State #28 Florida (REDO) aka "The REVISIT"
Masters of all Terrain (MOAT)
July 16, 2017 - Sorrento, Florida- Seminole State Forest
Overall : 2:23:13:17. 64th out of 198 for half. 10:56m
Female Age 33-44. -8 out of 27
375 people participated in the 5mile, Rucker, half marathon, marathon, and ultra marathon
The Florida redo. Also known as the Florida revisit. Last time I was in this state was for what I thought would be my #23. That race was cancelled. So Now I’m back and it's #28, in July and it’s a Trail run. I am not a fan of the trail run. To honor my mother, this was what was available, east of the Mississippi River. Plus this is the only ½ in the state of Florida in July.
Flight going down
Seminole State Park is about 30 miles away from Orlando, Florida. I flew into the home of that dang mouse. Waiting at my gate to board on Thursday at first there seemed to be locals going back home. Then as the time got closer to boarding all the kids came out. Not sure what happened. It seemed their were more of them going to see that mouse. Good lord. I'm thankful I was able to get first class 2D for the flight down on an 8am non-stop flight. whew.....................
Highlights - GETTING READY
For the last 3 days in Florida I was hydrating like a champ. The 93 degree weather which left like 103 degrees was no joke. I almost felt like I was going to have a drinking/eating disorder. It was too hot to eat. But I had to eat. After drinking, Gatorade, and water non-stop, I felt like I was going to burst. Plus the non-stop peeing didn’t help. My poor body.
To get my body use to running in this weather I ran 4 miles on Friday. At 6 am it was already 77 degrees. I wanted my body movements, breathing, and just my overall sense of self to prepare as best it could. The good thing was running in the urban concrete of the southern city.
Not sure if this was survivor or Lord of the Flies. The race started at 6:30am and it was dark. Tiki torches were outside of the entrance to Seminole State Forest. When I drove there at 4:30am it was super and just the torches lit up the dark trail. Driving down the uneven road, I did see the race organizers setting up. There was no one else around.
I wasn’t sure where to park. I thought I would just wait and hang back until 5am, when I knew people would start showing up.
1. First Trail Race. The woods in central Florida are very dark at 5 am. People were going to pick up their bib number with the lights from their phone. Some people were evening wearing headlights. I got a bit worried because I left mine at home, didn't know we needed it.
2. We had a 10 minute delay, the wanted to double check the trail because it had rained. I guess they needed to wait until it was light( around 6am) so they could see what they needed
3. This was a race for hardcore runners. No thrills, nothing crazy fancy. This was about running. So many people with their tattoos and running survival gear. I didn't see the " normal" fancy skirts or outfits". There was barely any "gendered clothing".
4. When I first started I didn't see any other black folks. I had a funny moment " black girl, running in the woods in the south, and aint no one else around that looked me.". lol. Later on in the race and Isaw pictures there were atleast 2 black men and 3 other black women. I was surprised. I did see a couple of Asian and Latino folks less than 10 all together
5. I was told the trail path starts wide then it gets narrow and goes to a single lane. I still didn't understand what that meant. I was told to their are BlackBears but they are scared of people. WTF. First time being told that " be aware of the Black bears while running?".
6. I was ready for the mosquitoes, other bugs, bears, and being in the woods.
7. The first half a mile was interesting but everything looked the same to me. There was nothing but forest and greenery all around. As far as the eye could see. I was a bit orientated for a bit. Extremely very unfamiliar terrain for me.
8. Shitz got real when the wide path became a single narrow one. The straight flat path started to have twist and turns as we starting running through the forest. With the single path you had to RUN. I was in the middle of the pack. I had to make sure to go as fast and be at " pace" with the people ahead of me so I wouldn't clog up or slow down the people behind me. With the single path there was no going around people. The dirt, trees, plants, etc were on both sides. You couldn't go around
9.The good thing, people ahead of me would point to holes in the ground or other things of nature I should watch out for. I did the same for the people behind me. It would not be wise to try to run and look behind you.
10. With all the twist and turns and uphills and still everything looking the same to me. I felt as if I ran 5 or 6 miles. Then I found out it was like 2 or 3 miles. DYING.
11. Along with " keeping it simple" there were red flags that outline the route. We were told to stay to the left of them. The flags should always be on our right. At one point, with a break/ a clearing - I was running and there was no one ahead or behind me. I didn't panic but I got nervous and I felt my heart beat faster. I didn't see a red flag in the ground. I wasn't sure which direction to go. I kept running hoping I would see somebody and eventually I did... whew..
12. This was the first race in which no one made a comment on my body or appearance. There were just words of support. " keep going, you have this". "keep pushing." It was good. We all felt the pain together
13. After mile 6, over an hour in, the sun come out and I was in a field going up hill in SUGAR SAND. No one prepared me for Sugar Sand. I didn't know what it was. 7 miles of this. It was so soft and you couldn't get a grip. For 7 miles I was high knees and pumping arms like crazy.
14. Around mile 10 I was running and I fell. Scared myself but I got up. All the negative thoughts and emotions came back. I walked for a while. I had to calm myself down, breathe a bit, then get back at it. The irony, a runner ahead of me fell down too. I asked if she was ok but I could feel her pain
15. Trip city. Before my fall I had tripped several times. I stubbed my toe on some piece of nature while running.
16. This was mentally exhausting. As we ran, you had to look out on the ground to make sure you don't trip over branches or fall into one of the mud holes. Plus you had to duck and weave around some of the leaves and plants. My mind was always "on"
17. Near the end, about a 5k left to go, there was a man ahead of me. With the single narrow path I would run up to him. Then stop. I would walk then I would run again, catch up to him and then stop. Then went on for a mile or less. Again, I couldn't go around him. Then when the path got a bit wider, I made a break for it.
18. I saw a sign that said .05 to the entrance. Thank you Jesus. It seemed like forever. The path had gotten a bit wider and I passed a man running. He was encouraging and told me to " keep going your almost there." I ran kept running then I got tired. I started to walk. I made sure to do my best to get out of his way, then he started to run. I told him to keep on going. Then he said, ok, come get me.
I laughed and thought, he did have good calves " girl you better run". lmao. I did my best to "run after him". Normally when racing I have someone to "tag" to try to get them. This didn't happen on this race until he said that. I felt the extra motivation to chase after him. I did pump those arms
19. I didn't know time, I found out that I did slower than West Virginia #26 with all those mother freaking hills. It was still in an urban/suburban environment
20. I could finally trash the medal that I didn't run for. Clearwater they gave usour shirts and medalsand told us to doa virtual race. I don't do virtual races. Since this was my first and last trail, I can say I PR'd. I did it, overcame my fears but this is not for me
21. Fuel for Thought: I paid to run in the forest. I volunteered myself. For the Seminole Indians, African-Americans slaves andrunning slaves they had to go through the forest to escape oppression and terror. Runningthrough the forest was survival. They didn't have the 21st gadgets that I had. Plus it is July and hotter than I know what and people stayed out here for days and weeks.
State #29 North Dakota will be flat and not in the forest.