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Shoe Wall Talk: The DO NOTS of plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (or PF) crept its ugly head into my life last summer. If you have never had it, lucky you. It’s like hot rocks and thistles piercing away at your heel and radiating pain hate throughout your sole.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend. Though, I’ve been on the mend several times over the past few months already, only to do something STUPID to bring back the inflammation. What has helped me? Sorry, not this post, you can google “plantar fasciitis relief” for gazillions of answers to that. Instead, today I’m focusing on stupid. So here is my list of things that I’ve done in the last four or five months that have prevented me from feeling like a normal human being again.

Running on the treadmill barefoot. Do not do this. I did this on a feel-good day after reading about the benefits of strengthening your feet with barefoot running. Yes, I’m sure there are benefits and your feet get stronger over time by easing into it with healthy feet but starting your barefoot running regime at 40+ years old while recovering from plantar fasciitis is a stupid idea.

Walking up (and down) steep hills. It’s impossible to avoid hills in my town but I’ve been managing to stick to hills with lower grades during runs. One day when my PF was sleeping, I thought I could sneak my way onto steeper terrain with a walk up one of the steeper streets in town without waking it up. So up Green to Jefferson to the top of Reservoir Hill, I went and back down again. Wrong!! There was no snooze button from that alarm, so much for that.

Kickboxing. I did not actually kickbox. I took a women’s self-defense class (good idea, by the way) that included kicking a punching bag, with your barefoot. My partner was super encouraging for me to kick some ass, she kept yelling at me that I could do better and to kick harder. So, I did. Ouch. I’ll stick to kicking ass on an as-needed basis until this thing is in its grave.

Running on gravel in the wrong shoes. This was an accident. I ran a race in the only shoes that have felt wonderful on my feet during this time. Little did I know there were gravel and rock segments on this course and the shoes, having a softer sole and not as rigid as some other road and all-terrain shoes, well it’s like gravel on gravel scraping a chalkboard with crying babies throwing needles at you. Yes, lovely stuff. Lesson learned, always know your course!

So, there you have it. Don’t do this at home folks, or anywhere for that matter, if you are dreaming of a PF free life ever again.

PS: This post was written sometime in 2018. I am happy to report, two years later, I have been free of plantar fasciitis flare-ups!

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