The 7th week of training has come to a close and I completed what I’d consider my first true long run (16 miles).  At the outset of my training I told myself that I wouldn’t be a slave to the plan and I’ve by and large kept up with that sentiment.  As you can see below, I skipped a moderate length run on Thursday.  This past week was my first week working on Thursdays again in a long time.  I thought at least I’d get some miles in after work but after eating dinner, the motivation never materialized.  I still managed to get out and do 16 the next day so it wasn’t all a failure.

Here’s a summary of last week’s running.

( ) = # of miles on my plan

Tuesday – 3.1 (3)

Thursday – 0 (6)

Friday – 16.02 (16)

Saturday – 3.07 (4)

Sunday –  5.05 (3)

Weekly Total – 27.24 miles (32)

The rain has subsided for now so I was able to get outside for all my runs.  Tuesday’s run was a fairly quick one that I did after work in the dark.  I enjoy running in the dark on occasion as it is a whole different feeling.

I decided to head upstream on the American River Parkway for my 16 miler.  The day turned out to be beautiful if not a bit chilly.  I think it was around 38 F when I headed out in the morning but it warmed up into the 40s and was perfect for a long slow run on the bike trail.  Because of the previous rains, there were a ton of people on the trail either walking, biking, running.  At one point I found myself either being passed or watching these fast ladies speed down the pathway.  I have suspicions they were either from the nearby Sac State college team or possibly from the NorCal Distance Project.  These ladies were fast and definitely in awesome shape.  It was fun to see how quick they were.  I had a guy jogging in the opposite direction of me joking if I had fallen off pace (after some ladies had passed me).  I just laughed as I was going probably as slow as he was.

It was interesting to see what the recent weather had done to the trail and all the stuff around it.  There were quite a few trees that were downed.

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Near this tree there were a few of the orange traffic cones.  I ran by one and noticed that there were some keys sitting on the top just randomly out.  Of course I didn’t touch it but needed to grab a pic of such a strange occurrence.

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I do wonder what those keys may open.

Lots of wildlife were out enjoy the beautiful day as well.  First I noticed some of these turtles sunning themselves on a log in the river.  Now I do know there are quite a few invasive turtles (mostly red-eared sliders) but I don’t know if there are native turtles on the American River.

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And then there were some turkeys.  They were making quite a ruckus with all their “gobbling.”  The male also puffed its tail feathers at me at one point warning me off his lady friends.

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And then further down the trail there are some larger areas of quieter water where lots of different water fowl were hanging out.

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I made it to my turnaround point at William Pond Park.  This is the same park that hosts the Run The Parkway Half Marathon that I did last fall.   This was a good place to use the restroom and get some water and take my first gel.

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I then headed back downstream.

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Overall the run was good.  I felt like it was a much bigger struggle to do my long run from the previous week, which was only 10 miles.  I definitely started feeling sore and tired in my legs as I passed the 12 mile mark.  But I soldiered on and completed the task.

After getting home, I definitely stretched and foam rolled.  For the rest of the day, my legs were fairly sore.  Even the next morning my legs were very tired.  I managed to do a slow 3 that next day and then the day after did 5.  I will say that while I was still sore for my Sunday 5, the legs started feeling better midway through the run even if I wasn’t going too fast.  And today (Monday), my legs feel completely fine.  I think that semi-sticking to my training plan is actually getting my body accustomed to the mileage.

I’m not done with my February running (probably will do one more run tomorrow), but I’ve already surpassed 100 miles for the month.  And (*knock on wood*) my body seems to be holding up okay so far.  I had just a little bit of right knee soreness after the long run but nothing that stayed.

Here’s my uber slow 16 miler:

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-StewsCat

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