I had to work a little bit later than usual on Friday and with horrible traffic Southbound I decided to hang out a little longer so that I could get a run in at the Bridle Trails. It'd been a while since I last ran a Friday night Bridle Trails run. I was a little excited. I headed to the gym at 6:15 and got changed and out the door in another 15 min. I turned on the Garmin but had trouble getting it to sync so I started the timer and began after waiting a few minutes. It took about 6 minutes for the Garmin to figure out where I was. I'm not sure what's up with that. I wonder if it's getting dying or something.
I tried to take a more conservative pace as I ran out toward the corridor trail, keeping the miles at about 7:30 - 8:00. Once I hit the trail I figured that since my new Cascadias arrived earlier in the day I'd be able to retire the Brooks Adrenalines that I was wearing soon as they were coming up on 400 miles. With that in mind I decided not to avoid the mud that was spotting the trail like I usually do and just run down the center. Usually I'm a wimp about mud when I run, trying to avoid it the best I can in the interest of preserving my shoes. The mud on the corridor trail wasn't bad as he trail has good drainage. When I got to the Bridle Trails a few minutes later, that was another story.
I decided to run a clockwise loop instead of my usually CCW loop knowing that hitting the SE side of the trails first would be a mud fest. It had rained enough lately that there were plenty of gooey shoe-sucking mud puddles and standing water that I was in for a treat. I sloshed my way around the perimeter of the forest doing my best to curb my mud-avoidance instincts. I found that my shoes and socks get soaked pretty easily but the water either drains well or I get used to it pretty fast because it didn't bother me. My legs, shorts, and back were generously splashed with muddy water by the time I was half way around the trail near the horse arena. It got a little worse in the last two miles and I almost lost my shoe twice in deep mud. The only thing I was avoiding at this point were the frequent piles of horse crap. I guess I'm not quite that comfortable yet.
The trails were fantastic and as usual I really enjoyed the peaceful calm of the empty forest that I shared with my iPod and it's playlist. I left the forest sooner than I would have liked and headed back toward the gym. I started trying something odd on the way back down the corridor trail. On all of the descents (probably 4 of them) I started really stretching my stride out and sort of leaping on the bottom 1/3 of the descent and over the next 100 meters of flat. I was trying to almost hover briefly for each long stride. I was doing it pretty fast so my pace got down into the low - mid 5:00/mi range. Not sustainable for more than a few hundred meters but interesting how easy it was to take the giant floating strides so quickly.
As I got closer to the gym I saw that with a fast final (slightly uphill) mile I could break 1hr for the ~8 mile run. I picked up the pace and ran pretty well (6:52) but missed the hour by 10 seconds. Oh well. Good run anyway. I walked up to the entrance to the gym and used their shoe-scrubber thing the best I could but ended up taking my shoes off and beating them together and on the curb before carrying them in rather than tracking mud through the lobby.