I knew that the trek would be hard, but I never expected what it entailed. Unfortunately I could not afford a personal porter, so my pack was very heavy; around 35 pounds. With the weight of the pack, the amount of rain, and the intensity of the hike, I was hurting quite a bit. The only thing that saved me was my physical condition. If I was not in shape, I'm not sure if I would have made it without hurting my body.
Day 2 was a challenge. 6 hours up steep steps followed by 2 hours straight downhill. With the amount of rain, there were moments I was nervous for my safety. The views were incredible when we could see them. Unfortunately it was the rainy season, and it rained for the duration of our trek. The porters were great, our guide was helpful and informative, and the food was excellent. The staff did a great job of making a very uncomfortable journey somewhat enjoyable.
By the time we got to Machu Picchu we were ready to collapse, but it was so beautiful. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would I do I again? Never. Would I recommend it? Only if you go during the dry season, hire a personal porter, and train your body physically for a few months beforehand. Otherwise, take the train, save some money, and see the sights the easy way.