Week 2 – Hot Run Around Spot Pond

July 20th, 2019

Last Week – We got off to a good start. Over 20 people started their training with a nice weather day for a Sunday Long Run. Half the group opted to stop a little early. The sun was shining and temperature was normal for a July day in New England. Tom helped out at water stop 1 and Lois handled water stop with Joe T. A bonus stop was thrown in along Main Street to help offset the rising temperatures.

This Week – We’ll be back at Brueggers to step up the distance and take on Spot Pond. It’ll be pretty hot on Sunday so there is a chance we’ll start super early to beat the heat. I know some are talking about a 6:30AM start. I’ll let Lois decide whether we move the official start to an earlier time or not. Watch the comments below and Facebook for that announcement. The half run is about 7 miles, the full about 12.5. Generally every other week of the long run will step up 4 miles and then the next will drop down 2 miles as we walk to 22 miles. Meanwhile the short run will step up 2 and then step back 1 headed towards an 11 max before their race.

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Start – Leaving Brueggers we will head south on Main Street (in the direction of Malden), past Dunkin Donuts, and turning right on West Wyoming, like the start of the MRC Summer Route. West Wyoming will take you out to Grimsby’s where you’ll turn left onto the Fellsway East. Two hills will great you on the Fellsway East which you’ll hate, but maybe someday you’ll grow to love. Ignore the incline and enjoy the feel of running through the Melrose section of the Middlesex Fells. Eventually you’ll go through an intersection with a set of lights and come down to a traffic circle in Medford where you’ll turn right on to Highland Ave. Follow Highland up towards Spot Pond, finding a water stop on the left right before a rotary by the Flynn Rink.

Half Finish – After the water stop, the short runners will continue straight through the rotary on to Woodland Road, running past the Flynn Rink. Follow this to Pond Street where you’ll turn right and head down a steep hill to Grimsby’s. Turn left there and follow the Lynn Fells Parkway past Melrose High School, after which you’ll turn right on Melrose Street and then take a quick right onto Main Street to finish up at Brueggers.

Full Route 3 – The long runners will leave the water stop and turn left at the rotary on to Elm Street. Run to the end of Elm Street and turn right onto the Fellsway West. This will bring you through another portion of the Middlesex Fells, up what we’ve named Slackers Hill after that urge you get to walk instead of run up the hill, keep running. You’ll then cross under I-93, past the Sheepfold, and over I-93. Watch on your right as you cross an off ramp from I-93, cars come down there very quickly! After that you’ll want to turn right into the Straw Point parking lot. There will be a water stop there, so grab some water and keep going through the parking lot to Pond Street. Continue right to keep circling Spot Pond, pass the Zoo, continue straight as Pond Street becomes Woodland Rd, up to Flynn Rink, through the rotary and back to the water stop at Highland Ave.

Full Finish – After the final water stop you’ll cross Highland and take your first left on East Border Road. This will bring you up to a set of lights where you turn left to get back on the Fellsway East. Ride those two hills back past Grimsby’s and onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. Run past Melrose High School, turn right on Melrose Street, and right on Main Street which will take you back to Brueggers.

Water Stops – Lois is in charge of setting things up with help from Dan. We’ll need volunteer help over the next few weeks while I’m out, and really throughout the whole program. These water stops don’t just happen, people need to help each other out.

Roll Call! Those are the plans, who’s in?

Week 1 – Time to Start Training for the Fall

July 12th, 2019

Sorry for the late notice of kicking off the SLR. My laptop keyboard has stopped working which made typing this tricky. If you’re a returning SLRer you might notice I’ve done a lot of cutting and pasting from the past…

It’s time to get the Sunday Long Run started! Join us at 8AM Sunday July 14 for the first run of the fall season.

New to this? Here’s how it works. We meet at Brueggers, collect $2.00 from those running the long run, $1.00 if you’re running short. Start the run. Each week there will be water stops about every three or four miles. The stops are there for a quick drink and a little snack if you need it. As the runs get longer (>14 miles)there will be gu around miles 7 and 14. If you need anything else you should practice carrying it for race day.

The program is 15 weeks, aiming for the Baystate Marathon. To train for a half you should already be able to run 5 miles comfortably and regularly. For a marathon your typical long run should already be a comfortable 10 miler. If you’re training for a different race at a different time in the fall, tailor your distances around existing water stops.

Maps for the run are located on the MRC SLR blog main page and turn by turn directions can be accessed from water stop to water stop on your smartphone by clicking the link below. Learn the routes please. You can print them out and wrap them in clear tape to waterproof them and bring them with you if you tend to be directionally challenged. Remember, if you wander of the route we won’t find you… because you’re lost. Here’s this week’s route…

This week’s run is short and sweet. We’ll head north on Main Street, bear right on Green Street and turn on the Lynn Fells Parkway. Follow that to the first set of lights where you tune left. Running short, you’ll turn left on Howard, back to a left on Green, merge back to Main and finish at Brueggers. Long runners will continue on Main Street in Saugus which will become Farm Steeet in Wakefield. Look for a water stop at Wakefield High School. Continue on Farm to a left at the end onto Water Street. This will bring you to Wakefield Center where you turn left on Main Street which will bring you back to Melrose and Brueggers.
After the run change into dry clothes and feel free to buy a bagel and a drink. Brueggers has graciously hosted us for a dozen years now, please respect their business! That means keep quiet before the run, get clean after the run, and patronize their business. Please refrain from bringing outside food in to their business.

