Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day 148- The right level of tired

Day 148, 9/3/14
1184 to 1169
15.8 miles

I've experienced a variety of types of tired on the PCT.  There is the 'OMG I want to die' tired which happens when you need to set up for the next pass in the Sierra and have to pound out miles.  The 'brain fog' tired of not getting enough sleep in the desert when you have to night hike and siesta in the heat.  The 'mental exhaustion' of navigating over snow and concentrating on every foot placement.   The 'town chores tired' from resupply and catching up on life maintenance but not being physically tired.  Being on the PCT seems to involve being one sort of tired or another.  

While recovering from the injury, I was trying to give my foot a break as it builds strength.  Not pushing it too much on the trail.  Not trusting that it won't break again. This was the first day I did enough miles to finally feel the most wonderful type of pleasantly tired- not too sore, so I know by tomorrow my muscles will have fully recovered after a rest in the hammock. But enough to get the endorphins going and to feel like my body accomplished something physically. Oh how I've missed this! 

It was not easy-  I almost overdid it and ended up way to tired.  My original plan had been to set up camp at the Mount Lola Trail junction, and do an out and back to climb Mt. Lola.  It would have been only about four more miles and I had more than enough time. I'd downloaded the maps and loaded them into GaiaGPS. But when I got to the junction, after 15.8 miles, my feet were talking and they said they'd had enough.  My feet, oh my poor feet.  They are doing OK but sure are weak.  It was frustrating because I wanted mentally to keep going and the rest of my body totally could have done it.  I hate having to listen to my feet!  I'm so used to being able to do over 20 miles.  It is so hard to mentally adjust.  All that stuff about slowing down I've written about for weeks, you are probably sick of it.  But it still doesn't come easy for me.  I am still struggling with it day after day.

Grass of parnassus.
After deciding to listen to my feet,  I set up my hammock up in the pines above gorgeous White Rock Creek.   I went down to the water and gave them a good long soak to reduce swelling.   

Soaking the feet.
Now I'm already in my hammock with my feet up and it's only 7pm.  Oh I can't tell you just how happy I am to actually have made the right call about how far to hike today.  I'm so glad I pushed it as much as I did, unlike last section where I did too few miles to be tired. At least now I am pleasantly sore, and I'm nearly ready to drift off...

Hang near White Rock Creek.


  1. Hey Joan,
    Glad to see you are back on the trail and you are listening to your feet. As someone who has also suffered a bad foot injury in my past I can so identify to having to "listen to my feet" Although my injury was about 5 years ago, I actually came back stronger and able to do much more than I ever thought I would do on the trail or off (in my other sports) So hang in there sista! The one very valuable lesson I learned from my foot injury is something you eluded to in this post...listening to your body and pushing just the right amount but not so much you hurt yourself. The beauty is in the balance:)
    Maria "hilltackler"

    1. Wonderful to hear about your experience with a foot injury, Maria! It really makes a difference when people like you tell me they have gone through this too. Quite inspiring that you came back to the trail stronger- right now I still feel weak, but I'm going to go on believing that this will make me stronger in the end as long as I focus on the lessons I'm learning. Definitely have been listening to my foot, and being patient with it, well... frustrated at times but also patient in that I take the time to address what it is saying.

      Again, thanks for commenting and hope to meet you sometime out on the trail..

  2. Hi, Joan:

    I enjoyed hiking and chatting with you from the Peter Grubb hut down to I-80. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and hope to see you on the trail again.

    Scott "Snowshoe Man".

    1. Delighted to meet you and great hiking with you too! Thanks for finding me here and posting. Hope you had safe travels back! See you on down the trail. ;)