My physical therapist twisted & stretched my leg every which way, found the root cause of my injury to be an ankle issue, and inflicted some intense therapeutic pain ...http://bit.ly/LDawg
I have about 550 miles of AT under my belt. Some things I have noticed about thru hikers are:
- there seems to be an obsession with finishing it, knocking off big miles every day. This should be a vacation,the time of your life. If I ever attempt a thru hike I want to take it easy, take pics, enjoy it
- there seems to be a desire to stay with people you just met. They may be hiking faster than you,let them go on, you will meet new people and probably catch up with the ones you met earlier
- the AT is much harder than people realize.
My friend has thru hiked x3 and walks 6 miles each way to and from work 6 days a week....he just tore tendons around his knee going too fast doing some section hiking on the AT. Backpacking is not just like everyday workouts...go slow and avoid injury...the speed and miles will come.
There is a lot of good information in this thread. I gotta say I think my age and my previous back problems were the cause of ending my hike. I started out slow, 7 to 8 miles the first week and then went up to 10 or so the second week. Didn't try to push for any miles until past Franklin. Then the push was mainly to get out of a hail storm. My legs and my lungs were getting stronger every day and I was feeling like I could do this thing. When my old back problems started to appear in the Smokies I took two zeros in Pidgeon Forge and then another zero in Hot Springs. The rest didn't help and the pain continued to get worse. So now I am home second guessing everything and trying not to get down on myself too much. I keep telling myself at least I tried and 288 miles is not a drop in the bucket. Can't get my head around the fact that it's over for now.
"The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"
Storm: I feel your pain!! Sounds like you did things right and still got sent home. I've thought about this quite a bit. Even the best efforts might fail in the face of reality - a thru is tough on one's body and sometimes excrement occurs! Kinda like my golf game - as long as nobody gets maimed, no windows get broken, and I have fun - it's just a game. There's lots of other cool ways to spend the next 5 months. It aint over yet.
This thread was a God-send for me. I'm in Damascus on my second of a four day rest period per the doctor. I started on 29 Feb and have had SEVERAL zeros for ankle problems. The left ankle cleared up with ibuprofen, but the right ankle would not, even with 1800-2400 mgs Ibu a day, 2 aleve and 1000 mg tylenol.
I started the hike doing 7-9 miles per day, not wanting to, but unable to go much farther. Too much weight: food and water mostly. I hiked INTO Erwin with 43 pounds on my back, again, mostly food. The most miles to date was 16.6 going into Mountain Harbor Hostel. That's when my right ankle started.
I was both encouraged and depressed at being passed by EVERYONE!! Even one young lady wearing an ankle cast for a sprained ankle! Still, I was encouraged by most of the faster hikers and got to hike with some pretty amazing people: Blueberry, Hungry Bear/Amber Kat, Father-man (He's important), Big-E, Bubble-foot (who found and returned my BDU liner (YAY!), Santa and Elf, Crazy Hat, Video, John and Cat and many others. Got to meet Ms. Janet and catch a ride with her, Uncle Johnny, Grym - all in Erwin. Looking back, I should have been concentrating on what good was happening and not whining/complaining about my feet.
Diagnosis of severe tendonitis = prescription doses of steroids for 6 days, at least 4 days rest (Dr. wants 6-8 WEEKS) and starting at 7-9 miles per day again. This part of the Trail should have been easy for me - flat to moderate ups and downs, almost like the Tampa area.
I wanted to do the entire Trail in one shot - planned on this for over 20 years, saved, etc. Still feeling upbeat about Saturday's restart, but I may have to quit.
AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
AT Thru - 2016 (?)
Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
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Wow, lots of injuries out there. I feel especially bad for the thrus who are encountering problems. You all went to a lot of trouble for your hike, and now it's in jeopardy due to bad luck or bad decisions. Somehow, for a section hiker like me, who is rehabbing a broken ankle, it's just "wait 'til next year (or the year after that), as we former Brooklyn Dodgers fans used to say. Wishing everyone lots of patience and a speedy recovery.
I tried to keep up with a friend and been doin 15+ mile days for a while and now I'm in erwin with left leg problem! Bummed but miss Janet has helped talked some sense in me and gonna keep it short for a while.
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