Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekly Summary: June 20-26

This week I started to taper for the upcoming Finger Lakes 50s, so only four days of running, but I did get in a nice race at Forge the Gorgeous and a longish trail run on the Finger Lakes Trail.

Mon: rest

Tues: Beaudry Park hills and high school trails (1 hr)
Urban trail run consisting of one hill set at Beaudry Park, some meandering on the trails by the Cortland high school, and another hill set.

Wed: Blue Creek loop (6 mi)
This is one of my standard road runs in Cortland. It gets out of the city fairly quickly and features a couple small hills and pleasant views.

Blue Creek loop

Thurs: Forge the Gorgeous (7 mi, 55:31, 8th/108)
This was a fast, fun, and scenic local race with a good amount of climbing. Check out my race report.

Fri: rest

Saturday: Trail run in Kennedy S.F. (14 mi, ~2:30)
The Finger Lakes Trail in Kennedy State Forest south of Cortland keeps sprouting loop trails, creating many interesting options for running routes, and I utilized three of them on this run: the well established Dabe's Diversion Loop and the newly constructed Swedish and Lithuanian Loops. Check the bottom of this page from for a nice map of these trails. 

Parking at the intersection of Hauck Hill Rd. and Bleck Rd., I headed south on the Dabe's Diversion Loop to the rockpile, where the extreme humidity made for a hazy view, and then turned west on the FLT. Now that it's mid-summer, the foliage is incredibly dense in some places, and coupled with thick cloud cover this made for twilight-like light levels during the middle of the day. I found myself slowing down at times due to the low light.

About halfway down the hill to Babcock Hollow Rd., the Lithuanian Loop trail splits off to the right, descending to the road a little bit north of where it intersects the main FLT, then traversing back uphill to meet the FLT again only 0.1 mile below where it first split off. It makes for an interesting little 1 mile diversion, including a section that weaves through a dense, uniformly spaced pine plantation with a smooth bed of pine needles.

After rejoining the FLT and running in and out of Babcock Hollow and over the next ridge, I took a right on the Swedish Loop, which climbs 0.5 mi on Bell-Hilsinger Rd. and then begins the descent to Daisy Hollow, rejoining the FLT half way down. This was a great section of singletrack trail, well cleared and passing through some nice forest (it also bypasses the climb up Owego Hill- a good or bad thing depending on your perspective).

Once back on the FLT, I ran down to Daisy Hollow, then turned around and followed the white blazes all the way back to the rockpile, then up the Dabe's Diversion Loop to my car. I got rained on a bit and ended with soaked feet as usual, despite the best efforts of my new Drymax sock ("#1 sock to keep feet dry"). So ended my last long trail run before the Finger Lakes 50s. I took it relatively easy, felt very good, and enjoyed both the new and familiar trails.

I also have some ideas for a Kennedy State Forest mega-route, incorporating the entire FLT from Daisy Hollow to Tone Road plus the Irvin, Spanish, Swedish, Lithuanian, Dabe's Diversion, and Virgil Mountain Loops. Looking forward to that!

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