There was a moment last weekend where I stood in the middle of a field, screaming to the heavens.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything on here, and most of the time I still feel like I’m shouting into the void, but I’ll keep doing this for me….

Leaving the PCT so abruptly still feels like a hazy dream (or nightmare), but it ended up being the right decision, since even months after my injury, my foot still isn’t back to full strength.

There have been a lot of changes since I got back home. Most of them good, like moving to one of my favorite cities and starting a new job, but some bad old habits have crept back into my life. I am trying to battle them in hopes of one day moving past those road blocks holding me back from my full potential.

One step in the right direction definitely was starting to hike again. My injury prevented me from doing any serious miles for a long time, but even a few baby rounds around my parent’s house lifted my spirits tremendously.

I think it was some time in January, dreary winter skies and nasty weather outside where I got antsy and wanted to at least research about outdoorsy stuff, when I couldn’t actually DO much outdoorsy stuff right then. And that’s when I stumbled upon a series of events that had previously caught my attention, even before I hit the PCT last year. Having done some serious days, mileage-wise, I felt that I could actually take part and succeed.

What are those events? Well…..they’re marathons, hiking marathons to be exact. Same distance as a traditional marathon, but without the need to jog or run.

So, on a whim, I looked at the calender and location of events, and just….registered.

My first official hiking marathon will be the “Hinkelstein Wandermarathon” on March 24 and I am really excited about it.

“But Phoenix….what about your foot? ” you might ask… Well, it will just have to suck it up. I know I can take the pain, I’ve done it before.

And I did train some for this marathon, especially last weekend. Which brings me to why I was standing on a field screaming to the heavens.

I had taken my car to a spot in between my two trail points, intending to start hiking towards the end point on day 1, starting at the other point on day 2 and making my way back to the car. Since you can’t legally sleep out in the woods in Germany, I’d take the train home for the night and back to the trail on day 2. Well….so far so planned. What I didn’t account for, was the crazy weather in March in Germany. Anything can happen.

So I started walking on Saturday morning, covering the first 12km in good time, even with the howling winds and on and off rain storms. After a nice break in a restaurant to warm up, I felt confident I could make the distance I had set for the day.

And then came a field…… Aforementioned field, to be exact. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this on here…but I hate wind. Especially strong gusty wind, with rain coming at you sideways, kind of wind. And that’s what I had been walking through (or rather against, since wind always seems to hit you head-on) all day. I had been cursing against the weather gods on and off all day, but when I hit that field I also hit a wall.

Because while it had rained quite a bit that day, my feet were still mostly dry. Well not anymore, because that dam field wasn’t only littered with cow poop, it was also completely soggy and flooded, leaving me no choice but to slog through it, soaking my shoes and feet in the process. Halfway across I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got so frustrated and irrationally angry (at something I have no control over, I know) that I let out a primal yell against the sky.

And you know what? It helped. I was able to hit the reset button and focused on moving, not standing still in misery. I told the weather to go fuck itself and that it wouldn’t defeat me.

I plodded on, soaking feet and all, until I reached my destination 17km later, making it a total of 37km for the day. Almost marathon distance, wooohooooooo.

Even though my feet felt like hell, I did manage to walk another 26km the next day, getting back to my car. That means I walked a total of 62km in about 32 hours (including an overnight at home) with a net walking time of roughly 14.5 hours.

I felt proud. And I feel ready for the marathon. I’ll let you know how it goes. And I appreciate any and all feedback you might want to give me.

Cheers, Phoenix

10 Replies to “Resurfacing”

  1. I’m so happy to hear your getting back at it!!! So excited for you!! I have decided that 2021 will be my 41st birthday the year I’m going to retire from my job and free up all my time so now it will also the year I finish the PCT from Snoqualmie where I have left off!! Maybe you can come back and do it with me if you not off on another one of your adventures!!! Love you and miss you Phoenix! ❤️

  2. Welcome back to Spring-like weather and outdoor activities. Quite a bit of energy in that post. Your blog title sums it up nicely, “Restless…” Go chase down that marathon!

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