I was keeping up a good pace, averaging over 4 miles an hour. I was feeling good, until I got to around the 10 mile mark. That when the blister that had been forming on my left foot decided to pop.
Normally, I don't stop for anything short of a car crash in front of me, trying to muscle up and make it to the end as fast as I can. Once that blister blew, I didn't walk a half a block before I started limping. This was right around the time that my exhaustion and dehydration level was starting to peak. The two were just too much. I had to sit down and drink something. Ten minutes in an Au Bon Pain slugging down a fruit smoothie and a half a liter of water helped to replenish my fluids and my energy.
Once I started out again, I was feeling better, but my pace was way down, probably to about 3 miles an hour. For me, that a crawl. I finally made it back to my car, later than I had planned and visibly in pain. Once I got home and pulled off my sock, I could see that the blister ran all along the toe ridge of my first three toes, and every step flexed that area and rubbed the skin a little bit more.
I think I'll spend the rest of the evening with my feet up, and lay off the long-distance walking for a little bit. That, and quit wearing cheap-ass socks from Wal-Mart on these long hikes. I think I need to take a road trip to the sock store in Brown County and stock up on some well-made, well-padded athletic socks. It's a nice drive, and the quality is worth the cost.