Now, with shoes that actually make it easier rather than harder to run, I've gotten back to the point where I can enjoy a leisurely three-or-so mile run through the neighborhood at night. A friend gave me an iPod Shuffle, which has to be the best aid to running since vulcanized rubber, and rather than worry about distance, I just decide how many songs I want to run. Then try to make it through one more. Then another. I've got a pretty good playlist put together, and measuring my progress by how far through it I get before I need the first walk break, and how far I get before I'm through for the night is treating me better psychologically than measuring distance ever did. With distance, I'd speed up as I came down the home stretch and finish exhausted, side-stitched and miserable. With time-measured-by-music, I just try to end up in the general vicinity of my house when the last song starts and let it play out from there. And it gives me something to focus on other than myself, which is a tremendous help.
It's nice to once again walk around with the feeling that I've used my body recently, but not with the soreness of unaccustomed effort. It feels good to be able to just get up and run.