Last Sunday was my last long run before North Fork. We did another part of the North Fork course, so by the time I get to the race, I will have run probably 80% of the course already, between this run and the one a couple of weeks ago. It is such a nice trail- smooth, not too steep, nice views (especially in the burn zones!), and enough stream crossings to keep Boris alive, although there is no amount of water that can make up for his coat when it’s hot out.
This section was a less steep than the other run we did here, so I feel a lot better about the race. The run went really well until about mile 19. We did a water/food stop at the car after 10 miles, which meant carrying less stuff and eating generally better food (zucchini bread, strawberries, and chocolate covered pretzels instead of endless Gu’s and Lara bars). Boris even got to eat a few ice cubes from the cooler. Around mile 19 was when my hip flexor really started to hurt, and it hurt more walking than running, so I switched from my usual run/walk routine to a run/sit routine. It was pretty painful. If there had been a way to end the run early, I would have. Regardless of that, we finished in just under 6 hours, and I have to admit that a lot of that was spent hanging out at the car, eating, sitting by the side of the trail, or stopping so Boris could go for a swim (we left Chester at home- I think more than 20 miles is too much for her). So while my average pace was a leisurely 16min/mile, my moving speed was more like 13-14 min/mile. Not fast, but not so embarrassing I’m not willing to post it publicly on the internet.
In other news, the smoke down there seems to have dissipated, but a fire near Ft. Collins means quite a bit of smoke in the Front Range. This is shaping up to be a bad fire season.
Now it’s time to taper, and hope that my very minimalist approach to training has been good enough to suffer through another 9 miles on top of what I did last weekend. I’m going to do about a million leg lifts in between now and the race to hopefully deal with this hip flexor issue, and that’s about all I can do to prepare at this point.