Well, it's been 4 days since the half-marathon. The post-finish glow has worn off, and the soreness is just about gone. Slacker that I am, I haven't run once since the race! But at least we'll do a 5-mile race on Thanksgiving, so I have one more upcoming race to keep me honest.
In the comments on the half-marathon post, Bren asked how one would get started in running. I'm glad he asked, because I want to say right now: If I can do it, anyone can do it.
I didn't start running until my mid-20s. I had played soccer in school, but to me, running after a ball and playing on a team sport is an entirely different experience from running just to run. It takes a lot more mental perseverance to get out there and run, I think.
So I started running as a way to lose weight and get in better shape before my wedding. I can still remember when 2 miles felt like a really long distance, and I could never make it through without walking. The first time I ever ran 5 miles, I was absolutely amazed that I had gone that far. I would never have imagined it!
The only difference between then and now is that I kept doing it. And (with a lot of help from my more-experienced runner husband) I kept setting running goals and working toward them. Even though it took me 3 years to reach my original goal of finishing a 5k in under 30 minutes, I got there eventually.
So, quite simply, the way to start is just to put one foot in front of the other. Repeat.
On a more technical side, here's some of the online training plans I've used to prepare for different race distances:
Runner's World: Your Ultimate 10k Plan
Runner's World: 5 Weeks to Your First 5k
Marathontraining.com: Training for the Half-Marathon
For the half-marathon training, I used the mileage build-up and then the novice plan. With almost any of these plans, if you're not concerned about improving your time you can drop the speedwork—just put in the miles. For early-morning workout inspiration, I would also highly recommend getting a spastic dog who jumps out of bed at 6 am, ready for a brisk run. But that's a personal preference.
I hope you give it a shot, Bren. I will always be glad that I started, and I intend to keep running for many years to come. Good luck!