Today was another long day of hiking, and a new PR. I would say that setting a new PR two days in a row is not advisable if you want to actually enjoy hiking.
On the plus side, you are up before the sunrises, and so get to see it rise, and also up after the sun sets, so get to see that too. Hiking into night is also good if you want to see the moon and the stars, which we kind of did since it was the night of the Perseid meteor shower.
On the the negative side, since you are up before the sun rises and after it sets, you don't get much sleep. You also get achey feet and other random muscle and joint pains.
There seems to be a big difference between hiking 28 miles and 30+ miles, despite the numbers being so close. It is fairly easy to get in 28 and feel good at the end of the day, enjoying most or all of the miles hiked. Once you get above that threshold, it seems to immediately be less fun because you are constantly looking at the watch to make sure you aren't taking breaks that are too long, and that you are still on pace. I feel like that is how a lot of hikers see the trail. Each day is a race to get in as many miles as possible, no time for fun or diversions of any kind. If you're not enjoying the hiking part of the thru-hike, what's the point?
Sent from the PCT