Day505 Stone Mill TR2

Stone Mill 2nd Training Run. For those who like to compare what it was like last year, I was able to find the last year entry (SM TR21, day445).

I have nothing much to write about since I am grounded. No, I mean I have no where to go and it felt like being grounded. It was fun last couple months when I traveled everywhere to run. Now, I am back in my local area every single weekend.

Training runs are as exciting as they get. I don’t actually need to train for Stone Mill. It is a race I’ve already done twice and I am familiar with it but it wouldn’t hurt to go for the training runs. It also gives me something to write about.

Note, I just reread last year entry, and even with this close to the race day last year, the surprising thing was I at the time did not intend to run in the Stone Mill for a second time. I guess I must have sign up later after the training run.

It has been my policy not to rerun a race. Apparantly that was no longer apply to this year plan. I knew very early on I was going to do Stone Mill the third time (and as well as the Devil Dog, and Iron Mountain).

Last year, around this time in the season I was burnt out from running. I start to have that feeling again. I started to think do I really want to do this. I don’t remember how I got over it. Maybe it was a new season that got me out of my mood.

I still run a lot. In fact, I just signed up a bunch of races. Nothing too earth shattering. I added the Bobcat Trail 11 Mile Run. A short one but I think it is technical – the stuff I like. It is from the famous director of the MMT and the Cat 50. I had ton of fun and heartache from his past races.

I also added a 5K, this weekend, nothing to write about except that I can still run fast! This is probably my 2nd 5K this year. I almost thought I couldn’t be able to run it under 30 mins. I did it in like 25 minutes! I would like to have 24 or less, but I will take 25 mins any day.

I added a marathon (NCR) for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. At first, I was going to do the VDM (Vicky’s Death March, a self run), but then I am probably too lazy to get myself to do it, so NCR it will be. I have done the NCR before. Usually, I don’t rerun a race unless it is very special. NCR doesn’t meet that standard. oh well. It is something to do on an empty weekend.

Note, in last year entry, the focus was on the race following the training run, but this year, I didn’t want to talk about the race. Not that it was anything bad, but I felt my experience was so more exciting at the training run.

Now about my training run, we met on an early Saturday morning. The meeting time was 7:30 but I wanted to be the first guy arriving, so around 5-ish I was up already. In fact, I did not sleep much after 2 AM.

The run was 18 miles on easy rolling hills. This will be my third time running Stone Mill, so nothing in race really challenges me. I am aiming to get a faster time (maybe under 12 hours). The race will be in about 3 weeks.

Was the training run necessary for me? No, but I like having a refresher of the course. It also motivates me to run, otherwise, I would be lazy and stay home.

I wanted more miles so I added 10-12 miles. I did not know how many miles to add to it, but in my mind, I wanted to run until I bonked — that is couldn’t run any more. Later, while on the course, I settled to go around Lake Clopper which was about couple miles away and would take four miles to run around. This gave about 12 miles. Of course, I got lost a few times trying to find the trail and that added couple more miles. I finished with 32.5 miles for the day.

One thing I like about the run was we had beautiful fall weather. I took a few photos.

A deer blocking my way. I had to wait till it moved out the way

There was one new thing I learned. The trail was blazed (color painted on trees to give direction) with a blue bar. Occasionally, the blazes changed to a slash. In previous years, I had no idea why they did that. On this run, it occured to me the slash indicates the trail is turning. Forward slash (slash to right) means the trail is shifting to the right. And the backward slash, (slashing to the left) means the trail is curving to the left. I just thought that was interesting. I have been hiking for 5-6 years, and only now I got it. Actually, I haven’t seen this convention being used on any other trails.

I also noticed on bike trails, the trail blazes and markers are painted near the ground (because) bikers keep their eyes glue to the ground, instead of higher up at eye level. I did not take a picture of this, but I thought it was interesting.

I have two more training runs in the next two weeks. Another neat thing was I got to see how the Lake change from week to week. I didn’t take photos the first week, but trust me, the leaves were still green the first week, and last week, the leaves were turning. I wonder what the leaves going to be next week. By race day, I bet there won’t be any leaves left.

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