Part 2: After completion of the first lollipop loop, I drank two Mountain Dews, downed a Snickers, and polished off several cold wedges of watermelon. I did this while resting in the shade and checking the status of Pete Kresock’s Ultra Challenge progress; he only had Blueberry Patch to finish. A dry shirt, a dry buff, a water refill with some ice, a nutrition restock, a rest of 50 minutes… I hit the trail for a second loop starting at 10:50 AM.
The temperature is 84 degrees with lots of sun but there are still shady spots on the trail and a cool breeze whenever the occasional small cloud hides the sun. It is not that bad and I chug along at my mid-summer, mid-day pace around 13 minutes per mile. This loop is all about time in the heat. The trail is not as busy as morning, at least not for dogs, but I still see a good number of kids and adults throughout. There is less birdsong than before, perhaps due to the heat, or because it is mid-day?
The gnats are still there… but the grass is dry.
As I cross onto the Jim Schug, the clouds are bigger and more numerous but they do not block the sun. On the south side of South Street, I find a brand new Finger Lakes library card with the key tag still attached. It was not there when I passed through inbound on the last loop. I decide to pick it up and show it to the trail folks I see shortly ahead. The first is a girl walking a dog. As I show it to her, she reaches for her back pocket. Yep, it is hers.
Shortly ahead are two boys just getting off their bikes to start fishing from my favorite pond. I pass them and then pause for a while to ‘bask in the brilliance of the pond.’
The sign at the 1.5 mile point of the Jim Schug trail tells me the shrubbery with the red (and sometimes orange) berries all along the trail is Tartarian Honeysuckle, a highly invasive species. I never knew that.
Small birds are the only wildlife I see on this loop. But I do ‘pic’ a nice bouquet of wildflowers:
The road section is definitely hot but I am not bothered as much as I expected. This is a good heat acclimation run. Every runner knows it is important to replenish electrolytes, especially on hot days… which is why I ordered the Salty Caramel Truffle ice cream from the (trailside!) Station Creamery in Dryden on the return.
I tell ya, it is sure some awesome replenishment! I am really liking this new concept of ice cream shop aid stations right on the course! (Shout out to Cornell Dairy Bar again.) I may get spoiled. July is National Ice Cream month and this kept my July streak going, too! So, I walked the trail while eating this delicious, cold, creamy “aid”. Apparently, it does double duty as gnat repellent. They do not swarm around me until seconds after I finish it.
Upon reaching the end in Freeville, the temperature is 87 degrees and it is still sunny! This calls for another Mountain Dew and more cold watermelon wedges. But, it also calls for some post-run recovery, which I find here:
Oasis is certainly the right description! A trail with TWO ice cream stops! I also nominate Toad’s as ice cream people of the year! I walk up to read the menu and the lady at the window immediately asks if I need some water. I said I was fine and then as I continue to read the menu, she asks if there was something special I wanted after my run. I said, ‘No, I am just looking at all the flavors.’ Then I order a medium Rocky Mountain Raspberry, to which she says a medium is pretty big but I look like I can handle it. Good people like that are going to get my business any chance I get! What a great end to a great day of running!