I was determined to run/walk a half marathon this morning, since this was going to be my last long run/walk before next weekend's City of Oaks Half. I decided to do the run outside at a new (for me) trail, forcasted rain be damned. I drove to one of the entry spots for the local American Tobacco Trail, and basically did an out-and-back run, though I had to get creative at the end of my run to get to 13.1 and still be pretty close to my car at the end.
The trail was very pretty, tree-lined, paved and mostly flat. It crossed several streets, which I wasn't expecting. Before I started my run, there was a man at a table near the start with Hammer Gels, water, and water spiked with Hammer's energy stuff. It turned out the man was co-owner (I think, with his wife) of a new running store in Durham, Bull City Running. It was nice to chat with him for a few minutes about the gels, his new store, shoes, and the trail. It turns out that his store is right there in Southpoint Crossing Shopping Center, next to where I got onto the American Tobacco Trail.
A few miles into the run, at one of the intersections, I couldn't tell where the trail went on the other side of the street. I'm sure I would've figured it out, but as good fortune would have it, there was a lady standing near the intersection, manning a big water cooler. Turns out she (Suzanne) is with Team in Training, and was happy to point out which way to go. We chatted for a few minutes, and it was a nice, if short rest. All in all, there were quite a few people out on the trail this morning, even in the rain, though there were times when I seemed to have the trail to myself.
One of the reasons I decided to push for the half marathon mileage today was that I wanted to run all the way to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It was nice to be able to run to see it and the interesting Durham skyline! I wish I'd had a camera with me. Then, of course, I had to run back to get to my car!
I'm fairly pleased with my time of 3:34:38, since it did rain on me some, I had some plantar fasciitis pain, and I ran out of water during mile #9. The time cap at next weekend's race is 3:30, so I'll have to focus and pick up the pace a bit, but I think it'll work out okay.
Side note: With today's run, I passed the 600 mile mark for the year.