Sunday I went back to South Chagrin Reservation and ran another 16 miles on the muddy bridle trails. I headed downhill from Harper Ridge towards Richmond road. This section of the trail is pretty grassy, but was very wet and soggy. I was a muddy mess when I arrived back at my car to refill my water bottles.
A Land Rover SUV (redundant, I know) pulled into the parking space next to my car. "Barbie and Ken" along with their little "foo-foo" white dog which was smaller than our cat, climbed out. These two people were immaculately coiffed and stared at me and my mud-covered shoes and legs with an incredulous look... It was priceless as I nodded my head and asked "Hey, How are you doing?"
I grabbed a banana, closed the trunk, and headed back out onto the trail towards Miles Road. This section has three stream crossings and I have in the past used rocks, or fallen trees to avoid getting wet. I admit, I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to wet feet. Today, I decided that since I was already muddy and my feet were already wet, what harm could a little water do? So when the stream crossings arrived, I simply went straight through them. Big fun! I felt like a kid again. AND, it washed some of the mud off of my shoes. Sure, I had some squishy shoes for a couple of minutes, but they drained pretty fast and my feet really were not any wetter than they already were. It was also a lot easier to run through the water rather than trying to pick a path around it.
My new race plan: Flow with the trail, don't fight it. It is much more fun!