Sunday, June 29, 2014

AT Day 45: Almost quit today

6/28 Saturday
Ore Mill->Almost Liberty

Well I almost quit today.  And it's not for anything you would think. I enjoyed the lovely morning climbing up MT Moosilauke. But on the descent I ran into two hikers that told me my dad was hiking up and had supplies for me. At first I was surprised. Then I got angry.  I didn't think I would see him again until Baxter.  Here he was telling people he was bringing me supplies. I couldn't help but think he was trying to sabotage me.  Once I caught up to I let into. I called him an asshole. I told him he knew I couldn't accept support and asked why he was trying to ruin this for me. He told me to calm down and drink a Mt Dew. I told him to eff off.  And I took off down. I was so pissed started hammering up the other side. Quickly my feelings went from anger to worry. I was getting along so well with my dad; it was like we were buddies. So I called him.  No answer. I called again let a long sopping message. I was sorry. But he knows better.  I wanted to talk to him.  I texted similar. But I kept moving.  Check check and re check my phone. Nothing. My chest hurt. My head hurt. I interrupted a nice family picnic with my loud sobbing.  I sat down. I just couldn't move.   My dad drove all this way and started hiking a mountain. He just wanted to give me a mt dew and red bull. And I told him to eff off. I am such an asshole. I am quitting I decided. Being friends with my dad is way more important than this stupid record. But I realized, great. Even if I quit I still have to walk 10 more miles out to the road.  So I kept on, very mopie.  Finally, I checked my phone. I had a message from my dad. "At road waiting for you".  I hustled. Sweet. I'll smooth this over and be fishing with my dad in no time.  I got to the highway. My dad was grilling.  Are you effin kidding me. I couldn't help but laugh.  I told him I was sorry about what I said and he couldn't just show up and surprise me. He knows I cant accept supplies. He tried to get me to eat a burger. I don't really eat meat and I wasn't quitting. I told him to go home and I would see him in baxter in 10 days.  Some how I don't think this will be the last I see off him. But I think we came to an understanding. I said goodbye. And wondered up the trail. I was exhausted and only covered 34 miles. 

Well I couldn't sleep well and had phone service. I got the Whiteblaze site to work. I read a lot of comments. And I am blown away. I appreciate all the support and am blown away by how big this has gotten.  Also, I got some info on resupplying. Thank you especially to Mr townsend. It is a big help and I have already put it to use. 

For everyone guessing out there, here it is...

When I started the trail I was aware of what the record was and thought, Lets see what I cal do.  After 10 days average 36.6.MPD. I decided to push and see how I felt. After a couple of big days and feeling great. My confidence was growing. I decided to get my average up to 40 MPD asap. I did. Then I decided to bank miles for the Whites.  My understanding was, leaving VT and starting the Whites. I had 19 miles in the bank. 1779 in 44 days. So I could bleed 5 miles a day thru the whites, a few more in Maine then pull and all nighter get Katahdin in the AM july 6-7. So 53.5-54.5 days.    I guess that is a plan. But I have been flying by the seat of my pants. So we will see....

Also, someone mentioned I run on emotion.  I totally do!  Today my emotion tank was drain.  But I love my dad and he knows it. Tomorrow is a new day

Saturday, June 28, 2014

AT Day 44: Fatty

6/27 Friday
Happy hill->Ore Mill

Felt amazing running into Hanover.  6lbs on my back, downhill paved road. I might have just clipped one mile off at 7min pace. $128 at a convience store later , I felt like a bloated out of shape fatty walking out of town. Had a few climbs but nothing crazy.  Loved trudging thru a few swamps too.  I guess I will be wet this whole trip(only wet maine left).  But then Ill appreciate the desert so much more in a few weeks time. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

AT Day 43: Refresh day

6/26  thurs
Killington->Happy Hill

Shortest day on the trail in a long time it seems I just under 12 hours got a good nights rest and get a good nights rest tonight a lot of food it's hard to go slowly take it easy. But I think I'll be good from the mountains coming out. 

Yeah the voice type doesn't work all that great. 

AT Day 42: Slip n slide

6/25 Wed
Mt Baker->Killington

Spent the night in a hotel with with my dad it was awesome I did not want to leave I do want to go to bed I'm back out here I'm resting up taking an easy day. Eating lots of food to refuel before the whites

AT Day 41: Sorry guys

6/24 Tues
Goddard->Baker Mt

This is going to be too hard to keep up through the whites and Maine.  I'll do my best but I got to have a focused head and get these last 400 some odd miles done. Hopefully I'll pop up somewhere and have a Katahdin in 14 or days or so

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

AT Day 40: Voice type revolution

6/22 Mon
Cobble rocks->Goddard

Finally some mountains Greylock and Glastonbury. Margot and her dad met me; it was awesome.  They track me down then walked the trail with me and ran with me for 3 miles and it was great! It was like meeting to old friends for coffee hang out for a while catching up and then leaving feeling refreshed and good. Although we covered 3 miles we talked while we walked for 3 miles and I felt when they left and I was refreshing ready to hike again. But I was already hiking. 

Okay we reach a all-time new level here I realize how to use the voice type on my iPhone. All I need is a signal and I can basically just talk to my phone and here you go you got a blog. 

Unfortunately I am moving all day and focus I think get food get water and massage my legs him the rest of it I walk sleep that's all I have time for I will try to keep everyone updated as best I can but I'm sure I'll be heading out service very infrequently coming up. But I am home in Vermont playing in the mountains a group plan then i'm going to see my dad tomorrow night SigmaStat hotel room so that's going to be awesome and refreshing both mentally and physically. Right now I am on and kisses the 12th day where I will get 40+ miles an absurd I love it going to time for anything else you time to think about that my new new balance minimus shoes fell apart in less than 40 miles but hopefully will get some issues soon and will be sorry again.  I can't tell you all how much I love you and appreciate the support it's been amazing. You guys are motivating me and inspiring me every day and I hope I can only return the favor someone to keep going. About 545 miles to go to Katahdin I love it can't wait

Peace and love everyone

AT Day 39: Pancakes

6/22 Sun
Blue Hill->Cobble Rocks

Easy day. Besides two 1,000ft, a 800ft and a 600ft climb. Today was flat. So boring, so tiring. Pancake flat.  can't be like pancakes all exciting at first and by the end you're sick of them thanks Mitch

AT Day 38: Sorry trying to be better

6/21 Sat
Belters->Blue Hill


AT Day 37: No time/energy still moving

6/20 Friday
Nature landscapes->Belters

Well I slept. Woke up covered in a cold dew. The only way I know how to get warm is move. Packed quick and started running. It was a mile of cow pasture to start every step soaking my feet in cold morning dew. It actually felt nice. I was booking for it was smooth terrain. Got to my resupply point and went to work. I spent a little too long there but it is a nice mental break as well. Ugh now my pack is heavy.  I kept up a good forward progress. But the terrain wasn't making it easy. Can't help but feel like Frodo Baggins trying to get to Mordoor to destroy the ring.  I am currently entering the kingdom of Isengarrd before Mordoor.  Google St. Johns ledges... Enjoy the view. Now add st. Johns ledges stair climb.  Lord of the rings?  Well I just keep plugging away. But every time I calculate my pace, I just seem slow. I am not going to make it. I get angry and sprint. But the sun was winning the race.  Finally, I had to stop and put the headlamp on. I ate , brushed my teeth and couldn't help feeling like a failure. 38 miles...I wanted 40 to make it a week of 40s.  I was getting everything together for my bear bag when I noticed the guide book page for today. I looked at it to try to figure out why it was so hard? Why I didn't make it? There it was...I had the wrong starting mileage. I thought I started at 1448 but I started at 1446. Thus making my pace seem slower all day. Realizing this; that means I did 40 today.  But yesterday? I did 40 not 42.  Haha. The best part of that mistake is it probably pushed me to get those last few miles instead of giving up. Well awesome!  Thankful, I passed out. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

