Race Recap: The Florida Run @ Colt Creek State Park

Members of Active.com's membership program, Advantage, sometimes get access to race discounts and even free race entries. I was one of five lucky members to score a free bib for The Florida Run @ Colt Creek State Park on April 14th. Colt Creek S.P. is down in Lakeland, Florida. Arthur and I were already going to drive down to Ft. Pierce for the weekend so I could run Chimpathon on Sunday. Lakeland wasn't really on the way, but it wasn't the complete wrong direction, either. We made a nice little racecation weekend out of the two runs. The Colt Creek race offered three distances: Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K. All were trail runs; I elected to run the 10K.

Training & Goals
I'm still just muddling along, enjoying races. Goal-setting and goal-oriented training aren't on my radar right now. I hope that this period of taking it easy will recharge my desire to run. I'm signed up for races through the end of May so... stay tuned. Colt Creek is a trail run, so this would be my second trail race after Endless Summer back in 2016. I'm not really a fan of trail races, but at the end of March I ran a virtual half marathon on some trails around Gemini Springs and had a pretty good time. I was hopeful that I would enjoy this scenic state park run.

Race Day: April 14, 2018
Arthur and I left home at about 6AM to make the drive down to Colt Creek State Park. We were directed to parking by volunteers and made our way over to pick up my bib and shirt. I had time to use the restroom before my race began at 8:45AM.

Mile 1, 2: 10:52, 11:20
We started running on a grass path around a lake. It was a bit narrow at the start and I skipped my first walking break to hopefully not get in the way of fellow runners. Once we moved into the woods the path widened and we could spread out.

Mile 3, 4: 12:08, 12:20
We were running on relatively smooth grass paths, sometimes shaded by trees and sometimes under full sun in more open areas. I started to enjoy myself during the middle part of the race, literally thinking that maybe trail running wasn't so bad, after all.

Mile 5, 6+: 12:21, 12:51, 2:19
Sometime in the second half of mile 5 I fell down really hard. I was so so so worried about falling -- it's a known hazard of trail running. So I was looking down most of the time. We had just cut into a more dense stand of woods and a slightly more difficult trail, bouncing up and down with several close turns. I could no longer see the runners in front of me, which was a big change from the open trails of the previous miles. Anyway, my foot caught on a huge root and I stumbled, stumbled in slow motion and fast at the same time, and I fell hard on my left side. I fell so hard my visor bounced off of my head. The ground was really soft -- if I fell like that on pavement I probably would have broken bones (**).

I laid there for 5 seconds and another runner came upon me and gasped, asking if I was okay. I jumped up and did a quick body check. "Nothing's broken..." I shook out my arms and wiggled around "... everything seems to work. I'm okay! Thank you!" I started running again, slowly, and the fellow runner stayed with me for a little bit, asking again if I was okay. I said I actually felt okay but I would probably hurt a lot later on. I slowed to a walk for a little bit before picking up my 4:1 run:walk intervals for the rest of the race.

I didn't notice until later that my shirt was muddy across my left side and my left shoulder. My visor was covered in dirt too, so I did my best to brush off what I could. I felt okay but suddenly reverted back to my original thoughts on trail running. Nope.

After the Race
I picked up my medal and met up with Arthur. I got some snacks and water and we lingered a bit, listening to the 5K awards, before heading back to the car. I needed to clean up more than just a wet-wipe wipe-down. We drove over to the campground facilities so I could hose myself off in the shower. I saw my shoulder got some road-rash action and my knee and elbow were also scratched up. It was quite a bit later when I could feel my worst injury, a bad ache in my left chest. I guess I landed hard on my left breast. Self diagnosis: internal bruising. **EDIT 4/22/18: I now believe that I suffered bruising or a fracture to a rib or ribs.**

If you like running trails, sure. This race was well organized and it sure is a nice park. The trail was well-marked (#2 fear after falling is getting lost -- no worries there). But even if I get free entry again... sorry, not for me.

Chip time: 1:14:19
Placement details: 14th of 23 in Age Group, 73th overall out of 102 finishers
Race Amenities: Nice cotton t-shirt, really nice finisher medal for all
Cost: $0 (I snagged free entry via Active.com) plus injuries

Report written April 19, 2018
Professional race photos (c) www.mysuperiorimages.com

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