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.

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