Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon

The Weather

The outlook for Saturday was less than ideal.

It was a tad humid Saturday when my friend picked me up to head over to the Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon.  Wait…no…it wasn’t a tad humid. It was as another friend described, “Swampy”. Yes, there was a swamp in the air. While the temperature was in the low 70s the Dew Point was right behind rising to 74 degrees which basically meant we were running through dew filled air. To say that I was saturated before I ever made it to the halfway point would be an understatement. I looked like I had been doused with a fire hose from head to toe. By the time I made it to the second aid station there was no relief and we drank water and sports drink to try to stay hydrated.

The Course

Eagle Creek Half/Full Marathon Course

This was a tough and amazing course. I run the Eagle Creek Trails weekly, but I have not previously traveled over to the far side of the reservoir and the first few miles including the start and finish were there. The course  had killer inclines that led into equaling daunting declines. Large segments of technical single track running meant that it was one way and single file which became interesting when the course leaders started back along the out and back course. My friend and I did the right thing and stepped aside for the folks going for a specific time or a PR. We were out for a fun run/hike and weren’t worried about our time or pace.

Meeting Online Friends

As usual I wore my blue WDW Radio Running shirt for this race. I had mentioned to a couple virtual friends that I would be the bald guy wearing that blue shirt. As luck would have it the course was an out and back so every runner crossed paths at least once or twice throughout the morning. I ran into local runners Christina R. & Kelly S. from the Daily Mile. Christina writes a blog so once you finish up here if you’d like to read more about the Eagle Creek Race put on by Plant Adventure then head over there to see another perspective.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a humid on Saturday!

I have one other shout out to the young lady who crossed paths with me briefly (we didn’t stop to chat on the single track nor did I get her name).  As we ran by each other she looked at my face and then looked at my shirt and then looked at my face again to which she said, “Hey, you’re that Goofy guy!  I go to your website.”  I said something like, “Nice to meet you. or Thank you.”  I was in the last half of the half so I was a bit tired.  She was obviously going out for the second part of her FULL trail marathon and looking strong for the conditions of the day. So hopefully she reads this post and makes a comment.  -It was nice to meet you (briefly) and I hope you had a fantastic race!

My Training & Next Steps

The weekend before the EC Half I did a 25+ mile run in and around Eagle Creek. This week (including the EC Half) was a recovery week so I only put in a total of 28 miles for the whole week. Right now I am alternating larger volume weeks and shorter mileage weeks for recovery. As I told my friend during the race, this course was a reality check for me.  The hills and descents of the first few miles are perfect for what I need for my ultra training.  I’ll be back to this section of the course often and anytime I can’t run a large volume of miles on a Saturday morning I’ll go for running this section so I get specific and quality miles. This track mimics well the hillier trails of Southern Indiana where my ultra marathon will take place.

Next Saturday I have a long run planned that will take all morning.  If all goes well I’ll be on my feet for over 06:00:00 hours and cover more than 26.2 miles. I’m really hoping to cover 27 to 28 miles but a lot of that will depend on the weather which right now looks to be cooler and less humid than Saturday’s race. So I’m really training for two things here including “time on feet” and distance.  My wife has already volunteered to meet me at the 3-hour mark to refuel me with a fresh sports drink, water to refill my Camelbak and maybe even some real food!

So my ultra marathon training carries on. I have 13 weeks of training left and I’m excited to finally be pushing past the marathon distance training runs. My next race is the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2nd followed by the Heritage Trail Full Marathon on September 30th.  I’m looking forward to both!

Happy Training!

Brian

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