AT Day 36: If you only need a good third

6/19 Thurs
Graymoor->nature landscapes

Ugh. The rain started early in the AM. I happened to pick a spot where the roof leaked. Just a drip. But it woke me up and made me move. I really didn't want to be here today. It rained until 11. I was moving so slow. Almost as if I was trying to slow myself down. The sun came out. It was 1 pm. I needed water. I went to a tent site with a pump and laid out my stuff to dry while I filtered the water. I made a few needed phone calls. It was 3 pm.  Crap. I had only cover 17 miles in 8:30.  I got up and started running. I didn't stop until 8 pm. I had covered 23 miles in just over 5 hours. A pretty good pace with a pack. I walked across a swamp on a long boardwalk while eating dinner. I cross some railroad tracks and was at the nursery.  The power outlets didn't work and the bathroom was locked. I got water and passed out. 

AT Day 35: Character Building

6/18 Wednesday
Prospector rocks ->Graymoor

So my day start with a big crash.  A tree came tumbling down about 50 feet away from where I slept.  It was really windy, there was lightning(I assume heat lightning), it wasn't raining and was hot as hell.  I was thirsty. So I drank some water. It was 1:30 in the morning. I was up now. Really thirsty and running out of water.  Oh well night hike.  It must have gotten warmer thru the night. 2 miles in, I found a brook and I loaded up on water. Do people actually like the Sawyer Squeeze? I think it is annoying. I would rather pump.   So I stumbled through the dark until about 3:30.  I was pretty tired so I figured a nap would work wonders.  Slept until 5 with my feet up on a rock and my head on my pack. No bag/sac just my tights and shirt.  Well it worked like a charm. I felt like I had slept all night. The day was going great. I was in NY. I crossed the thruway where I have driven a million times. There were climbs. Punchy short steep climbs. Probably the best to get my climbing legs back. I was about 18 miles into my day and walking up a longer climb. I looked thru the guide book to find outfitters to get shoes. Sweet. The next 3 towns. About 50, 80, and 110 miles out all had outfitters within a mile or so of the trail.  So I stopped to break and dry out my feet. I called. All three outfitters.  None of them carried shoes.  Only one of them knew what compression socks were.  And only one had camelback bladders.  Now I've lost it.  How can you call yourself a "hiking " "Trails" and "backcountry" outfitter and not sell shoes or boots ?  I don't know what to do. I called mike and left him a 15 minute sobby voicemail.  I took off back on the trail feeling lost. What am I doing out here?  How am I so unprepared?  Why do the outfitter stores along the AT suck?  Nothing good.  The trail meandered over slickrock and thru brush. I found it very difficult to follow the trail. All of this was frustrating the hell out of me. I decided I would go to the visitor center at the pallisades to buy some cokes and snacks. I was kind of low on food and figured it would cheer me up/give me some motivation. I crested the last climb and had a far off view of NYC. Now that is better. Down the descent and .4 miles later, I was at the visitor center. The ladies there hated me.  Fair enough. I don't much and like the overweight, chatty couch potato types either. I left quick and headed out over a nice climb. I was getting turned around a lot on the descent and it only further frustrated me.  I climbed up West mountain and it was a meandering line.  We circumnavigated the top and it seems though they were doing some maintenance and the trail is very confusing only frustrating me more.   Finally I just descend, feel much better reaching town and trying to cross over to the last climb of the day.  I had to walk through the zoo and when I reach the gate it was locked and apparently take another trail because as he was now closed it was too late.  The trail dropped down into what seemed to be the sewer of town and paralleled the road for .2 miles then popped back out on the road. I don't know whose sick idea that is.  I cross the bridge across the Hudson river. And head out my final climb of the day. I was really tired and feeling faint. So I decide the best idea is to just try to run up the climb as quick as possible. Apparently this just jump started my engine.  I ran the last 3 1/2 miles in about 30 minutes over lumpy terrain and finally a descent through the woods into the darkness of night. I missed the turn off to the market but I saw the glowing lights and knew I was close. Being dark I decided to just go for it in trudge across this grassy looking field. It ended up being a swamp but I didn't care I was home. I got there into the appellation market and it was beautiful. Really nothing more than your ordinary gas station but it was heaven to me and they were open 24 hours and had pizza and desserts. I drink my orange juice quick and my V-8 juice did my shopping in a couple pieces of pizza and headed out the door with my food. I still had a half-mile to go on the trail and then a half-mile off to the campsite.  I arrived set up shop and passed out hardly doing any massage at all. What a long day hopefully I can forget and they're better days to come. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

AT Day 34: Motivation

6/17 Tuesday
Gren Andersen->Prospector Rocks

Today started slow and then got crazy.  I met a ridge runner by the name Grasshopper while I was filling up water at the first shelter. He started in with the usual questions and soon realized how crazy I was.  Being a thru hiker himself and more of a true trail hiker, we seemed to agree on a lot of things. He said that I best be going and that he didn't want to hold me up. I told him nonsense, that I was gaining motivation and inspiration.  But then I hurried away.  Things were going swimmingly but it was get hot and humid fast. I made it to the road I had to take to town and was about to turn on it. There was an older lady who looked like she might be from the area. I asked for confirmation.  She told me it was not the road and I had to go another mile. Ill call B S.  I just didn't believe her. I decided to just go up the road right in front of her. She yelled to me that I was going the wrong way. I just waved.  Sure enough it was the right way and I arrived to an airconditioned gas station. This was going to be hard to leave.  They had orange juice and pineapple.  I could cry. Downed a half gallon of oj, ate some pineapple, ordered/ate a chicken parm sub and bought my groceries.  But I didn't want to leave yet. I pulled out my phone and I had service. I had a text from my mom and two from my brother. Surely they are trying to figure out where to meet me in Massachusetts.   They were trying to meet up. But right now. Apparently driving down, they wanted to meet me at a place 10 miles ahead in less than an hour. Crap I thought. I wasted all this time just to stay in the AC.  I text my brother a new location only 6 miles away. Packed up and started running. Great now I am stressed and rushing. But it was great. I crushed those 6 miles and arrived at a roadside picnic of which seemed like a dozen hikers. I saw my mom and gave her a big sweaty hug. Then I punched my brother for surprising me and making me run so hard. I sat down and my mom introduced everyone to me.  I chatted with the other hikers and had some more pineapple. I had just left the gas station and wasn't that hungry.  One by one the hikers got on with their journey as I knew I should too.  But I didn't want to leave. Finally , I just blurted it out, "I ought to be going."  We said our goodbyes, but I didn't want to go. I hadn't seen my mom in a year. But if everything goes right, In a month I will be spending as much time with her as I can.  Well I flew off down the trail. It might have been the MT Dew, 3 hours of rest or the inspiration and motivation I had just gained. I passed a few hikers I had just met and wished them luck.  I got to the shelter that was only 37 miles for me. It was. 6 already.  How did it get so late?  Oh yeah.  Well I got to try to make it the 12 more miles to the next shelter.  I got my hustle on but it was getting dark. I got up to prospect rocks about the time you start to need a headlamp.  It was beautiful and breezy.  I decided to put my feet up and eat something. I was hungry. As I sat there looking up, I could see the stars starting to come out.  Its was one of those moments. You know you will never forget.  It is extra special because you know this while it is happening. It is nostalgic in the present.  Wow what a life.  I got up to move on and decide no, I am tired. I hung my bear bag and passed out. Thinking, wow Joe. You are really living life. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

