The Cost of The Cure

As you know, I usually try to be frugal and cost-conscious. We are in the process off paying of all our debt and I want every penny to go towards that, rather than incurring more debt.

However, frustration can be the enemy of thriftiness. In the past week, I have purchased three pairs of very expensive running shoes, two rolls of expensive kinesio tape, a spiky reflexology massage ball, and a 30-day membership at the facility where I have physical therapy. All to desperately try to heal my plantar fasciitis.

First, let me say that, yes, I have been to the doctor. He did an x-ray to make sure that nothing was torn or broken, diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis, and gave me a super-painful cortizone shot in my heel. The next day, my foot felt great! No pain at all. The day after that the pain returned.

The treatment for plantar fasciitis is stretching, ice, massage, and rest. No wearing high heels (as if!), no running (whaaaa!). Orthotics with arch support and heel cushioning can be helpful. I had already tried some inserts with cushioning and a little arch support in my New Balance “walking around” shoes. It had helped some, but not much.

The other time that I had plantar fasciitis, I got quite a bit of relief wearing Vibram Fivefingers. The Vibrams helped my foot stretch and flex naturally as I walked, and within two weeks, the pain was gone. However, that time, the pain was in my arch. This time is was in my heel.

What I needed, I decided, was a pair of zero-drop shoes (like Vibrams) that had cushioning, and preferably a wide midsole, since I overpronate severely in my injured foot. A little internet research revealed the Altra Torin 2.0 running shoes.

altra torin 2.0

Zero drop? Check! Wide midfoot? Check? Super cushioned? Check! Super lightweight? Check! Perry the Platypus color scheme?

perry the platypus

Check! Done, and done! I purchased a pair online and they arrived Monday.

After wearing these shoes all week, I will say that these are easily the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned. Perfect for walking around, standing, etc. However, when I took them for a short run, they just didn’t do it for me. They weren’t springy enough or something. I felt like I was slogging through mud. However, that did NOT decrease my enthusiasm for these shoes. After wearing the Altras this week, my foot seems to be starting to feel better. The shoes cushion my foot, but also allow it to move naturally with the shoe, stretching and flexing and properly pronating. I will definitely continue to wear these while my foot heals, and any time that I will be walking a lot.

Cost? $120 plus tax.

During my time off from running, I have been reading a LOT of books … about running. Of course, I read Born To Run by Chris McDougall AGAIN. This is EASILY one of my favorites books of all time. I own it and re-read it about once a year.

I read Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run again as well. Also, an incredible book which, in addition to the amazing running stories and tips, has lots of recipes! I can’t recommend these two books enough.

I also read a couple of books by ultrarunner Dean Karnazes. And I’m now reading a book called Marathoning for Mortals. I have a book on order called Meditations from The Breakdown Lane which I can’t wait to get into, and a stack of books from the library as well.

After reading Born To Run for the seventeenth time, I decided that I might like to try trail running. I figured that it would be easier on body than pounding out all my miles on concrete and asphalt. So last Sunday, Steve and I went for a short trail run over at Warner Parks. We ran about two miles and I was instantly hooked. Which brings me to pair of running shoes Numero Dos.


The Brooks Cascadia 10 trail running shoes in bluebird blue! One evening mid-week, Steve and I hit REI looking for trail running shoes. When I tried these on, my feet said, “Aahhhh!” After trotting around the store for about half an hour in them, I was sold. I haven’t had a chance to hit the trail in them yet – we plan to head back to Edwin Warner park on Sunday for a jaunt on the 2.5 mile Harpeth Woods loop. So excited – eeeeee!

Cost? $120 plus tax.

But I still needed some regular running shoes to replace the ones that I got injured in. We went to Fleet Feet but I didn’t find anything there that I liked. I did purchase a spiky reflexology ball to replace the tennis ball that I have been using to massage my foot. Excellent purchase, by the way.

I did a little online research the next day and found a few styles of New Balance running shoes that I thought might work. I really like New Balance shoes, though normally they are too narrow through the midfoot for my weird little feet. But these looked promising, so Friday we hit the New Balance store. After trying on several different pairs of shoes, with and without inserts, I decided on the 1260v5 style.

Photo from Running Warehouse

The shoes are considered a stability shoe, are nicely cushioned, have a wide midfoot and spacious toe box, and felt nice and springy when I trotted up and down the sidewalk outside the store.

Cost? $150 plus tax.

I will get a chance to test the New Balance shoes tonight – we signed up for the Glo Run 5K four months ago and I don’t intend to miss it! Even though it is insanely humid and will be about 90 degrees at race time, we still plan to participate. I mean, running through the dark surrounded by glow-in-the-dark animals and decorations? Yes, please!

Of course, the cost of all these things went on a credit card, since I don’t have $500 just lying around. But I am hoping that the right shoes will help my foot heal quicker, and get me back into running quicker as well. Wearing the Altras really does seem to have helped so far, so hopefully I will continue to improve. I have a feeling that I won’t be logging major miles for a while, but hopefully I will be able to get a few miles in with a mixture of trail running and short runs on the road, now that I have the proper shoes.

2 thoughts on “The Cost of The Cure”

  • Hello,
    Hope it heals or gets better. I have Planter Fasciitis also. Had two surgeries and they came back each time. Luckily, it’s not something that ever hurts. Hope your gets better. Lisa

    • Thank you. It seems to get a little better, and then I will aggravate it again. But at least I am not limping all over the place any more!

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