Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekly Summary: August 8-14

This week was broken up by a trip to Austin, Texas, for a conference, but I actually got in quite a bit of good running. 

Mon: Cortland road run (3.4 mi)
An easy run around town before catching my flight to Austin.

Tues: rest/acclimation to crazy Texas heat

Wed: Trail/road run/getting lost in Austin (~10 mi)
This was an interesting adventure. Check out this post for a full description.

Thurs: rest/flying back to nice, cool central New York

Fri: Trail run at Lime Hollow (~6.5 mi)
Ah, it's nice to be back in sub-100 degree temperatures. This was a beautiful day and I had a great run on an extended version of the Bog-Wilderness Loop.

Sat: Finger Lakes Trail in Hammond Hill and Robinson Hollow S.F. (15.2 mi, 2740 ft gain)
I drove out to Dryden to check out a new segment of the Finger Lakes Trail that crosses two state forests (Hammond Hill and Robinson Hollow) and two counties (Tompkins and Tioga). Check out this page from cnyhiking.com for a map.

The run began with a 700+ foot climb from NY Route 38 to the microwave tower on Hammond Hill. For the first part of the climb, the FLT follows Star Stanton Road, which is initially paved but soon turns to dirt and becomes increasingly washed out- don't try to drive here. At the top of the plateau, the trail turns into single track and for the next couple miles follows the course of Thom Bugliosi Trail Runs, a great local early-season race that I've run the last couple years. You'll also see on this section some yellow and red disks marking ski trails, part of Hammond Hill's fantastic trail network for cross-country skiing. These hills seem to hold onto snow really well, making for consistently good conditions and a long season. Here's hoping for another snowy winter!

After reaching the microwave tower at a little over 2000 ft, the trail descends to Harford-Slaterville Road, enters Robinson Hollow State Forest, and climbs another hill. This section of trail was a bit overgrown and, at least on this morning, crossed by tons of spider webs. As the first runner of the day to pass through, I was rewarded by taking many of these in the face. The section on top of the hill and descending the other side was much better, passing through some open forest and then following a nice, though currently dry, little stream. After a short, steep climb from the stream, the trail drops down into Robinson Hollow, my turnaround for the day.

Sun: Blue Creek loop (6 mi)
A nice, moderate road run in Cortland. Check out this previous post for a map.

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