What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Appalachian Trail II

So... as I sit here icing my feet, which is %@%$@ cold by the way, I can't help but think that 16 miles first day out in Vibrams was a bit ambitious.  Maybe a month or so ago when I was out and about everyday wearing them it would have been fine.  But as it is my feet just aren't in shape to have a weighted down backpack on and go that far on that kind of terrain.  I definitely have some work to do to get my feet in shape to use the vibrams and do the milage I want to in Sierra Leone.  I probably should have just gone about ten miles today, I would have been fine.  I started feeling a bit sore at about 6 miles in but I was only two miles from the shelter and really wanted to gage my time over a specific distance (plus I always er on the side of ambition!!)  I rested my feet for over and hour though, and thought it would be ok.  I however exacerbated the scenario when I started having other issues and got ambitious again.

I didn't have any chaffing on the way out, but immediately upon starting back I could feel it, I had changed shorts so stopped and changed back to a similar thing like what I had originally had on.  It didn't matter though, and the worst thing about it all is that I specifically stopped at a bike shop in Pawling, to see if they had any body glide.  That was my third time in there - and frankly, they suck.  All three times I've gone in no one has said hello to me, they have a customer yet don't even acknowledge your presence.  the one time I waited and initiated an interaction.  I looked around, as if trying to find something specific (which I was - body glide and a compass).  I looked under this and under that, not a word.  I left, nothing.  I've worked in that kind of job, it doesn't take much to simply say hello and say they'll be with you in a minute.  Maybe I don't look like I'd be interested in some horrible thing like a sport - especially an endurance one!!  lol.

Anyway, sorry for the tirade...  back to the AT.  So the chaffing was an issue.  I also had trouble with my water set up.  Granted it was really pretty much there for weight anyway.  I had two poland spring 3L jugs (you've seen them if you've been ear me of late), I had them in my bag toward the bottom, but there were books in there and clothes and towels and whatever else I could find to weigh it down.  One jug and then the next got a little hole in it.  Must of been from the bouncing.  I was all but done with the one when it got a hole, but the second was leaking in the bag and on to me.  I ended up having to carry it in my hand for miles, it was mostly full.  So with about three or four miles to go I chugged a bunch of water, emptied the rest, crushed both bottles, tightened up the bag and decided it was time to run.  It seemed like good logic.  Get their faster, be uncomfortable for less time, but it was a chaffing disaster.  My inner thighs and up are raw, red, and painful.  Maybe that is a case in point why most people don't bother with logic!!  

In the last couple miles there was the longest hill of the jaunt, I was spent and it hurt to stretch my feet on the up hills so I had to change my form.  Even with running maybe a mile and a half or two on the way back I still made it back five minutes slower than going out.  I was 2:42 for the first eight miles out and 2:47 back, with about an hour and fifteen minute break for lunch and conversation.

I met some good people, I should have little cards with the website on it, these are the type of people that were interested in what I'm trying to do there.  Anyway, as it is, the icing is done - thankfully - and I need to eat something substantial.  I'll write a bit more on lessons learned and things needed in a bit - invaluable day...

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