AT Day 33: The Captain

6/16 Monday
Wolf Rocks->Gren Andersen

No case of the Mondays here. Excited for an early morning town, new shoes and camel back.  Half awake, I floated over those man-eating rocks they have here in PA.  Haha.  Okay, its a simple paychological explanation.  I am not going to deny that there are rocks in PA.  But there are rocks everywhere.  I remember some rooty/rock descent out of NC that was worse than anything in PA.  It is like my buddy Rusty said when I asked him about PA, "people got to have something to complain about".  Bingo. PA is long, flat, boring, uninspiring and lacks views.  But please don't take it out on the rocks.  I love the rocks! Running on rocks is like getting a foot massage all day..Awesome.  I had to run all day in PA, I like mountains and I cannot stand slowing down to eat when it is flat.  I guess I am just complaining now.  Boo hoo.   So I got top of the last hump before dropping to town. Mt MiniSi. Made me think of Jurek and Mt Si training for Western States.  We will get back to him later.  Gorgeous view with some sprawled fog. Takes my breath away.  Descent over in no time. Not to brag, but I am a pretty fine descender when I bring my A game. I get to the Village Farmer.  Sounded good.  It was a bakery. Last resupply candy shop, this one a bakery.  I half debated getting a pie.  Also, I was in a foul mood for the TWO outfitter stores in town were only open 10-5.  Honestly, this has always irked me.  It was before 9 and I don 't have the patience or luxury to sit around for an hour.  Both stores.  10-5. Not even an 8 hour day.  Lazy bums.  Anyhow, the only juice the bakery has comes in 2oz cans. After 3 V8s I gave up. And for food. Chocolate covered nuts and candy. Gosh my diet has been hell for a few days.  Okay off and running. Cross the Delaware river. PA behind me and welcome NJ.  I ate my loaf of cranberry walnut bread up the climb.  By far the best food I have had in 3 days now.  I started down that path... The one you shouldn't ever go.  Negative Nancies path.  Well it was getting out of hand after about 20 minutes. Instead of slapping myself around, there were people close by.  I decided to stop, lay down and just slow everything down.  Amazing how this trick works.  I laid on my back with my feet up and updated my blog. I saw I had a text and comment from my dad.  He went out hiking again.  I just broke out in tears. This is awesome.  My dad has worked his ass off his whole life. Out here we get trail names. Well my dad has a life name. Captain.  Captain Insano really. But he is a Captain. That means he commands a vessel. And my dad is out there. So you know its not a boat. It is like spacecraft or something crazy.  I don't think he is insane. If fact the opposite. He is a genius.  Sometimes he might come off as crazy, but he is doing what he has to, to get what he wants.  He taught my brother and I to work our asses off and make something of ourselves. He has truly made me who I am today and I am forever thankful.  I filled up on water and a young gentleman showed up to also rest and enjoy the spot along sunset pond.  I enjoyed talking with him but felt the need to get going. Fortunately, I drank a lot of water and had to use the facilities. He caught up to me and we walked and talked for about a mile. He energized me and lifted my spirits. I felt bad, but now I wanted to run and run fast.  I said good day and good luck. Brian if you read this, I would call you  "little enlightened one". If you wanted a name.  Well here I am off flying. I felt like I had just pulled a Jurek. In 2005 I believe. Don't quote me. It has been a long time since I read  "Eat and run". Jurek was laying on the ground at Badwater mile. 70. Feeling like he was about to die. Then pulled himself up and finished in record time. I didn't get a record time, but I got to Branchville fast.  I walked into the Gypsy Tavern.  An absolute beautiful spot on some lake. The world cup was on, USA V Ghana. I couldn't have planned this better.  So 6 cokes, 8 glasses of water, cheeseburger, sweet potato fries, pepperoni pizza and a lot of question answering later. USA won and I was out the door. I walked the 3 miles to the shelter and couldn't have felt happier or prouder of my day. Sure I wanted the 5 more miles to the next shelter, but screw it. World cup baby. 

Oh and it started pouring 30 minuts after I got to the shelter. So cheers to avoiding that one.


Oh yea we are in NJ.  Shot out to the boss. 
"Baby this town rips the bones from your back 
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap 
We gotta get out while we're young 
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run "

I was born to run

AT Day 32: Happy Fathers Day

6/15 Sunday
Allentown->Wolf Rocks

Brr it was cold this morning.  Someone said it was 40 degrees and I would believe them.  Took a little while to get rolling today. It is fathers day and I want to make my dad proud.  Once the sun was up for a bit, both the temperatures and I were warmed up.  Cruised down to Lehigh gap around 11.  I noticed water dripping down the back of my leg. I immediately grabbed the bottom of my pack and it was soaking wet.  I threw my pack down and puled out a broken bladder.  Oh boy, no bueno. It was sunny, hot and the middle of the day. I crossed the bridge and then got lost somehow. All the white reflectors look like blazes so I get confused.  Cursing and looking confused cars just drive by, probably slightly perturbed.  I finally figure it out and get up to the trail head.  Someone had left water and I was immensely grateful.  I decided I needed to chill out and regather myself.  So I pulled out my feet and I called my dad to wish him a happy fathers day. We talked for awhile and realized I would see him in VT in 9 days. My dad told me after reading about all my hiking, he went for a hike himself.  I couldn't believe it.  I was blown away.  My dad was always active. He played soccer, basketball and he would chop wood and stuff like that.  But my dad would never be caught dead exercising just to stay in shape.  Really just caught me by surprise. After hanging up and packing up, I took off up a decent sized climb.  I felt invigorated by my talk with my day and the idea of seeing him in a little over a week.  I rounded the top of the climb and started running.  For some reason I launched myself in the air.  I just flew over a rattlesnake almost stepping on him in the process.  When I stopped and turned back, he finally started to rattle at me.  Definitely got the heart beating.  I took off running. It was flat and smooth high on a ridge. I was getting fried and sunburnt.  All this rain and forest, this is the first time I have really seen the sun in 31 days.  I struggled with hydration. I no longer had the camelback to sip from. At first I left the sawyer platypus bladders in my pack and then got them out each time to drink. Then I tried running with it in hand. Awkward.  I don't know if I was hyponatremic or hypoglycemic but my vision was quite blurry. I decided to lay down with my feet up for a few minutes. Try to regather myself. That didn't work and I thought I best be moving on. You don't need to be able to see to run, just float over the ground. At least that is what I tell myself.  My energy was drained and I was fried.  I was waiting to see if the sun going down would cool me off and bring me back to life.  Didn't happen. I saw a camp spot and decided enough us enough.  '44 miles. That is still not bad. I built a fire because I felt like it.  It was hot all day. I didn't need a fire. But I wanted to, I am a pyro and there was wood handy.  I think my dad would be proud of my fire too. Happy Fathers day dad, I love you!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

