Posts Tagged ‘Plantar fasciitis’

Wow!  That was fast! 200 posts already?

ūüėܬ† I’m good, but not that good.¬† ūüėÜ

Remember me saying I would update every 100 miles or so?¬† Well, I’m at 200.¬† (Ok, not really- I’m actually at 211 today)¬† That’s 200 miles in my Vibram FiveFingers Bikilas.¬†In the last week, I’ve added another mile to my sort-of-but-not-really-daily¬†run and I’ve had no additional problems.

Since the nights are getting colder, and there has been a subtle shift in the weather, I’ve noticed an increase in overall hip discomfort, but so far, it’s not nearly as bad as it has been in the past.¬†Most of the time I can sleep without it waking me up, so that is good. Because my strike pattern has settled, I am pretty sure this has been helping the hip(s).

The thing I have noticed is with regard to foot pain.¬†Since I’m not working any more, I’ve spent the vast majority of the time barefoot.¬†Interestingly enough, the days I wear shoes (and I’m still following the “wear heels” advice from my podiatrist for the plantar fasciitis when I’m out doing stuff) are now the days I have pain. And when I’m in them, it is hard not to kick them off when I’m out and about.

When my Komodosport LSes get here tomorrow, I’ll make the switch to VFFs full-time (except maybe for church). Does this mean I have a shoe fetish?¬† Probably.¬† ūüėÜ

When you spend that many years in that kind of debilitating pain and then you find relief, it makes you loathe to go back to the days of crawling in the afternoons¬†evening. I used to never care about shoes; I could wear whatever. Then I was on the quest to find heels that wouldn’t kill me via foot pain or tripping and breaking my neck.

So there you have it. I’m totally, completely addicted to Vibram FiveFinger shoes.

Fortunately for you, I will not be giving updates on my every-day wearing of my funky shoes.¬† ūüėÜ

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I am now in my VFF Bikilas full-time. Total daily mileage (for the days I run) is 5 miles, but this week had me contemplating whether or not it’s time to start adding to my distance.¬† I was pushed for time this week, so I opted not to.¬† Next week, though, is another week, and I may accidentally increase my distance.

Total miles since getting VFFs: 202.5 

Total VFF miles: 138

Total days running in VFFs: 41

First day to run all in VFFs:¬† day 34 (I probably could have done this on day 33, but because I had 3/4 miles “left over,” I figured I could add just 1/4 mile that one day to even things out.)

First day running in VFFs: May 31, 2011  

First day running 100% in VFFs: August 26, 2011

FWIW.¬† ūüėÜ

Summary: I will likely never own another kind of running shoe.¬†EVER. My foot pain is not entirely gone; my Achille’s tendon in the one foot stays a wee little bit tight/sore, but as long as I make the point to stretch it frequently, it is not problematic or prohibitive.¬† In fact, the last several days, it has not bothered me at all while running.

Foot pain¬†(plantar fasciitis) has not resolved.¬† It’s significantly better, though, and I think that’s encouraging.

Hip pain– I have days when it flares and is quite painful, or wakes me up when I’m sleeping.¬† Overall, though, this is also significantly better than even a few months ago.


  • Now that I’m in my VFF¬†Bikilas full-time, I only have a few “complaints.” On the inside arch of both feet, it seems the seam of the shoe is mildly irritating.¬† This doesn’t bother me at all¬†when running, but I do some red marks of irritation.
  • I am very glad these are washable. I am planning on working on them this weekend and hoping I can get the sole back to 100% white.¬† I wish the inside of the shoe was another color.
  • Hunny still thinks they are really ugly.¬† I disagree. ūüėČ

I am pretty sure that the next pair I’m going to get are going to be the Bikila LS (for Lace System), but am still researching.¬† Given that I only have 140 miles (give or take) on this pair,it will probably be a really long while.¬† I’d be replacing my other shoes soon. I will still update; but may do that in 100 mile intervals.

For those interested in a bit more detail, the log is below.


Day 32 – ran 4.5 in VFFs, a little more soreness in L Achilles tendon; but not too bad overall; just really hot and tired today.

Day 33-  ran 4.75 in VFFs; things feel pretty good; some initial soreness until I warmed up.

Day 34- ran all 5 in VFFs; best time to date so things are finally feeling pretty good.

