Negative splits (and cacti) on the trail

I don’t like to feel like I am rushed before a run, but that seemed to be the only way I could get my run in last night. I got dinner started but realized that by the time it would finish in the oven, it would be way too late for me to start my run. I scrambled to get dressed and packed up my running bag to hit the trail. Steven offered to drop me off at the trailhead, and the littlest ones wanted to help cheer me on at the mile markers.
Since I hadn’t eaten, we hit the Wendy’s drive-thru and I inhaled some chicken nuggets on our way to the trailhead. Not the best dinner – but it was the best option available to me on-the-fly.


Bridge near the Princeton Trailhead


My plan was to run 3 easy miles, then pick up the pace a bit for 3, and then cool down for one. It is hard for me to decide on what pace to run on the trail. It seems much easier on the road. Trail is sort of apples-to-oranges for me on pace, so I kept in mind that I needed to be slower than I think I should be. With that in mind, I just decided to run by what felt right.


Start at the Ottawa Trailhead


I followed the plan pretty well, averaging 11:45 for the first 3. For my slightly faster ones, I did 10:42, 10:25 and 10:06, so I was successful at picking up the pace a bit each mile.

My run started in Ottawa and I ran to the Princeton trailhead. From there, I turned back toward Ottawa for my last miles. (The first few trail sections out of Princeton are longer than one mile each and I was using those plus my watch to track my splits.)


Cactus patch near Ottawa


After my cool-down, I took Bowie and Tatum back up the trail a bit to check out a cactus patch I found. They really liked that! They had been keeping themselves busy by having light saber fights with branches. If only I were so easily entertained!

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