Running in terrain 1:16:54 
Another nighttime fiasco run. Started out to do the Mystery Blazes loop at twilight, and for around the first 20 minutes, it wasn't too dark, kind of like what I think I once heard Boris describe as, "too dark to see, but not dark enough for your headlamp to do any good". We had clearly gotten some serious thunderstorm activity, because there were puddles everywhere, ringed with yellow pollen from the pines. When I got to the Christmas bridge, it had that fine teflon-like property that damp/wet wood gets, and my feet went out from under me and I landed on my butt, almost sliding off the edge into the raging Mulpus Brook. The next bridge was washed out (displaced by about eight feet and sitting at a weird angle). I walked carefuly across it, and all the other bridges. I think this kind of dim-light training is particularly useful for orienteering, because you have to run without being able to see your footing well, never knowing whether the next step will be level, or a hole, or mud, or a rock, or a root, or a snake, or whatever. You have to just be ready for it by feel. People who run primarily on pavement would hate this. Anyway, when I got to the low area in Hickory Hills, I encountered the Quality Muck that this region is famous for. I did better on the Mystery Blazes themselves than I have in the past, backing up each time I lost them, and using the high-beam to look for the paint spots and ribbons. Finally lost contact near the bottom of the hill, and failed to regain it when I backed up, so I just forged ahead. Things got ugly pretty fast (it was pitch black outside by this point) as I ran into some laurel, but I pressed on and the situation got progressively worse, with more laurel, and eventually marshes. I knew I'd hit something familiar eventually, but with no compass I was a bit concerned about getting turned around in the green and just doing circles in there. I finally reached one of the lowest tiers of desperation, the one that involves finding a stream and just following it downhill no matter what. And that worked, of course, taking me back to the Quality Muck (I had evidentally turned pretty far to the left in there). The jog home was mostly uneventful, except for the parts where it got so foggy and/or polleny that I had to carry the hatlamp in my hand at thigh level because of the retroreflective glare. A fine time was had. At least I got some exercise.