Lick Brook & Treman FLT Star Posts

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I took advantage of this morning’s group run to tackle the Lick Brook & Treman Challenge Course again… this time in the great company of @raenb0 and @Gretchen on the Lick Brook side and the beginning of the Treman side, and @medardia and @Katie_Gannon until the finish!

What a group of badass ladies!

I still found the adventure quite tiring (it was even hotter this time around) but much more fun not to run alone. Thank you so much to @adamengst and @tonya for bringing us together, once again, and sharing the leftover food from the Tortoise & Hare race! It was so funny to see that Adam the runner does not follow the RunGo directions of Adam the voice, and sometimes gets lost too :rofl:

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After a bit of sunbathing at Flat Rock (can’t really call that “swimming” because there is barely any water) I went to Ithaca Beer Company with friends… the pizza is excellent :pizza: and I love their rosé cider! :tropical_drink:

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So glad you ladies made it! Thank you so much for running with us for a bit and steering us in the right direction :heart:

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See Caitlin’s post for the family story. I ran behind Caitlin and Kieran and ended up falling FIVE times on the trails. One was a doozy, going off the trail and 20 feet down the slope. Fortunately no broken bones but some nice cuts and scrapes. I was a bit slower than my #2 run but I feel it was a good run.

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My trail shoes have lasted a year but have been splitting open at the seam. Today did them in - check out the picture. So part of the day was a trip to Finger Lakes Running Company and got some new trail shoes! I like supporting them.

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We got it DONE!!! I’m so glad you ladies made it too! You gals made it fun! :smile: Here’s a photo of @raenb0 and I having made it to the turn around point at the top of Treman. :smiley:

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Story

So I really did not intend to do this run today. My intent was to take the dog and do one of my favorite runs at Treman, up the FLT and back down on the Gorge Trail or Rim Trail. I started at 7 am, which is a bit later than my usual morning run and it was warming up fast, and I was carrying no fluids with me, so I was pretty sure we were going to stick with about 7-8 miles. But then, half way up the FLT, a little voice in my head said, “well you could, when you hit the Rim trail, just cut back onto the FLT and keep your options open to do the Challenge Course. You can always bail at the CCC stone and head over to the Mill.” Once I had gone past the CCC stone, the little voice reassured me that even though I hadn’t taken any drink with me, I could always cut over to the Mill on the way back. Once we had passed that option, the voice said, “well it’s mostly downhill from here to the car and you have water in the car. Besides, Dior is still chasing chipmunks and hardly panting, so she is fine.” And of course once back at the car having a drink, “well you’ve done this much, you might as well finish the course!”

The Lick Brook side was hard, I walked the entire hill and then tripped about 4 times, a sure sign that the heat and fatigue were kicking in. Fortunately made it back in one piece and then went for a cooling dip in the creek near the railroad crossing. Despite the heat, this was slightly faster than my first run through, so that was a nice bonus.

No bears were spotted, but I’ll be on the lookout from now on!

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I don’t think you even look old enough to be a mother of a 24 year old!!!

Wow… with all the time I’ve spent on trails over the past decade, I’ve only ever seen a bear once, and it was in a remote forest in Pennsylvania. In fact, I’ve only heard of bear sightings in our area maybe twice—once near the road in Danby State Forest and another in the northern section of Connecticut Hill WMA.

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This course is intense!! I had originally planned to hike it, but with the organized group run today and @Katie_Gannon ’s persuasion, I decided to run. After starting at Woodard Rd, Katie and I covered the 1.2ish mile section of the Treman portion between there and the turnaround, then crossed the road to head uphill and toward the railroad trestle. I was hesitant to cross over the tracks (tbh I’m afraid of train tracks, rational enough) and took the stream crossing, knowing from last year’s Forest Frolic course that my Ultraventures would be comfortable enough when wet. All was well from there to the turnaround - hiking the steepest parts, which I knew would be necessary after reading all these posts about how tough the course is. But at the other turnaround, I didn’t see the holes that @Jamie mentioned, and I took my first fall after catching my foot in one.

Turning back, I was reminded why I am NOT usually on the trails when I fell three more times - nothing bad enough to knock me off the trail, but I’m definitely scratched up. Not gonna lie, I am not coming back to this trail any time soon. I had fun, but once was enough!!

