The Story Behind FitOldDog’s Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Roadmap

FitOldDog’s Chronic Plantar Fasciitis Story

FitOldDog with Rebecca, his body movement teacher.

Rebecca laughed when I told her I had plantar fasciitis again. She said it is a great opportunity – little did I know how right she was. I’ve learned a bunch and I still am learning. Fascinating condition.


FitOldDog finishing the Lake Placid Ironman 2011, first in the world with an AAA stent graft.

First in the world with an AAA stent graft, at age 67 (or was it 68?). Click image for video of my finish, with which I am still pleased. Can we do it again?

About seven years ago, I was training for the Lake Placid Ironman. All was going well. I awoke one fine morning. Stepped onto the floor. I thought I had a glass spike in my heel.

A stabbing knife in my heel!

I sat back down, somewhat surprised.

I was training pretty hard, it’s true. But I didn’t have the usual symptoms of overtraining. You know! Short temper. Unable to sleep! What was this thing? At first, I thought that I’d bruised my heel. That didn’t feel right, though. Oh! No! Not plantar fasciitis. I’d heard of this condition, but never suffered from it.

Finishing 2014 Eagleman pissed

Another race ruined by foot pain.

Having a condition oneself makes it more personal. More real! Not something that happens to other people! That’s how it was with my first bout of so-called plantar fasciitis (don’t get me started on the name – it’s way off base).

I tried all sorts of advertised, and expensive, treatments. Boot. Tape. Didn’t work. Frozen water-bottle roller. No luck! Pain killers. To no avail. It was always worse in the morning. Or after sitting for some time. I tried shoe inserts, including heel and arch supports. Different shoes, and a range of running styles.

Running made it much worse. I visited chiropractors, sports physicians, a podiatrist (including a clueless and somewhat inebriated one). I moved onto acupuncture, massage, and sports massage (ouch!).


My eldest son, Nick, said, “Dad, why don’t you try a roller?

FitOldDog with his rollers.I bought one. Used it for several weeks on my tight calves, along with lot of hamstring stretching. The plantar fasciitis melted away. This led to the creation of our first ebook.

Pain gone in about a week! No more morning heel pain, for several years to come. I wondered whether overtraining had induced the condition. So I backed off a bit. I never did know the answer.

Finding the cause of plantar fasciitis is such a pain. It comes! It goes! But why? It can be both induced and cured by intense exercise, or even pregnancy. Weird! All diseases are weird, until you understand them.


I qualified for the World Half Ironman Championships, in Las Vegas, 2013. By winning my age-group (65-69) in a local race. Off we went to Las Vegas, to have some fun. Which we did, except for one thing.

FitOldDog at World's Half Ironman

Cath and Frits, great athletes and great supporters at the 2013 Worlds Half Ironman Championships in Las Vegas.

At mile 26 on the bike course, CRASH. A young man rode into the back of me. Blood and bikes all over the road. He was out of the race, with a broken pedal and a damaged knee. I was bleeding profusely from my right hand. I finished the race, all bandaged up, and we went on to enjoy the town.

Unbeknownst to me, three, yes, three, things happened to me during that bike wreck.

1. Torn up hand. Since then, I always wear bike gloves in races. Even though it costs a minute in transition.

2. Dislocated abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft. The left arm, in the common iliac artery, came loose. I’m lucky to be alive. A few months later, after finding the problem in a routine ultrasound. I headed for my second aortic surgery. Once again, saved by a great surgical team.

FitOldDog's first paperback, Aortic Disease From The Patient's Perspective,' and the stent graft that permitted it.

FitOldDog’s first paperback, and the stent graft that kept him alive to write it. Lucky SOB!

3. Subluxated pelvis. My hips thrown out of line. I had no idea, anymore than I was aware of the dislocated stent graft.

My Ironman training resumed, the following spring. But I couldn’t run! My right calf and left hip would lock up. Within a few hundred yards of running. Walk and it went away. This continued for a year or more, despite my best efforts to fix the problem.

I put arch supports back in my running shoes. In a frustrated attempt to loosen my calf. Completed a couple of easy miles, stretching my right calf and left hip every few hundred yards. As usual!

The next day? You guessed it!



Was it due to the arch supports? Occam’s Razor says, “Yes!” Who knows? Removing them again, didn’t fix the problem.

FitOldDog's plantar fasciitis research results graphTo cut a long story short! A great Osteopath put my pelvis back in line. Roller work with lots of stretching. Followed by many single leg calf raises. As recommended in our first plantar fasciitis treatment e-book, by the way. Experiments with the ASTRO, that demonstrated the importance of arch activation. Finally, my second case of plantar fasciitis dissolved away. You think it will never go, and then it does!

As of this writing, and after dry needling to loosen up my gluteus minimus, I’m back in Ironman training. Heel pain-free!


FitOldDog is running again.

This experience was educational. It led to our ‘hypothesis of plantar fasciitis pathogenesis (cause of the disease).’ Described in detail in blog posts, and FitOldDog’s Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Roadmap.

It would appear that no two cases of plantar fasciitis are the same.

It’s a progressive disease.

The sooner you fix it the better.

You are the best person to fix it, with appropriate help.


Wishing you happy trails.


Understanding and curing plantar fasciitis

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.