I guess the other thing I’ve been thinking on the trail and that I haven’t talked enough about is the pain. The PCT has introduced a whole new world of pain.
For instance, on a scale of 1-10 (1 is good, 10 hurts), I think what used to be 6 or 7 is now a 4.
Most days I start out feeling OK, and at some point the pain starts. Often in the morning, like 8. And I say to whatever is hurting, “You can go ahead and hurt, but we’re still walking for 10 more hours.” I just “walk it off”.
And after 900 miles I know some of my pains very well. The heel pain I’be been having for 700 miles? Yeah, whatever. Hasn’t stopped me yet, ignore it. It’s the new pains that get my attention, and I seem to get those pretty regularly. So far I just walk them off, maybe go real slow for a few minutes.
Sometimes out of nowhere something (foot, heel, knee, hip) starts hurting REALLY badly. It brings me to a full stop and it seems that I cannot go on. I ponder my options for a moment and decide I must keep moving, no matter how slow. And then, within 5 or 10 minutes the pain totally goes away. What the hell was that all about?
And of course, the night pains. It’s crazy how much it can hurt when you’re done, just laying there in your bag! There’s no way to lie for more than a few minutes that doesn’t hurt. Tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.
Well, I didn’t/don’t want it to be easy. How’s it go? “if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger.” Yeah, that.