Change of Plans
The last my family back home had heard from me, I was about to do a 27 mile day the next morning. I sent out an email, excited and anxious for the next day asking for prayers.
It went something like this:
0247 Farasi’s alarm goes off
0335 Left the hostel, Four Pines
0344 Realized we passed the trailhead back to AT
0350 Finally started on trail, end of first sideways miles
0450 Finish first 3 miles; Take a snack break
0515 Realize we’re in the bullpen and are nearly attacked by cows
0525 Bear sighting!!! We saw our first bear!
0600 Arrive at 311 parking lot for McAfee knob; bathroom break
0615 Throw up breakfast and snack
0625 Decide to take it slow because there’s zero visibility for a sunrise anyways and 25 cars already in a crowded Saturday lot
0655 Start hike to McAfee’s Knob
0815 Wondered why we haven’t passed shelters; Realize that we’ve hiked over 2 miles on path parallel to AT. Begin hike back south.
0940 Arrive at first shelter on AT, throw up, call shuttle for ride to clinic
Spend rest of the day sick in a clinic in Daleville, VA
Clearly, our first marathon day did not go as planned. I have been dealing with nausea and complete lack of appetite. These progressed to a fever and headaches. All these things combined made hiking each day a struggle. It felt like I had the flu, only more achy. Once I was unable to keep food down, Farasi and I decided it was time to go to the doctor. They prescribed me some medicine and said if I wasn’t better within 48 hours that I needed to go to the hospital. Well, we hiked on but after a few days, my symptoms remained and some worsened. On a particularly nasty day with storms, Farasi and I decided to get this taken care of. I got a ride to the hospital in Roanoke and stayed in their care for a day. After several tests, I am now being treated for Lyme disease and a GI tract infection. Just one day and 6 prescriptions later and I’m feeling a bit better already!
Things definitely have not been going as planned lately. When bumps come, it throws off our timeline. Farasi and I are going home for two days for our sisters’ graduation and lately we have been feeling pressure over making certain miles and guilt when that doesn’t happen. But all these bumps have made us realize that we are much happier just to be hiking together than we are when we are simply trying to quickly get to some destination. This realization turned the pressure back into passion and peace, just as hiking should be.
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