After more than a year off running, two different podiatrists, and poring over countless articles about plantar fasciitis, I’m back to running just about every morning (plus some strength work from my girl Laura Waller). I’m a slow runner – always have been, always will be – but that daily run is essential to my mental health. I’m so, so grateful every morning when I lace up those shoes and head out into the chilly dawn.
Right after Nicholas came home, I was stupid and did high impact aerobics, mostly barefoot, in our basement. A few weeks in, I started to feel a soreness in my heel, especially when I woke up in the mornings. Mistake number 2: I didn’t stop. I kept pushing until I could barely stand up when I got out of bed in the mornings. Needless to say, wedding days only aggravated the problem that I had caused by my own foolishness.
In addition to following the advice of doctor’s, I’ve researched every article and YouTube video I could find related to plantar fasciitis and so I know there are a LOT of theories out there. As far as I can tell, I attribute my improvement to four things:
- Rolling a frozen ice bottle under my foot when I’m sorest.
- Regular GENTLE calf stretching.
- Rest from exercise.
- MERRELL BRAND SHOES!!! (All the time; it is true that people with pf should never, ever go barefoot!!) When we left for vacation last winter, I (couldn’t believe I was doing this but) spent $90 on this pair of sandals. At the end of the week in those flip-flops, I felt NO PAIN. None. I put on my sneakers and doctor-recommended orthotics for the plane trip home and was sore again by the time we took off – just a few short hours after putting them on. I couldn’t believe that a pair of sandals had helped me that much, but nevertheless, I took the plunge and bought these Merrell heels for shooting weddings this season. Believe it or not – I feel no additional heel pain on wedding days. My feet are still tired and sore, but my plantar fasciitis isn’t aggravated. Even though I’m back to running, I’m not over the plantar fasciitis. I’ll be wearing Merrells for a long time… but I’m hopeful that if I keep doing #1, 2, and 4, I can continue exercising – for the sake of my body, my emotions, and my family, who get a much more pleasant wife and less grumpy momma when I start the day with a sweat!
(p.s. I should add that I have no affiliation with Merrell whatsoever!)