This morning, I decided to shake things up a bit and run a different section of the American Tobacco Trail, and I was glad I did! It was a bit of a hike to drive to the White Oak trail entrance in Apex, but it turned out to be a very nice run, all in all. My assignment for today was to run 8 miles, and I was looking for something flat, since my right IT band has been bothering me. The Raleigh Galloway group was running another hilly course this morning, so while I missed the group run, I enjoyed striking out on my own! The course I ran/walked today was mostly hard-packed dirt, very well shaded (lots of big, tall trees!), and no big hills. The grade going out was slightly downhill in parts, so uphill heading back toward my car, but it didn't bother me most of the time. I ended up doing 8.18 miles in 2:30:01, a distance record for me this calendar year. My average pace, 18:20, was 8 seconds per mile faster than Thursday's 4-miler, and 1:21 min. per mile faster than last week's 7-miler (though not a fair comparision, really, since last week's course was hilly!). It's nice to see some improvement in my long run speed, though I should credit this morning's cooler, less humid temperatures as a help as well. So many variables to consider! Still, I'll take a decent run/walk when it comes.
My IT band did okay today, but my right toes still started hurting just before 3 miles. I did try some new metatarsal pads this morning, and they really didn't help. *sigh* I did discover, though, that when I stopped and wiggled my right toes for a minute or two, that helped my toes feel better.
7) 18:55 (more walking)