The typical confusion seems to come from the idea that satisfaction as a runner is more or less dependent upon race performance. More specifically it seems like many folks can't believe that this could possibly be a satisfying year of running for me because I DNF'ed at Western States and UTMB. I fully accept that for many people race performance and satisfaction as a runner do inherently run hand in hand, but this has never been the case for me. Sure, it's all part of the equation, and performing well at a race can be (and almost always is) really satisfying, but this doesn't (for me) mean that performing poorly is automatically unsatisfying. And more specifically, a couple poor performances certainly don't define an entire year as unsatisfying. I've been on almost 200 runs this year. The vast majority of them have been really wonderful and satisfying, a few of them beyond any satisfaction I've ever gotten from running previously.
For a few years now my primary running goal going into each season has been to be healthy and fit enough to spend huge amounts of time outdoors, in the mountains, exploring my surroundings on the power of my own legs. This year I have done more of this than ever before, and I've been fortunate enough to do this with dozens of really wonderful people. This is why I said that this has likely been the most satisfying year of running I've ever had.
Beyond this though, about 8 or 10 times a year I like to get together with a whole bunch of like minded and capable runners and share the experience of all pushing ourselves as hard as we can over a particular route, each of us looking for a way to do this a little faster than everyone else, or a little faster than we thought possible of ourselves. But again this is 8 or 10 of the 200-300 runs that I go on each year. I'm bummed that I had very little gas in the tank on a few of these runs this year, but in no way do I look at this as reason to feel like this has been an unsatisfying year of running.
Just a bit of food for thought on your Monday afternoon. Hopefully this explains things a little more clearly for those who seemed confused or in disbelief.