That's what ultra-running is for me. I learned something really significant this weekend at Ultracentric.
When I quit the race, it was because I thought I was going to die. That is, I thought that I couldn't get any nutrition due to the squirts, that the shivering was due to shock and that I was suffocating in my car. So my brain instructed me to do something about it. A cheap room at the Holiday Inn was all I could think of. And once I put my chip in the timing tent, and left the race site, my game was over. I know me.
But, the next day, I knew I could've gone back and walked some more. Today, I jogged 8 miles and did another hour of cross training plus some TRX upper body. Clearly, I didn't leave my soul or my heart on the race course.
So I figure that my brain kicked in to survival gear long before I was anywhere near dying. But since I live in my thoughts, I was powerless to go against survival gear. I could only obey it's command to find a warm room and also go home as soon as possible. I think that people who have crew are able to have the crew solve their problems, and tell them they are not going to die. But alone, you believe whatever is in your mind and act accordingly.
But even if I had a crew, I'm not sure I'll ever do 100 miles. I still am against tearing up my body/feet so bad that extended recovery is required. I like being able to workout again 2 days later. I'm all about the long term and the middle way. 50 miles is within my training envelope. I seem to be able to do it without too much trauma. I forget that 50 miles is still a hell of a long way.
So, despite my self knowledge, I know I'm not done dicking around with 24 hour events. And Thanksgiving weekend is nothing but a personal multi-day running experiment for me. I have no friends or family and disagree with the whole premise of national gluttony celebrations in a nation of fat people. I disagree with eating meat in general anyway. So I look forward to miles and cross training time and weight lifting. Don't forget the strength.
My next race is 12/29; and its in Houston. So 50 miles and home to my own bed! Love it.