After yesterdays 6K'er I felt pretty darned good. Alas, I woke up this morning with a bout of stiffness in my right shin. "Oh no!" I said "Not the return of "ShinGate." I'd had a rather bad pain in my both my legs a few months ago but saw a podiatrist who fixed me up with some orthotics having discovered that one leg was shorter than the other. A common occurrence apparently. This helped enormously, and these new devices, coupled with some physio soon got me back out there, eating up the miles.........well, not exactly "eating" but you get my drift. So this morning I heard another voice inside my head.......a kind of Shakespearean one saying ; "Get Thee to a running shop and have thy gait analysed, for thou art a fool and a ludicrous popinjay if thou shalt ignore this advice!"
"Bloomin' eck" I thought. "Maybe my running shoes ARE totally sh**?". But before this adventure, it was time to analyse another gate - the garden gate! It was sticking badly and Mrs Dan and I have recently found it hard to open. I went out and started my analysis and deduced that the recent wet weather had caused the wood to swell so much it was wedged against the post whilst opening. Once the dryer weather came along it would ease up and open properly.
Having analysed the gate, I went off and had my gait analysed. Is this confusing? Sorry if so. I walked into the shop and was met by a very nice gentlemen who listened to my boring story of how I started running last April and all went well until some injuries.....blah blah blah......leg pain......blah blah blah....mainly right leg etc etc. He asked me to remove my running shoes and try on a pair of "neutral" shoes. I got on the treadmill and off I went for a short run whilst he recorded my gait. Once that was done he invited me to watch the video on the laptop and there before my eyes was the reason I had been getting such pains in my legs! Both ankles were landing in such a way that they "rolled" inwards at an alarming rate on each landing! "OK" said GAIT MAN. "Let's try them with your orthotics fitted and see what difference that makes". I ran again and then looked at the results. Better, but still each ankle (especially the right one) was leaning inwards on landing. "That's where your pain is coming from" he said. I was sweating quite a lot at this stage, trying to remain like a cool dude and I wondered what his advice was going to be. For starters he said my current shoes were too small! I needed another size up from what I had been wearing. Also, I needed a shoe with a wider base on the heel and a strong support on the instep to stop my ankles from rolling inwards.
"I've got just the shoe for you sir. One moment" and he disappeared to the back of the shop. "Aha!" I thought. "Is he going to....? Will he go and get.....?" He came out carrying a box. I looked at the box with wonderment.... "Are those.....?" I said..... "Yes sir. They are." he said. "They're........Brooks Adrenalines GTS 13's"!!!!! (Cue fanfare of trumpets). OH WOW! I hurriedly put them on and instantly they felt good. I felt pretty square on the ground and solid. "Put your orthotics in them sir and then try them on the treadmill". I did as I was told and before long, was on the treadmill running for a short time. Off I got and looked at the results. It was amazing. Really amazing. My right ankle landed firmly and squarely on the treadmill, with no rolling inwards. The left leg rolled very slightly, but this is the way my foot is apparently. Even though my left ankle rolled a bit, it was in line with my achilles and the bottom of the shoe, so he assured me I was getting the right support. "How do they feel" said GAIT MAN. "Amazing" I replied. "I feel more balanced and....square on the ground. How much? I want them!"
I paid £86 for them and a further £14 for the analysis, so the visit had cost me a ton. Which was fine by me as I had envisaged the costs to be around this mark.
Once home, I proudly strutted for Mrs Dan......(no, not like that! For God's sake!!) in my new Brooks. I've to do some strengthening exercises and reduce my distances to 3K X 5 times per week until the pain dissipates in my right shin. So that's what I'm gonna do.
So today was a day of analysis for gate and gait. A good day I would say...