Day 35- ran all in VFFs; tired today and could not push through it

Day 36- ran/jogged all in VFFs; some strain in Achilles tendon when warming up; felt ok after 1/2 mile or so; quite tired today; allergies going

Day 37- ran all; Some initial soreness in Achilles, but fine once warmed up.

Day 38- ran all; felt R calf tightness a little; some initial tightness in L Achilles; did not push much today.

Day 39; – ran all; R calf tight; feet have been sore over the weekend; marginal tightness in L Achilles

Day 40; –ran all; got a late start and didn’t stretch a whole lot; wonder how that will go; things felt pretty good, but didn’t eat early enough

Day 41-ran all; legs/feet are pretty good today- all best times are this week, even though tired and not feeling like I can push much

Weekly totals:

VFF miles: 15

Total Miles: 15

Total VFF miles this record: 49.25

Total miles for this record: 50

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Ya, I know, took me long enough!¬† ūüėܬ† Last week, my (human) girls decided to spend the week with grandparents around the corner, and I found myself lacking motivation to push.¬† I did a lot of reading and a lot of napping.¬† I didn’t get done anything I had planned on doing, but that’s the way it goes.

Click to read why I am going down the path of wearing Hobbit Feet, aka Vibram Five Finger Bikilas. 


Total mileage for this record: 52.5

VFF miles: 30

Total mileage since getting VFFs: 102.5

Total days in shoes: 21

Pain summary: Taking it slower due to the extensor tendonitis/top of foot pain.  Have also had arch pain in that foot. Doing more stretching (supta virasana) of feet before run has seemed to help.  Plantar fasciitis pain in R heel moderate over all, but there are times (like this morning, for example) when initial contact with the floor was extremely unpleasant.  I have not had to crawl at all since getting the VFFs, so this is marked improvement overall. The blister I developed on the ball of my one foot from the shoe was not bothersome to begin with, and that area has *zero* discomfort and is totally fine.

Conclusion:¬† Continue to take it slower, adding no more than 1/2 mile in VFFs per week.¬† I’m almost there, but willing to slow pace of increased mileage to avoid pain.

In my log below, I’ve noted when I’ve taken anything that might affect my interpretation of pain.

Feel free to stop here if the details make you fall asleep.¬† ūüėÜ


MondayDay 11- ran all 2 ¬ľmiles;¬†L foot starting to get soreish around mile 1; not too bad, but didn‚Äôt try to push real hard; took some Tylenol sinus for headache, which started yesterday pm.¬†

TuesdayDay 12- ran all 2 ¬Ĺmiles; foot was sore since waking; will stretch and probably ice again later; no knee pain at all today; went a lot slower due to discomfort; some archish¬†type pain in L foot; that one is kind of a¬†mess; Tylenol sinus and ibuprofen since yesterday for headache, so bearing that in mind with pain gauge.¬†

WednesdayDay 13- ran all 2 ¬ĺmiles; foot has been pretty sore today, including area near the arch; did not ice yesterday, but probably will today.¬† Went slower and didn‚Äôt push at all in VFFs; Ibuprofen in pm for sinus headache yesterday, but no headache since waking; don‚Äôt know that I will add anything to the mileage tomorrow, but we‚Äôll see how foot feels. Some R heel pain, but not prohibitive.¬†

ThursdayDay 14- ran 3 in VFFs; foot a bit sore; took ibuprofen this morning for sore foot; didn’t ice yesterday but probably will today if pain persists; better with meds while running; still some arch pain???

MondayDay 15- ran 3 in VFFs; foot relatively sore, ibuprofen overnight for sore outer ankles??? Cracked a single time while running, but need more relief; don’t think I’m going to add any distance this week in VFFs; having pain while stretching in supta¬†virasana; much more L arch pain today; also noticed some soreness on the top of R foot over the weekend while wearing flip flops.¬†¬†

TuesdayDay 16- 1mile in total VFFs; only ran 1/4; did not feel I could push through the intense pain in arch; R heel pretty sore, too; cannot get this foot to crack and so it’s pretty painful; iced a bit yesterday; I haven‚Äôt had this level of pain in quite a while, and I‚Äôm not eager to try to work through it-¬†plan on taking it slower this week.¬† Will try to do a mile tomorrow in VFFs and then walk the rest of the 5, depending on how my feet feel.¬† Feeling *very* disappointed at this juncture.¬† I am *extremely* tired of pain.