@Katie_Gannon deserves a medal or maybe a Scouting badge for her orienteering - she knows the course well enough that even without RunGo, we hardly made any wrong turns. My watch measured it at 13.8.

With that I am DONE with the Challenge! It’s just in time too as I will be back abroad on fieldwork as of Thursday :airplane:

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Story

So much fun out on the Lick Brook &Treman Course this morning with @amalia ! For someone who started the run saying “I am 100%, not a trail runner, I am only here because of the Challenge” she absolutely crushed it! We kept our “falls per mile” stat as low as possible (approximately 0.3 falls per mile over the entire course). It is gorgeous out there, feeling really grateful to be able to get out and explore awesome trails with cool people! Thanks to everyone who gave us high fives at the finish (@Charlie_Hale @Dave_K ) and @heathercobb3 was the real MVP bringing us watermelon at the end! Thank you! @amalia Congrats on finishing the challenge and I am stoked that I got to run parts of it with you!

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Story

It is amazing what peer pressure can do. On Satday, @amy-dawson asked if I would be interested in doing the Lick Brook & Treman FLT course with her on Tuesday. First, I checked the weather (terrifyingly :hot_face:), then I asked Amy what her goal was for completing this course.

I found it interesting that for a multitude of reasons, I could have bailed, but I am SO GLAD I didn’t. Amy brought poles, including a pair for me (which I had never used before). Since we had both started on the Treman side, we decided to tackle Lick Brook first this time. And we were off!

It was tough, but the miles just flew by. We chatted about so many different topics. We took turns leading, and I was always worried I wasn’t going fast enough when I lead. I took a hard fall but came out of it unscathed. I really liked using the poles, so
I think I will add that to my wish list.

Thank you Amy!!! I wouldn’t have considered tackling this course again, and we did it!!

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Chocolate milk is a good recovery drink.
I stopped at Byrne Dairy on my way home for chocolate milk and gas.


Is this considered drinking and driving?!? (Photo taken at a stop light :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).

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Story

I had this crazy idea to try to finish the challenge 3 times before heading off to vacation. This was supposed to be my last course and @SarahG was willing to join me in this effort! But, yesterday on our way home from NYC, Scott and I decided 92 degrees was too hot to hit Jim Shugg without water and aborted the plan to do that on the way home. Today was just as hot and Sarah and I contemplated bailing. After all, now that it wasn’t my last course suddenly my personal deadline seems fluffy and optional. But, thankfully we rallied because guess what? Truman is NOT hot in the 90+ degree heat. It was actually lovely.

We hiked/ran this and started with the Lickbrook side. We’ve both done it the other way before and Lickbrook felt like cruel punishment at the end. It turned out to be a great idea. Also, we used the Leki poles that Scott and I got at mountain running camp a few years ago. They were amazing. We thought we’d have them just for Lickbrook, but we liked them so much we kept them for the other side too. It was my first time running with Sarah. We know each other through a number of life intersections and we run similar paces so it seemed like a great plan. We had a fun run!

A couple highlights - I ran out of water. I never run out of water at mile 13 so I was proud of myself for drinking. My watch died at mile 9. I had my phone off because it was low battery so I turned it on at mile 9 to catch the last bit. I never fell (yay poles because I surely would have otherwise). And, my inside of my quads hurt whenever I run this course. Any suggestions? I am annoyed that they really hurt from the steep ups.

Here is our picture from the end.

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Nice!! I’m so glad neither of us bailed. It was great fun. I feel very proud of us!

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I wanted to do this route again and this morning had nice cool temps for several hours, so seemed like a good bet. But Caitlins’ story of running into a bear did give me pause -so yesterday I went to Agway and bought a small cowbell. I carried it in my pack so it was muted, but made enough of a clack so that I wouldn’t surprise any bears.

I did the Treman side first, running on at least the easy sections. My mantra as I ran was -because I can. For the Lick Brook side, I mostly just hiked it. It stayed nice and cool under the tree canopy. I only realized how the temp was rising near the end, on the flat open section.

I’ve now completed all the routes twice

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After eating some real food at home, and reviving a little bit, I went back out to Purity Ice Cream and bought a quart to reward myself - I can eat ice cream all weekend now!

