The best indication that your run is becoming routine is to find your mind wandering. In between bursts of the USMC Cadence CD and the cars going by (thankfully my route keeps me on sidewalks so the guilt in using the MP3 player is minor) I found myself thinking - and for once it wasn't about how many steps until I get to the top of the hill.
I've often wondered why I have an easier time dealing with a DI style work out rather than the "Rah-Rah" latest fad work outs. It seems to come down to the feeling of belonging,. I grew up around Military types, and it resonates with me.
Why? Most people I talk to equate the Military style workouts to someone screaming at you at the top of their lungs. Given what the movies show of DIs and boot camp, I'm not surprised. Those people are preparing to go to war, we're just working out. The same techniques apply though. In both cases you are working to overcome your worst liability - yourself.
The biggest change you'll see if you keep pushing yourself wont be in your physique, it'll be mental. You'll stop thinking "I can't do it" and start thinking "I will do it". That is what Boot Camp in the Military is for - to prove to you that you can do things that you may have felt were impossible.
Had you asked me a few years ago if I would be working on running 5 miles, I would have laughed. Running from the outer edge of the grocery store parking lot to the door would have had me asking for oxygen. Now I run two miles comfortably and am preparing for the next stage of my training, going from 6 miles a week to 9. The goal for this year is 16 miles per week with a peak daily run of 5 miles. So much for running across the parking lot!
This change came from the video and the cadences. The message in both are to keep going, push yourself, you can do it. However, its not some buff Arnold type that lifts weights for a living belting out catch phrases like the cheering section at an NFL game. It's ordinary people who stepped up to defend our country and in the process learned more about themselves and what they could do than they thought possible.
Video: Scott Helvenston's Navy Seal Camp DVD
CD: Run to Cadence with the US Marines (Vol 1)