AM- drove to Rocky Bottom to get in some good hillwork. Ran FHT up Sassafras, then decided to go down the trail towards Caesar's Head rather than Table Rock to see what that was like. I only made it a mile, which was slow due to excessive undergrowth even though it dropped almost 800 ft. Decided to go back to regular FHT rather than bushwack. Got back to Sassafras, having traveled a whopping 6 miles in 1:45 (17:30 avg pace). Most of the steep climbing for the day was over, though, as I had already climbed 2600 ft and had probably 2/3 of the walking done. Cruised down the FHT towards TR, which had relatively few spider webs even though I only saw 5 people all run. Decided to go all the way to Bald Knob overlook, 10 miles from the car. Felt generally good after about the 2 hr mark and was glad to get in some nice heat work, hill work, and a good long run. Finished with just over 22 miles (almost 22.5) and 5800 ft in 4:48. I'm also getting my summer hydration plugged in- I only drank 110 oz and 3 S-caps, and didn't take any leaks after the first hour (as opposed to previous, where I drink more and keep stopping every hour). No need to run over-hydrated since I'm only going a few hours. 85 deg at the finish and still very humid, with me just beating the afternoon thundershowers. Finished with a dip in the creek and drove home, arriving at 3 pm, over 8 hrs after I left home. Solo run meant I got through 6.5 hrs of ultrarunning podcasts, too.
If I ever had ultra buddies visit, I'd either take them on this run or on the Bench Marathon.