Welcome Amber - first off, you know what they say about weather, no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing. With this, I think it is important that you temper your enthusiasm right now and just focus on the day to day. It is quiet common to funnel all this early motivation and go full bore and then be burned out come March. So with this, also let your training help you decide and answer a lot of your questions. yes, read up and see what others think about packs, etc etc, but many times we want the answers now and we really can't get all the answers until we go out and experience a long run for ourselves. You have time to learn about these things and this will help you not feel so overwhelmed.
One hint help get help here is to ask short, specific questions for folks to answer. It is hard to answer general questions and also be sure people know more about your race.
I would love some feedback from everyone/anyone who has advice. I have just decided to learn to run and am hoping to do the CDR next Aug. I think it is a big goal but "Go big or Go home" has always been my motto.
I am a "barefoot" person, wearing Vibrams for almost everything! I would love some advice on packs, training, shoes, food....its all very overwhelming. I have many books, obviously Erics, that I am trying to absorb from. Weather is my other issue as its -20 already;) Canadian Chicks are tought though....just need to start;)