2018-11-17 - Stone Mill 44 Miler

~44 mi @ ~19 min/mi

"Gratitude!" — the Word-of-the-Day. K2 and Roadkill enjoy almost every step of the Stone Mill 50 miler, über-challenging as it turns out to be. When plans go awry we smile and quote Dr K-Rex: "It is what it is!" We discuss the trio of Attention (mindfulness) and Acceptance (nonattachment) and Affirmation (lovingkindness) along with countless other topics. We stick together, always.

"And I'll limit myself to one 'Thank you!' per mile!" vows K2. She tries ...



(photo by D Reichmann)
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http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Stone_Mill_mud_Kerry-and-z_2018-11-17_t.jpgMud, Mud, Mud! Scattered snow on the ground melts as the day progresses, and joins runoff from heavy rains earlier in the week. Large segments of the course are slippy-slidey swales. Roadkill quotes his advice from the 2013-10-27 - Fire on the Mountain 50k race with similar conditions: "Just hug the thorn bushes!"

Best Food: toasty-warm guacamole wraps at mile ~20 — yum!

Worst Drink: instant coffee in lukewarm water — yuck!

Newest Comrade: Cathy Rehm, an experienced, funny, tough biologist. We meet at mile ~7 and enjoy her company for for more than a dozen miles. On the C&O Canal Towpath she slows to run with her pacer Tammy Massey (wearing butterfly wings and an animal hoodie), then zooms by at mile ~39.
During mile 1 runners near us comment about Adeline Ntam: "For somebody so fast and strong, how can she be so nice?" K2 and Roadkill get personal hugs from Addie when she passes us at mile ~20. Sweet!

Dr Slow Twitch and Court Jester greet us before the start and again at the mile ~38 aid station, where their hot miso soup is a welcome boost. Thank you!



(photo by Ken Trombatore)
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captionThe traditional line of deer skulls await us at mile ~38, wearing witch hats this year. We pause to pose.

Near mile 40 we think we think we hear a faint voice shout "Mark" from across the valley behind us. A few minutes later powerful Sirisha Golla floats by us, wielding her signature trekking poles. Brava!
Near mile 42 K2's left knee abruptly goes Very Bad. She walks stiff-legged for more than half an hour, and it gets worse. Sweepers overtake us, picking up course-marker flags, and take our timing chips. We continue through the darkness. Temperatures plunge.

In Seneca Creek State Park we reach a road crossing and decide to catch a ride to the start/finish area. Holiday decorations are lit for a "Run Under the Lights" race. Back at the car we give thanks for shared adventure and safety, seat heaters and friendship.

Maybe next year!
http://zhurnaly.com/images/running/Stone_Mill_Xmas-lights-Seneca_Creek-State-Park_Kerry-and-z_2018-11-17_t.jpg

(trackfile) - ^z - 2018-12-15