Have you ever had the feeling where something just clicks? Where everything lines up, and what you're going after (or have been pursuing), just falls into place?
I feel like that with my running.
I took a six month break from running (March to August) because of a mild injury. The less I ran, the less I felt inclined to run. The less I ran, the more depressed I became. It was obviously a mild depression, but when I put my running shoes back on in August, I became keenly aware of what I'd been missing. And I began to run regularly again, with far more dedication and motivation than before my injury.
At the end of October, I started running with a group: Tuesday nights we run drill, hills, and intervals; Thursday is a "fun run"; Sunday is our long endurance run. I'm going into my fourth week of training, and I'm feeling stronger and faster.
The Tuesday night runs have been both challenging and enjoyable. This Tuesday was a hills run: we sprint up a hill, then run down it and repeat three more times. It's hard. I was able to run at a good pace and not feel completely whipped, so I know that I'm getting better.
Running has been clicking. I've been keeping up with the training plan, and I'm going to sign up for a half-marathon group to run in the spring. I just hope that I find a Ph.D. program that clicks as well as my training has...