Thursday Day 17- ran 3 in VFFs; foot somewhat sore so I went slower, cracked a single time while running, glad I took yesterday off even though I hadn’t planned on it; didn’t go as fast today and didn’t have as much pain.  We’ll see how it stretches out; had to do my supta virasana with warm up. 

Friday Day 18- ran 3 in VFFs; foot not as sore as yesterday, but still uncomfortable; did not crack at all; pain was not bad today, but I was *so* hot even before running that I didn’t feel like I could push it and not have a heat stroke. 

Tuesday Day 19- ran 3 in VFFs; foot not feeling flexible this morning, some mid-level pain; didn’t push real hard; plan to add ¬ľ mile this week if all goes well; upper foot feeling sore at this point.¬†¬†¬†

TuesdayDay 20- ran 3 in VFFs, foot not real sore; did my stretching first; some low-level hip pain, more L than R; R heel/foot sore this morning; only ran one day last week because I was tired and needed to take a break. 

Thursday- Day 21ran 3 1/2 in VFFs; R heel pretty sore this am; R calf still feeling run on Tuesday; feeling the top of L foot a bit. Overall much better.

Share your experience with me, and leave a comment!

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I’ve long been an Asics girl when it came to running shoes.¬† I appreciate shoes that are lightweight and breathable. That being said, I wanted to keep an open mind and see what I could find to help my foot pain issues.

What I found surprised me. After significant research and despite not having a local store to go to and try on a pair, I took the plunge and ordered my next pair of running shoes online.

Vibram Five Fingers Bikila.¬† Hobbit Feet.¬† ūüėÜ

A big selling point was getting back to a natural running strike pattern, which changes the way your feet land when you run.  Why is this a big deal? If you have plantar fasciitis like I have (in both feet, although one is worse than the other) and get tired of literally crawling on your hands and knees at times, getting relief is A Very Big Deal.

Another big selling point is that unlike traditional shoes, you don’t need to replace them after 300 miles.¬† These you can literally wear out.¬† And, you can throw them in the washing machine (air dry), which is another huge perk.

Not running has not been an acceptable solution, nor does it actually do anything for the problem.¬† I’ve taken extended breaks from running; I’ve had RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) up to my ears with no relief.¬† In fact, when the symptoms first appeared, I wasn’t doing any running (this was the onset debilitating illness symptoms) and assumed it was all disease related.¬† And it still may be.

I have moved on to treating symptoms, so finding a good running shoe for heel and foot pain was part of that natural progression. Throwing caution to the wind (it can’t get worse!), and discovering I don’t actually have a ruler in my house to measure my feet (using other methods to determine length),¬†I ordered online, hoping that my feet and toes wouldn’t be too swollen to actually get into the shoes.

One of the things I noticed while researching was a lack of good (detailed) chronicling the transition to these shoes. I wanted to know what to expect, given the disclaimers that calf muscles would need time to adjust, and to take the transition slow.¬† Everyone said so, but there was scant information as to what someone could expect-¬†really expect- when starting. If you’re still reading, feel free to check out here¬†unless you want details.¬† ūüėÄ I’m going to periodically post updates on progress.


Distance Summary: 10 days wearing shoes; 50 total miles. Total daily distance (changing shoes) : 5 miles

VFF miles: 19.25

Heel pain level: low- HUGE improvement

Other pain:¬† might have some extensor tendonitis; likely caused by pressure from the top of the shoe- read log to see when/how this cropped up. If this is extensor tendonitis, it’s not in the traditional place, but this is more likely something caused by where the shoe rests, even though I have not had a tight velcro strap.

Pain Summary: Shoe blister (ball of one foot) has resolved; heel pain minimal (best it’s been in years); watching top of foot pain which is relieved when foot cracks; stretching before, after, and throughout the day¬†is hugely helpful; is marginally tender when pressing on that spot. Still need to do a lot of stretching before supta¬†virasana is not painful; really have to ease into it with the one foot.

Conclusion:¬†Go slow.¬† Really.¬† ūüėÜ ¬†Slower speeds are better when getting used to these. Pay attention to the recommendations.¬† I did significantly more than the recommeded 10%.¬† I also run more than one day in a row, but feel that compensating with slower speeds and shorter distances are adequate, given my propensity for being barefoot much of the time anyhow long in advance of getting these shoes.¬† Honor the way you feel.


