This morning's run was an 18km run fro the bottom of the Nofei Aviv neighborhood of BS out to Dir Rafat, the monastery behind Kibbutz Tzora.
Most of the way was pretty flat, with a serious incline for about 1.5km or so up to Dir Rafat.
The past three or so runs I have been trying to improve my pace, running the first few km, increasing it slightly each time, of each run at a faster pace, and then slowing down to my normal pace. For some reason, today I had a very strong run and ran at a faster pace the whole way, including the steep uphill. I still finished last (not including the group who did nto run the whole route), but I improved my pace.
I was going to run just the first 5 or so km at an accelerated pace, but I was feeling good and felt like I could keep going. Eventually I slowed down, but at a certain point I glanced down at my watch and saw that despite my having slowed down I was still running at a pace that was much better than what my average pace has been. I pretty much kept up that pace the rest of the way, slowing down a bit more on the uphill.
We made it up to Dir Rafat, stopped for a quick drink from the water faucet, turned around and ran back.
On the way back I noticed, by chance, that I was hitting a milestone. For the first time ever, I hit the 10km mark in less than an hour (and that even included the whole uphill!)!!! It was actually 57 minutes and change. That was very exciting. Eventually I glanced down at my watch and saw that I was on the 59 minute marker and only a few hundred meters from the 11km marker. I sped up to see if I could hit 11 in an hour, but I missed it by a bit.
The way back was also a good run. Near the end I had to slow down a bit because it was hard to figure out which trail was the right trail back at certain points where the trails split up.
My final numbers for todays run were: 18.01km at an average pace of 5:51/km over a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes. The first 5km and change I ran at an average pace of 5:26/km. I ran the 1.52km uphill to Dir Rafat at an average pace of 6:31/km.