I Be Illin’


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tired optimist

Despite feeling crappy the last few days, Optimist is pushing through and still covering the miles.

And not like Run DMC. It’s been a painful and challenging experience to say the least. We had been rocking the “beach body push” on our way to 150 miles in 5 days and feeling good about it. To top it off, Sunday (Day 5) was to have been a great food day with pancakes cooked for breakfast at a cabin we stayed at, a stop at the “Cookie Lady”, a late lunch in Dalton, MA with the day finishing up with pizza in Cheshire, MA.

It all went downhill really fast. After a great start to the day, we hit up the deli – there are tons of delis in the northeast by the way – at around 3:30 in Dalton. Upon beginning my meal, I instantly felt myself get really tired, like I needed to lay down right there and nap. I thought it was just a food coma because I inhaled a foot long sub and a large bag of chips. We then had 9 miles to hike to Cheshire that evening and that is when the pain set in. My body started shutting down on me and was making each step difficult. It was all I could do to get to town that evening. Thankfully there was a church that opens its rectory to hikers and allowed us to sleep on the floor there.

I immediately was down and out. I felt horrible all night and by the time morning came I was not any better. I didn’t have stomach pains but more of flu like symptoms and fevers throughout the night. It must have been a pitiful sight to see me lying on the rectory floor until almost 2pm the next day completely immobile. I took some advil around that time and we decided to at least hike out to the first shelter. Wow was that a tough experience. Either my body wasn’t ready or the advil had worn off because the climb out of Chesire rocked me. There was no way I was going past the first shelter and thankfully, this time, they made room for us at the shelter and I crashed at around 5pm and didn’t get up until after 5am.

I had fears of giardia and Lyme disease. Lots of people talk about these two common trail ailments and brought them up when I gave them my symptoms. I talked to an older gentleman,
Silver, that we talked with back when Julie was looking to get off the trail. He put my mind at rest on both accounts and I now believe I likely picked up some bug in town while my immune system was pretty down from all the miles of late.

Today, with the help of Advil, I was able to feel pretty good for a full day, getting in 24 miles and getting into VT. I’m hoping the bug clears out soon though because we’re down to only 3 Advil pills and I really do not want to go back to Illin’ on the trail.

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