Tuesday; Day 1total 1.5 miles;¬†walked ¬ľ to warm-up-¬†felt good overall; could feel the pull in¬†R calf around 1.25; although I‚Äôve had knots in that calf off and on for thelast two weeks.¬† Felt strange changing back to shoes mid-stream.¬†(Tuesday after Memorial Day; hoping for 4 days this week depending on¬†how I feel after using these shoes.¬† Sensation getting on the treadmill was¬†pretty bizarre, but then the weirdest was going back into the other shoes¬†and finishing the workout.

Wednesday; Day 2– total 2 miles; walked ¬ľ and slower on additional ¬Ĺ mile; R calf a bit sore¬†as usual; L calf had the relatively normal shooting pain a little bit towards the end of the¬†run; not prohibitive; both heels were pretty sore last night, but not as bad¬†as they have been in the past; took Tylenol (for headache)¬†but nothing else for pain.

Blister on bottom of right foot after run- think I may have had a sock wedged in there. Legs are getting sore when not moving around. Will probably take something at bedtime just to be safe.

Some archish/top foot pain while doing supta virasana.  

Thursday; Day 3- total 3 miles; walked ¬ľ; speed better today.¬† Could feel blister on the¬†bottom of foot, but not too bad; was MUCH worse in the regular shoe.¬†¬†Dreaded putting regular shoes back on, and the R heel pain was noticeably¬†worse in Asics.¬† REALLY looking forward to not having to change shoe.

When putting VFFs on this morning, outer toes were feeling a bit numb, particular toes 4 and 5 each foot- feet are a bit more swollen today, so that might be partly why.

Monday; Day 4- total 5 miles; walked 1; slower times.  Determined blister on ball of R foot was from the shoes; no issue with it today during run.  Top of L foot; however, is pretty sore; somewhere after mile 3.  Too much too soon? Will have to wait and see how it feels as the day progresses, and tomorrow.  Plan for tomorrow is to change shoes during if there is discomfort. 

From what I have read, the TOFP is a result of either doing too much too  soon OR from a ball strike only and not having contact with the heel.  I’m going to see if I can’t change to a mid strike tomorrow or at least try flat footed and see what happens.  I will say that I have not had this little heel pain in years, so that is encouraging.  Zero calf pain since Friday; some tightness on Thursday.

Afternoon- pain remains.¬† Seems to be a bruised /very sore spot on the top of my foot, more at the base of my leg.¬† I don‚Äôt know that this is a toe thing, since they feel fine.¬† Definitely taking it easy.¬† At this point, walking at all is painful, so I don‚Äôt know if I can do anything tomorrow.¬† Boo. ūüė¶¬†Ice; stretch foot; ankle brace overnight; hurts even to wiggle my toes; extremely painful; have a really hard time walking in afternoon; completely unable to crack foot. Tuesday was better but still pretty painful. Also took Wednesday off due to pain. Foot was starting to crack again on Tuesday; more so on Wed. Stayed on ibuprofen for anti-inflammatory.

Thursday; Day 5-¬†total¬†only ¬Ĺ in VFFs due to top of foot injury L foot; moderate¬†pain throughout; wondering now if it could be where the top of the shoe¬†ends on foot; pain was less intense in regular shoe, but R heel was starting¬†to hurt since I was putting more pressure on R side.¬†

Friday; Day 6- total 1 mile in VFFs; still moderate pain in top of  L foot; taking it slower in the feet; R heel was more painful. I have to think this is some sort of muscle thing in the top of the foot, or where the shoe edge is putting pressure. Have been doing a lot of stretching on the top of foot, and it is sore and painful initially until it stretches. 

Monday; Day 7- total ran 1.5 miles in VFFs; still moderate pain in top of  L foot, although the top of foot was able to crack a few times during run; went slower so as not to delay recovery; still needing to stretch foot quite a bit all throughout the day; continue trying to go barefoot as much as possible.

Tuesday; Day 8 ‚Äď total ran all 1.25 in VFFs very slowly; stopped short because of¬†the pain in foot and transferred to other shoes; ended up with quite a considerable bit of pain and spent¬†a good bit of time in the evening icing; R heel was also quite sore today. Ibuprofen at bedtime to help with the throbbing.

