I had a similar incident when I ran out of fuel returning from my first Minmus landing. My periapsis was stuck at 1000km, so I sent a Kerbal out on EVA and got him to push the capsule with his jetpack until I got it down to 30km, then let atmospheric drag bring the capsule home. Silly, but it worked. I'm still hoping that it was a mistake and re-entry heat will be returned to its former state. It seems like the nerf may have been an unintended consequence of increasing atmospheric drag in the latest patch, then the devs went on holiday for over a week. They've returned this week and said they are working on a another patch, so hopefully re-entry heat will be addressed by that.