training in the summer
  • Maybe trying minimalist running shoes as recommended by the SS


Do any of you wear minimalist shoes? Do you love them? Hate them? What can you tell me about that type of shoe?
 


Comments

03/19/2013 8:42pm

This is not only really helpful information about running form, but also an entertaining read. So thanks! I switched over to New Balance 750s. They aren't technically minimalist (I don't think) but they are very lightweight. I love them. They really help me achieve that midfoot strike without any extra effort.

Reply
03/20/2013 11:18am

Thanks Rebecca! Glad you enjoyed it!
I may give that shoe a try. I am one of those girls that loves my comfy running shoes so going to a minimalist shoe is a little scary. That could be a good compromise for me.

Reply
Megan
03/19/2013 9:00pm

I have vibrams and I love them. I don't do a lot (any) running but if I happen to sprint it helps me. It has also helped with my knee pain and wearing buisness-y shoes all day makes my toes feel so cramped ad I love the way that the V5F. Spread them out. I have been supporter of them since I found out about them. They really make sense to me.

Have you heard of yoga toes or thought about doing some exercises to strengthen and stretch the front areas of your feet?

Anyway, this blog post was so interesting! Thanks for pushing through any icky feelings and posting all of it!

Reply
03/20/2013 11:21am

Thanks Megan! I didn't realize how much people would like this post. I'm glad I got over the embarrassment and posted it!
I've thought about some Vibram's before. I'll have to work my way up to that, but not having cramped toes sounds AMAZING! I've never heard of Yoga Toes, but the SS did give me a TON of exercises to do. I'll be starting on those tonight.

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06/24/2013 12:47am

I must say this is a great post. I have read your last two blog posts on the same topic, those were excellent too. Keep it up and keep posting blogs on related matter.

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06/24/2013 1:51pm

Thanks! And Will do! I still think of myself as a newby so I like to blog about things I've learned along the way for the other newbies out there!

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02/27/2014 9:47am

Nice blog. Loving it.

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Dawn
04/15/2014 11:38pm

Awesome post and very interesting! Took a lot of courage to post. Props to you!! I don't run in minimalist for distance yet but just changed to a shoe with less -2mm drop. A LOT of my aches and pains are gone and I'm still at a 10mm drop (also overpronate). Been running about 30 miles a week really focusing on form. Brooks PureCadence 3 may be a good for you. 5mm drop and they're stability shoes. I have the 2's and love them. I just can't do distance in them yet. Takes some getting used to.

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04/16/2014 9:59pm

Thank you! I'm glad people are getting good information from it. I'll check those shoes out!

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