It's easy to feel like a failure, because, yes, I failed to complete the goal I set, the Arizona Trail Race 750. That said, these words are not intended as excuses, or justifications.
There is a long list of things that I could pass as reasons for my early termination. My knees hurt. My wrists ached, my hands were going numb. I underestimated the pace of the next mileage at my last resupply and tried to ride all day on 3 chicken nuggets, a couple potato chips and a few handfuls of craisins. Even with a high water capacity, I was unbelievably lucky to have found surprise water caches. It was hot. It was dry. At the top of one of the climbs the Trix rabbit tried to sell me cold yogurt, but he just laughed, and said "Silly Calvin, Trix are for kids" and scampered away as a regular rabbit to it's hole.
My training was sub par. My research was insufficient.
I had all the moral support one could ask for.
All my equipment was the best. While I will always be making changes, the important stuff was spot on. The bike was amazing, my lighting was perfect. My shoes were the most comfortable I've ever owned. My bags kicked ass.
I ride my bike for fun. The first 2 days were rad, and I know there's always rough days on longer trips.
It all boils down to:
I just didn't want it enough