Not too long ago, I set a personal record up and down Old Rag Mountain. My reason for doing a speed run was twofold. Partly motivated by the fact I've hiked Old Rag literally dozens of times and hustling through it would be an interesting change of pace yet equally because I simply wanted to be home as my wife got off of work and it's about a 4 hour drive.
Starting at the trailhead marker and ending at the same spot, it took me a grand total of 2 hours and 12 minutes. Felt pretty good too. Didn’t overly push it and had a short rest at the top. Just for the record, the National Park Service says to allow for 7-8 hours.
It felt good to set that PR but I don't know if I'll try to shave off any more time. When is enough enough? Even though it'd be neat to say I did the route in under 2 hours, I feel confident that I can. Sometimes you have to prove things to yourself but I'm happy with what I've accomplished so I think I'll just let it be.
See, part of me doesn’t even want to do a true all out speed run because I want to keep making sure I enjoy the hike. On this run specifically, I made sure to throw in the break at the summit without stopping the clock so it purposely slowed me down.
Not everything has to be timed and recorded to matter. In fact, I want to do another summit of Old Rag with the complete opposite goal. I want to go ridiculously slow and soak it all in. I think it'll be refreshing to stop frequently, see the sights, smell the air, and listen to the wind through the trees or the the critters scurrying around the woods. Maybe I'll report back with those findings.