No overwhelming reason for dropping at the halfway point/finish of the first loop. The weather was as perfect as it gets for this race (cool morning, didn't really start heating up until nearly noon). I was running a solid pace that had me finishing the first loop in 5:30; an hour ahead of the cut-off. I just had mentally checked out 7 miles back and could not find a compelling reason to head out on the 2nd loop, despite the best efforts of friends and volunteers to get me back out there. As a matter of fact, I couldn't think of a compelling reason to keep running ultras in general and seriously considered retiring from the sport altogether.
Leading up to the race I had over a month of sub-par training and high stress at work. It has been unusually warm this summer and I was not adapting well to the heat so wasn't getting in many long runs. I had also been having some nagging issues with my low back/hamstrings (I am sure related to too much sitting and not enough physical activity) in the week leading up to the race.
When it came down to it I opted to quit rather than face the pain I knew would be coming - both during the race and for the days following.
On the plus side, my legs felt fine the next day, with little residual tiredness and today I headed back out to the Powerline Loop to take down the flagging in that section.
I suppose it was good to get the DNF over with and I really have no regrets at this time. It was fun to be there to watch the lead runners finish their races (something I only witness if volunteering at the finish line as, in an ultra, I am usually hours behind these folks).
Now to get back to training and finalize my plans for running/racing this year; or maybe I should retire and focus on pacing/crewing/volunteering?
Closer to home
5 hours ago