Miles Hiked: Zero
AT Milage: 344.1
I knew from the start of my hike that I would be getting off the trail for a few days so I could go see my best friends get married back in Cleveland Ohio. Because of this I purposely did not take a single day off the trail until I had to go back home for the wedding. Most people take about one day off per week. Since I’ve been on trail almost a month it would make sense for me to have four zero days in by now. I told myself I wasn’t even going to sleep on a real bed in town a single night before the wedding but that didn’t happen. I wanted a shower more than anything and that often required a significant effort to get off trail to have one, in which case it made sense to stay at a hostel or hotel. Although I did not take any zero days, I did take a Nero and a few easy days. A “Nero” means near zero miles hiked.
Anyways, I am glad I didn’t take a single zero before the wedding. It was challenging in a good way and helped me keep a good pace going, as far as getting to the end of the trail in October. The less time you spend in town, the less money you spend. As a result my first month on trail was significantly cheaper than other hikers. After the wedding I calculated that I need to average just under 15 miles per day if I want to make it to Katahdin by September 30th. This does not include days off the trail. If I want to take a zero to rest my feet, I will need to hike 20 miles three days in a row. I plan to be doing multiple twenties in a row within the next month. It’s taken my body quite a while to get used to the milage. My feet and knees seem to be what are holding me back the most. I know everyone else has the same aches and pains as I do. I think it is something I just have to push through to make it to the end. I don’t anticipate it ever going away.
On my days off I took time to hang out with my family and boyfriend and the rest of it involved wedding celebrations since I was in the bridal party. Nathaniel and Teresa if you’re reading this getting off trail for your wedding was the best thing ever! I wouldn’t want to miss my best friends walking down the aisle together for anything. Love you guys so much!
It was a little strange to be off trail. Almost everything I did was something I wouldn’t be doing in ordinary life. I laughed at the sharp contrast between life on the trail and being involved in a formal wedding celebration for three days. I didn’t think about the trail too much. I mostly tried to focus on how my body was feeling during the rest. My knees were still in a lot of pain whenever I had to walk up and down stairs which surprised me. I think they just feel so overused. My feet felt okay until the day of the wedding. I know I was on my feet in uncomfortable shoes a lot that day, but my soles were aching the way they did after I hiked 15 miles. I was very surprised. My loving boyfriend ended up massaging my feet a lot during the reception because they were in so much pain. I was a little worried about getting back on trail the next day. Something I did to help my feet during the zero days was soak them in hot water and epson salt. I’m not sure if the epson salt did anything but soaking them in hot water felt great. After the wedding my boyfriend and I drove back to my house really late so we could get on the road back to the trail in the morning.