Section two went according to plan for about 15 miles and then it didn't.
Chris and I hiked the the majority of our 22 miles on the first day without a hitch. In fact, we were moving along at a speedy 3.5 MPH with heavy packs containing all our new food and a ton of water due to desert conditions. In hindsight, this speed was unwise because we (a) didn't need to hike that fast, (b) weren't yet in full-on hiking shape and (c) the elevation gain was pretty large. So the unfortunate happened, my right thigh began to hurt. The rest of my body was still ready to push on so I rested it a moment and then continued. Within 2 miles the slight pain had turned into a teeth gritting limp and the majority of my weight was being transferred into my poles. We continued the next 5 miles at a crawling 1 MPH until we finally arrived at our campsite.
Once at camp I went into full medical mode. Ace bandaged the thigh, elevated the leg, popped some Naproxen and crossed my fingers. Chris was nice enough to set up the tent and grab some water from the spring for cooking dinner. We ate and crashed early.
By the morning the pain was gone and my leg felt tight but good. We began hiking and everything was going well until around 7 miles in when I again hit a wall of leg pain. Luckily it was only 3 more miles into town and I could get off my leg and rest it for most of a day.
On day three I began with a much more subdued hope. My leg again felt tight but good as we began. We hiked on a mostly flat trail for around 3 miles and things were looking good but after that the trail started to climb and my leg declined in fashion. I traded off some heavy food from my pack to Chris and that seemed to help.
We hiked for another couple of miles but the trail was only getting farther from civilization and the thought of my leg getting worse and causing further damage started to creep in. If the injury was a tear that might increase in size with further use then hiking the 45 miles to our next road crossing might mean the end of my PCT.
I dropped my pack, handed Chris the tent parts I was carrying and headed back from whence we came. Chris carried on to hike a couple long days in high heat and I hitch hiked to Palm Springs to see a doctor. Womp Womp.
These injuries are unfortunate out here on the trail but they are to be expected. The hope is that our injuries are the quick-to-heal kind and not the out-for-good kind. Fingers crossed. I'm seeing a specialist today.