Breaking 9:00 at Stillwell on my pre-birthday run

Today’s workout (trails): 3.9 mile at 8:58/mile

I was concerned that between Friday’s long run in the city and yesterday’s brisk run in the neighborhood that I’d be too tired to do much in terms of a workout today. A year ago I ran my first race, the 2009 Marcie Mazzola 4 mile run. I didn’t place in my age group that day but I walked away with a prize nonetheless. It was a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant which I won because I had the closest birthday to race day. Tomorrow is my birthday but we’re celebrating it today because it’s the weekend. There’s lots going on today so I decided to indulge in a trail run before things got too busy. Yesterday’s overcast weather had transitioned to sunny skies by 8:00 AM today and the cool dry air made for perfect running weather.

I’ve become familiar enough with Stillwell to navigate it in a semi competent way. Between my basic knowledge of the trails and the direction of the sun I can usually make my way around without getting too lost. I successfully found the Black Trail this morning and followed it for a while. As I ran through switchbacks and roller coaster elevations I recalled that we traveled that way along the Xterra race course. I eventually reached a fork and had to choose a direction. I noticed a couple of runners a few hundred feet ahead so I began to follow them. There were lots of runners and mountain bikers on the trails today and everyone I encountered was friendly and polite. I caught up with the two runners ahead and passed them quickly. A few minutes later I came around a bend to find about six other trail runners who may have been waiting for the two that I’d just passed. We all said hello as I passed and I heard one of the woman say “I don’t think I could keep up with him.” Ha! If she only knew.

I wore my new iPhone armband which is better made than its predecessor but I had trouble getting it tight enough on my arm. I do have some upper arm development but this holder seemed like it was made for bigger biceps than mine. I used MotionX to record my path and I’m always surprised when I see where I ran versus where I thought I ran. I didn’t go as far east as I planned but I covered a lot of ground north to south and finished with a loop around the open field trail. I ran faster than usual for a trail run and I noted again how well my Helly Hansen Trail Lizards handled all types of rock, scree, roots and sand without a problem. I’ve done a lot of running over the last week and I feel very good about my performance. Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon. I’ll enjoy that vicariously on my rest day.

4 thoughts on “Breaking 9:00 at Stillwell on my pre-birthday run

  1. Bill M

    Congrats in breaking the 9:00 pace. Our Marathon Day (and ER Birthday) Weather in Boston is supposed to be partly cloudy and low/mid 50's. I imagine they probably would have preferred today's weather (low/mid 40's and intermittent rain), but not bad. The big story is many European runners won't make it due to the flights canceled due to the Volcanic Ash in Iceland.


  2. Thanks Bill! Are you planning to take boys over to see the runners tomorrow? Wow, without the Europeans the competitive edge will shift. Maybe it's a chance for an American winner, like in the NY marathon in November.


  3. Bill M.

    Happy Bday! I am actually working today so I won't be able to. Karen might go with them and her friend to check it out by the turn on Comm Ave in Newton. From what I heard all the elite runners have made it but one, and he should get here just before the start. The nice thing the BAA is doing is giving runners who miss the race due to the volcano an exemption for next year so they don't have to re-qualify.


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