I pulled out of Mother Road earlier than I had to, but I have no doubt that a finish just wasn't in the cards. A pretty substantial blister had started forming on my left big toe around mile 30. I lanced it, cleaned it, and dressed it, but it did not improve. Another blister started forming on my right heel. The top of my left foot started hurting. The temperature started dropping, my pace slowed, and I just wasn't feeling it. The thought of shuffling through a 30 degree night just didn't appeal to me.
I checked the ego and threw in the towel. I hunkered down in the van and joined Arthur and Frank for the duration as we crewed for Jason. He hit a low point but kept moving and looked strong when we left him at the 62 mile aid station.
Twenty minutes later, we got a message from him: "Man down." Jason's leg had locked up at the hip. 64 miles into the race, and he was finished.
So what now?
I really don't know.
Training for Mother Road was not much fun. The summer heat killed it. I skipped more long runs that I finished, and I know that even if the blisters hadn't done me in, my lack of quality training probably would have eventually.
I put my name in the Western States lottery, although I don't know how I will feel if I get in. The odds are against me, but you never know. I figured this would probably be one of the only times I have a qualifying run, so I might as well give it a go. If I somehow get selected during the December 4, 2010 drawing, then I will have to seriously ramp up my regime. I might even consider hiring a coach to prepare. If I don't get picked, then I think I am probably done with 100s. I still love the long run, but I think 100km will be my limit.
I just need to take a step back to reassess what it is I want to accomplish with all of this running stuff.