It took a month, but I finally ran South Boulder and Bear Peaks in under 1:45. Got back to the car in exactly 1:45, with 2:20 stopped time.
Great timing because next weekend I’m going to start on the 14ers again, and I’m planning to do that every weekend till the end of October, so I wouldn’t have much time for these two.
My original plan was to hike a 14er today, but I went to bed late, and I wasn’t sure of the weather, so I just ran up South Boulder and Bear peaks again. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve hiked up these two mountains, but this was at least the 4th time this year.
I made good progress from last week. Got my time down to exactly 2 hours from 2:17, and my stopped time to 2 minutes from 6. Only 15 minutes to go to reach my goal for the summer.
Unfortunately, further improvement is going to be tough. Besides a few short snowy sections on South Boulder, I got down about as fast as I safely can. I just wouldn’t comfortable going much faster. That means I need to climb faster, and that won’t be easy.
I don’t run on the way up – it’s more like “speed hiking”. I ran some of the flatter sections today, but once the trail got steep I had to slow down. I have a long way to go before I can run the whole thing. Before I can, I need to drastically increase my endurance. I slow down quite a bit on steep sections, and it gets worse further into the hike. Fortunately, I should get better with more practice, and I plan on practicing a lot this summer.
Yesterday I went on my first trail run of the year, up South Boulder and Bear peaks. It was more like a very fast hike up, and a run down, but I’m still pretty happy with my time of 2:16, which beats my best time from last year by 15 minutes.
My goal is to get under 1:45 by the end of the summer, and I think I have a good chance. Not only was this only my first try of the year, but I was slowed down by a heavier than necessary pack. I was a little uncertain about the weather and trail conditions, so I ended up packing a jacket I never wore, an apple I didn’t eat, and microspikes I probably didn’t need. I did end up wearing the microspikes from the summit of South Boulder down to the saddle because there were a few icy and snow packed sections, but I really would have been okay without them – mostly just put them on so it wasn’t a complete waste bringing them.
My other running goal for the summer is to run up and down Quandry Peak. The “standard” route on Quandry is 6.8 miles with 3450 feet of elevation gain, while the run I did yesterday is 7.5 miles and 3300 feet. Of course the real challenge on Quandry will be the decreased oxygen at the higher altitude.