AT Day 31: Mikeys 30

6/14 Saturday

Well it is my brothers birthday today.  Not just any birthday, dirty 30.   I wanted to do something special. Oh and it is flag day.  The day we celebrate the birth of American Jesus.  Well I took off running. The first 10 miles I spent trudging through the swamps of PA. After I got out of that grossness.  It was running. Non-stop running.  Ugh. Pennslyvania is so flat, it is inbeliveable.  Well I made it to Port Clinton in no time. Well, 5 hrs 10mins.  For 23miles. Ill take it.  Once I got on the pavement. I ripped my shoes and socks off  and called my brother.  Before he even answered the phone the sun had gone behind the clouds.  Seems about right, I shrugged.  I wished my brother a happy birthday, got to talk to Downey and congratulate Mr. Butch on getting married.  I decided to not try to long to dry out my feet with it being cloudy. So I went to the candy shop.  Honestly, it is almost perfect for a resupply.  They have nuts, trailmixes, gummy candy and dried fruit in large bins. You can get as much or little as you would like.  I only spent $50 and was on the road.  I figured I would try to dry my feet again. So I sat at the edge of the road and cleaned them up. I ate the pound of fudge (oreo and peanut butter). Then I finally made my up and out of town. Now I have learned in the past not to eat much in town, wait until you are walking uphill to start eating. And no different this time.  At the candy shop I had an orange juice, V8, 4 sodas and some carmel popcorn. Then I had the fudge before start up.  I was nauseous for the first 20 minutes. Then I was okay for the next 10 and then I was hungry again. Oh the ridiculousness of hiking 40 miles a day. I continued on for awhile but just seemed to be dragging. I finally had to sprint to make it to camp without a headlamp. I was exhausted and disappointed. I wanted to do something big for my bothers birthday.  And then I cracked up. I just covered 46 miles and spent $50 on candy.  Oh well I guess I am just ridiculous.  Well happy birthday Mike. Sorry I couldn't be there but I know you are surrounded by a bunch of cool people at the Butchs wedding.  I am really tired for some reason? Sorry, short and boring tonight. But I need some sleep. Goodnight

Saturday, June 14, 2014

AT Day 30: Marshall Ullrich

6/13 Friday

Well it didn't seem to rain that much last night.  Maybe I made a mistake.  But my feet are a worlds better, so maybe not.  I ran 2 miles on pavement to start the day.  So my feet were dry for a little.  Had a nice little climb to start.  I felt heavy and probably was.  I ate too much and didn't run far enough.  But thats okay. I  will be down some weight in a few hours.  I got sprinkled on from 9 to 10am. I thought well that wasn't so bad. We are done with the rain for a few days and things will finally dry out.  All of a sudden there was a sharp pain shooting up from my right foot/toes.  I tried to move the foot around in the shoe. But nothing worked. It was so painful it made me nauseous and I threw up.  This is not good.  I stopped took it off. My foot didn't look that bad.  I picked some dirt/rock out of one of the sores.  I ate some cheesy crackers while I waited for it to dry a bit.  I rubbed some neosporin on it, wrapped it in some toilet paper and duct tape, then shoved it back in the shoe.  Seemed better. Started running. Better, but still really painful.  This is not good.  This could shorten my day again. Hmm. Ok I got it.  Good ole Marshall Ullrich trick.  Dudes badass. Done a bunch of stuff crazier than this and is known for having his toenails surgically removed.  I look up to him because he is hardcore and intuitive.  He figures out what works and does it.  He ran across the US a couple of years ago at the age of 57. He didn't get the record he was going for. But he averaged something like 60 miles a day and set the masters record.  Anyhow, he has a book, "Running on empty" and I read it about a year ago.  It is a good book; if you enjoy what I am doing, you should read it.  So in the book, I believe it is plantar fascititis, but he is in a lot of pain.  He decides to just tell himself it is not his foot and ignore it.  Well that apparently worked for him, so why not try it.  So..."thats not my foot, thats not my foot, thats not my foot."  Well, the pain went away.  I mean I think the pain was still there, but I was full on ignoring it.  Wow, I couldn't believe it.  Well a few hours of running later(pennslyvania is flat) it started to pour.  Not much in the way of lightning. But just pouring. Big drops. Now I was having fun. Remember when you were a kid and you would go splash around in the rain and stomp puddles.  Well I never grew up. And I refuse to. It was so much fun.  It was easy to follow the trail.., it was the creek.  I thought maybe I would blow up my dry sac and float this thing.  But then I thought against it, might be considered cheating.  The rain stopped after a few hours and I was almost sad.  It instantly became sunny, hot and humid. Ugh, talk about grossness. I had a decent climb to eat dinner on. And then 10 miles flat across the ridge, made for some nice running. But it rained a bit on me at the end. So once again showing up to camp dripping wet.  But I didn't care.  Today was awesome.  I ran 47 miles, splish-splashed like a kid and got rid of some nasty pain by using jedi mind tricks. 

I didn't mention before...the day I saw my brother, I thought "I could just get in this car right now and be home in Albany, sleeping in a warm bed in just 8 hours."  But I couldn't quit. I hadn't even made it halfway...DAMN 31 more miles.  Haha. Then the next night at the Allenbury, I had a dream I was quitting and going home. 
I will not quit. I am in this until Maine. Today really strengthened my belief that I will figure it out and I will get to Maine on the sooner side than later. 

On a more ridiculous note; I will be resupplying at a candy shop.  And yes I will be a kid in a candy shop.  So excited. You stay classy San Diego. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

AT Day 30: Marathon Rest Day

6/12 Thursday

My first and hopefully last rest day.  I decided to sleep in a bit.  6:30. I figured I deserved it.  And I mosied out the door by 7:15.  My nice dry feet lasted about 5 minutes. It was only misting, but it poored last night. The ground was covered in puddles. Once I got back on the trail I was soaked head to toe.  The overgrown branches, wind and just plain dripping made it as though it was raining.  It was dead flat again.  I ran and ran. I passed a guy who said, "flash flood warning this afternoon to midnight". Thanks.  Then a girl, "Flash flood warning tonight, you probably don't want to be out here later". Thanks.  Finally, an older lady, "Flash flood warning, you probably shouldn't be out here much longer" thanks. Jesus.  Rahhh.  And I was worried about getting gangrene on my feet because I had been running through ankle deep water in and out of cow and horse pastures.  I had been running along a river that already looked really high for about 5 miles.  And I was running through an inch of water flowing across the trail.  I looked around for areas of respite in the case there was a flash flood.  There weren't any. I was on the high ground.  So I freaked out a little.  I started getting upset, annoyed and whinning, "why cant one thing go my way ".  I was focusing on everything negative and then it came. "Mindful of your feelings you must be"  Thanks little green man.  So I switched it over.  What can I do? How can I fix my feet ?  It was 11:45 and I just didn't want to be out anymore. I had covered 19 miles already and had only 8 to go until Duncannon, PA.  I checked the book and there was a place to stay, only $25.  Okay game plan.  I looked at the guide and it looked like a fairly easy course. Okay I said to myself , two hours of effort and I am warm, dry and can take care of my feet.  I noticed on the guide a caution symbol and it said really rocky section.  Okay fine, boulder hopping. 3 hours max and I am there.  Well I began running and pushing myself.  Waiting for these man eating rocks that everyone talks about in Pennslyvania.  Well the rocks never came.  I mean, there were rocks, but still trail.  It started pouring on my last descent where I knew town was just around the corner and I didn't falter.  I hit a road and the trail followed it.  This must be it and I sprinted. When I saw the Sunoco sign I eased my pace and jogged in.  It was 1:35. I beat my 4mph pace for the last 8.  And I was done for the day by 2.  I got groceries and headed for the hotel.  It was a bar with rooms up stairs.  An old victorian style building that reminded me of the one I lived at in San Francisco.  It was rustic and simple. Just the way I like it. I dried off my feet while I ate 3 yogurts.  Then I showered and really cleaned my feet.  I applied the first coat of neosporin.  I had phone service so I watch some Utube videos to help motivate me while I ate 3 bars of cheese and two pints of ice cream.  I layed down with my feet up and thought about the day.  It wasn't my best day. But I covered 26 miles in 6 hours 20 mins.  It was easy physically and mentally.  It will and already has motivated me to do more miles in the days to come.  And hopefully, I will get my feet feeling better and therefore ; make future miles easier.  Also, and best of all , I didn't get swept away in a flash flood.  All in all not a bad day. If you average my last 3 days(43,49,26) you still have 39.3 miles. I am not going to feel bad. I have some sun coming in a few days. I have the full moon soon.  I have my brothers birthday.  All things to get me more miles.  Also, rumor has it;  a flip flopper did 63 n change miles in one day.  I could always try to beat that.   

