AT Day 20: 22 x 100 milers, One third of the way
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 hours...how 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, http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/hiking/matt-kirk-sets-new-at-speed-record/
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...,