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Training for a speed hike.
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Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Saturday's the big day on 06/24/2010 10:12:25 MDT Print View

Best of Luck !
Better to be slightly under trained and healthy, so I wouldn't worry about your last 3 weeks of light training.
Just don't start out like a ball of fire ... give your ankle a few miles to warm up.
I'm sure you'll do Great.
and ... what ever time you get, you'll set a record, haha.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Good luck! on 06/24/2010 12:16:10 MDT Print View

Have a great hike! I'm going to PM you my phone number in case you get stuck on our side of the Connecticut River. I know you said you wanted to do it unsupported, but long waits to get a ride can really suck, especially on a speed hike.

I'm still planning on an October M-M thru-hike...can't wait.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Thanks on 06/24/2010 21:25:41 MDT Print View

Thanks again for the encouragement.

Thought I'd post my gear list and schedule as well, if anyone's interested in those:


Golite Jam2 - 22.6
Trash compactor bag liner - 2.6
Quart Ziplocs (3) 0.51
Gallon Ziplocs (2) 0.84
Opsak 1.48

ID Siltarp 6.7
Spectra cord 0.3
Stakes 1.8
Polycryo Groundcloth 1.8

Sleeping Pad 2
JRB Sierra Sniveller 24

Injinji Socks 1.6
Arc'teryx 100 wt Fleece 9.3

Golite Ether 4.6


Gatorade bottles (1) 1.5
Platypus 0.9
Micropur tabs 0.97
Salt pills


Headlamp 1.99
First aid / repair kit 3.53
M&M book 3.27
Camera 8.83
Cell phone 4.4
ID, credit card, cash 0.5
Watch 1.5
Leatherman Micra 1.85
Compass / Whistle 1.4
Bandana 0.58
Bodyglide 1.16
Bug spray 1.51
Sunblock 2.83
Headnet 1.09

Total base weight 117.94oz 7.37lbs

Food 7.3 lbs

Water (average 1 liter) 2.2 lbs

Total - 16.87 lbs

I'm starting out heavier than I'd like, but it's not terrible and will be a fair bit lighter by day two.


Edited by Knaight on 06/24/2010 21:26:47 MDT.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Well... on 06/27/2010 12:39:29 MDT Print View

Well, I didn't make it. I think I might have had I not been injured a month and a half ago and forced to halt my training routine, but as it was, my body couldn't handle it. Despite steady hydration and electrolyte intake, my legs started cramping pretty bad at around 17 miles.

Between the heat and exertion, I became exhausted at around 30 miles and even slightly delirious. I started to get pretty bad cold sweats and feel flu-like. I sat down at the end of the next section, at 32.5 miles. After an hour, I still felt extremely sick and my legs hadn't improved. The balls of my feet were also in pretty serious pain since I hadn't been doing enough training recently to keep them "tough". Finally, the tendinitis was just starting to come back, and I didn't want to turn it into a permanent injury.

I was way behind schedule at that point and the last six miles were tough, with 1900 feet of elevation gain, and they had taken me about 3.5 hours. It was apparent that the attempt was blown, so I called it.

I'm frustrated I didn't make it, but my spirits are actually pretty high overall. I knew that this was a possibility, so it is what it is. I still had a great adventure, in both my training and the actual attempt, and I'm in what's by far the best shape of my life as a result of it.

Not sure I'll attempt this or anything like it again as I have a son that'll be here in a month, but I'll definitely keep up the trail running and hiking. It's become a big part of me. Thanks for everyone's help and insight over the last few months!

Edited by Knaight on 06/27/2010 12:42:34 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Well... on 06/27/2010 13:31:42 MDT Print View

Too bad you fell a bit short but the good news is there is always a next time. Sounds like you hit the wall. How many calories did you consume and when? My last couple of long hikes (40+) I have targeting 250-300/hr and I have been able to avoid "hitting the wall." The other thing that I normally do is take a couple of advils every few hours and I think that helps considerable in keeping inflammation at bay. I know there was a debate on whether to advil or not. Where did you end up coming out on the advil?

Edited by gg-man on 06/27/2010 13:33:03 MDT.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts
Re: Well... on 06/27/2010 15:50:30 MDT Print View

I did take some prescription NSAID's with me, but didn't end up taking any because the issue with my legs was less inflammation and more cramping.

My intake of food and electrolytes should have been plenty. I was consuming about 200-250 calories per hour and taking electrolytes about every half hour during the hottest part of the day.

I honestly think the issue was that I just wasn't fit enough. A month and a half ago I did 41 miles with practically zero fatigue. The only issue that day was that I developed tendinitis in my ankles, which I'm pretty sure was due to worn out shoes. I think my level of fitness deteriorated enough in that time that I simply couldn't handle the miles.

Also, the last 12 miles gained about 3500 feet in elevation and consisted of pretty tough terrain. I did most of those during the major heat of the day, so I'm sure that added to the issue.

Like I said, it is what it is. I knew going in that this was a possibility. I'm less upset about it than I expected I would be. I guess I still feel like I got a lot out of the experience, so I'm not bumming out about it too much.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Well... on 06/27/2010 18:41:45 MDT Print View

"My intake of food and electrolytes should have been plenty. I was consuming about 200-250 calories per hour and taking electrolytes about every half hour during the hottest part of the day."

Which electrolytes specically? Were you taking just sodium and potassium, or were you including calcium and magnesium as well? Most electrolyte mixes are light on calcium and magnesium, and a shortage of either can cause cramping.

