Taking my off day to assess the situation going into Rocky. Fitness is way off: last year's VDOT's for the Frostbite races: 49.9, 51.8, 55.6, 52.2; this year's: 44.5, 49.7, 50.2, 51.0. That's to be expected as last year I was coming right off marathon training whereas this year I'm in the middle of my off-season. Still, it is cause for caution in the early miles.
On the upside, despite not training it all that much, I'm feeling pretty comfortable on trail right now, particularly at night. Maybe I can avoid slowing down as much as I usually do after dark.
I plan on taking a lot of early walk breaks. The 9:1 running seems to work pretty well. Rather than be super strict about it; I'll just try to find a minute of uphill and/or super technical trail every 10 minutes or so to walk. Most of the course is pretty fast and I don't want to squander that.