Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I figured out my problem. I'm lop-sided!

It's a shame I can't run in front of a mirror, because I would have figured this out ages ago.

My trouble has always been with my left lower body (foot, ankle, calf, knee, quad). Every injury I've had, from when I sprained my ankle at age 11 to this recent knee problem, has been on the left. Meanwhile, I've had other aches and pains in the upper half of my body on the right side (ab soreness, shoulder strain, etc.) but never the right.

I joked before that I thought this had to be the handiwork of someone who had created a voo-doo doll of me and was sticking needs only on the left side. But I have discovered a more likely culprit: I overwork my left side when I work out, and then afterwards carry things (my laptop, purse, children, lunch, sometimes all at once) with my right side perhaps because my left side has already had enough.

This epiphany occured to me today during spin class, when the instructor forgot to dim the lights all the way. I had a bike right up front, by the mirror, and I noticed that when I was working the hardest, I was leaning to the right, while pushing much harder with my right leg than my left. I realized then that I kind of run in the same pose: Leaning right, powering harder with the left leg.

You can even see from this finishline photo of me from my 10k--that was 54 minutes of running leaning right, working left.

Perhaps the answer to all of my troubles could be as simple as running with my head on straight?? Dare I hope?


  1. Oh good luck! I've been lopsided myself for as long as I can remember. It might have started when I carried a 50lb bookbag on the same shoulder for twelve years, but that might have been more effect than cause. You can actually see the difference in the shape of my calves and the direction my knees and feet point. Of course, I don't run.

  2. You might be onto something with the bookbag!! I carried mine the same way. I think it was part of the "asymetrical" asthetic of the 1980s/early 90s. The off the shoulder shirts, the side ponytails and the bookbag. I'll have to insist my kids use both straps no matter what the style is. BTW, trying to run not lopsided is like trying to change your handwriting. I tried it this morning and it was ridiculously hard.