4 State Appalachian Trail Challenge Complete!!!!!!
Below is a recap of my Saturday on March 28, 2020. Most people were stuck home during the Corona Virus Crisis. I had a challenge planned and fortunately it did not entail a group of people or indoor space. It was a trail run/hike with a friend and we decided to go for it.
The weather was on and off drizzle most of the morning with one big downpour, cloudy/foggy the rest of the day. Temp – Low 50’s. Other than the wet shoes and the rain it was a perfect temp for running.
Start time 6:39 am at Pen Mar Park, altitude 1400 feet, one of the finest scenic areas in Maryland. Located on High Rock Road at the Mason Dixon Line. We had to head down to the boarder about 1/4 mile north of the park to dip our toe into Pennsylvania.
Distance approximately 40.8 miles. (my watch was dying at mile 31.5 so I had to stop tracking.) Total Time from Start to Finish 11 Hours and 38 minutes.
Elevation gains 6585.
I felt very good throughout the day with a couple of minor calf cramps between mile 22-25 but they disappeared when I took a Potassium Magnesium pill and drank some pickle juice. I highly recommend pickle juice for any long distance run. MY fuel consumption was pretty unconventional, you might call it wild. I consumed about 130 oz. of water, 3.5 protein bars, 1 hammer gel, 1 400 calorie EFS liquid fuel spread out throughout the run(it was the sweetest gel I have ever tasted), a small bag of my friend Tom’s Give peace a chance walnut homemade granola, a small bag of a sweet and salty peanut mix, a small bag of boiled red potatoes with coconut oil and salt, two pieces of cliff blocks, a handful of potato chips in the car on my ride across the Potomac. 3 Salt tabs.
Unfortunately my friend Josh did not finish. At about mile 17.5 on a downhill he pulled a glute muscle, and it would have been torture for him to continue for another 22 miles. Fortunately my cheering squad (Marcie, Isabella, and Emerson) were en route to see us at mile 18.5, and they were able to shuttle him back to his car at our Potomac river crossing. We made some logistical changes (Marcie is a superstar) and I was able to carry on without him.
Due to the bridge across the Potomac being damaged in December I skipped the portion of the run along the Potomac and was driven into Harpers ferry before heading towards VA. The hardest climb of the day was up from the river in West Virginia about 1000 feet in a mile.
Finish time 6:18 pm.
I requested a cheese steak for dinner and Pizza. We were able to find a Pizzeria open for takeout only and my wishes were granted. Walking was challenge all night and sleeping was more difficult. I slept on the couch with my legs up. I have a pretty ugly blood blister on my left big toe which was talking to me for the last 15 miles. I was considering changing socks during the run to dry my feet but I did not feel like wasting the time, so I did not really know why it was hurting until I took my shoes off to shower.
Sunday recovery was slow moving but as long as I did not sit still for too long my legs worked okay. Moving and walking help the most. Each day the soreness decreased. Today is Tuesday and I may go for a short run/walk or do a slow Peloton ride.
It was a great experience and a great challenge. We are all capable of much more then we think we are! Go out there and do something you have never done before during this Crisis. You might surprise yourself. Be Safe!!!