Tough Race Report With Further Thoughts On Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain And Plant-Based Vegan Nutrition

Joseph and Duck Dynasty

Joseph, next-door neighbor to my campsite at the OBX Half Ironman, told me all about Duck Dynasty, of which I was completely unaware. Interesting man. Photo by FitOldDog, with permission.

FitOlddog's Campsite on the way to the OBX 2015 Half Ironman race.

Campsite on the way to the OBX 2015 Half Ironman race. Vegan cooking in a campsite works really well, as you don’t have the problem of keeping milk and meat unspoiled. Veggies and fruit are generally easier to maintain.

If you’ve ever had plantar fasciitis, you’ll be aware that it can always come back if you are not careful. That said, you can make plantar fasciitis heel pain go away again, if you know how.

My training plan for Ironman Western Australia (December 6th, 2015) includes a number of key races, as indictors of where I need to focus my attention. One such race was the 2015 OBX Half Ironman, last weekend.

It was also my second plant-based race as a neophyte vegan, so I was interested to see how my nutrition went. I cooked vegan meals along the way, and the only non-vegan activity was my consumption of Honey Stinger Waffles on the bike – ‘real’ vegans don’t eat honey, apparently. I’m yet to embrace the logic of this, but I might yet, as I morph more and more into a vegan animal rights advocate. My plant-based diet served me well, and I had no stomach or GI issues during the race.

Best defense against sports injuries is your mind.

I did, however, feel plantar fasciitis rear it’s ugly head for the first 6 miles of the run. Interestingly, this pain was on the lateral edge of my left foot, and it clearly originated from a tight lateral glut muscle on that side, along with tightness in my left lateral hamstring and calf. A quick hamstring stretch would eliminate the pain, but only briefly. So, I focused on activating my arches, engaging my ‘inner lines,’ and gradually the plantar fasciitis burn receded and disappeared.

This is what FitOldDog’s Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Roadmap is all about – a dynamic treatment for a dynamic condition.

My plantar fasciitis pain, or burn, was in region 4 on the map below, which we’ve found to be characteristic of tightness or misalignment in the hips. Boy, did I have a tight lateral glut on the left side – went too hard on the bike, 3 days previously. No fool like an old fool!

Plantar fasciitis distribution

The OBX half-Ironman is a small race (~400 athletes, I would guess), but a good one, with friendly, helpful volunteers and a great venue. I was one of the oldest athletes in the race, if not the oldest, so I was at the back of the pack on the bike and the run. What family thinks of me being vegan.This is where you meet the greatest people, who just want to finish, often this being their first half Ironman. I was finally running relaxed, but tired, 2.5 miles from the end of the course, when a truck pulls alongside, and the friendly driver, Matthew, says that the race has been pulled (closed) early, due to severe storms. It was true, massive lighting was all around, but what fun to run in the rain. When I returned to my campsite, about 2/3 of the tents had collapsed – mine had a slightly bent pole, but was still dry inside. It’s a great tent or I was just lucky!

What did I learn from this raceSwim was fun, in 2-foot waves, but then I’m a swimmer. Bike was very tough due to high winds, which burned out my legs, making it very difficult to get going on the run – UNDERTRAINED ON THE BIKE. Run was fine, except for the residue of post-bike leg tiredness (I’m no runner). Furthermore, other people pulled off of the course were so upset, with lots of tears – the Buddha is right, attachment comes with suffering – I was just delighted to stop running and go eat (Vegan!), as this was a training race as far as I was concerned.

Response to lessons learned – more strength training for the bike, in the weight room and higher wattages on the bike trainer, combined with plenty of 50 to 80-mile endurance rides. Plus lots of short runs, some longer runs (which will include the Myrtle Beach Half-Marathon and the OBX Marathon) before I start to taper, and we leave for Australia in December.

Life is good at the back of the pack.

PS I also rescued a turtle on the way to the race, and another during the race (a beautiful box turtle, at mile-50 on the bike).

Please slow down to save the animals.



  1. Thanks for the great tips on curing Plantar Fasciitis, You open my eyes to new ideas. Here is another article i think your readers might enjoy Also i commend you for wanting to finish your race. I truly believe you will meet the greatest of people at the end of the race, because they are determined to finished. That is one of the statments in this article that will always stick with me, thanks for the great content and i will continue to visit you fb page .. thanks!

    • Hi Kimberly,
      I appreciate your comment.
      What a fascinating condition this is – the real issue is how to persuade people to do a little work, and sleuthing. I’m pretty sure I understand it, but I’ve written all I plan to write, at least for a while. I help people when they approach me. Otherwise, my focus has shifted to animal rights/climate change, and Ironman training of course. I just had dry needling for that chronically tight hip (gluteus minimus), so lets see what that has to say.
      Kind Regards,
      Kevin aka FitOldDog

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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.