As it turned out, my reset button was waiting just before mile 13, ahead of a portion of the course I had been particularly dreading.
Quitting wasn’t an option on this day. This was personal for me.
The discomfort in my right knee, which I thought would plateau, was doing no such thing. The pain reliever wasn’t touching it, and I was favoring the leg to such an extent that I’d become legitimately concerned about creating an injury to my left leg as a result. Still, I put on a smile as I approached, kissed my wife, and—of course—swapped my socks and shoes.
It didn’t work.
As I made my way up the bank of White Rock Lake, I was passed by a runner I recognized from my corral. A half-mile later, I passed him back as he walked—a sequence we repeated several times before the turn at mile 15. He was clearly adhering to a run/walk plan, so I gave it a try for a bit. But, as he broke into another jog a few miles later, I found myself unable to do the same.
By mile 18, I was done. I could no longer run.
I should’ve quit then. Hell, I should have quit 10 miles before then. But quitting wasn’t an option on this day. This was personal for me. I spent a lot of years quitting when things didn’t go according to plan. I quit teams. I quit schools. I quit relationships. I’m done with that.