Week 3 – To the Lake and Back

July 22nd, 2017

We had a good crowd last week as about 40 runners tackled the hills and the heat. This week we’ve got a much flatter and shorter run ahead of us.

The route will start from Brueggers at 8AM Sunday, heading north on Main Street to Wakefield. Continue on Main Street to the intersection of North, Nahant and Main. Across the street from Jiffy Lube is Nick’s Pizza, where you’ll find Water Stop 1.

If you’re going short, after your water, turn around and head back to Brueggers along the same route for a nice 6.1 miles.

Those running long will add a loop of Lake Quannapowitt. Continue north on the right side of Main Street through Wakefield Center and to Lake Q. Complete a counterclockwise loop of the lake by following Main Street along the east side of the lake, turning left on Lowell Street and left onto Quannapowitt Parkway, to a left on North Ave, over to the corner by the softball fields where you’ll turn left on Church Street. Once you get to the church, turn right on Common Street and run along Wakefield Common merging back on to Main Street. When you get to Nick’s stop for another water stop before following Main Street back to Brueggers to finish up your 10.7 miles.

I’ll take care of the water stops.

Who’s in? Roll Call.

 

Week 2 – Spot Pond

July 15th, 2017

First, a public service announcement: Last Saturday Melrose was enforcing the 3hr parking limits and issuing tickets throughout the day. Whether this will occur on Sundays too, I’m not sure, just be aware. Other than that it was a great kickoff to the SLR’s Fall 2017 season. I estimate about 30 runners hit the road and got their first training run in on the road to Baystate (which btw I have the wrong week down for Baystate, it’s one week later so adjust accordingly) or Chicago.

This week, ironically Sunday July 16th is the 82nd anniversary of the first parking meter, and we’ll be parking behind Brueggers once again and heading out for a long run. This week’s route is 12.5 miles for the long run, 7.1 for the shorter route.

We’ll start out heading south on Main Street, turning on to West Wyoming Avenue and running to Grimsby’s. Turn left there onto the Fellsway East. Reacquaint or introduce yourself to the hills of the Fells, they are your friends, they make you a better runner, be positive, keep your posture, and head through them as you make yourself to the Highland Ave traffic circle. Turn right there onto Highland Ave and run another half mile until you find the water stop on the left side of the road.

After the water stop, if you’re running short, you’ll continue through a rotary onto Woodland Road, along the Melrose side of Spot Pond (referred to by me as the front side of Spot Pond). Turn left onto Pond Street, back down to Grimsby’s where you’ll turn left onto the LynnFells Parkway, and make your way past Melrose High School. Turn right onto Melrose Street and right on Main Street to return to Brueggers.

Long runners, after the water stop turn left at the rotary on to Elm Street where you’ll circle Spot Pond. Go to the end of Elm Street, turn right onto the Fellsway West and follow that under I93, past the Sheepfold at the Fells, over I93 and carefully across an off ramp of I93. Turn right into a parking lot at Straw Point at Spot Pond. There will likely be a bonus water stop there if a volunteer shows up. (Tom or Hank or both?). Continue through the parking lot, turning right as you exit to pass Stone Zoo and continue up to the Flynn Hockey Rink. You’ll pass through the rotary again and find the water stop on Highland Ave still waiting for you.

After this stop you’ll turn left onto East Border Road and up to the Fellsway East. Turn left at the lights there and go back through the hills, past Grimsby’s onto the LynnFells Parkway, and past Melrose High School. Turn right on to Melrose Street and right on Main Street and make your way back to Brueggers.

Ok, Who’s in? Roll Call!

Fall 2017 Training Season Starts Saturday July 8th

July 3rd, 2017

It’s time again for the Sunday Long Run to begin, and once again we’re already altering the plan. This Saturday night is the Melrose Running Club Summer Party, so the Sunday Long Run will move to Saturday Morning this week.

How this works:
(1) Respond here with your intention to attend the run. I use this blog to identify how many runners to prepare for. If you don’t let me know you’re coming there may not be enough supplies for all the runners. It’s easy, press comment, type “IFTF” if you’re in for the full route, or “IFTH” if you’re in for the half route.
(2) Show up at Brueggers before 8AM. They graciously allow us to meet there in the morning, but be sure to respect their business. Stay out of the area that their customers line up in. Be quick and clean in the bathrooms. Keep your voices down, you have many miles to talk during, don’t raise your voices over each other in the store. If you can’t stay quiet, head out to the sidewalk in front of the store.
(3) If you’re running long you need to donate $2 per week towards supplies. If you’re running the shorter route donate $1. If you don’t feel like donating, please do not take any supplies at the water stop. There will be water, Gatorade, and Powerade at the water stops. There will also be some candy at the stop. If you require anything else at the water stops, bring it to Brueggers and we’ll bring it to the water stop.
(4) Review the route. There is a map to the right for each route we’ll run. Review it, memorize it, print it out if you need. Staying on course is your responsibility. If you wander off I will not find you, because you’re lost.
(5) Let the water stop crew know your plan. If you’re not running the whole route we should be aware, otherwise we will stand around for hours waiting for you to come through the stop. If you change your plan during the run, let us know.
(6) Enjoy your run, then relax at Brueggers afterwards. Bringing outside beverages and food into their business is frowned upon. Please consider returning their kindness for letting us meet there by patronizing their business.

