I took New Year's off - it is a holiday after all - but I've gotten in 30 miles in the last three days. I am trying to embrace that "ultra-runner" mind-set, but it is difficult to buck some of those "road-runner" notions. For example, today I signed up for the Cascade Half Marathon, thinking I could use it as a training run. But part of me has a hard time planning to do a race at less than my best effort, thinking things like,"shouldn't I at least taper a little bit. If I have a decent race, I have a good shot at placing." I keep reminding myself that I am focusing on the longer stuff this year and not to get caught up in race mentality. So the plan is no taper, but I am going to go easy on Saturday before the race instead of doing the usual long run. To make up for taking it easy the day before, I've got it in my head that I will hitch a ride to the start and then run home (8-10 miles, I think - I haven't mapped it out yet). That just seems like an ultra-runner thing to do.
And then to stop being such a wanna-be, I got all the plans lined up for the Capitol Peak Mega-Fat Ass. The 8 mile loop course seems like a pretty safe place to start. With options to stop early, though, I am worried that it might be a little too safe a start! Even still, at least I'll be getting out there and getting some good trail mileage in. If I do manage to complete the 34 miles, it'll be my 3rd Ultra finish, which I think lends a bit of legitimacy in calling myself an ultra-runner for the rest of the year. So here's to lots more miles in 2009!