There is a trail in Parsonsfield that is wonderful winter running, snow shoeing or back country skiing. In the warmer months it is about 2 1/2 miles of swampy mud interspersed with small patches of higher drier ground. This trail runs along side the Osippee and is never completely dry, even during the driest spells in August. I affectionately refer to this trail as the Stinky Mud Trail. It takes a certain frame of mind to tackle it in any season other than Winter. I was in the right frame of mind today so I went for it!
The parts that are dry are very dry and clear, nice running! The parts that are wet are knee deep sloppy black smelly mud. If you let the mud slow you down, the swarms of mosquitoes will be on you in a second! So the correct way to run this trail is to stomp right through the mud at a good clip, while curling your toes a little to hang onto your running shoes. Like I said, it takes the right frame of mind. If I try to run this trail when I'm tired or not happy about something, I get frustrated and start swearing and vowing to never run there again. If I'm in the right state of mind, I find myself laughing out loud during some of the more ridiculous stretches of mud.
I don't take friends on this trail. I don't know how they'd take it. They would definitely need a good sense of humor. I took my ex husband on this trail once when we were married, he on his mountain bike and I running. It was a disaster. Let's just say that he didn't have much of a sense of humor.
So today I ran the 2 1/2 miles out in 21:38, excellent time as the fastest I've ever gotten through the mud is 20 minutes flat! At the turn around there is a metal grate bridge over the South River. I like to lay down on my stomach and look through the grate for trout. Today I did see one, often I don't. I watched it in it's little pool swimming against the current in a lazy fashion. It was moving just fast enough to stay where it was, not making any headway against the current. When I thought I had donated enough of my blood to the mosquitoes, I headed back the same way I had come. I was about 20 seconds slower going back. I blame that entirely on the 2 or 3 extra pounds of mud I was carrying on my shoes for the second half.
Hip and hamstring were just a dull ache today and the run was a ton of fun!