Oy my feet! My long distance running group did an out-and-back today on the C&O Canal. I know people say that a runner needs to run on a variety of surfaces and softer surfaces are better, but I just don’t like running on the towpath. The gravel gets into my shoes (I got my first blisters on 2 toes from the gravel) and the semi-buried rocks bruise the bottom of my feet. Plus the terrain is mostly flat. I think the towpath is tougher to run, especially if you start going South. It’s uphill all the way back, albeit only a minor grade. I also prefer going North since you can see and hear the Potomac. Going South, you see a lot trees and not a lot of water since the Canal isn’t in great shape — it’s pretty overgrown.
The good news is I ran 9 miles today keeping to a solid 2:00/1:00 run/walk pace and held steady with a 13:39 average pace. This pace is better than the paces I had at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler and Annapolis Zooma Half Marathon.
However, I think my legs need the break offered by hills. Combine this run with the weekly track workouts and I’m not getting enough variation. As long as there aren’t any thunderstorms, I’m going to try and either do a hilly run on Tuesdays and/or Fridays.
Anyway, I’m very happy with today’s run because it was hot and humid beyond belief, even at 6 am. I hydrated and fueled properly, monitored my form, and didn’t give up. I didn’t bother to look up the temperature stats because honestly, I was afraid to know. I figure if I can get this steady of a pace in this brutal weather, I should be really fast by fall. At least that’s the plan. The Parks Half Marathon is in 35 days. I can’t wait.
My next challenge — maintaining my training schedule now that my work’s busy season has started. I see some really long days in the near future. Oy vey!