I have read that some people find running to be a great stress reliever. I think I finally get that. I think for a long time, running was exercise. It was a chore. It was hard. It was a struggle. And it is still hard, and I still struggle, but I like that for those 30 minutes or so, it's just me and my body and the treadmill/track/path. I appreciate listening to the rhythm of my foot steps and my breathing. I like to push myself, and succeed and do better each time. Of course there are runs that are more difficult and less satisfying in some ways, but at least you got out there and did it, even if you didn't feel like it, and you pushed yourself to keep going, even when you wanted to stop.
Tonight I ran 5k in 33.5 minutes. That felt really good. I think I may have done it a bit faster last summer a couple of times, but I would say I averaged around 34-36 minutes for 5k last year. I really felt like I pushed myself. When I run on the treadmill, I would say that if I run at 5mph that I feel like I could go on pretty much indefinitely. But I am able to push it a little and can keep pace at 5.5mph pretty well. It's when I try to go over that I start to feel it. Tonight my aim was to run 1km at 5.5mph then 1km at 6mph and do that until I reached 5k. I managed to run a whole kilometer at 6mph, which felt really good, but after 2 or 2.5k I had to slow down a bit and ended up having to slow down to 5mph for a while. At the end I really wanted to finish in about 33 minutes, so I cranked it up to 7mph for a couple of minutes and was able to finish strong, but barely breathing, haha. This weekend our long run is 8km, but the weather is supposed to be really nice, so I am looking forward to getting outside again!