Ran last night. Stupid rain was back, so it was back to the gym.

I got on the treadmill after having made the cardinal mistake: starting a land war in Asia going up against a Sicilian when death was on the line not deciding in advance what my goal was.

I had run just under 3 miles on Monday. I want to build my miles back up to over 20 a week by the spring. I also want to build my speed back up. All of these aspirations were floating through my mind but hadn’t coalesced into a daily goal, the goal of that specific session on the treadmill. Those aspirations colided with my stuffy sinuses and overall blah-i-ness.

As I finished my quarter mile walking warmup, I thought, 3 miles? 3.5 miles? 4 miles? 30 minutes, no matter the milage? What, man? What’s the goal?

Again, as I plowed through the first mile, my legs felt strong. I set the pace at a nice 10:10. I did increase the incline to a 1% grade, despite the pain that had caused me previously. Where before my break, I would have heel pain in my right foot and some ankle soreness in the left, there was little to no pain at all unless I lengthened my stride to far and leaned too far forward. Standing tall, and keeping my stride fairly short but quick, produced no pain. However, if I started to lean forward, or I started to run toes-outward even a bit – and there were little pricks of pain. I have to work on my form, then. The strength training will help here.

However, after the first mile and a quarter, my throat became ever-so-slightly constricted, even at this fairly slow pace. I slowed a bit, to a 10:30 pace, and just kept pushing for another quarter-mile at a time. 1.50 miles came and went. 1.75 miles… and I had to slow to a walk. I walked for about a minute and a half, and then picked up the pace again. 2.0 miles came… 2.1 miles… and I had to stop again. Dammit. Is that enough, I asked myself, as I kept walking and my breathing returned to normal. No, I said to myself, that is not enough. I increased to a 9:50 pace and aimed for 2.5 miles.

At 2.5 miles, I decided to aim for 2.75 miles. And at that point, I stopped to walk again. I finished my walking warmup and called it a day.

Today, this morning – I wanted to see if my ankle and heel pain would return. Again, in the past, it would be worse in the morning right out of bed – the tendons would tighten up from not carrying any weight during sleep, and then that first few steps out of bed would feel like needles, mainly in the sole of my foot. But, no, nothing. I think, at the very least, that the 3-week break from running has given me enough time to heal up and strengthen up my feet and ankles. So that’s a positive.

I didn’t do any strength training last night. I will go back to the gym tonight to do that, and then run again on Friday or Saturday. This weekend I’ll plan ahead for the next couple of weeks to get my miles back up to where I’d like – but slowly. I’m aiming for a peak in April, then I’ll start planning for the late summer races and maybe (maybe, may-be) try a half-marathon in the fall.