I appreciate the support from everyone and it motivates me through and through. So thank you. I hope you enjoy the blog.  If you have any feedback, I would love to hear it.  I am trying to make the blog more interesting than. "I ran this and that ".  There is soooooo much more to this journey and I am trying to share it with you.  I can 't even get half of the day in a blog post for I am going all day and then am tired at night.  So yeah, if you tell me what to focus on , I will do that.  I am planning on doing one on diet and daily rituals. 

Since I have had extra time today. I have looked forward to VT and the Whites.  I look forward to seeing a lot of friends and family in VT.  The Whites into Maine is going to be a resupply boojangles.  But we will make it work.  I look forward to getting to some real climbs.  Got to get in shape for speedgoat?   Haha. Hopefully I will have some 11K plus vert days to get my climbing legs back. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

AT Day 29: Halfway Home

6/11 Wednesday
Tom Runs->Allenbury

Well I said it was going to be on today, and it was.  As my first decision of the day; I decided to go back to sleep...haha.  It was raining at 4:50 and I thought it wouldn't be the best to run in the dark rain on slippy rocks. So I got up at 5:25.  Mosied out by 5:55.  49 miles to go. Resupply, eat n sleep, hotel and Rangers.  It takes me about 2 hours to warm up these days.  But even during those first hours , I averaged over 4 mph.  A nice descent got my legs going and my self chants kept it flowing.  It was Food , Hotel , Dry gear, Rangers and REPEAT.  I realized that I would cross the midway point soon as well. I thought about it...27 days ago I start and I have put a few hours in today. Doing the math on the run, under 55 days.  I can't believe it.  I checked and rechecked my math. I knew since I decided to push, I was doing well. But this blew my mind. I am averaging 40.1 miles per day and feel great.  Except for my feet, I am pain free. Mentally...well I was always off. But I am motivated and enjoying it everyday.  A few punchy climbs really got to me at the end of the day.  I ran for about 5 hours non-stop before the climbs.  I couldn't help it.  It was pancake flat.  I was bonking and not just calorie bonk. I was Carb deprived bonked.  I think that is a great.  It means I am pushing myself harder and using more carbs.  But it also means I need to pack higher carb food.   I got over the climbs in survivor fashion.  Once I caught my breath, I was booking down the descent. It seems that no matter how tired I am, when gravity comes into my favor I can just go.  I ran the last two miles through a corn field. Which quickly spit me out to a beautiful bike path along a small lake and town.  It was so cool. It reminded me of some small town in Italy or anywhere in Europe.  I downed a half gallon of OJ before I was half done with grocery shopping.  I ran/hobbled down the road to the Allenbury Inn. Which, turns out to be a crazy country club setup.  It took me awhile to figure out which building I go to register for the night.  I got my key and had to walk to another building where my room was. On the way, I noticed they had golf , tennis, a theatre, pool, hot tub and a dozen other buildings I couldn't see what there were for.  I ate my beans, pinneapple, pasta side and half gallon of ice cream. I got to talk to Christal for awhile which was awesome. I hopped in the shower and used the whole bar of soap.  About half clean, I plopped down and watched the Rangers game while massaging.  After awhile I couldn't remember why I was in a hotel room or where.  Then I thought, oh yeah duh, I am running the AT and I am in Pennsylvania somewhere.  But I didn't feel like I was running the AT.  I just felt like I was on some weird vacation.  Hmm. I enjoy the comforts and getting my feet and gear dry.  But staying in a hotel really messes with your head.  I rather be out there on the trail and feel like, well, I am really out there.  I can't fathom that I will run 40-50 miles tomorrow and be sopping wet the whole time.  But I know once I get out the's game on.  

Rangers won, finally.  And I am going to say it is all because of me. I probably won't catch their next game.  Although, maybe I will bust out back to back 55 milers.  But in reality, I need to focus on the trail. Enjoying it for what it is.  And blowing this record to smitherines!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

AT Day 28: My brother mike

I will start this evening out with a poem that sounds like it was written by a first grader.  But in reality a grown man/boy who is really tired.

6/10 Tuesday
Ed Garvey->Two Runs

My brother mike
He is awesome, smart and has a big heart
He likes to ski, surf and play all day
He is one rad dude with a good attitude
He can fix or solve any problem if he wants
He got me to where I am today, for I followed him across the usa
He is the best brother one could ever have
I would have never thought that I would say, but he is my best friend today
Although sometimes he pretends to be Will Farrell or Ron Burgandy
He doesn't have to, because he is so much cooler
 He is the best bachelor Ive ever met, that ---- doesnt know how much of a bimbo she is yet
He will meet you half way on your hike
I love him, my brother Mike

So I ran 43 miles today.  Met some cool people.  But the best part was seeing my Brother. I got to hang out with him for about 2 and a half hours on the side of the highway.  He brought some fruit and veggies to share with the other hikers coming thru.  My brother told me a few days ago he might be driving through and be able to meet up.  But that sly dog planned it all along.  He knew he would be able to meet up with me some day on his road trip and didnt mention it to be more of a surprise.  And what a special surprise.  I was able to dry out my feet and after some crying, I even dried my eyes. I was so thankful to see him and now motivated to make him proud. I ram fast (28 miles in 7 hours ) to see him. Which was awesome. After I left him on the roadside, I felt this calm but motivated feeling. I took it easy to camp and still got there early.  I have a plan in the works. I caught up to one of the gentlemen that came thru and got some food from my brother. He seemed to have a really good attitude about life and was stoked on what I was attempting to do.  His name was Flying Hawk Spirit of Love. I said goodbye and goodluck.  Hopefully, I will see him in VT.  Anyway back to the plan. So seeing my brother and talking to Flying Hawk Spirit of Love has given me this wonderful feeling inside.  So I am think it is time to go beast mode.  When I first started planning my days, I used to use 3mph as a general guidline.  If I wanted to go 39 miles. I would plan on 13 hours.  That is with water, bathrooms, and other breaks.  But yesterday and today I have really just started using 4 mph. So I am going with it.  I am currently sleeping at 1069 and boiling springs is 48 miles away at 1117.  If I leave at 5am then I plan to get there at 5pm. Get new shoes , resupply and hotel by 630-7. Watch the Rangers Game.  Might be the only one I see.  So that is the plan.  If someone could let the Rangers know how hard I am working to watch them play, maybe it would light a fire under their ass and they can pull out a W for me. 

