A week later, though some thoughts of regret have crept in, I still believe I made the right call at the Bear. I stopped at 4:40 a.m. and had I gone on to the next aid station I would have made it to daylight where you usually get a boost. I could have pushed for one more stretch though that wouldn't have changed anything. The reason I stopped was that with such severe downhills, they were pounding my normally strong knees into submission and I was going downhill at 1.5 miles an hour and slower. And it was painful. My thought turned more so to the long term well being of my knees. With becoming more fatigued and 38 miles to go, I figured I was fortunate to get to 100k with out injury so I should count my blessings, curse the osteoarthritis the doctor says I have and move on.
A week later, my body feels good. I feel stronger than I did before the Bear. My big toes are still kind of numb and it looks like I'll loose the toenails again but that's just par for the course. Things feel well enough that I think I will put in a long run tomorrow morning.
People have the misconception that I like torturing myself though that is just not the case. I don't like torturing and abusing my body. I like testing myself. To see what I am made of. Who I am. I can take so many positive things out of my failure to finish at the Bear that to me is priceless. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. More to come on the Bear.