Okay, I went ahead and signed up for the Hagg Lake 50K. I ran it last year and we got very lucky on the weather — it was sunny and there wasn’t much mud. I don’t really expect to get so lucky two years in a row, so in addition to focusing on trail miles, I’m also going to be experimenting with how best to cope with the mud. Last year I didn’t do anything special, which wasn’t too bad (during training) except when my feet got really cold or when so much mud worked its way into my socks that it became uncomfortable.
One natural thing to try would be trail shoes, which would offer a couple of advantages… they are designed to be a little less porous, usually, and have soles designed with lugs that might make things less slippery. On the other hand, they just don’t make motion control trail shoes. Why not? I think the theory is that trail running has so much uneven terrain that you don’t face the same repetitive-motion type conditions that make over-pronation such an issue to begin with. However, around here the trails are often smooth, flat and groomed — not so different from a road, really. So I want to stick with my Brooks Addictions.
So rather than changing shoes, I’m going to try some waterproof (but supposedly breathable) socks from Sealskinz. Thirty-four dollars is a lot to pay for a pair of socks, but I’ve read some promising looking reviews by runners. We’ll see.