We didn’t get out of Shasta until after lunch and had 4,000 foot climb in the hottest part of the day. The direct sunlight and steep rocky trail were brutal. Even though we left late in the day we still tried to get in as many miles as possible. This ment pushing hard all day. Around 9pm we arrived at camp exhausted physically and mentally. We had only gone 22 miles that day and had to stay on a 25 mile per day pace in order to make it to the next town without running out of food. We were already behind.
The next day my goal was 30 miles to make up for the difference. Once again temperatures reached in the high 90s and I found myself constantly laying down to sleep. Even with the exhaustion I pressed on all day. By the time I arrived at camp I had done 27 miles but felt like I had done 50. I had pushed all day and not reached my goal. Mentally I was completely drained. I found a campsite and collapsed into my tent, falling asleep almost instantly.
The next morning I felt a little better but my body didn’t want to move. Even so, I still had miles to make so i packed up and trudged forward. My pace massively slowed down compared to the days before. Surprisingly, a slower place seemed helped me stay positive and take few breaks. By the end of the day I had done 33 miles. More miles than each of the past two days and I felt good the whole time. So I have decided to change my pace. Going slower helps me go father. I guess is the story of the tortoise and the hare. My goal now is the go slower, and go longer. We will see how this works in the upcoming weeks.
Noel Nelson (pct mike 1603)