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[pct-l] 20 mile days

This is for all the 50+ year olds who are thinking of hiking long distances
at 20 mph a day average...

The fellow who had done a lot of planning sounded like he was in the right
frame of mind/body to successfully complete a thruhike.

I spent 6 weeks taking care of my mom when she was in a wheelchair/hospital
bed this summer.  I went up into Annadelle State Park at the edge of Santa
Rosa, CA almost every day and hiked off the sense of not having a life.  I
made sure I pushed myself to climb at least 1000' four times a week.
Usually, I hiked to the top of Bennett Mountain, 1700' of vertical.  It took
three hours to hike about eight miles.  Lots of poison oak...

When it was time to leave I thought I'd hike th tahoe rim trail.  I did the
planning, pushed myself in the time department when I was up in Annadelle,
and planned to hike the 165 mile trail in nine days.

I hiked about 39 miles or so, from Tahoe City to Mt. Rose Hwy in two days.
I lay in my tent above frog lake under relay peak and realized I wouldn't be
able to complete the hike in the time planned.  I'd hiked 4000' vertical
that day and was beat.  I have chronic knee pain from tight hamstrings and
gluteus muscles.  This is a problem now ten years old.  I have big, thick
muscles that require elongation.

I hadn't stretched enough in the weeks prior to the hike.  Even though I
stretched ten times a day, or more, it wasn't enough to let me see my way
through the weakness in the middle of my legs to complete the next seven
days.  I had the cardio fitness.  My heartbeat seldom got above 130 beats a
minute, even at 10,000'.  I didn't have the muscle readiness.

I lay in my tent on a beautiful, cloud free evening where the temp was 70
degrees, watching the alpenglow, wondering if I had the where withal to
REALLY  plan a trip lasting 2600 miles.  Sure I could spend the first couple
weeks doing 12 to 15 miles a day, working myself into shape.  The first
month.  Is this practical at 50?

I'm 6'2", 240 pounds now, down 20 pounds from two months ago.  There's
another 30 that needs to go away.  Maybe more.  I guess all this comes down
to a question.  How realistic is it to think that even in excellent cardio
shape, I could move in a month to 20 mile days and be energized, satisfied,
high, and routinely going to sleep anticipating waking up and leaping into
the day.  I lay in my tent above Frog Lake and realized I would probably get
through on ibuprophen, but pay a price in permanent damage to ligaments and
cushioning meniscus, etc.  I could have finished the TRT.  I chose not to.

I've done all the tech things.  My base weight is 12 pounds, sans food and
water.  Those aren't the suggestions I'm looking for.  Anyone under 40
simply has to sit back and listen.  You can't imagine.  The guy that laid
out his plan - an e-mail thatcame in the last week has the idea.  However,
I'm more interested in stories of 50 plus persons who are coming from the
sedentary, weekend warrior, discovering the effects of age frame...

I have the vision.  I need to create a path.  I need to hear your stories.
Please write about what you did and went through to start the trail.  I
dont' care if you finished or not.  What did you do, and what worked, and
what would you have done differently, if anything???

Thanks for you support and input...

Jeffrey Olson
Laramie Wyoming

I was rational.