Usually I am following some sort of training program. I blog my runs as a way of keeping track of how well I am following my chosen program. And throughout 2010, I was pretty faithful. :)
But these days, I am not following a training program. I'm in what I like to call post-injury 'recovery.' :) Therefore, every run has been conducted with the mentality of a gradual return, acutely paying attention to how my calf feels, stopping myself on purpose to walk for a minute to rest the leg, and essentially playing it by ear, one run at a time.
Fortunately, my last three runs have been very, very good and I think I am ready to start stepping it up. :) There is significant improvement and I can feel myself getting back into the groove. I have focused on breathing and my posture, thanks in part to reading the book, "ChiRunning," and these small adjustments, just on their own, has helped. I'm not quite sure what I was doing 'before' but now, the running is easier, the pace is much quicker, and I'm hitting more stretches in which I feel like I can run effortlessly for a long time (before I hit my designated landmark and force myself to walk to give the calf muscle a break).
And so, as of Monday, January 30th, I plan to start another round on a training program. I have a spring half marathon at the end of April (that I just want to be able to participate in) and a tentative half marathon in early June. In order to achieve these goals, I will need to be more focused with my running. This will likely prove to me within a matter of weeks if a half marathon in April is do-able, or if I need to scale it back, adjust my goals, and then wait until later in the year to start ramping it up.