I'm just getting into hiking, been doing lots of training hikes and just completed my first warm up trail (C&O Canal Towpath).  While I'm trying to be smart about tackling the AT in sections, I'd like to first try the Maryland section and the Shenandoah NP section.   Looking for some insight on the trail, especially the elevation aspect to it.  What's a realistic mileage estimate for those sections for an older beginner?  I'm 47 yrs old and could be in better shape, which is one of the reasons why I started backpacking