Fun at Turkey Run State Park

After running in the Spartan Sprint held in Laurel, IN a few weekends ago I instantly became hooked!  I wanted to do more of these races immediately and I wanted to improve on my previous finishing time.  I got the wild idea a couple weeks ago to go to a state park or somewhere similar so I could run on the trails and see about improving on one of my personal weaknesses; running.  I kicked the idea around with a couple of friends and they expressed some interest.  So, like everything these days, I made it Facebook official.  I created an event this past Thursday and set the date for the following Sunday.

This is where the story really begins.  My buddy Brad and I met up here in town for some breakfast before heading to Turkey Run.  We were going to meet up with Matt and Tom, who were already down there running some trails.  After breakfast we made the hour long drive to Turkey Run State Park and upon arriving, we had to leave right away.  Admission into the park is $5 for Indiana residents and between Brad and I we only had $2 in singles and the Ranger couldn’t make change for the $100 he was presented with (we roll like that, big faces!)  So we turned around and hit up an ATM at a nearby gas station.  Back en route to Turkey Run!

After gaining entrance and parking, Brad and I started walking towards the trails.  As we were approaching the suspension bridge, we met up with Matt, Tom, Paul and Jon.  Paul and Jon had to leave at that point, so the rest of us began walking down one of the trails.  After walking that trail, we met up with another trail and began walking that trail.  It was at that point I suggested we run for a little bit.  We took off running at a pretty decent pace and things were going great.  I was wearing a backpack that was carrying water for everyone.  It wasn’t overly heavy, but it was definitely additional weight that I began to feel rather quickly while running with it on.  The group started to separate a little bit, with Matt taking off like an Indiana white-tailed deer.  I slowed down quite a bit at that point; slower than a jog but faster than a slow walk.  I met up with Brad and Tom a short time later and I suggested we take some pictures.  We stopped for a few minutes and snapped some shots of us, then proceeded down the trail.

We came to a clearing where the trail widened quite a bit and had a nice size tree that had fallen across the creek area.  I thought, “Great, another photo op!”  So I climbed up there and Brad took a couple pictures.  Then Tom got up there with me and we took a couple more pictures.  I was going to continue to walk across to the other side and walk down the path to that side of the creek and Tom started walking back the way we came.  The tree had a little bounce to it as I was walking across and things were going fine.  Tom said something about the tree bouncing and when he said that, I turned around to see where he was on the tree.  As I turned back around to continue walking, my right foot slipped a little bit too far to the right side of the tree and I knew I was going down.  As I was slipping down, I tried straddling the tree and hanging on until I could regain my balance and stand back up.  The only problem with that was as I was straddling the tree, the backpack’s momentum was going towards the right and I slid further that way.  I tried grabbing onto the tree with my left arm, and did for a second.  I tried to reach my right arm up and hang onto the tree until I could get my feet swung down and under me so I could just drop.  It didn’t happen like that at all.  I wasn’t able to get my right arm wrapped around the tree and my left arm gave it’s hold.  I spun around mid fall and landed on my back.  Now, I’m not exactly sure how far of a fall it was, but since this is my story, the fall was easily 30 feet!

Laying there on the rocky creek bed, I don’t really remember much of that, as I’m fairly certain my bell was just rung!  Once I realized what had happened I got up and kind of gave myself a once-over to make sure I didn’t have any bones sticking out of anywhere they weren’t supposed to be.  I scoped out the area where I had landed and noticed a couple of pretty good suspects for the reason I had a searing pain in my left kidney area.  I found a log that was on the ground and had a seat on it for a while.  Trying to piece together everything that just took place.  Brad took a couple picture of me, postmortem and noticed that my head had some pretty good marks on the back from when my head cracked one of the rocks I landed on (that rock won’t be such a bad ass next time someone comes his way!)  While I was sitting there, Tom ran ahead and told Matt what happened.  They both returned to the tree and we stood there for a couple more minutes until I was sure I could walk again.  The pain in my lower back continued, but I knew I had to at least hike back out of the trail and get up to the vehicles.

Successfully back to the vehicle, we took on some water and had some bananas.  It was at that time I was reminded that Jennifer was on her way to meet up with us so she could run some trails too.  I sent her a text to see if she had left town yet, but a short while later she pulled into the parking area.  After telling her the story, Matt, Brad, Tom and Jennifer decided they were going to run some more trails after lunch, while I just took it easy in the clubhouse.  Well, the clubhouse was closed to reservations only since it was Mother’s Day.  Back to the truck we went.  Luckily Jennifer packed a lunch for a small army and everyone started eating before heading back out on the trails.  I was just drinking more water at that point.  I was starting to get concerned about the fall and I was psyching myself out about kidney damage – I wanted to pee to see if there was any blood in my urine!  I finally had the urge to pee and I got the best news of the day – clear urine!  I felt a million times better at that point so I decided to walk down to the suspension bridge area to meet up with everyone after they finished their trails.

We walked back to the truck and finished off the lunch Jennifer had packed while everyone got re-hydrated.  We shared some stories and decided then that we needed to do this more often.  Once I’m back to at least 75% I’ll be ready for more!  I’m ready now, but my body is telling me “NO”!

Map of the 5K (3.1 miles) I participated in.
Graph of our speed/time.  The red flatline – that’s where I “died.”

About John Shue

Just a normal guy in pursuit of happiness.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Wellness. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fun at Turkey Run State Park

  1. Jeff Cain says:

    Ouch! Glad to hear that you're at least semi-okay. Take care of yourself.

  2. Shue says:

    Thanks, Jeff! A few days of rest and recovery and I'm hoping to be back at it!

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