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Inserts and Monster Balls

March 6, 2012

Hahahahahahaha. Did the title make anyone else giggle? No one? Okay, I guess I’m like a 12 year old boy.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned a few times over the past week that my heel has really been hurting me. I’m pretty sure it’s plantar fasciitis, and many of of you suggested getting inserts for my shoes or getting new shoes all together.

photo 2

I really didn’t feel like my shoes were worn down at all, but I decided to head to Fleet Feet in Chicago to talk to someone about getting some new shoes. I’ve been here a couple times before, once pre-blog for a pair of shoes, and then right when I started my blog for another new pair , and was never very impressed by the help I received. I always felt like the people helping me were new or didn’t really know enough about the shoes and running to meet the expectations I had of this store.

However, this time the salesman helping me literally blew me out of the water. He realized right away that my shoes were not the issue, he said they had plenty of wear left in them. He then proceeded to talk to me all about the pain in my foot and then explained Plantar Fasciitis to me as well as how helpful the inserts would be. The amount of time and effort he took was incredibly impressive.

He had me stand on a couple inserts and then put the one that felt the best into one of my shoes and had me jog to see the difference. It was really impressive! Another thing I didn’t know? My shoe has removable inserts in it already… I had no idea the bottom of my shoe came out. Anyone else? Try it. I was shocked when he pulled it out to put  the new insert in, I just thought it went on top!

They also formed the inserts to fit into my shoe, and surprisingly said that if they don’t workout then I can return them! I love hearing that.

He also gave me another method of helping my heel. After explaining what happens to the muscle throughout the day, he said using this ball and massaging the bottom of my foot would help loosen up my muscles. He recommended using it before and after runs, and sometimes in the morning as well.

photo 3

I call it my “monster ball” because of how it looks! Like a tiny monster! Or a cartoon version of some kind of virus. I prefer monster ball. I was impressed with it and had to get it too! Only $5!


As for my foot, there’s not a lot of change. Which is good/bad. Bad because I want to be all better, but good because I ran 2 miles on the treadmill with my new inserts and it’s not any worse! Silver lining…

I would like to note that I was able to finish day 1 of Bootcamp yesterday within my time limit! I mentioned yesterday that I was worried about it, but luckily it worked out!

I only ran a mile because my foot started bothering me and then elliptical-ed for 5 minutes instead of 10, but I managed to get through the workout with just enough time for a quick stretch before heading home to get ready to school. I also LOVED the workout! Several of the moves were a lot tougher than I thought they would be, especially doing a split lung with dumbells and your front foot on the round side of a bosu ball! Sounds easy? Try it!


Do you have any cool tools like the “monster ball” that you recommend?

What’s a tough circuit move that you love to do?

26 Comments leave one →
  1. fitandfuninthird permalink
    March 6, 2012 8:06 am

    I have plantar fisciitis too and once I got the inserts it helped a TON! Also, make sure to stretch out your calves a lot, it didn’t make much sense to me in the beginning, but all those muscles down there are very connected, and that seemed to help me a lot! Good luck!

    • March 6, 2012 10:19 am

      I’ve been told to stretch my calves and I realized that they are always really tight! I think that’s a big part of my issue!

  2. March 6, 2012 8:52 am

    I went to Fleet Feet back home in NY when I started running seriously. I feel like it is sort of a toss up when it comes to the sort of salesperson you get. Some are SUPER knowledgeable, and some not quite as much. The first person that fit me for shoes, watched me run on the treadmill, analyzed my gait was phenom! The second person I saw when I went back 3 years later to get re-evaluated was not as great. Glad that you’re starting to figure out your foot issues!

    • March 6, 2012 10:19 am

      It’s definitely a hit or miss kind of place! Haha one time I wanted to ask to talk to someone else, but didn’t want to be rude…

  3. March 6, 2012 9:15 am

    I have a love/hate relationship with Fleetfeet. Sometimes my experience there has been great and other times not so good.

    On the heel note, I went to an amazing podiatrist/sports medicine specialist in River North last night. She actually worked for the 1996 Olympics and was amazing. Within an hour she’d diagnosed my foot problems and helped me create a new marathon training plan. Amazing! Let me know if you want her information, I can’t get over how great she was!

