About a week and a half ago I decided to take a week or two off running because I was having a problem with the bottom of my feet hurting.  I figured it was partly because my shoes I wear all the time are crazy uncomfortable even though they’re almost flat sandals, and partly because when I ran with my kids for their Couch to 5K I was jumping and fooling around instead of thinking about my running – not my brightest but not my dumbest moment ever.

Unfortunately although it has got better it hasn’t totally gone away, and I’ve found that just going hiking with the dogs made it worse, it isn’t just the running. Great.  So what to do?  Once again I got used to running 3 miles and then got derailed. Not by much and not for long but still. There are people who start running and then do a marathon that year, so why am I still not even running a 10K? I’m not motivated enough, not dedicated enough, most of the time I think I just don’t care enough to push through things to do better.  Except that if I didn’t care I wouldn’t be so frustrated about the whole thing.

This is the first year that I’ve run with any kind of consistency but I’m still not anywhere near where I want to be.  I don’t have grand plans for a marathon or even a half but I would like to at least work my way up to a 10K and I would like to somehow learn to push myself at least a little instead of backing off as soon as something looks like it might be getting hard.

Tonight I wasn’t feeling good physically OR mentally but I felt like going for a short run.  I didn’t want to run barefoot because I didn’t feel up to paying attention to what I was doing – where I was stepping, how my form was, or anything else. So for the first time this year I put on my old running shoes, put in both earphones to blast some metal and went out for a very short, very not paying attention to anything run.  Good thing I didn’t run across any snakes because I wouldn’t have seen it until it bit me. Not something I would make a habit of but it was kind of nice. Of course I started off way to fast and immediately tired myself out, but whatever. It was one of those nights.

You know the funny thing?  My boyfriend got me a book on barefoot running for Christmas that I’ve been reading. And as a result on my first shoe-ed run of the year I figured out a major piece of my barefoot running form that I’ve been doing wrong. The book mentioned the fact that part of running lightly is not picking your feet up higher than you need to – therefore coming down lighter on your feet. I already knew that but it seems I hadn’t thought about it in a while.  I realized that while I’ve been concentrating on cadence, bending my knees and lifting my feet I’ve been over exaggerating that lift and almost been running like I was doing a high knee exercise.  Not really to that extent, but I’ve definitely gotten in the habit of picking my feet up much higher than I used to while concentrating on the other parts of my form. Somehow or another ignoring my running form made me realize a major piece that I’ve been doing wrong.  Kind of funny really.

Anyways I still don’t know exactly what to think about my running.  I feel like I need a goal or some kind of plan but I don’t know what I want to do.  Run further? Just run stronger? Run more often? Definitely more often but that doesn’t sounds like a very exciting goal.

Do you have any running goals for 2014? How did you decide what you want to do?