As I mentioned, I’d noticed an increasing amount of pain coming from a medial tendon in my right leg after my longer runs. This afternoon I went to the local running shop, Fleet Feet Orlando and had them run me through their gait analysis program.
While “gait analysis” conjures visions of a sweaty guy on a treadmill hooked up to motion sensors and ECG patches … it was actually much simpler than that. Yes, I was on a treadmill (but no, I wasn’t sweaty), and behind me, just above the running surface, was a digital video camera. They shot about 30 seconds of video of me at a comfortable jogging pace, then we went through it frame by frame.
It turns out that while I have pain in my right leg, it’s actually my left leg that is the problem. I wish I could have saved pictures of it, because any idiot could look at them and see instantly what the problem is: I seriously over-pronate my left foot. For those that never took any anatomy classes, that means I roll my left foot too far inward over the course of my stride. (I also land on that foot with a wicked outward angle, which may or may not be related.)
I’ve apparently done this for a very long time, as the fat pad on the bottom of my heel has managed to shift so that I’m not landing directly on it, as I should be. My body senses this as too much impact on my left heel, causing me to shift my weight over to my right foot, thus causing stress injuries like the tendonitis I’ve been noticing.
They’ve set me up with a set of Super Feet, which are really just insoles for runners, to correct the problem. It’s supposed to take me about two weeks to get used to them. We shall see.