Contrary to what one might think, I stopped at mile 108 because I felt like I'd completed what I came to Tahoe to complete. My body felt good, really darn good for that many miles. I can't explain it and it defies my usual idea of "completion," but I had the most amazing journey. I remember two things very clearly. The first was the moment I turned a corner to see Lake Aloha in its glory--- the most beautiful sight I've EVER seen on trail, and I have seen some amazing things. I saw a silver mountain of rock made up of sharp metallic blades and pure blue water to a crystal blue sky with round rocks clean as polished dinnerware bubbling up from the lake. I have never before stopped in such awe and in my surprise I uttered, "Ohhhh!"
The second moment came when I was suffering greatly from stomach pain in the latter part of the first day, so much so that I was retching, unable to eat, and I heard the telltale rattle. Stopped in my tracks, I gazed on a frozen rattle snake, it's head turned to me, it's tongue the only part that moved in and out to the sound of my breath. At that moment I realized that I wasn't so bad off after all.
I'm not sure what's next for me, but while running I realized that what I thought was important really wasn't important. I had a bit of an existential crisis. I lost interest in setting a record even though I was still on course to break it. My adventure and its "goal" had changed. I no longer wished to receive praise or to uplift my ego through my running, instead I wanted to run for myself. For my very own adventure. My mind rebelled from finishing times, records, ridiculous FKTs. My body still felt good at mile 108. I could hardly believe it. The answer to "can I do the 170 mile TRT?" was answered for me in a resounding yes! How could I feel so good and be done? The answer for me was another question: Why not stop when I feel good?