Many locals are planning to make their way to the Windy City for a fall marathon so I expect a good sized crowd on Saturday. The Week 1 route starts out up Main Street, past Ell Pond, bearing right onto Green Street, and turning right at the traffic lights onto the LynnFells Parkway. Follow the LynnFells to a set of lights, turning left on Main Street in Saugus. If you’re running short you’ll quickly turn left on Howard Street, and continue to Green Street where you’ll turn left. Green will merge onto Main Street and you’ll finish at Brueggers. Long runners continue on Main Street in Saugus as it becomes Farm Street in Wakefield. There will be a water stop at Wakefield High School, on your right. After the stop you’ll continue on Farm Street to the end, where you will turn left on Water Street. Continue to Wakefield Center and turn left on Main Street. Follow Main Street back to Melrose Center to finish at Brueggers.

Ok, who’s in? Roll Call!

Week 14 – This is it!

April 8th, 2017

No foolin’, this is the last run of the winter season of the Sunday Long Run. This week the S in SLR should stand for spring, because its finally here! While we had a relatively mild yet stubbornly long winter to train in this year, Sunday has been cold every week until this one. We should be running in temps in the 50s and 60s. Even though this is a short taper, you may want to test out the clothes you plan to wear on race day on this run.

The plan for this run is the same roads for the same distance we ran in Week 2 back in January, but in reverse. Just to be clear you run forward through the roads in reverse order than we did in Week 2. Don’t do anything stupid like run 12.5 miles backwards. Again, this is a taper run so keep your pace while I decrease your miles. We’ll start up
Main Street towards Ell Pond. Give Clarence DeMar a good luck tap as you pass by. You won’t win Boston like Mr Marathon did seven times but know you trained on the same roads as him, so you couldn’t be any readier. When you get to Melrose Street, turn left, and take another left on to the LynnFells Parkway. Continue on the LynnFells past Grimsby’s as it becomes the Fellsway East. Through the hills and down to the Highland Ave traffic circle, turn right onto Highland and make your way to the first water stop.

After the stop both short and long runners will run the “front side” of Spot Pond, straight through the Highland Ave rotary onto Woodland Rd, past the hockey rink. Short route runners will turn right at Pond Street, past Grimsby’s to West Wyoming Ave, turning left on Main Street and finishing at Brueggers. Long runners will circle the pond by running past the Stone Zoo, cutting through the Straw Point water stop on the left, turning left on Main Street in Stoneham and following that over I93, past the Sheepfold entrance to the Fells, under I93, to Elm Street where you turn left. Elm Street will bring you up to the Highland Rotary where you turn right to find the water stop again.

After this water stop, turn left on to East Border Road, and left again at the lights on to the Fellsway East. Through the hills, and down to Grimsby’s, turn right on West Wyoming Ave and make your way to the left on Main to finish up your 2017 Long Run training for the Boston Marathon at Brueggers.

Water Stops. I’ll be taking care of Highland Ave. Anyone that wants to help is welcome. If I get a helper I’ll send them over to Straw Point for an extra stop.

After this. Well, some of you will have a great Boston, others will continue training for marathons later in the spring. Typically unofficial runs continue into May, with unmanned water stops sprinkled about. Facebook or the MRC forum is where those runs are communicated.

After that. We typically have an MRC Long Run Brunch after the races have been run. I likely will be out of town when we do that. If someone wants to host, let me know. They are typically pot luck brunches where everyone brings a dish or a drink and we chat about our experiences on the race courses.

See you in the morning. Roll Call, who’s in?!

Week 13 – Taper Time for Boston

April 1st, 2017

After a perfectly executed Hopkinton to Boston College run (thanks to all the volunteers for being where they needed to be when they needed to in order to make this such a great day, and for all the runners for making it a joy to keep you running strong along the course!) it’s time to taper. For those in this for the first time, Taper Time is that time where you let your legs recover from all the training runs, making them as ready as possible for Boston. To do this we do shorter runs at normal training pace. Back in the first week in January you probably didn’t think of a 15 mile run as taking it easy, but this Sunday you’ll see that it is.

This week’s run if 5 laps of Breakheart. April Fools! Actually the run is very similar to what we did two weeks ago. The weather seems to have spared us, there is snow on the ground but the sidewalks of Melrose are visible but wet.

We’ll start out East Foster up to Melrose Common, turning right on 6th Street and continuing straight as it becomes Swain’s Pond Ave. When you get to the pond, turn right at the stop sign to continue on Swains Pond Ave. Follow this to an intersection with a closed convenience store on the right and a very wide turn of Lebanon Street. As some of you know, if you don’t turn right here you’ll end up in Malden. Nothing against Malden but TURN RIGHT. When you get to a set of lights on Lebanon turn left, this is Forest Street which will take you past Oak Grove Cemetery and over to Main Street in Malden. Across Main you’ll find water stop 1.

After this stop, just like before, leave through the other end of the parking lot onto Winter Street, run past Oak Grove T Stop and straight through a 5-way intersection on to Glenwood. This street will wind its way to Highland Ave where you take a right and another quick right on to the Fellsway East at a traffic circle. Run through the hills, past Grimsby’s on to the LynnFells Parkway… unless you’re running short where the route turns onto West Wyoming which brings you to a left on to Main Street to finish up 7 miles. Long runners will follow the LynnFells Parkway to Melrose High School where they’ll find water stop 2.

After this stop continue up LynnFells Parkway to Saugus, turning left onto Main Street in Saugus. Follow Main as it turns into Farm Street in Wakefield, turning left on Nahant across from Wakefield High School, and running to Main Street in Wakefield coming out at Nick’s Pizza where you’ll have water stop 3.

After Nick’s Pizza follow Main Street back to Melrose and back to Brueggers.

Water stops. I only need one volunteer to help me. Who will it be? I believe Hank is taking a well deserved vacation. Tom?

Who’s in? Roll Call?!