One benefit of not making it to McGrath is that I didn't end up wearing down my body even close to what I expected. My injuries from the race are 95% healed and mentally I'm 100% ready to move forward. I ran 7 miles today and felt pretty good. It'll take a little bit to get back into the full swing of training everyday but the biggest thing that's encouraging to me right now is just how anxious and excited I am for getting back at it.
I spent a good part of yesterday and today putting together my GDR setup. I'm trying out the frame bag and seat post bag that Eric made for Jill to use in the Ultrasport. The frame bag fits my bike perfectly and I'm almost certain I will be using this in the GDR. The seat post bag also seems to fit well but I'll need to wait until I ride with it more to make a decision on whether to use the large seat post bag or to get a rear rack and use a trunk bag. At this point as long as the seat post bag is sturdy and stable enough for bouncy off road riding I can't see any reason to go with a rack. At first I thought that I might need the rack to have enough space but when I loaded up my bags today I was able to very comfortably fit my sleeping bag, tarp shelter, a spare tube, a pair of bike shorts, a bike jersey, and a wind jacket in the seat bag. I'm pretty sure I can then fit everything else in the frame bag and in my Wingnut enduro pack that I'll be wearing on my back. With two water bottles mounted to my fork and a 6 liter MSR bladder in my pack this setup will give me the ability to carry almost 2 gallons of water and about 2 days worth of food if needed. Also, in extreme cases I could fit quite a lot more stuff in the seat post bag (it's designed specifically for winter cycling so it expands to be able to fit large amounts of clothing) so in reality I could probably carry food for 4 or 5 days, which should be well beyond any amount I'll ever really need.
For the next several weeks I plan to ride my bike most everyday, while continuing to run 4 or 5 days a week. The roads are clear of ice and snow and I'm very tempted to get my road bike out for some riding, but instead I am going to try to do all my riding on my GDR setup, carrying my full race kit whenever the weather is decent.