One of my first post I said you know this is going to be good.  Well good doesnt even begin to describe it.  So I will make up a word. Splendiforous.   YES.  You know this is going to be Splendiforous. 

If you know that reference then you get the double entandra.  Enjoy. Goodnight.  And LETS GO RANGERS!!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

AT Day 27: Half Cake

6/8 Monday
Rod Hallow->Ed Garvey

So first off, the saying is, " you can't eat your cake and have it too". The other way just doesn't really make sense.  But I have come up with my own. "You can halve your cake and eat it too"  why am I thinking this?  Oh yes.  The town thing.  The key is getting to town mid afternoon.  Enjoy the town stuff then get out before dark.  Half-town.  
So 32 miles to town.  No sweat.  So I rode a rollercoaster today.  It wasn't a real rollercoaster; I know because they let me keep my pack on.  "13.5 miles of ascents and descents." That is how the guide book describes it.  I thought it was funny because the whole trail is ascents and descents.  It was short 300-600 foot climbs followed imeadiatly by a similar downhill. A perfect profile if you ask me.  You power uphill.  When the first hint of fatigue hits you, you can already see the top. So you power over the top and bomb down the otherside.  There are no rests, no lulls.  Just non-stop thrills.  It made the miles go by quick.  I didn't really have a water filter, so I had to talk the halfmile detour to fill up at the Blackburn ATC center. Once I got back on the trail.  I was thinking about meeting up with my brother tomorrow.  I was stoked. Flying along I ran the last 12 miles in 2:20 to Harpers Ferry.  I was also excited to get there and see the ATC headquaters.  I got my picture taken (as all thru-hikers do )  and even did an interview with a lady doing a research paper on trail communities. She just asked me to describe my trail magic experience.  As I went to leave I noticed it was pouring out. Again for the second time today, I got all my rain gear on.  In five minutes it had stopped raining and the sun was out.  Making it hot and humid with my feet squishy.  Basically the usual on the trail.  I hit the outfitters quick and was disappointed. The book says you can do a fully resupply there but it was a tiny store with a few snacks.  I got a new water purifier (sawyer squeeze; they didnt have any pumps.)  I grabbed what I could for a resuply and left.  I wanted food but there really weren't any quick close locations.  I wanted maybe some OJ, grapefruit juice , yogurt, fruit and bread. Ice cream parlor.  A cinnabon and two sundaes...close enough.  I hate how fat America is.  Anyway. Sat out in the sun for a few minutes to dry my feet, until I put my socks and shoes back on.  Then I ran out of town and started up the climb. It rained for about 5 minutes again.  At this point, I ought to just be used to being wet.  I guess I am. But I want to be dry.  I miss my desert. Whelp, I better just run faster and get this thing over with sooner.  Hopefully, I get to see my brother tomorrow.  It is certainly motivating me already and will surely leave me feeling high tomorrow.  Go Rangers!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

AT Day 26: Just Crazy

6/8 Sun
Elkwallow->Rod Hod

Really didn't have much of a plan today.  I had a shelter at 989, 996 and a hostel at 999.  The hostel would be really cool, but I didn't think I was up for another 53 mile day...we'll see.  Started off fine and with great views.  I was moving quick and feeling good. One concern; I was running low on food and was already rationing. I could make it to the Hostel and grab food early tomorrow if need be. But if I don't get there tonight, I would rather just roll to Harpers.  Not a big deal.  I covered 17 miles in my first 4 hours and was thinking. "Hostel?"  But I wasn't getting my hopes up, surely I would slow down.  I stopped to get water.  My purifier was not working.  I tried a couple of things, but was unsuccesful.  Now I am slowing down, I thought.  This could be a big problem. Hmm.  No need to panic, I can always drink out of the streams.  If I do get jardia, I'll deal with it in a week.  Fortunately, another hiker showed up before I took off and I traded him a clifbar to pump 2 liters.  On my way, although realizing I would mow have to  "figure out" water every time until I get to Harpers Ferry to get a new filter.  I figured I would just stop at shelters and bug people. They would gladly fill me up, because people out here are super nice.  I booked along and was just praying for some trail magic, for water/soda and extra calories as to avoid asking people to filter water for me and to avoid stopping in the Hostel tomorrow morning. Because clearly now, I would not make it 53 miles in time to show up to the Hostel. Every road crossing I hoped and prayed.  Then it happened.  Oreos, cheese crackers, nutter butters, chips, mt dew and coke.  SAVED.  I downed a coke and some oreos. Then a nutter butter and a mt dew.  I threw a few in my pack for tonight and I had a plan.  I would bribe people to pump me water with oreos.   Between feeling sugar high, nauseous and just energized; I cruised the last 14 miles to camp. Almost puking at times and blissfully numb at others.  I got there with a few spitting storms but not a ton of rain. My first question , "who wants to filter me some water for oreos" lead to the most fortunate thing to happen. A nice lady said,  " I will do you one better".  Curious, I followed her to her tent.  Where she pulled out the cutest, tiniest water filter I had every seen.  She said , I could have it. She never used it and it was just dead wieght to carry around.  I thanked her and tried to give her as my oreos as I could. But she only took one pack.  Looks like I will be gorging on oreos tonight and not worrying about water tomorrow.  What a great turn around to the day. Plus, I think it will be fun to joke at the outfitters tomorrow that I have this little pump to save weight. 

Tomorrow I have 31 miles to reach Harpers Ferry. The plan would be to resupply then get out and hike 5, 10 or 15 miles to shelters.  However; there are apparently suppose to be some nasty Tstorms tomorrow afternoon and currently it is pooring at my shelter.  All of this is making me think I might just stay in Harpers ferry and reward myself and stay dry.  Still my average milage would be. 39.5 per day.  But part of me wants to get up to 40 miles per day ASAP.  I guess we'll see.  God I love this. Such an awesome adventure.  Awesome people. Beautiful scenery and all the junk food your heart desires.  No seriously, I want some vegetables.  Everyone should do something like this at least once in there life.  It will teach you how to live life, to just enjoy it.  So enjoy. 

AT Day 25: Brother Mike

6/7 Saturday

Sleeping in is nice but it always leaves me feeling kind of groggy/hungover feeling. I was really slow getting out of camp. The first few miles were uphill and my legs felt especially heavy.  The first descent I started slow but I was able to shake out the legs.  Then I was flying.  I ran for a long time in the zone and did not really notice anything. When I finally checked, it was noon and I had covered about 21 miles in just 5 hours.  Shenandoha NP is made for running.  After a bit of climbing, I decided to check my phone. I had service. Mandatory break, I announced. I put my feet up and went to town. I got my blog updated and some other things. I decided to call my brother Mike.  What a fortuitous decision. He answered, it was nice to catch up. But then we figured a meet up was possible in the next few days. We kind of brainstorned some ideas and it is a work in progress.  None the less, I plan on seeing my brother in the next few days.  I was so over joyed.  I sprinted the next mile not feeling a thing or seeing a thing, because my eyes were full of tears of joy.  As much as I am doing this adventure "unsupported" I have so much support from family, friends and strangers.  I met a gentleman out there by the name of Hotsauce and we talked about Colorado, ultrarunning and he seemed stoked I was going for the record.  I told him maybe we could meet up in CO later this summer. It got me all sorts of motivated. To finish the AT faster, to run faster and to go to CO and be in a place I love and give Leadville100 a good shot.  This kind of emotional support really gives me a lot of energy and motivation. So thank you all very much!  I kept trucking and was feeling good. I made it to the Elkwallow around 8. It was closed and there was no one around. But I was able to use the bathroom to charge my phone and clean up.  Feeling good and excited. I look forward to a big day tomorrow to set up for Harpers Ferry.  Goodnight everyone.  And thanks again for the support!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

