OK. I know I'm back into the running thing when I think to myself, "Well, that was a pleasant little five-miler."
I've been running regularly for several weeks now (after my winter / post-half-marathon / weird-hip-pain break). I've run a few times in sub-freezing temps, in bitingly cold wind, in the beginnings of snow, and I've ran more miles than I could stand on the (yawn) treadmill. My runs kept getting knocked out of the priority list this past week, though, which was very frustrating because the weather has been gorgeous.
So yesterday, I finally ran. I was supposed to meet my sister and brother at 3:00 but called and told them I wouldn't be there until 4:30. I needed to run.
So I ran five miles. I don't know what my pace was, and I didn't care. Probably 10:00 or something like that, since I finished about ten minutes before the hour-long Steve Runner podcast I was listening to.
I felt great afterward, but I also wished I could have run farther. I'm ready (mentally, not physically) to run those slow 15- and 16-milers again. I only did a few of them before, but I can't begin to articulate how much I loved running them.
I don't know if I'll do any races soon, other than the very local ones this spring. I'm still following a kind of training schedule, with speed intervals and such, but mostly because they seem to make it easier and more natural to run faster.
Right now my focus in running is to just enjoy "training," to stay strong, and to build myself up enough to be able to enjoy the meditative aspects of those wonderful long runs again.