TLDR, I have two questions:
a) Is it part of the process that sometimes you just aren’t feeling the race, and quit?
b) How can I change my mindset to not to quit?
I’ve been (over)thinking yesterdays race. Now, this was a highly attritional MTB Marathon race new in trail geography in the UK, at 70km with 1900m of climbing. The arena was at the bottom of a “bowl” and the trails wound up and down the outside of the “bowl” crossing the arena twice for a 17KM lap meaning no flat trails at all. Secondly, the lower forest trails were a mud bath with sticky deep mud, hidden roots and a lot of walking/sliding. Only 50% of the field finished. My point is, it was hard at an average of 9mph. But it was an A event prior to my annual goal 12hr on July 31. I’ve been consistent and successful in training for it which adds to the guilt.
For me personally I coiuldnt get a flow, felt slow, and mentally got so frustrated with mud/dismounting/sliding that I quit after 2 laps an 2h:35 realising it would be about 5:30hrs race before I finished - at that point I was happy to let go. As I travelled home I realised I’d invested the cost of the travel, event, camping, food, wasted bottles and time in the event only to “waste it”.
Perhaps as a slight mitigation I had a very stressful week at work in the midst of which was an argument with my wife which left a strain over a few days, so perhaps I just want able to cope.
So, was I wrong/right and how to fix it, I’d love to hear the benefit of your experience!