This is the hardest part.
Where you're running enough to know you're running. But not enough to feel good about it. Not long enough or far enough to feel the high, or even feel comfortable. Then there's that nagging hamstring or tight calf that keeps you from pushing the pace at all. You know if you could spend some time at a higher effort, then the easy will actually feel easy. But you've at least learned that lesson, so you keep it slow, constantly monitoring that left leg for signs of distress. Next thing you know, you're in the last half mile and barely remember the run. Hardly had a chance to enjoy running.
This is where the first time runner quits. How do runners do this and call it fun? This isn't any fun. At all.
Third week of 20 miles per week. Planning 6 tomorrow. No, it isn't fun yet. But I've done this before and I know it's going to be. Although if I'm being honest, I admit I have to remind myself of that every morning, especially in that first mile, when the hammy is sketchiest and the right knee is still cranky. The thought of, "It will get better," alternates with, "I guess my running days are all behind me now." "Which marathon do I train for?" vs. "How do I replace my IRUN262 license plate?"
But you keep getting up and getting out and putting in the miles.
Even if the first one every day is slow and that knee stings at every step.
Even if once or twice you pray for a red light so you can stretch the calf.