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I’ve got goober gait: And there are just two more weeks to fix myself before the 3M Half Marathon

Posted Jan 12 2012 5:10pm

Last week, as the registration deadline was counting down on the 3M Half Marathon, I decided to sign up. I was No. 5,900-something and the cap was 6,000. I thought about not racing. I don’t have anymore soleus or calf pain , but I’m still not 100 percent.

My hips are weak. My core is terrible. And worse: I screwed up my stride. See, when I should have been resting while my calves were on fire, I still went out there three to four days a week and grimaced through the pain, altering my gait, changing up my landing and toe off to make it through a four or five-mile run.

And now I got goober gait. My left leg is fine. But my right one does not work right. It flinches. You know, when you think somebody is about to hit you and you duck or brace yourself? That’s what my right leg does. Just before landing, my entire quad collapses, causing me to land on the inside of my foot which is pointed outward and not straight ahead. Its like my brain is telling my right leg, `Duck!’

This is some muscle memory I don’t need.

All the physical therapists I’ve talked to say it’s because my hips are weak. (Yeah, I know this) and so they’ve given me all kinds of hip and abdomen strengthening exercises. Things are getting better, but not fast enough. The sensation when I run is like my right leg is shorter than my left. I have to think way too much to extend my right leg on toe off, which means I’m having some neurological issues, said one doc, who told me I’d have to retrain myself how to run.


Oddly, it bothers me mostly when I run uphill, or when I run really slow. If I’m in an all out sprint or doing anything faster than 10k pace, my leg feels ok. But who wants to run that fast all the time?

After I signed up for 3M, we had a 14-mile run last week in which most of the route was the actual 3M course which finishes down Duval Street and through the University of Texas campus.



I’m good on downhills. So my goal was to take it “easy” the first 10 miles and then kick into half-marathon race pace the last four miles. Like I’ve said here many times here before, I need to run a 1 hour, 30 minute half marathon (1:30) to qualify for the New York City marathon next fall.

A 1:30 marathon means I have to average 6:52 per mile. My best half marathon was a 1:31 and change at 3M in 2010 . That’s a 6:59 min/mile pace. Not fast enough.

During the aforementioned 14-miler , I met my goal of averaging 6:52 min/mile over the last four miles, popping off 6:55, 6:38, 6:54, and 6:51 on Miles 11 through 14. As you can see on Mile 12 I overdid it, so I spent the last two miles trying to run 6:52 exactly.

My lungs felt decent during this stretch and was actually talking to another Gazelle runner who was pacing with me. But I’m still not sure if I’m in shape to do this for an entire 13.1. Thankfully, I’ve still got about two more weeks to get my act together.

Here is a screengrab of my splits of the run from Garmin Connect

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