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Story

I finished my challenge with a wonderful pack of runners this morning who all set out extra early to beat the heat. @heathercobb3 was a delightful “race mom” with ice cold water and salty chips at several key road crossings so we could replenish. All that said, I think I drank over 3 liters of water during the course, took in 6 salt tabs, a bunch of gels, and 2 bags of potato chips! The course is lovely and we tackled Lick Brook first, which got that intense hill out of the way when our legs were fresher. It was such a nice group of folks (and no worries about bears!) I’m also relieved & excited to have the challenge done!

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I picked up my challenge shirt from Adam at the start of the course, and it’s awesome! Love the graphics and the material. Felt like the proper time to get some race swag!

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Story

I’ve been struggling with some posterior tibialis tendinopathy, which manifests as some discomfort the heel and arch of my right foot. It hasn’t totally sidelined me, but running 13.1 miles today was going to be a terrible idea. But at the same point, due to travel and family commitments, I’m running out of weeks to complete this and Brookton Hill & Dale.

So my strategy was to run the short side and then, if my foot was feeling OK, hike the long side. I had a nice run up Lick Brook with @crosby.woods — and we ran up the entire switchback hill while discussing at what race distance it made sense to conserve energy by walking versus “wasting” it by running, given that the goal of a race is speed, not efficiency. After turning around and running all the way back down, I sorely wanted to continue up with him but managed to listen to my inner coach and shut it down. Instead, I chatted with @heathercobb3 for a while until the big group had come in and left again, and then I headed out for my hike.

It was… uneventful? I have nothing against hiking, except I’d rather be running at basically all times. And I discovered that wearing a hat can sometimes be dangerous—there’s a spot past Woodard Road with some trees that you have to duck under. I did that, but because of the brim obscuring my vision coming up on the other side, I didn’t see the next tree that was down, and whacked my head on it pretty hard as a complete surprise. Ouch!

The only other excitement was seeing @Katie_Gannon, chatting with Heather again at Woodard Road, getting to cheer for first @lizhartman and Jilene Demont and then the big group on their way back from the turnaround, and then running into @kate-anderson and @KSlater once I’d turned around.

Then it was all the way back down, and as you can tell from the photos, my main diversion was listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast, something I normally only get to do when mowing the lawn, which hasn’t happened a lot this summer. Eventually, I made it all the way back down. Not fast, but I covered the ground.

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I had a series of errands after running, none of which were quite shopping, but which put some money into the local economy:

  • Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center to recycle a box of electronics and old computers that I’d promised I’d deal with for some elderly friends moving to an assisted living apartment in CT (after drilling the hard drives, which was sort of fun). Turns out you have to pay $10 to recycle anything big with a screen, like the dead iMac and monitor I had.

  • Lowes to recycle a bag of compact fluorescent light bulbs I’d been saving for years. Turns out you can’t recycle those at the Recycling Center unless it’s a Household Hazardous Waste day, but Lowes (and I think Home Depot) will take them anytime.

  • Gadget Repair Pro to pick up Tonya’s MacBook Pro, which was suffering from a flaky spacebar.

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Michelle, @MWoods, asked a few days ago if I would accompany her on this course to help her complete the challenge. She picked the perfect morning, so nice and cool. Although we carried water we probably didn’t even need it. It was nice to get an early start so the day isn’t completely shot afterwards. Our run was pretty uneventful. We ran the Lick Brook side first as a “warm up” and so we wouldn’t have to come down those nasty switchbacks on tired legs. The only interesting wildlife we saw were some adorable red newts, upon which we fortunately avoided treading.

Congrats to Michelle for completing the challenge!

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On the way home we made a quick stop at Eddy Dale’s for some peaches. Mmmm, perfectly ripe and delicious!

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Caitlin @caitlin-loehr is a saint for agreeing to run this with me early this morning, even after she’s already run it twice before! I couldn’t make it on any of the group runs, and so had been planning to go by myself today, but it was soooo much more fun to have Caitlin join me. It was so nice to chat and have help navigating and not feel nervous. It was the longest trail run I’ve ever done, I had two minor falls, and by the end, my knees and calves were not happy, but we got it done! THANK YOU Caitlin!!!

