I constantly mention Liberty Park in my writings and the reason is simple. I run hundreds upon hundreds of miles around that 1.5 mile loop. It is convenient being across the street from my house, it is measured, and it is relatively traffic free. Just at the top and the bottom of the loop do you have to look for drivers coming into the entrances and exits.
My format for the day is to run for 2 hours of the loop, which I figure will be approximately 15 miles, go home, shower, grab a quick bit to eat and a change of clothes, and then go do the same thing two more times. Six hours of running (give or take) with two 30 minute breaks, so to speak. The point of the breaks is to simulate what will happen in my 204 miler when I will take a short nap or rest and then be forced to get moving again. Ultramarathoners often talk about "avoiding the chair" as the wonderfulness of sitting sometimes overcomes any desire to continue running. I can attest to this from personal experience.
But, when you plan to more or less run for 48 straight hours (or more) rest is inevitable. So I am trying to mimic that rest but in a smaller scale. The question that then came to my mind was whether this would be one long run or three medium long runs. Do the "breaks" constitute a stoppage of one run and the beginning of the other? Or does the shower and the change of clothes denote that? As with many things in the running world it is open to debate (and also, far from earth-shattering but this is just one of the things which will occupy your mind when you are running for hours!)
There is no race per se as no one else will be running with me, although I welcome anyone in the SLC area to come down and run. I plan on starting my first loop at 9 AM on December 31st. IF you don't get there right away, don't worry. It won't be hard to find me. Stand in one spot and within 12 minutes I will be there again.
I will then, of course, get a few hours of rest before I run a 5k race right before midnight. This will be a true test of my recoverability (yep, I made that word up) and I also intend to win the award for "coldest runner". Stay tuned for that!
Regardless of your own New Year's Eve plans, here is hoping you take 2009 out with a band and prepare yourself to take on 2010 with a full head of steam. Don't just set goals but achieve them!