Tried again to break 2 hours "car to car" on the Mt. Humphrey's Trail. I haven't had much time this week to run and this afternoon, heat and all, was my one chance to go for it.
I felt really energized and ready to go for broke when I started and charged up the first section determined to get a strong cadence and shave some time off the section to the saddle.
I believe that for me to go under 2 hours consistently or at all this is the key. I am running and hiking the rest of it more closely to where I think I will plateau on this trail (the whole trail is extremely rocky, technical and steep and the upper ridge from the saddle to summit is loose, rocky, steep and scrambly so going from summit to ridge is slow moving and coming down is hard to go fast for fear of breaking my face or other important parts of my body (well, my face isn't that important...).
Well, I did make it to the saddle in 57 minutes even (about the same as my fastest time) but was sucking some serious wind and feeling pretty dried out. I think, looking back, that I started out a bit quick and lost some steam up high and it was maybe a touch too warm for really coming in with a break through time for me on this section.
The upper ridge went better and I was able to get to the summit in 1 hour 18 minutes (a few minutes faster than my previous best).
Coming back down felt sluggish but I still really went for it and somehow kept on my feet (no falling on my face on this run...amazing!). Although, I just didn't have the burst at the end like I do when I run this trail in the mornings. Despite this, I fought hard and finished with a time of 2 hrs 1 min 33 sec.
Not a bad time as it is a new PR for me but the realization that I need to get faster going uphill is hitting me hard now. I seem to only be shaving seconds off my time and I feel very slow still going uphill to the saddle.
Popping a fast time for me and going under 2 hours is inevitable I think at this point. It is a matter of the right day but to go under consistently and really dig into that 1 hour something space I am going to need to make a leap now. I am going to have to put the work in. Maybe more years of running will help but hill work is going to have to be in my future.
Time to get strong on hills! The dream for me is to literally charge my way up that trail and push 5 miles an hour or more (doesn't sound very fast but you should see this trail!). Right now I am not even making it to 4 miles an hour going up. Oh...the dream. Gotta keep running and attack the hills!!!