It was 3:30 a.m. I was lying in a cot shivering, in the ski lodge of Diamond Fork ski area above Lake Tahoe. A lady who had put blankets on me kept looking back at me with concerned looks. The previous 11 hours had been brutal. Because of an altitude-related stomach issue, I had only covered 30 miles during that time. Now, at mile 80, serious thoughts of quitting and DNFing were swirling in my mind. I was looking for the right excuse to stop, a reason that I could live with. Why continue to suffer? I had even survived the fright of running into a huge black bear with her cub earlier in the afternoon. I had a string of 23 100-mile finishes without a DNF. Was I ready to see that string broken? I told myself yes and continued to shiver.