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35222RE: [John Muir Trail] rest time after thru-hike

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  • Don Amundson
    Sep 30, 2013
      I think everyone has a different decompression experience.  When I did a 2009 thru I was in fair shape, carried a much heavier pack than did this year and injured my knee coming off of Mt. Whitney.  When I got home I think I psychologically rested on my laurels and had no energy.  I started injury specific workouts about a week after returning but wasn't back to full body workouts for 3-4 weeks.  For me a thru hike of 20+ days is a very different experience than a trip of 5-10-15 days.  At 20 days the trip becomes a way of life.  My shelter is my home. The people I meet on the trail are my family.  When I return there are some big adjustments I have to make and sometimes depression can rear it's ugly head and suck the energy out of me. 

      After this years thru I was back in the gym the day after I returned.  Some contributing factors may be that I am in better shape than in 2009 though of course older at 68, my pack weight was much lighter (15lbs at the Portal with remaining food/water) and it was my second time doing it so it wasn't such a big deal and I had no "laurels" excuse. The depression component didn't kick in possibly because I knew what to expect and fought my way thru it on some unconscious level.

      I wouldn't worry too much about what your experiencing.  I doubt it's much different than what many experience. Relax, enjoy your memories of the trip.  Give yourself some time and start planning for another trip.

      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      From: jotslibrarylist@...
      Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 14:17:21 -0700
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] rest time after thru-hike


      Hello, all-
      So I finished my JMT thru-hike this week (trip report coming later), and was curious how much time people took after their trips before starting to work out again. My trip was 21 nights/22 days.

      I gave myself two days off, then did a short five mile hike today (no pack!!) and am exhausted. Yesterday it took me ALL DAY just to gear up to one trip (in the car!) to the local Target store. On the JMT, I was averaging 10-mile days in high elevation (37lb pack!) and much more challenging terrain (of course) then what is at our local nature preserve. 

      Prior to the trip, I had been hiking 4x/week about 5 miles each time (elevation not even a factor), plus gym 3x/wk 1.5 hours each session (mostly core and weight training).

      Any info/feedback on what worked for you is appreciated. I know everyone is different.


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