I have scoured the interwebs with information about plantar fasciitis and have found zero consensus. Probably the most fruitful discovery was that PF is often called "the vampire bite" of running. I suppose, like a vampire's bite, there is no quick and/or easy solution - at least not for most people. I've read dozens of sites, half of which advocate minimalist running shoes or barefoot running, the other half advising a shoe with more stability. Some people have success with PT, some don't. For myself, I have yet to go the PT route, but am using a tennis ball (thanks ChezJulie!) to stretch/work the foot muscles. I also invested in the Strassburg Sock and try to wear it when I'm hanging around the house after work, over the weekend and to also sleep with it at night. I still suspect that my running shoes are the culprit - or partly - so I did go out and buy new shoes (which I can't wear yet!). Finally, I've forked over money for two ART sessions (active release technique), and that has helped, but I'm not yet convinced that it is worth the money.
In the meantime, I'm trying to be patient and look at this episode as a reason to take a break from running, with the hope that I'll be able to bounce back fairly soon. I had considered some sort of a race in February - a trail race or a speedy-for-me half-marathon - but I've reconsidered that thought because I don't want to force the issue. Not running has brought me back to the pool, which is never a bad thing, and although I'm not as dedicated as I would like to be, I've had several nice early morning swims and have amped up my yards a bit. It's also been nice to opt for some lazy weekends, as much as I like getting out and doing 'stuff'. Today, I chose baking pumpkin bread over swimming, and I can definitely live with that decision! Ideally, I'd like to return to running in January, but if not, I'll continue to focus on swimming and might reacquaint myself with my bike saddle. Ooh, such a concept!
It hasn't been TERRIBLE not running. Not yet. Ask me in another month, but for now, my quality of life hasn't suffered, even though I miss the ease and convenience of walking out the door to do a loop around the neighborhood. I do hope that the PF won't interfere with skiing as, for the short-term, that is more important to me than running. I'd rather be able to ski in Colorado in just a few weeks and again Mammoth in January than run right now!
Come February and March, I'll have a dramatically different take on the situation if it hasn't been remedied in one way or another, and you might find me in both minimalist and crazy maximalist shoes, in a desperate attempt to heal.