This is me, thinking out loud.
I run as often as I can, as far as I can in the time I have. If someone invited me to join them on a trail run that was 15 or 20 miles, I know I could do it without any problem. I would show up and at least start with them and hope they'd hang around until I finished.
Then why, when I sign up for a race, do I always sign up for the one just below the 50k? Every time! For example, I'm doing this 25K Sunday: Big Basin (May 17)
50K's always have a time limit. Time limits scare me. Even when I set them for myself. Then I just call them "goals" though. I have done one 50k. That was in September, 2008. It had an eight hour time limit. I completed it in 8:00:30. I truly believe I went into it over trained and with a couple of injuries I wasn't willing to admit to myself.
I've done a few trail marathons and a large number of 20K's & 30K's. But, as I said before, only one 50k. I was more than willing to tackle the Mt. Diablo marathon, which was a HUGE challenge. Some people said this marathon was harder than a lot of 50K's. I knew I had all day to finish it though, if I needed. Well, not ALL day, but something like 16 hours. So, I wasn't afraid to sign up for it.
I want to do ultras now. I think the fact that I completed Diablo showed me that I do have it in me. I think physically I am able to do the 31.2 miles again. I've learned a lot since I started running trails over two years ago. I know what over training is. I know what being under trained is. I know what rest is about. I know how tough I can be when needed. I think I'm pretty good at keeping myself hydrated and fed out there. I know how to have fun and keep a positive attitude for hours (and hours and hours) on end!!
The only thing that worries me is the time limits. They have cut-off times too. No matter what RBR says, there are many people who will attest to the fact that I AM SLOW! But, one thing I also am is persistent. Maybe the first one I sign up for, I won't make a cut-off. Then you know what? I guess I'll have to try harder next time. My thought is if I want to run ultras, I have to start running ultras. It's really quite simple.
I think I'm tired of mickey-mousing around. It's time to step up and become a true ultra-runner.
So. June 20th. Angel Island. 50k.