Wednesday; Day 9 ‚Äď total¬†1.5 in VFFs; walked first ¬ľ; had decided yesterday not to¬†use them today, so I started slowly to see how my foot was feeling.¬†LOTS and lots of foot cracking while running; and boy, does that feel¬†good!¬† My foot has not been cracking when getting up in morning and¬†after long periods of time off of it as it usually does, so this always feel sooooo much better¬†when it cracks and settles.¬†

Thursday;¬†Day 10- total¬†2 in VFFs, pushed a wee little bit more today, so we‚Äôll see¬†how I end up feeling- 50 miles total since I got the VFFs; 19.25 miles in¬†them; foot did a bit of cracking during run,¬†which always feels so much better;¬†working on my stride so I can build on time and distance; still doing *a¬†lot* of stretching the top of the L foot; also calf stretches; more hip pain¬†after run yesterday, so back to doing more hip exercises before running;¬†feeling encouraged and can‚Äôt wait to cut loose in VFFs without having¬†pain; having to hold back and concentrate on each strike bites and I am *really* looking forward to just running and not constantly having to¬†think about it the entire time. Both feet felt good enough to get back to a 4 day running week; contemplated a fifth, but don’t want my quads to revolt.

I will give updates every 50 miles or so. Please share your experience with me, and stay tuned!

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I wish I had one.¬† Since I don’t, I keep track of my pain in other ways.

You may recall that I added more exercises specific to the hips as a means of hopefully combatting the chronic pain I’ve had there.¬† This has given me mixed results.¬† Initially, I was very optimistic.¬† I even had a whole day without the pain!¬† What I will say is that the hip pain overall has been better.¬† I don’t have the amount of intense hip pain when running.¬† Some days, I can feel the ache, but don’t have a lot of hip pain.¬† This is encouraging.

Foot pain, on the other hand, has long been an issue.¬† I’ve been paying more attention to this, since some days I can barely walk.¬† We have long considered this pain to be of the plantar¬†fasciitis¬†variety.¬† To date, this seems to be the most likely, although there are parts of this pain that don’t fit the profile.¬† I seem to have more problems in the winter when it’s colder. The high heels seem to help, sort of. I stretch every few hours during the day, etc etc.¬† This is not a constant pain, but has been sporadic for at least the last 5 years.¬†

Unlike typical plantar fasciitis, this pain *does not* go away after getting up and walking around a bit.¬† This can be a near constant, throbbing pain, regardless of whether I’m sitting down or standing up.¬† And, there are times when heel cushions in my shoes *do* help.¬† While I can press on the middle of the bottom of the heel and have sharper pain some of the time, what gets me the pain of the back of the heel.¬† Massage and compression alternately¬†feel painful and good, but¬†massage of the back of the heel can relieve some of the throbbing on occasion.¬† Basically, that whole area is bad.

What nearly brought me to knees, literally, on Tuesday was the pain in my leg.¬† While in many regards, this feels like run-of-the-mill shin splints, the sharp, shooting nerve kind of pain in the leg nearly rendered me non-weight bearing several times¬†during my run.¬† I took it easier; I didn’t run as hard or as fast, and did more walking, which was still painful, but bearable.¬† I wrapped and elevated until evening, when the throbbing and shooting¬†pain was too much, and I took some ibuprofen.¬† Twice.¬† This allowed me to sleep, and the pain in my leg and feet was not as bad.¬† Normally, I wake up and before getting out of bed, the feet are throbbing. I do several minutes of feet stretches in bed, knowing it’s going to bite when I put my feet on the floor.

I’m keeping my eye on this.¬† My debate is whether to exercise at all tomorrow, or, given another snow day, to just keep my feet up and knit.¬† I am leaning towards knitting.¬†ūüėÄ At the very least, I’ll just walk unless things feel really good, and I’ll wrap and wear my ankle brace.¬† I am not ruling out an issue with my Achilles tendon. In many ways, given the leg pain, this seems to be something that could be likely in the heel, if not the calf, since my pain is more the front of the leg.¬† If¬†an issue with my Achilles tendon¬†is the problem, the help (wearing heels)¬†for plantar fasciitis¬†is contraindicated, so what to do with that?

In the back of my mind, since I have had the feet pain for so many years, I have to wonder if it’s related to the whole body issue, and is a symptom of that?

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of pain!¬† When you have issues with pain, it is hard not to have it consume you.¬† Pain is physically and emotionally draining, to say the least.¬† Maybe I don’t need a painometer¬†– maybe I just need consistent relief!¬† I had really hoped the heavy-duty anti-inflammatory I am taking now would have helped something.¬†

If anyone reading has experience with this kind of pain, feel free to share!

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