“A significant fraction of thru-hikers reach Katahdin, then turn around and start back to Georgia. They just can’t stop walking, which kind of makes you wonder.”
― Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Walking is something that I have not been able to do for some time. I could hobble around, but not for long without pain and soreness in my right knee. Well, I finally have some forward progress as I went under the knife on Monday ( 3/17) for a medial meniscectomy to repair a tear in my right knee meniscus. It’s been 5 days since the surgery and I already see improvement. Prior to the surgery, I had difficulty driving as my knee experienced significant pain just pressing the gas peddle. Without cruse control, I would have had trouble getting to town for supplies and laundry. Now I feel nothing. I am still limping some and have pain if my leg twists or bends too far. There’s still 6 weeks of Physical Therapy to endure, but I’m feeling good and optimistic.
The start for the southbound PCT hike is mid to late June, which leaves about 3 months to recover and get fit for the hike. My doctor says full recovery should happen in 2-3 months. I think it will be sooner, the way it’s going so far. I plan to get on my bicycle as soon as the PT therapist allows and start ramping up the miles again. Bicycling, it seems, is the best recovery exercise. It’s a systemic aerobic workout and puts no stress on the joints. You can ride all day without damaging anything (that is if you don’t have an accident..). Whereas, hiking appears to put a lot of stress on the feet, ankles and knees. I will hold off walking/hiking until the last month, where I will ramp up my miles to 15-20 before the start.
This post is woefully late. I had a stretch where I felt I had nothing much to contribute as I was waiting to deal with my knee. I did ramp up my cycling to about 40-45 miles/day five days a week. This proved more difficult than I had predicted. I hope to be more regular in my posting through my rehabilitation and final prep for the hike. There is more equipment talk ahead and I will document my cycling/hiking training.