On October 26, 2009 I initiated here a very deliberate effort to cure my Plantar Fasciitis, get out of orthotics and motion control shoes, and learn The Pose Method of running. I also committed to provide weekly updates on the details of that effort. I did so because when I searched for first-hand experiences for someone doing what I wanted to do I couldn’t really find any. I decided to be “an experiment of one” as they say.
I’ve concluded it’s time to formally close this chapter of my effort to get back to running. The Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is 99% gone. I say 99% because I do have some minor residual pain. If I overdue it I can tell – and it might take 1-2 days of reduced activity to get things back to normal. I’m nowhere near the pain level or mental stress I had 18 months ago. My daily focus is not PF but rather strengthening exercises, Pose drills and plans to increase my running time.
As of January 20, 2010 my orthotics are history. For a number of weeks prior to that time I’d slowly been building up my barefoot time. Then, what started out one morning as an experiment to see how long I could go without them turned into the first day of no-orthotic freedom in 10 years. On February 4, 2010 I wore my motion control shoes for the last time. My Onitsuka Tiger Mexico 66 retro shoes not only enable me to wear a low-heeled, minimally-padded shoe all the time, my 14-year-old thinks Dad is pretty hip because his shoes are “awesome”. I worked with a Pose coach (Jeremy Huffman) to learn the fundamentals of Pose and also learn how to become my own Pose coach and critic. I can’t approach the quality of input the Pose-certified coaches on the Pose forum provide, but the bottom line is I think I know enough to be dangerous and guide myself in my efforts to be a better Pose runner.
The next phase in my effort to get back to a 25-30 mpw running volume is to keep using what I’ve learned, refine my Pose techniques, and increase my body’s ability to handle more and more activity. Watching paint dry would be infinitely more exciting than reading detailed weekly accounts of my efforts to increase my mileage. Therefore, I won’t be providing regular updates on my mileage ramp-up per se. I’ll continue to use this space to offer ramblings about various running topics that grab my fancy. If something interesting occurs in my ramp-up that will get reported on as well.
If you’ve been here before – thanks for reading and also for coming back. My hope is that people who are dealing with foot injuries and/or want to get out of their clunky shoes or orthotics might learn how they can approach the process based on the experiences I’ve had.
If you’re able to run as you want and are injury free – never take for granted the fact that you can. If you’re injured and want to return to running – never give up the fight to accomplish that goal. I think we often forget a concept that I saw written on a bulletin board a long time ago: Running is a privilege.
P.S.: If you’re reading this posting out of the archives and are interested in understanding some of the details associated with what and how I went through the PF –> minimalist shoe transition the following articles represent the key milestones of the journey.