Not Born To Run: A year in the life of ultra-running in 20 slides

Or, how I ended up wearing hurache sandals next to Silvino Cubesare Quimare.

In case you missed it, here’s the slideshow I presented for the Mount Desert Island Pecha Kucha event at the Bar Harbor Inn on March 19, 2014.


I’m still nursing a pretty serious bout of plantar fasciitis in my right foot, so I’m trying to figure out what fun trail endeavors will be possible this year. In the mean time, I’m open to any and all original advice on how to heal my heel. (I’m a barefoot runner, please don’t tell me to run barefoot, I wear all kinds of shoes and they only makes things worse, I’m a yogi and my calves and hamstrings are super loose, I eat well and I’ve spent the last five months strengthening my gluteus, adductors and outer shins)

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8 Comments on “Not Born To Run: A year in the life of ultra-running in 20 slides

  1. I’ve had bad plantar fasciitis in the past and for whatever reason, doing lots of calf raises has been the only thing to help.

    • Thanks Bob, just yesterday I was doing calf raises while in down dog and it felt oddly helpful. Toning and lifting my arch in and up feels very therapeutic.

  2. Hi-
    I like the whole vibe here. All of it. I had a bout. I rolled up a towel and ran it under my toes, pulling back with arms. Heel inserts. Rice. Glad you’re here. Best.

  3. I had plantar f. when we were at UVM and the chiropractor you recommended helped me. I remember him cracking my feet with some kind of tool. It also helped me to roll out the knots in my feet with a foot wheel that was very painful. Good luck!

  4. Tess- I remember it well. That same chiropractor almost permanently injured my wrist with the same tool! Even so, I am the queen of rolling my feet, I have a half dozen balls of different sizes and textures, but I find working the fascia with my thumbs to be the most effective in this case – definitely lots of scar tissue in there, seems like more than there was this fall when I had the original injury, which is weird?

  5. Hi Charlotte,
    I hope your foot is healing well. If you have a lot of scar tissue in the arch of your foot, know that those tendons are not super flexible and will be pulling improperly on everything attached to it, including the fascia of the heel. I do find, like you, that manually working these tendons (think cross-friction for increased blood flow) is better than using balls. A lot of cold will also calm the inflammation (roll your foot over a frozen water bottle), maybe even consider the use of topical anti-inflammatories such as arnica (although I have not used it for this purpose, I just know what you are trying to do is reduce the inflammation). It would make sense that there is increased scar tissue in the tendons now vs. when the injury initially happened, as scar tissue forms over time in response to injury and plantar fasciitis is a problem of chronic inflammation. I could say more, specifically related to the biomechanics of why eccentrics are helping you (on that note, you might be doing your heel lifts over the edge of a step and make sure you lower slowly below the level of the step, mind the alignment of your achilles as you do so) and also some info on lymphatics..you can email me if you find any of this helpful. Best to you!

    • Thanks for this. It is my understanding that plantar fasciitis is not necessarily accompanied by inflammation – tissue samples show necrosis, hence the newish term fasciosis (and tendenosis or tendonopathy). Rolling with several different balls was working for a while but now just makes things worse. The acute pain on the bottom of my heel is much better than it was a few months ago but the pain has increased (though it is more diffuse) around the edges of my heal and achilles tendon (which doesn’t hurt at all anymore). It’s almost as if the plantar muscles/connective tissue of my foot are weak and tired all the time. As if chronically overtaxed. Which would lead me to think my ankle/knee/hip alignment is adding stress, which of course it is, but it has ALWAYS been. I’ve always run with nearly 25% more weight on my right side (because of the hip dysplacia on the left). I am frustrated that suddenly, after 5 years of running barefoot with slowly improving form and definitely stronger glutes and adductors (and really strong flexible feet) the straw has finally broken the camel’s hoof.

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