Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lawless experimentation & a run attempt

It's been two months since I've run but it seems like two years already. Especially since this is prime racing season! Today was my second ever DNS - Capital City Half Marathon (Olympia, WA). Bah.

I've been trying a variety of things to shake this plantar fasciitis. I've been pouring over online info and attending PT 1-2x weekly. My progress is stagnant. When I was first injured, I dutifully wore my runners with my old orthodics that I ditched back in July 2010 when I began adopting the new mid/fore-foot strike and lower profile shoe. No progress.

This is where I decided to go rogue. Against my doc's recommendation, I went orthodic- and support shoe- free.

Enter Beavis & Butthead, Breakin' the law, breakin' the law!
  • I literally got rid of all my shoes that are not flat (except for the heels I wear to weddings a couple times a year) and bought a pile of new shoes that are as close to zero-drop as possible (more on that another time).
  • I went "barefoot" for several weeks in my new Ahnu, Merrel, Altra, and Brooks shoes. 
  • My PT scowled at me each time he saw me walk in with shoes that didn't lend any arch support or anti-pronation support.  
  • I keep seeing the same PT because I really do like his therapy for the "effect," I'm just left to my own devices for the "cause."
  • No progress. PF no worse, no better.
  • I'm not ready to let go of the barefoot philosophy so I decided to try a new experiment: continue walking/day-to-day activities in the zero-drop/barefoot shoes but perform exercise in my zero-drop + orthodics. 
  • In the meantime, I'm looking at my diet more and learning about reducing "inflammatory" foods, planning changes that may help reduce inflammation and a general blah feeling.
Dread. I was so proud to ditch those orthodics and it didn't/doesn't seem right to use them again but I do think I can temporarily use the support, until this inflammation subsides. In the last couple weeks, I haven't done much exercise anyway, so really I'm still doing a lot just plain barefoot.

Oh, and I've been taping EVERY. DAY. Shoulda bought stock in KT Tape.

So here I sit, getting caught up on the 750+ emails in my work inbox (on vacation last week), rolling a frozen water bottle under my foot, scrunching a towel with my toes, and contemplating a last ditch resort: CORTISONE shot. Tricia (Endurance Isn't Only Physical) did this last year and hasn't had any issues since. I'm not sure my doc will do this so I might have to try someone new. I'll ask tomorrow at my appointment. Any thoughts on this?

Also, as I sit here icing, I wonder if I'll regret the little bit of a run I did today. OH YES, I DID. I really needed it. We lost a friend this weekend to a car accident and I just needed to get outside and lose myself for a while. It was good medicine but would have been even better if I could have pushed myself to exhaustion, where I could sweat out the tears. *sigh*

I went for a <3 mi walk-jog. In total, I did 9 minutes of running in increments of a few minutes. After the first running stint, my feet were screaming at me in the orthodics so I ditched those for the rest of the walk-jog. This felt MUCH better.

Ok, so back to the totally zero-drop/barefoot experiment. Tomorrow, I get up the courage to ask about a shot?


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Hugs.

    Oh, and get that shot. Or, at least talk to the shot giver for some advice. I need you running...

  2. so sorry for your loss. i’ve missed your blog and glad to have you back :) not sure about the cortisone shots-i’ve heard they mask the issue so not sure if that is what you want or not. i think i may have a solution for you to try-but i will email you the details on it.

  3. So sorry about your PF. I have struggled with this myself, but not to the degree you are dealing with. So frustrating. I hope your doc will give you the shot:)

  4. I'm terribly sorry to hear about the loss of your friend...

  5. I ditched the orthotics too, but personally I'm going for the structured trainers rather than the barefoot approach. I've recently had a bit of PF trouble after wearing work shoes with almost no support - usually I wear trainers all day every day, which seems to keep my heels comfortable. I would probably go for the shot (although my physio last year didn't recommend it).

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I really hope you can get back to running soon - I know how hard it is to go without it.

  6. I'm sorry you lost a friend! Shoot.

    I'm not sure if my problem is PF or something else, but I had a cortisone shot that had no effect. And I'm doing the opposite of you: always wearing shoes and swapping in arch support. I usually feel better about a mile in on my runs, so it's probably not the same thing as you. In any case, I hope we both feel better soon!

  7. I'm sooo very sorry about your friend :(. Big hugs to you!

    My PT was all about the zero drop shoes and dumping the orthotic and eventually, with time, this worked for me. Running actually strengthens that plantar (?) muscle and the PF will go away.

    I had a cortisone shot (two actually)....they did nothing. Actually, the first one worked for a whole 2 weeks and I was in heaven and ran like a mad woman. The 2nd shot a month later did nothing. But I know some that it has helped, at least temporarily. I'd ask if it's something you think may help.

  8. This must be so frustrating for you. Have you tried the sock thing that you wear at night? If it was me and I had tried everything that you have, I'd get the shot. One can't hurt and it will be good just to find out if it works for you or not.
    I'm sorry about your friend. It's great that you could run/walk to work through grief. It's amazing how fresh air and moving your body does so much for body and soul.

  9. Oh no, hang in there! I personally don't think orthodics are the cure and do believe in barefoot. it might take a while for your feet to adapt though. Sending you tons of super fast healing thoughts!!