  4. March 6, 2012 10:16 am

    i need to get one of those “monster balls” as you call it! 😉 i’ve seen them around, and i definitely think it’d help my foot issues. i’m glad you had better success this time around at the running store!

  5. March 6, 2012 12:34 pm

    Yes those lunges on the Bosu are hard stuff!!

    Sorry to hear about the plantar fascitis, but that’s awesome he knew how to help! Another thing, if you sleep on your tummy, that could be a part of the issue. When you sleep like that with your toes pointed downward, it shortens the achilles tendon and can cause pain (and eventual fascitis–sp?). Try sleeping on your side or keep your foot off the side of the bed. Sounds crazy, but my dad (a surgeon and smartest guy EVER) had it and that’s what he did. TOtally helped him. Just a thought! Have a lovely day!

  6. March 6, 2012 1:10 pm

    I did lunges on the busu ball yesterday and they were no joke! You really have to engage your core.

    • March 6, 2012 1:23 pm

      I know! And My legs were shaking like crazy! Haha I actually fell over once (don’t worry, I caught myself)

  7. Tracey L. permalink
    March 6, 2012 1:51 pm

    I saw the brand name on the “monster ball” so I just went to Amazon and ordered one! So excited. I have tons of foot problems and just got an injection today, as a matter of fact. Glad I saw this post. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • March 6, 2012 2:01 pm

      I love the ball, I hope you enjoy it too! I keep it under my desk and use it whenever I’m sitting here. I hope your foot problems get resolved!

  8. March 6, 2012 2:04 pm

    So I saw your post on CNC and I thought, oh, that’s a cute blog name – let me check it out. Then I saw you went to CoC!!! I live in Greenville, SC and went to Clemson.

    Are you from SC or that’s just your college of choice??? I am excited to follow your blog!

    • March 6, 2012 9:52 pm

      I’m actually from Kansas City, MO and I went to CofC for their marine biology program. I LOVED SC and I miss it so much! I’m actually going back on Friday for a friend’s wedding in Newberry! She’s a big Clemson fan…

  9. March 6, 2012 2:06 pm

    I love when you can find a salesman who is actually looking out for you, not just for a high price sale! What a nice man! haha
    That does look like a little “monster ball” hahaha Yes I must be a 12 yr old boy as well…
    Hope it all helps cure you foot! 🙂

    • March 6, 2012 9:53 pm

      He was so nice, I was surprised too that he spent so much time when I was just buying inserts!

  10. Ashley permalink
    March 6, 2012 2:50 pm

    Every winter I my PF acts up really bad. Last year I had to go for a series of shots to help. There’s a foot rocker that will really stretch out your calves and that’s what made mine feel 1000x better! There’s also a crazy boot you can wear when you’re sitting around watching tv or studying that pulls your foot back to stretch the muscles but it’s more annoying haha. I use the rocker(it looks like a shoe sizer that’s mounted on a plastic letter C if that helps you visualize it at all haha) up against a wall and drop my heel back rotating having a bent and straight leg to get a different stretch. best thing ever!!! Keep stretching it’ll help! I might need to check out that ball too lol!

  11. March 6, 2012 9:54 pm

    Hope your heel is feeling better ASAP!

  12. March 6, 2012 11:24 pm

    You should probably go see a physical therapist right away! You don’t want to end up like me. I’ve had plantar fasciitis as well as Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome for almost two years. I’m now completely disabled (with a handicapped plate and everything) and sometimes I have to use a cane. I can’t use the treadmill or the elliptical anymore, and I had to quit my job because I can’t stand on my feet like a normal person anymore.

    I’m hoping that what you have doesn’t end up as severe as I my problem is now. It’s important to treat it fast – I waited too long and this is what happened! I really hope you feel better soon!!

    • March 7, 2012 11:47 am

      oh my gosh! Okay now I want to see a doctor ASAP! I’m so sorry to hear that happened to you!

  13. Tt in nyc permalink
    March 8, 2012 10:46 pm

    I had planters fascitis realllllyyyyyyreaaaally badly. I live in nyc and have to walk. A lot. I would cry in pain first thing in the morning. The podiatrist was useless. Physical therapy made it hurt more. Acupuncture healed me. I went to acupuncture twice a week for a month, with rapid improvement, and the second month once a week, and since then once a month. Running is going to make it much worse quickly tho….. Hope u look intoacupuncture

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