AT14 Day 50: Zero Hero
Rest was nice. My first zero day. But I really just want to be back out there. Rumor has it, Rumsford got 12" of rain last night. That is 20 miles north, close to where I should have been. I guess I picked a good night. Do you realize...that is 12 feet of alta pow? Holy face shots trench digger. Apparently the foot is good to go. A little early for an xray to tell for sure, but it looked good, felt good. So I am going to pad it up like crazy and give it a go. I got my dad camping around Maine and fishing. Nearby if I need. It looks like a hurricane might get us. But tomorrow is showery and then two days of partly sunny. I think I will get out there ASAP and take advantage of the weather. Although I wont be eligible for the record, as my Dad picked me up and we bought supplies today...at a grocery store ? So nice. I still think it would be cool to finish under 60 days , then under Matts time (current record 58d9h40m) which by my calculations means. 731am July 13. And 5:11pm July 11( respectfully). So I have a week to do 260 miles. Not bad. I am all fat now sitting around a hotel doing nothing. So I should be able to make it to Caratuck without stopping. Then the 100 mile wilderness resuply. Then Katahdin. Sounds easy enough.
I have had a chance to read a lot of the white blaze.net forum. I tried to login make an account but unfortunately my phone would not let me select the gender and I couldn't make an account. I guess it is just as confused as I am. I didn't have much to say. In my opinion the perfect course will be really steep up hills and long gradual downs. that way you the uphill over with quick you get your potential energy and then you get to roll it out nice and easy on the legs. Goodluck finding that course. I do have one at home I like to train on. It is all switchbacks with a creek straight down the middle. You hike up the creek (steep 30-45%grade) then run down the switchbacks(10%grade). It is amazing. There it is. A challenge. If someone could tell me which direction (NoBo/SoBo) is steeper up and more gradual down. Then I will go that way. Honestly, I dont think it makes a difference , just personal preference. Except I will say this; one of the hardest things for me to cope with is the loneliness out there. Hiking by yourself for 16 hours a day to pass. 5 hikers and say hey, hows it going? Have a goodhike! It is tough. I think the longer your out there, the harder it is. Maine is surely the loneliest state with very few towns on trail. Hitting it last is difficult. But that is my opinion. A supported hike would not have that problem as you would see your team , have comforts and MUSIC. I personally liked heading North around the summer Solstice ....I really havent done a ton of headlamp hiking and put in an average of15 hour days.
As an Exercise Physiologist, I love all the science talk. The debate about putting in a hard 10 day hike then resting a day or two. Then starting. Is a curious one. Ive thought about this. Honestly , I think you have to throw science out the door. It is too big a venture/variable and really comes down to the individual. Personally, I think I have gotten stronger as Ive gone. Maybe I should have just started in FL and got to Springer then start the record attempt. But you dont know when the body is eventually going to wear down. If it was a marathon; I would say , base-build-taper-Carb load. But 2200 miles? Ummm just go Ape Shit. So what if you crash and burn. You will never know how far you can go, until you go too far. I have realized that with myself out here. Ive pushed myself then woke up the next day and did it again. I amazed myself , surpassed what I thought. And I am in my opinion very open to the idea of limitlessness. So I guess that would be my advice. Dont hold back. Be semi-reasonable. But push yourself and see what you got.
Also , I am curious. I thought I did good in the Whites. 34, 38, and 28. The 28 was really ~32 miles and if we didnt get lost, I think we would have had more MoJo to go the extra 2 hours and get 36 miles finishing at. 9:30pm(average) instead of 7:30pm(early). I thought I read Matt averaged 28.4MPD, Jen 34MPD and me 33.3MPD. I really wanted that 36 day out of Whites. Would have been a 36 MPD showing. But you win some, you lose some. 29 miles into ME was bad. But it was hot/humid, I had a bad fall, hurt my foot and finished early. 6:30pm. But I guess that is all part of it. Like freaking out about trench foot and only running a marathon. Gosh , that really haunts me. Wish I could take that back.
I was saving one trick for the end and am curious peoples opinions. I was planning on ditching my pack at 100 mile wilderness outfitters and taking a day pack. With only food, iodine, bladder, rain jacket and bivy. I would run until I needed a rest. Nap. And run the rest. Now, is this a bad idea? Is this "cheating" if you were to call it unsupported. I am reading all this conversation and it all seems so blurry. But I guess I was saying it is still good. As for that day, you are carrying all your sleeping gear and food. Although, that is not your sleeping gear for the rest of the trip. But I think it is kind of like shoes. If I buy a new pair, I can throw the old pair out? Anyhow, I didnt send a day pack to 100 mile wilderness, so we will see if I can even do it.
Also, for the record. I didnt take any support. That is what I freaked out about. I didnt want people thinking I was trying to cheat. My Dad surprised me that day as did my Mother and Brother in New Jersey. Now in New Jersey, my Brother and Mom brought food and shared it with every hiker that came through "trail magic" style. I had some fruit , soda and pasta salad. But honestly, I had just resuplied 7 miles previous. The visit from them tripped me up more then helped. I hadnt seen my Mom in a year and ended up sitting there for ~2 hours, not exactly compeled to leave. I believe that shorted me for the day and lead to a very sleep deprived Joey. My Dad freaked me out and (my fault) but I lost a lot of energy and motivation that day. So I love my family, appreciate the support but I almost feel like they were a hinderence more than help. With the exception of my Brother who was able to buy shoes, camelback and socks and send them to me. Now I could see that being considered support, but I wrote that off as if I had a maildrop ready and he just sent it to me. As I did not know how bad the outfitters were. What I realized though, is I should have just gone online with my phone and ordered the stuff and had it mailed to whatever town. Chalk that up to not knowing what I was doing and not planning well. I did some research and got the idea I should not be telling everyone where I was at the moment. That is why I didnt bring my tracker. That was why my blog was always at least a day behind. But I told my family where I was as a safety measure. Apparently, if your family loves you then you shouldnt even do that. It is hard enough to run 40 MPD, find shelter, resuply and get water. But to be hungry and tempted??? Oh brutal. That being said, I love my family and appreciate everything they have done for me. I look forward to seeing you Mom, then being home with Mike. As for now, this hotel room isnt big enough for both of us Dad. ;-)
That is all. If someone on the whiteblazes .net forum wants to copy/paste my comments feel free. Ill have to figure out my gender so I can make an account myself.