My mind is not at ease after being unable to finish the Baker Trail 50 Mile under 11 hours and having to settle for an 11:56 finish. Looking ahead to the Mountain Masochist 50(54) Miler, where I will need to cover an additional 4 miles in less than 12 hours gives me an uneasy feeling. I am still going after Masochist. The weather will change, Masochist is a different type of course than Baker, and I have 8 weeks before I will have to fight that battle.
That said I do realize that every race where I push on, don't quit, and I finish after a difficult start or stretch during the race makes me stronger. It adds another piece to my foundation and another tool to look back on in future events.
In Baker this year I felt horrible for about 9 miles from mile 17 to mile 26. I was mostly in the sun, on the road, and climbing. I was hating life and miserable, but I kept pushing forward. Somewhere around mile 26 the course started downhill and took us back onto the trail and into the forest's shade. Some clouds even came out and veiled us from the sun's heat too. I came back to life and had a great day from that point on. I am so glad for the God-given grit and determination that helped me not drop out of the race and miss the joys that came after my struggles.
I'll leave you with a quote that stood out to me from a running article I read yesterday.
ultrarunner’s biggest challenge is not about being physically fit enough
to handle the race, but to be mentally tough enough to keep emotions
intact and force your beaten body forward."
Run Like a Horse,