I have been doing a lot of reflecting on how things went down at Arrowhead this year and I know what got me this time. I just couldn't understand how I could be so tired that I was falling asleep by 1 a.m. the first night and was 3 hours later than I wanted to be getting to the second check point. And when I got to that checkpoint, I was toast. I knew I didn't have enough in me to finish the event but I knew I had enough to continue. So I did with the hope that somewhere along the way I would regain some energy but it never happened. About 5 miles out of the checkpoint I knew my event was over and started to think of an exit strategy. I was 13 miles from the nearest road so I made a decision to again try and delay my quitting and see if something would change in the next 13 miles which would take me 5-6 hours.
Along the way, I crossed over a little bridge in the middle of an open area about the size of a football field. I stopped and looked out into the field and could see deer standing. I froze so I wouldn't startle them and just watched. There looked to be 6-8 of them. Then I looked closer and I could see coming up behind them, frozen in his tracks, a Timber Wolf. I could not believe my eyes that I was maybe going to witness a Wolf getting a meal. I remember saying to myself that I have to take a mental picture of this. As I took it all in, I thought it odd that the deer were not moving at all, no twitching, no tail waging, no nothing. The wolf didn't move either. I again told myself to take a mental picture as maybe what I was seeing wasn't real. I was very tired and at the end of my rope. Then I thought, oh yes, I have my cell phone camera, I'll take a picture. I took 2 pictures just to make sure. After returning home and looking at my Garmin data, I could see that I stood in the same place for over 10 minutes. What I did in those 10 minutes, I have no idea though it was peaceful, and even a little joyous. I had taken it in mentally and took a picture with a camera to share with others.
As I said earlier, I figured out what my problem was that kept me from finishing the Arrowhead this year. Cold induced asthma. I had heard of it though never had a problem with it. I later found out that many people were suffering from it this year at Arrowhead. Kind of odd in that it was 60 degrees warmer than last year though there was a lot of humidity. All I know is that I will bring an inhaler with me next time. I'm already excited to give it another try.
Oh, and the pictures. I could post them but you wouldn't enjoy them as much as I do. I guess you had to be there. There is nothing on them.