Greetings from Campo!

What an emotional day!

  • Putting on the clothes that I plan to wear day after day for the next several months was the first reality check of the day.
  • Dropping off my best friend and hiking companion, Ella, at the kennel was much harder than expected as she’s always by my side. Literally!
  • Boarding the plane empty handed felt awkward as I didn’t exactly pack a form of entertainment knowing that it wouldn’t be needed after today.
  • Experiencing a racing heart rate and upset stomach reminds me of pre-race jitters.
  • Knowing that I will say a temporary goodbye to the love of my life brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
  • Touching the Southern Terminus with my hand and sobbing simultaneously certainly brings this to reality.


The culmination of emotions is intense but knowing that I’m about to embark on a journey of a lifetime calms me….ok, maybe not. Haha!

How I got here and what’s ahead…

After experiencing a mid-life crisis earlier last year, I’m here now in Campo about to embark on a journey that I thought would only ever be a dream. Starting completely over at forty isn’t going to be so bad!

Unexpected opportunities, such as being asked to speak at a nationally recognized sports nutrition conference, have surfaced as a result of my meal planning experiment. The outpouring of support from friends and family far and wide is humbling. Despite the many painstaking hours spent training as an athlete, thru hiking the PCT is certainly going to be the most challenging endeavor to date not only physically but emotionally.

Speaking of athletics…

It’s time to talk about bio stats and athletic performance. Most women wouldn’t dare share their body measurements for thousands of people to read. In my case, the information will serve as a measure of the success or failure of my meal planning methods.

Here goes..

Weight at 5’8″:

  • Today: 152.5 lbs – feeling sluggish and a layer of adipose tissue that is less than desirable
  • Baseline: 145 lbs – physically comfortable but unable to hold race pace
  • Race weight: 142 lb – light on my feet, fast and strong
  • Cut-off: 140 lbs – begin to lose strength and appear quite thin

Body measurements:

  • Today: 36″ chest, 30″ waist, 41″ hips
  • Race weight: 34″ chest, 27″ waist, 37″ hips

Heart rate: 

  • Today: Racing!!
  • Baseline: mid 60’s to low 70’s
  • Ultra training: upper 50’s to low 60’s
  • Lowest: 39 and felt terrible!

img_1699Saying goodbye to my dog today – 152 lb.

Ultra trail running - 142 lbsUltra trail running – 142 lbs

As you can see, I’m starting out my trek not as fit as at baseline which is a result of giving up ultra trail running a year ago. Intractable plantar fasciitis has haunted me for the last several years. After deciding to thru hike the PCT, I chose to baby my feet with the hope that I can keep the plantar fasciitis at bay. Well, it didn’t take long for my body composition to change when no longer running more than 20 miles a day on a regular basis. Experimenting with high calorie trail food over the last year also didn’t help matters. At least I know this much about my food; it’s not recommended for weight loss!

With that said…

It is my goal to return to my race weight and maintain it as that’s when I
physically feel the best. As you can see, an additional two pound loss could be detrimental to my hike. With time on the trail, I will be able to fine tune intake whether it be the estimated 5000 calories daily or more/less than that.

Wish me luck as I begin my adventure tomorrow. Will report back in a few days with a food review from Campo to Mt Laguna when picking up my first resupply box.

Until next time…

Check out my Instagram feed for daily interactions with other hikertash foodies as I thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail (update: soon to be Appalachian Trail starting 5/23/17).

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Comments 9

  • Pat Berry : Mar 26th

    Thinking about you. Wind at your back girl. Happy birthday.

    • Aaron Owens : Apr 2nd

      Thanks, Pat! Missing you guys.

  • Loopy : Mar 27th

    Godspeed, Aaron. You’ve got this…from meals/nutrition, right down to the attitude. Stay strong and swift,loose and mindful. Good luck.


    • Aaron Owens : Apr 2nd

      Being more mindful is actually something I’m focusing on during my trip. Thanks for the support!

  • Biddy Adams : Mar 28th

    Inspiring journey. You got this stay strong and healthy xoxo

    • Aaron Owens : Apr 2nd

      Thanks and appreciate the support! So far, so good.

  • Lou : Mar 28th

    Good luck Aaron! I’m already learning much from your posts and looking forward to following your progress on the trail.

    • Aaron Owens : Apr 2nd

      Thrilled to hear my posts have been helpful. Thanks for the support!

  • Courtney Means : Apr 2nd

    Maddison & I are cheering you on! Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your journey! You got this!!
    -Courtney Means


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