I did it! 13.2 miles in around 2:20 today. This morning there was the most beautiful rainbow over the valley, and the sky was pink. A friend and I ran a point-to-point course starting at the top of one trail, running along the Bonneville Shoreline trail, down the Birdsong trail, and then looping along the Ogden River Parkway.
It went well -- my only goal for this run was to make the distance without aggravating my back too much. The initial climb on the trails always slows me down, and I'm an extremely novice and inefficient trail runner, so it was easy to keep a relaxed pace.
Around mile eight I ate some Extreme Sport Beans. These are quite literally glorified jelly beans. They're made by Jelly Belly and have caffeine and vitamins. I was experimenting with refueling on the run. Usually I don't bother, but I figure I might need to during the race and I didn't want to find out in three weeks that they upset my stomach. Not bad, but hard to get down quickly, so perhaps I'll stick with Gatorade at the water stations.
I do think I didn't time the Beans (MAGIC BEANS) right. Around mile 11 I started to struggle a lot, and my legs felt dead, but half a mile later my energy levels returned, so I either got a second wind or the sugar kicked in. (Wondering if "second wind" just marks the body's transition from burning glucose to burning fat stores. Anyone know?)
After walking a mile for a cooldown, we headed home, where I drank chocolate milk, stretched, "rolled some foam", and then had a nice relaxing day of mowing the lawn, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, and picking up the toddler, which at this point is basically a workout with a 21 lb, wiggling, kettlebell.
I'm just going to call it active recovery.