Sunday, October 23, 2011

Been a while

Well, it has been quite a while since I last posted here (not that it was particularly regular so far before...). Since that time, I quit running for a month and went traveling in China with Amy. We tried to update a China-specific blog while there but the Great Firewall of China ate all our posts...Bummer!

When we returned from China I started running again, beginning slowly with good results and my plantar fasciitis faded to the point where I no longer considered it limiting by the end of August. So how did this all happen? Read on...

Before China (BC), I was getting pretty frustrated and didn't know what to do. One day I got home and, on a whim, decided to remove my Superfeet from my running shoes (Mizuno Wave Musha 2, a "support" racing flat with 8mm drop). I went for a slow short run and felt pretty good. As a result of this relative success, and since nothing else seemed to be working, I decided to move forward with a more minamalist approach based on the theories promoted by the popular Born to Run inspired movement that suggests lower injury risk, as well as a few personal anecdotes that had been shared with me by others that have overcome PF. Prior to this, I had already begun working on my running form, started running in a lower drop racing flat, and was practicing a regular workout routine aimed primarily at balance, leg and hip strength, and foot strength.

Mizuno Wave Musha 2 on my feet during a recent run of Grand Ridge in Olympic National Park

For a couple weeks before the trip, I tried spending as much time barefoot and/or in minimal footwear all the time, including some light running. I picked up a pair of New Balance MT101s. Seemed to be going well so I only brought this shoe and a pair of Teva flip-flops to China. We did a ton of walking during our trip and no running and it generally went well.

Upon return, I continued without orthotic foot support but incorporated more shoe diversity on a daily basis, including a pair of Vivobarefoot Miles, the closest to barefoot I could find in an office-appropriate shoe (as an aside, these shoes are amazing!). The rest is history...steady improvement until all my symptoms subsided. Finally!

This fall I have been doing quite a bit of trail running in Montrail Mountain Masochists and my trusting Mizunos. Unfortunately, while they do have some merits, I have been avoiding the MT101s because I have found the toe box too tight, which is causing some nerve problems (neuroma between my 2nd and 3rd toes). Open toe box (preferably anatomical last...hello shoe companies! Why are all shoes tapered in the toe box? That is the widest part of MY foot) is the nĂºmero uno criteria in a shoe right now for me.

Anyone else have similar experience getting over plantar fasciitis?