Hi WedgeC, I’m 5.5 months post-THR, and just got to my first 5k. Coincidentally, it was at my pre-THR usual training pace, which is far slower than yours. While I’m a mediocre distance runner, I’ve always been a decent sprinter (100m, 400m, soccer forward). Nonetheless, when I introduced a couple of short strides after some easy runs, I definitely felt ‘weirdness’ around the joint that I’d never felt before.
So even though speed comes (came?) more naturally to me than distance, it’s been easier to return to latter than former! Also, I don’t have any alignment changes to contend with e (got a custom hip, so retained same range of motion, angles, leg length etc).
Perhaps what helps me is I’ve always been a mediocre runner, so I don’t feel pressure to chase past PRs as they were never impressive in the first place!
Also, I made strength à priority and try to do a bit of balance too. I find doing strength before my runs helps warm up & activate my muscles. It also tires them out so I’m not tempted to overdo it.
Oh and I was verrry gradual with getting to 5k: I started walk-runs at the beginning of May, and didn’t start running continuously until mid June. Have been biking too to build up cardio.
Have patience, gradually rebuild your base so your body can adapt to your new alignment, and I bet you’ll be able to find your running sweet spot again!