1). On any long run/walk, you should have a snack or small meal a couple of hours ahead. Not too much fat, and make sure there are carbs involved. Afterwards, a small snack to replenish yourself should try to be as close to 3 parts carbs to 1 part protein. Chocolate milk fits this formula very well! You didn't ask about "during" the walk, but for times I am going to be out longer than 75 minutes, I generally take along some sport beans or raisins or even a granola bar for energy. What to eat is part of your own "experiment of one", and you need to try different things to see what works for you.
2). Natural products? Ice works really well, as does Epsom salts in a warm bath. Stretching is great, and there is a good Coach Nicole video in the resource section with stretches specific to runners. Make sure you have a proper pair of running shoes, and best if they are fitted by a running store staff.
3). How often? If you aren't running at all yet, make sure you only start with three sessions a week. Eight miles is likely too much to start out with if you aren't currently up to that much. This may be why you are having pains.
It's great that you have a group to do this with. It helps with motivation!
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