I have, in fact, been running a bit. In a rather casual fashion where I head out to Bent Creek and run around as much as seems appealing/appropriate, and then head home until another window of opportunity presents itself. Which is usually 2 or 3 days later. So you can see I have not exactly been on anything that anyone could even vaguely call a plan.
My meandering runs have made it up to about an hour in length, but they have not been fast. At all. They have, however, sometimes been quite steep. I figure that has to count for something, right?? Surely if your heart feels like you're running mile repeats, then maybe some other parts of your body actually think you're running mile repeats too?
Except then I met up with Kelly a couple of weeks ago, and we were jogging along on the dead flat path by the creek, and I was thinking "wow, this is a lot faster than I've been running, this feels like a bit of effort", so I dared to ask her how fast her Garmin thought we were going. The answer was... 8:46. Yikes. Because I was definitely putting forth a little too much effort for 8:46 on a flat road. Not that I'm jet propelled, but in October, before I finally admitted that my foot was no longer operational, I really thought I was in shape to flirt with breaking 20 minutes for the 5K. Which is a fair ways off from 8:46 pace.
So then today I met up with Kelly for another run, and we did the 6 mile Hard Times loop, where you (more or less) run up, up, up for about 3miles, and then down a steepish hill for about a mile, and then back along the creek on the flat path for a couple of miles. It was definitely feeling easier than it did a couple of weeks ago, so when were back on the flat around mile 5, I finally dared to ask - ok, how fast are we going. And the answer was - 7:40! Hallelujah! Maybe the run legs aren't completely in hibernation. Maybe running 3 or 4 days a week with two dogs and no watch isn't such a bad idea. It's not like we were flying, but it just felt so much easier than the 8:46 of two weeks ago that I was, quite frankly, happy. I should also point out that it's not like we were running 7:40 the whole time. We started at a warm-the-foot-up jog, and then slogged up the hill, before picking it up on the way back. And after reveling in the 7:40 for about another minute I finally had the sense to say that it was fun while it lasted but I really ought to slow down. But for a while there - we were chatting and running sub-8 minutes, and it felt good.
My foot - it's kind of sore. It wasn't all that happy for the legs to have come back, and I think it much prefers the two dogs/no watch approach to running. So two dogs/no watch is what I'm going to stick with for the time being, but still, the tease of really running was enough to keep me happy for the foreseeable future.