I can only imagine how disappointed I would have been if I would have given in to the strong desires I had to quit. I suppose I should focus more on that point - at least I finished. I tend to be very hard on myself. I don't really know how anyone succeed in much if they are not. The disappointment was more the culmination of the months leading up to it. I'm not sure why I expected anything differently on race day.
One of the things that stands out in my memory from race day were the number of people that either passed me or I passed who looked like they were wearing brand new shoes. Shoes with bright white tread and neon yellow that appeared to never have touched a piece of dirt. I don't know why it stood out to me, but it did. It seemed odd. Later in the race, probably somewhere close to mile 40, someone commented on my shoes. It wasn't a comment to me but to the other person they were running with, I heard them say mine looked like they had seen a lot of miles.
And, now, over a week later, I'm focusing more on that little comment. Those shoes have seen a lot of miles and I should be thankful and grateful for what I've been able to do over the past year rather than the disappointment from a few tough months. I was still able to challenge myself and grow over the past year.
I didn't change shoes during the JFK 50 miler. I didn't really think I needed a change unless I was having issues with my feet since I've done another long race with only one pair of shoes - the same shoes. They've been good to me. I've washed them but the mud is permanently ingrained in them. They are as clean as they can get and when I look at them now compared to when they were new, I realize how far they've taken me this year.
These shoes went through HAT Run 50K, Capon Valley 50K, Highlands Sky 40 Mile, Half Wit Half and JFK 50 Miler as well as lots of random miles in between. I suppose the year has been pretty eventful and I shouldn't feel bad about a little down time. I still don't know what's next but some ideas are beginning to swirl around in my head.