Kevin Landolt
My somewhat speedy attempt at the CT - failure on 06/30/2010 22:49:11 MDT Print View

After four days on the CT, (33 miles first day, 27 the second, 31 on the third), over Kenosha Pass and Georgia Pass. I felt great: fit, had my systems dialed, positive attitude... unfortunately my feet were not on the same page as the rest of my body. I trained pretty hard for this trip - the goal being a sub 20 day thru-hike of the CT. I logged lots of miles trail-running on steep rocky trails and using the same shoes/socks as I would on the CT. I also logged several "big" days alpine climbing in RMNP - carrying a heavy pack over rough terrain on long approaches, spending 12+ hours moving steadily...

My pack for the CT was pretty light with a six pound base-weight and 23 pounds total-weight (most of that weight being food that I would consume at a steady rate, thus lightening my load noticably day to day. I've used the same trail-runners - older model Montrail Hardrocks - for a couple of years now and have enjoyed blisterless feet. I have in the past struggled with heel blisters, but these shoes totally solved that problem and I haven't had any issue with my toes prior to this trip. I even opened a brand new pair for the CT, breaking them in pain free the weeks prior.

I'm pretty bummed! I felt full of juice coming over the divide, my legs strong... But I guess we are only as strong as our weekest link. Now I re-plan and re-group, maybe try again?

My toes...

Edited by distantfellow on 07/01/2010 08:43:32 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: My somewhat speedy attempt at the CT - failure on 06/30/2010 23:17:25 MDT Print View

You are in serious need of some Lueko Tape.
Just pre-tape and you won't have these problems anymore.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: My somewhat speedy attempt at the CT - failure on 07/01/2010 00:14:22 MDT Print View

do you use Injini Toe socks ?
I swear by them to help prevent what I see in your photos.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Ugly Feet! on 07/01/2010 06:55:06 MDT Print View

I'm guessing that the weather was hot. I switched a year ago from normal lightweight wool hiking socks to very lightweight Wrightsocks. My goal is to keep my feet as cool as possible which cuts down on blisters. The Wrightsocks are double layer also which is supposed to reduce friction to your feet by having the two layers slide relative to each other. This combined with powder every few hours and my Solomon XA Pros and blisters are virtually eliminated for daily mileage approaching 50. For the infrequent hotspot you might also try some of the liquid bandage products.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Ugly Feet! on 07/01/2010 11:37:15 MDT Print View

Big thing is to make sure the toe box is large enough, especially on downhills. I recently did a hike and wore some wool socks that are a tiny bit thicker than normal, trying to compensate for an injury to the ball of one of my feet. I just wanted a little more cushion. On a long downhill hike I got the same blisters on both of my longest toes. Also it was hot weather. Never had that problem with my shoes (XA Pros).

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
more blister remedies wanted on 07/01/2010 11:56:40 MDT Print View

I often get hotspots (pre-blisters) on longer hikes but the only treatment I know about is moleskin.

Can you be specific about what powder you use? (I do have warm feet that perspire and it makes blisters more likely)

Can you also explain what this liquid bandage thing is about? How exactly does it help compared to usual bandage?

(I wear North Face Cushioned Running Quarter Socks (80% Coolmax polyester, 19% nylon) in a non-Gore Tex version of the North Face Hedgehog trail shoes.. really breathable and very thin top mesh layer.)

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
New Skin - Liquid Bandage on 07/01/2010 12:27:19 MDT Print View

The product I take is call new skin. It smells just like clear fingernail polish and very likely is similiar. Ideally you would paint it on a hot spot prior to getting a blister. My experience has been that it will last several hours even when it gets wet. The biggest advantage I see is that it won't fall off like a normal bandage and it you can put it places that would be difficult to bandage or tape.

As far as powder, I use two different kinds depending on trip. The best for me is any medicated powder that will also keep away athlete's foot.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: New Skin - Liquid Bandage on 07/01/2010 12:37:26 MDT Print View

Just like half of the other hikers here, I have had hot spots on my feet. About once every five years, I get a full blister. I'm not sure that I understand exactly what causes a hot spot. Is it from friction, or is it more from heat exposure?

Back in my high school track days, they made us fix up our feet before we did any long runs. First of all, we applied rubbing alcohol to the foot skin in any places where blisters might form. We were told that it caused the skin to toughen if it was applied every day for a couple of weeks. Then, right before the long run, we painted the same skin places with Tincture of Benzoin, which stains the skin somewhat tan or brown. We were told that it also toughened the skin, but it also prepared the skin so that tape would stick better. Maybe all of that is old school wisdom now, but it worked for us back then during the Taft Administration.


Kevin Landolt
RE: My Ugly Toes on 07/01/2010 14:15:35 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm determined to heal up and hop back on the trail. I'm looking into a new pair of shoes with a roomier toe-box and will check out some of the other blister prevention products mentioned. My feet are destroyed! You should have seen me limping those last 12 miles of segment 6 into Breck, b-lining it up mainstreet for the Brewery - that put a little pep in my step, or limp. I think I was attempting to compensate for the pain in my toes by weighting my heels more and now they're swollen and tender. Like I mentioned before, the 30 miles a day felt really reasonable to me in terms of fitness, but when I get back on the trail - hopefully in a couple of weeks - I plan on starting off with several 20 mile days in hopes of toughening up my feet a bit, before pushing the 30s - and maybe a couple of 40s? Hiking far fast in beautiful country is exhilerating! I'm also going to change up my gear list a little to include a stove - possilby a BushBuddy or little soda-can alcohol stove... maybe even bring some water-colors or a book along. At least take it slow and easy the first few days, relax a little, then ditch the weight and cruise when my feet seem ready.


Edited by distantfellow on 07/01/2010 14:22:57 MDT.