When I had the idea to do parts, or maybe someday all, of the Appalachian Trail, I was most worried about my left knee. It seems to constantly ache a little, pop pretty much any time of the day, and I swear it wants to hyper-extend until all my connective tissue rips apart. When I walk or do practice hikes with my pack, it hasn’t bothered me.
At my lunch walk today, we were walking a 19’ 36” mile pace and my shins were on fire. That doesn’t normally happen until we hit a 16-17 min/mile pace. Maybe I’m walking wrong, or I need to do stretches, or I’m hyper-extending my knees, or landing my feet wrong. I clearly need to evaluate how I’m walking. My tibialis anteriors don’t bother me at hike speed, but I haven’t yet tried doing an almost constantly walking 15 mile day, yet.
My current plan for Thanksgiving hike to do 17.5 miles a day, puts me in camp each night right at sundown, if I’m not late. I watched sundown with a new eye tonight and it has me wondering how to shave off more miles in a second day hike before I start the overnight stretch to NC. If I did two 8 mile day hikes with my son before Thanksgiving, that could lessen my burden to a more leisurely pace, which I may appreciate when the temperature suddenly drops at sundown in the mountains.