AT Day 24: He's heating up

-NBA Jam.  TE of course

6/6 Friday
Paul C Wolf->Hightop

Well, I am not going to lie. The legs felt a bit slow today. But a few descents and they are all shook out. I entered Shenandoha National Park today. After some brief climbing, I was up on the ridge the rest of the day. Very mellow terrain lead to a lot of running.  Man, I dont know how I am doing this. I am running everything and feeling stronger and stronger.  I made it to Loft Mt Campstore at 3:30. I did my grocery shopping and finally treated myself right. Two orange juices, V8 juice, two yogurts, two bananas, a block of cheese and a pint of cookie dough ice cream. By treat myself right, I mean getting some healthful items to make myself feel better not worse.  Plus, I still wanted to do 13 more miles. I trucked along not feeling sick or bloated from just eating junk food.   I was flying along and was excited to get to camp early for once and get a good nights sleep.  All of a sudden I noticed something out of the corner of my eye moving towards me.  I look to see a adult black bear jogging towards me about 20 feet away. I stopped dead in my tracks. Yelled "HEY" and clapped my hands. The bear turned quick and ran away shitting his bear britches.  I got a chuckle out of the situation then checked my own pants.  I ate for the last mile up to camp, which I got to well before sun down.  I setup , massaged and thought about how awesome the last two days have been.  99 miles, a resupply and an epiphany. Life is good. I am going to reward myself with sleeping in tomorrow (6:06am). Goodnight

AT Day 23: Goman go!

6/5 Thurs
Brown Mt->Paul C Wolf

Goman go!

Today was going to be a big day. I was making up for yesterday and trying to set myself up to make resupply tomorrow. Big climb tackled before the sun came out. It was windy and blowing water off the leaves of the trees.  I was borderline cold which helped me set a good pace.  I was making great pace running across the ridge. But running low on food and now water had me worrying. Then it happened. Probably the most profound awesomeness on my trip so far.  I ran into Goman and his wife setting up some trail magic for hikers. I was able to get some candy bars and sodas, which eased my worry. But the best thing I got was a lesson and some motivation. Goman was retired and hiked the trail two years back.  He and his wife now come out and stock food and drinks for hikers everyday.  I could see it in his eyes and the way he looked; the trail changed him for better.  I got this feeling that I was excited to see the changes the trail will bring to me.  My friend , we will call him Tulips, told me that the trail would change me.  I think it already has and will even more. But right now it is hard to tell because I am still on the trail and living "trail life". This all got me so excited to finish the AT and see the changes. I felt on a higher level the rest of the day and was just booking it.  It was as if something was pulling me along. I went for it.  It lead me to see a beautiful sunset and bombing a descent to camp for a total of 52 miles.  I did all that in 14 hours, which means I averaged 3.7 mph with breaks and refills on water...that is fast. Also, I wasn't tired. I felt like I could have kept that pace up all night if I wanted to.  This is my second 50+ day. I am excited to see what I can do tomorrow. My first. 50+ day had a 33 mile into town day so it was cut short. Did I mention I am excited!

AT Day 22: 3 weeks

6/4 Wed
Thunder Mt->Brown Mountain

Got up and out early this morning. At first I felt a bit groggy but I warmed up and was cruising.  Virginia might be "flat" but it sure has some of the bigger climbs.  Two 3,000 foot climbs today along with a few smaller ones.  When just running I would say a 3,000 foot climb is nice and I can do a few. But when carrying a 15lb pack and covering 40miles per day, suddenly a 3,000 fout climb is like an Everest.  The day was going great but it was getting hot and humid. I had one 3,000 ft climb behind me and a lot of rolling terrain. I was 33 miles into my day and basically just had to walk uphill, pig out and I would be done.  I stopped at a stream to get water. I was doing well on time, so I figured I would rinse off and take care of my feet. 20 minutes later I was on my way feeling good about taking care of myself.  Then I heard it.  Maybe it was just a loud truck, we are by a highway. Then again. And again. Damn. So I quickened my pace. Maybe it will miss me or I can get to the shelter wait it out quick then continue.  It was getting louder and closer. I debated quick in my head whether to stop and put on my rain gear or try to just hurry to the shelter before it starts.  I chose the latter and was now sprinting.  Then I heard it. Like a swarm of angry bees. There was this buzzing. I turned to look and the was a white wall just coming towards me. I threw my pack down and before I could even unzip it. The wall hit me. It had some force to it. I was drenched in seconds. I got my rain gear on pointlessly and was now sprinting again. A large tree about 50 feet tall crashed down next to me. Then a bolt of lightning cracked and made all my hair stand up.  Now I was really sprinting. Some mud came slidding down and took out the trail in front of me. This was crazy. Another tree came down and then another.  I was absolutely flying. I ran up a 50 foot hill in only a few bounds. There it was the shelter and. empty. My lucky day. I stipped down in a matter of seconds and hung everything up. I was so warm from the effort that I was sweating.  I was dry in only a few minutes.  Well that puts a damper on my plans.  But no reason to get upset. I was feeling a bit a of cold coming on.  Ill just go to bed early and get up early.  So I did just that. Another gentlemen showed up shortly after that. I ate and passed out. 

AT Day 21: Towns are tough

6/3  Tue
Dalesville->Thunder Mtn

Always tough to leave town. I grabbed a few muffins and bagels then head for the woods.  The pizza hut was definitely messing with my stomach and slowing me down today. That is the thing about towns. It is nice to get that comfort , food and internet. But you can really get trapped into trying to do too much. I know I did last night.  Trying to update my blog , check emails, pay bills, etc .  I barely got any sleep. Anyway, out on the trail it was a blur today. I wasn't feeling particularly motivated or energized. Instead I trucked along aimlessly and almost effortlessly.  My feet feel so much better today. Despite losing two pounds at the UPS store, I was now carrying food for 4 days and my pack seemed ridiculously heavy. It was a lot of climbing today which was even more tiring with the heavy pack.  Running the downhills felt okay but the heavy pack makes it a little more difficult.  Without being much aware, I rolled into camp just after dark, with my headlamp on. I setup and went to bed.  Today was very much a buddhist day. It was almost a blur.  I really don't remember much but at the same time remember it all. It was an easy effort though today. I look foward to a long day tomorrow and being attentive.   

Monday, June 2, 2014

AT Day 20: 22 x 100 milers, One third of the way

6/2 Mon

7 down 15 to go. 

"100 miles is not that far" -One of my running heroes, Karl Meltzer

I think it was Evans (correct me if I am wrong) but I was whinning about how few hundred mile races I was going to be doing this summer.  And Evans in her infinite wisdom told me, "yeah, but you are doing the AT.  That is way bigger than a hundred miler ".  And so I thought, Yeah, the AT is like doing 22 100milers back to back. Awesome.  Thanks Evans. 