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We grabbed a few baskets of peaches from Eddy Dales, which in my house will last 1 day. I ate one as soon as I got home and it was perfection.

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Story

I am done. My God, I am so happy to be done!
I have never done a course write up and I feel like this is a course to be survived. For those of you who have not done this yet, prepare yourself! This is a LONG and HONEST post.

I wanted to do this on a cooler day and start early. I would suggest starting at 7 (I started at 8). I’m sure I would have been fine doing the course alone, but I’m glad I brought my dog. (She’s a trooper!)

The RunGo directions are 98% accurate and take you to the Treman side (8.5 mile course) first. I don’t know that starting the Lickbrook side would’ve been any better for me. Both are uphill, both ways! (How is that possible? :woman_shrugging:t2::woman_shrugging:t2::woman_shrugging:t2: I don’t know, but it is.)

There are so many lovely places to run along this bear of a course - but beware! You cannot be lulled into daydreams while running this course. The tree roots! The rocks! The random fallen trees and animal holes in the trail! They are all there to trip you, wake you up, and quite possibly cause a fall.

I stumbled to the left at mile 2 and my left outer quad and the top of left foot were hurting pretty badly. Then, around mile 2.5, I kicked a rock with my right foot and my first three toes were NOT happy. Remember to pick up your feet! (Do as I say, not as I do, because I’m not a great trail runner.)

There is a section where the trail splits in a Y (between Thomas and Woodward Roads) before the directions tell you to run along another road. STAY LEFT. I went right and got lost. Twice. Don’t be me.

I almost ate it in the creek bed very close to the turnaround. My left IT band was hurting a lot. I got to the turnaround and realized I was about .5 miles over. UGH. So it was going to be a 13+ mile day.

I was happy for the downhills on the way back, but had to go slow so I didn’t fall. I did twist my ankle, though. I was about a mile from the parking lot and my ankle was hurting pretty badly. I was thinking, “WHO THOUGHT THIS COURSE WAS A GOOD IDEA?!” and then realized I’d never been there and wouldn’t have ever known about it if it weren’t for the Challenge. I also realized that there are some really good trail runners in this group and they want some fun as well. I was thinking all of this while trying not to fall.

I got back to the parking lot, refilled my Camelback, got a bar, and gave my dog some cold water. I didn’t eat enough before the run and didn’t bring any gels/bars. That was stupid. Bring some fuel.

My dog decided to poop about 1/4 mile up the Lickbrook trail, so I picked it up and took it back to my car. More unnecessary extra distance and time. Then we were off again.

I almost exclusively walked the Lickbrook side (even the lovely flat parts). I just didn’t want to injure myself. The switchbacks even had my dog stopping and out of breath. I was worse. So much climbing!

The second time I got lost was after crossing Town Line Road. The blazes turn to orange and there is a part where the directions say to follow the forest/blue blazes where the trail splits and not to go to the field. I did that and it was wrong. DO NOT follow the blue blazes! Just stay on the trail as it runs along the field.

There are two new tents at a campsite that are set up directly on the trail. It felt a bit intrusive, but I just stuck to what seemed like the trail (there weren’t any colored blazes that I saw). Got through that and rejoined the orange blazes, got to the electric line clearing road up to King Road, then took it slow all the way back. I did jog some of the straight switchbacks, but walked all the stairs and downhills. I didn’t trust my ankles or legs. I did jog from the dry creek bed (after getting down from the switchbacks) to the train bridge, then all the way to the sign.

I’m done! I’m done! 14.08 miles later, I’M DONE. (Can you tell that I’m happy to be done?)

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I ordered coffee and a rosemary salt bagel ahead of time from Ithaca Bakery on Triphammer (nowhere near the run, but close to my house). It was sitting in the car, just waiting for me, and was the BEST rosemary salt bagel I’ve ever had!

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did Lick Brook/Treman again this morning. It was a beautiful day for it.

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stopped at Eddydale on the way home and picked up some fresh corn

Great run, @Dina_Maxwell!

And they should be a little better now. I meant to update them after doing it myself last week, but completely forgot until now. They’re a little less chatty on the upper Treman side, are more careful about warning people to avoid the Rim Trail when it intersects, and send people out to the field on the Lick Brook side.