I tend to run in the winter, mostly to participate in the Shamrock run. Then I stop and forget about running by the end of spring and start again in the fall or next January. This year I'm a bit behind on my running schedule from what I remember of last year. That was a banner year as I was running in december and could do 5 miles by now. I have been off to a very slow start - weeks of going out the door one day and running 20 blocks and saying "meh" and being bored and giving up. A big motivation for me is to simply run on the dirt trails of mt tabor. its beautiful up there amongst the trees and the wind and the reservoirs. In stead of running out my door up to mt tabor, i biked up there as kind of a kick start. It worked. I ran 3 miles that day and it reminded me of what I liked about running. After another week of false starts, I made it from my house on 20th to the entrance of mt tabor on 60th - a two mile run, which there and back is four miles.
After another slop week I did a 20th-60th trip and felt good about it but was not ready to enter mt tabor yet. It rained hard during my run but running makes one exothermic so the rain was mostly ignorable. What I noticed was that I am basically starting my training at a 4 mile distance. Its the left-over conditioning from last year. That means exercise can have benefits that last for years.