Alarm went off. I just went to bed 6 hours ago. Can I snooze?  Hotel! Pizza Hut! New Shoes! Resupply!  Ok I am up. I was launched out of a cannon. I was running everything, again. Is everything finally normalizing?  I just covered 53 miles and slept 6 am I awake, let alone trucking?  Got to climb up Dragons Tooth today. A lot of people told me I need to slack pack it.  I just nodded. But I was thinking, my pack only weighs 10lbs, I am already slack packing.  Anyhow, turned out to be super easy with maybe. 500 yards of down hopping. People are wierd. I was cruising again though. Dalesville on my mind. My shoe situation had become a bit more dire.  Being wet 24/7 and putting in 13 hour days really wears the shoes out.  My front third of my right shoes sole was just flapping in the wind.  The instep if the left shoe was ripped out about half the way down.  Getting new shoes was no longer a question, it had to be done.  Well I better run faster to Dalesville to have time to get shoes.  So I did. Seemed easy enough, beside the 90 degree humidity and the sun zapping me. I got to Dalesville and HoJos at 4:45. Making today a 33 mile in 9 hours 45 minutes. A nice easy, short , recovery day.  I debated it for about a second then hopped in the shower.  Oh well back to getting used to being dirty tomorrow. Oh it felt so good. That done and all my stuff layed out to dry, I ran the half mile to the outfitters store.  Man , what a wierd feeling. I thought I would feel all light and fast without my pack. Nope. Awkward and off balance.  Haha. It was fun to me; passing all the rush hour traffic feeling so awkward.  It was probably only awkward for the people in cars because I was wearing green and pink shorts with a pink shirt. We are still in the south.  I got shoes and socks at the outfitter. My feet felt better already. Next, a full grocery store. Overwhelmed. My only 6 food resupplies so far have been in gas stations. Too many choices and aisles.  I grabbed some stuff quick and ran. Probably a mistake. I ordered my pizza and breadsticks on the walk home.  Ducked into a gas station to see about ice cream, grab a two litter and something else.  No ice cream, MT Dew and a tall boy. I haven't ate in awhile and I haven't drank in forever.  I got 15 minutes before pizza better hurry. I don't believe in drinking and eating. You always drink on an empty stomach so you get drunk fast and it clears fast.  None of this bloated half drunk feeling.  So I pounded my beer and did a few things. 10 minutes later when I went to go get my pizza, I couldn't see straight or walk straight. Haha. Works like a charm.  Got the pizza back to the room safely and pounded some water.  Eating the pizza and stretching; I realized I had forgot something.  Booze then food means sleep.  Oh no.  Not good. I was going to catch up on my internet stuff, work on my feet and legs, pack my food bag and my pack so I am ready to leave bright and early in the morning.  30 minute nap then I will do it.  Nope. Just tired. So laying here catching up on my blog, feeling tired and wanting to sleep.  This is why I like avoiding towns. 

Anyway, I guess it is time to get serious and just say it.  I am going for the unsupported AT record. As far as I know it is held by Matt Kirk with a time of 58 days 9 hours and 38 minutes.  I calculate that to be an average of 37.4 miles per day.  Here is a link to a story about it, 

He does go on to say that he believes an experienced hiker, given the right conditions could break 55 days. 55 days would be about 40 miles per day.  I am not an experienced hiker and it has been wetter than the rainforest. However; I feel like my feet are getting better everyday and I am figuring things out. I sent home 2lbs of my gear today so my pack is getting lighter. I also feel like my legs have gained some level of homeostasis.  Currently, I am averaging 38.1 miles per day and am a third of the way done with the trail. I am planning on banking as many miles as I can in the next 1,000 and then bleeding out as few as I can through VT, the Whites and Maine.  

Let the games begin...,

AT Day 19: Dalesville on my mind

6/1 Sun
Rice Field->Powerline

Slept good. Woke inspired. Today.  It is going to be the day. I ran and ran everything.  Nothing is going to stop me. I got Dalesville on the mind and only 86 miles. I also had a card up my sleeve. Night hike.  I figured I would see how the day went.  But I wanted to go long so it was an easier/shorter day into Dalesville.  If I got to town early in the afternoon, I could get new shoes, eat a ton and relax. As the day went on, I felt strong but my pace wasn't that good. There had been a few big climbs and my legs were fine but I lost time.  Well I rushed up one more climb to make sure I got the nice long descent in before dark. I did. 43 miles done by sundown.  There is the shelter, I did stop. Go Joe Go, I said.  Bam. It hit me like a freight train.  Trail Magic. Someone had left two coolers of sodas out for us poor hikers.  Sugar, water and caffeine, um afterburner.  Mt Dew and a Coke. I drank and ran. Now it was pitch black except for a small crescent moon. I was moving by headlamp. A little spooky being in the woods in the dark. But the nights coolness hit me to wake up. Oh yea, sugar and caffeine coursed my veins to add a punch. It was a big climb but I soared up it.  Why can't all climbs be done in the cool of the night? Not the blistering midday sun.  I hit the top. I was going to set up camp and let the long downhill start my day. But Dalesville early? And I am feeling good. Game on.  Blast descent. I was floating over the trail. I don 't think I tripped once, which is impressive in the dark. I reached the bottom and decided to walk a bit to cool off. It was uphill but it is still nice to slow down. I found a spot. Threw up the bear bag and was out. 53 miles done. My first night hike.  And now only. 33 miles to Dalesville. 

I felt good all through the day and into the night.  Let us see if there are any reprecussions for these shinanagins.  If not.  Night hiking will become my new way of loading up miles.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

AT Day 18: I got this

5/31 Sat
Jennys Knob->Rice Field

There was a dog at the shelter last night. In the middle of the night he came and kicked me. Then he layed by me and paw'd me. I kept try to get him away or his owners attention. Neither worked. It was my worst night sleep in a long time. Anyways. The day started out okay. But I quickly grew tired and was in a fog.  I didn't have that much food for the 32 miles to Pearsberg.  So I was rationing and got very hypoglycemic. I could barely see straight and couldn't help but think that this was not a good situation to be in. I decided to chow down on some nuts on the big climb about 15 miles into my day.  Then I started the "I got this chant". I was gaining momentum. As rounded the top and started the downhill. It was a breath of fresh air. I was cruising and feeling strong.  I busted out the next 8 miles a lot faster than I thought I could. But still I was running out of calories and felt my energy waning.  Then some magic.  I hit a road where two guys were handing out MT Dews as a pay it forward for some other hikers being nice to them. My lucky day. I needed the sugary fluid and caffiene never hurts. I flew on and had the most fun descent on the AT so far, heading into Pearsburg. I ran the mile to the gas station and loaded up.  Out of town was a steep 5 mile climb that I ate on the entire way.  An easy two miles across the ridge with beautiful views the whole way. I reach shelter for the most breath taking view of the trip so far.  Although I only progressed  38 miles today, I covered 40 and resupplied.  I saw an awesome sunset and gained faith in my ability to turn the day around.  A pretty good day for being sleep deprived , if I may say so.  

AT Day 17: Scheming

5/30 Friday
Knot Maul->Jennys knob

I discovered a big knot on my adductor last night and massaged a ton. Needless to say, the knee was all better today.  Some big climbs early took some umph out of my step. Then the heat took its toll.  At one point I covered 6 miles and had no recollection.  Now we are having fun!  Also, I have been trying to plan my resupply towns better to stay the night.  But until now, I have only been checking the night before and none have worked out. So today I flipped ahead.  Daleville is at mile 724.  168 miles away from where I started this morning.  42 miles a day gets me there for the fourth night. Day 19 at mile 724 is an average of 38.1.  I now have motivation and incentive. Wooh hoo.  Let the games begin. I covered 43 and a little today. Feels good. Was going to see about night hike but I am not in the mood. I want one of the next two days to be big so the day into Daleville is a little short so I have energy to enjoy and don't get there so late. But we will see.