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Jacks 50k and the DNF

DNF = Did Not Finish
I earned my first DNF in Jacks 50k. I've done a lot of reflecting in the week since the race. My thoughts and feelings have traveled from "I'm done with ultra running" to "Which race is next?" I've hated the sport for it's stupid brutality (Who in their right minds goes out and runs for hours on end? For FUN?). I've mourned the finish that I should have had (How could I train for 5 months and NOT complete the race?) I've made peace with the knowledge that, like every tragedy in literature and real life, my ego was my Achilles heel. 
Jacks 50k caught my attention as I was beginning a search for my birthday race. Then I heard Dawn Lisenby, the race director, interviewed on the East Coast Trail and Ultra Running Podcast, and her story of memorializing her brother by holding this race yearly to raise funds for a scholarship drew me in.  The race is on the lovely Mala Compra Greenway Trail in Palm Coast, Florida. From the pack…

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