I woke up early and managed to start this just after sunrise to avoid some of the crowds and busy traffic at the road crossings. Usually I wear a running vest but today I went with a small Nathan fanny for fuel/phone/keys and two .5 litter handhelds for liquid. I wanted to try a more minimal setup to cut some weight and feel free. The strategy I used on the first out and back was to run hard on the flats and downs, while staying more relaxed on the vert to save the legs a bit for later on. First out went well, and the way back was smooth and fast for a 2:31 and change out and back which is a PR for me! I had my van setup for a quick transition into the second out and back. Quick liquid refill and more Gu’s and I was out for the second in less than a minute or so. I knew if I kept it together I had a good chance of hitting splits, but this trail becomes so hard to continue running well for the second out and back. I ran with intentions of staying consistent and not blowing up. I hit the turn around in good time and dialed in the mental game. I was moving slower on the ups but knew that was normal and okay so I didn’t let it phase me too much. Everything was good up until about 2 miles from the finish where I had an instant bonk. I got bad nausea and felt a bit light headed right before a fairly long ascent. I was tempted to push through it, but thought if I tried to I would possibly throw up and be in a bad position to finish well. I slowed down for the next 5 minutes or so and got things somewhat back in control, and managed to stay at that pace until the finish. I was shocked to see I was below 5 hrs and 30 minutes as I hadn’t looked at my watch in a while. Very happy with this effort and I learned a ton about myself both physically and mentally. This was huge for me seeing progress after feeling dead last year after running this in 6:30. Thanks to Shane and Corin for pushing this route lately and showing what’s possible. I think this surely has room for faster times so get after it!
Damn Keith you crushed this route! I'm psyched that this FKT is getting so competitive. Starting out in 2:31 is insane to me, I don't think I've ever run faster than 2:40 for a single out and back, those rocks just take so much mental focus and effort. I'm excited to get back out there and see what that kind of pace feels like on the Skyline, though it probably won't be until next November.