Lastly, please respond to the blog post so I know you’re coming. The head count of people in for the full or half determines the amount of supplies at the water stop. I’ll do this week’s water stops and can use one helper, I think Lois is willing to help.
After this week I’ll be away for several weeks. I think Tom will be helping once or twice, I will reach out to Audrey, but we’re looking for more volunteers. If you’ve run with us in the past and aren’t training, please consider giving back to the program that gave something to you.

With that, it’s time for the Roll Call! Who’s in for the first run of the 2018 Fall training season?!

Week 14 – Last Official SLR of the Spring

April 6th, 2019

Last Week – With surprisingly warm temperatures, quite a few runners ran the half, and even opted to add a mile or so to their route. A handful continued on to run the full route. Dan Slattery and Jeff Rushton even decided to throw in a loop of Breakheart into the mix, something we haven’t been able to do almost all winter. Lois, Audrey, and Tom served the water stop snacks like pros while collecting abandoned clothes as it got warmer and warmer through the run.

This Week – We’ll be hitting the roads for the final official run of the SLR this spring. Much like last week the weather should start out in the high 40s and climb to the beautiful running weather point. Dress so you’ll be a bit chilly at the start so you’ll get comfortable once you start running. The route is generally the same route as we did in Week 2, meant to show you how much you’ve progressed since then, except we loop Spot Pond in the opposite direction.

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Start – We’ll head up Main Street towards Ell Pond. As you pass the pond look for the monument to Clarence DeMar. Clarence lived in Melrose for some time before moving to Keene, New Hampshire. He ran the same paths we run but 100 years earlier. Clarence DeMar is the man that has won the most Boston Marathons to his name, winning 7 times over a 30 year span. The monument to him also mentions another Melrose resident that won the Boston Marathon multiple times, Bill Rodgers. As you finish up your training know we’ve been running the training routes of champions. Keep that in your head as you turn left on Melrose Street and left again onto the Lynn Fells Parkway heading towards our hills. Run past Grimsby’s, through the Fellsway East hills, and turn right on Highland Ave, making your way to the water stop.

Half Finish – The half runners will go through the Highland Ave rotary onto Woodland Rd, up to the right on to Pond Street. Run down to Grimsby’s and continue straight on to West Wyoming to finish up with a left on Main and a trip to Brueggers.

Full 2 – The full distance runners will also continue straight through the rotary onto Woodland Rd. Continue straight at Pond St, past the Stone Zoo, and veer left into the Straw Point parking lot. You should find Hank there for a little water before continuing left onto the Fellsway West, over I-93, past the Sheepfold, under I-93, and down to Elm Street. Elm will take you up, up, and up back to the Highland Ave rotary. (I never liked Elm Street this way, that’s why we only circle Spot Pond this way once per season). Turn right on Highland for the next water stop.

Full Finish – From Highland, turn left on East Border, left at the lights on to the Fellsway East, and up to Grimsby’s. Turn right on West Wyoming and a left on Main to finish up at Brueggers.

Water Stops – Lois, Tom, and Audrey should all be there to keep you hydrated so I plan to be IFTF. Wish Tom a happy birthday and a happy National Beer Day (coincidence, I think not!) as you pass by.

Next Week – No more SLR, but Dan will post on Facebook his plans to continue the runs going while he trains for Sugarloaf. I’ll hand off supplies so if you have a race in May keep the momentum going by joining in the Dan runs.

Roll Call – Who’s in?!

Week 13 – Out Like a Lamb

March 30th, 2019

Last Week – The SLR took to the streets of Hopkinton and ran through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, and Newton to finish up at Boston College. While we plan out every piece of the day on how to get about 30 people and 7 cars from Melrose to the starting line, on to Boston College, and back to Melrose, each year there are curveballs tossed into the mix to make things even more challenging. Thank you to Lois for taking command of the day and dealing with the logistics of executing the plan. Great Job! Thanks to Tom, Audrey, Hank, Liz, Sheree, Lee and Brian for being the drivers for the day. The task of getting people back and forth from the course is important, and the work done keeping the caravan moving along the route so there is food, water, and clothing in the right places at the right time is critical to making the run a success. Most of you have been doing this for several years and it is very much appreciated that we have an experienced team of dedicated people. Thank you! And to all the runners that signed up, read the instructions, followed the instructions, and made the day go as planned, thank you! I hope you enjoyed the unusually good weather and got some good training miles behind you as you head in to your halfs and marathons. And thanks to Mark the bartender and Lois the hostess for what appeared to be successful post run party. If you have any feedback on how to improve the big 22 miler, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

This Week – For those running Boston it’s time to taper. The mileage goes down while the intensity remains steady, giving your body time to recover from the big run as you sustain your fitness level. We’ll be running Swains Pond and then the long runners will head out to Farm Street.

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Start 1 – The run will start across Main Street in front of the Y, and turn immediately left on to East Foster Street and up a hill to Melrose Common. Turn right on 6th Street at the Common Market, and follow that straight as it becomes Swains Pond Ave. Make your way to Swain’s Pond, turning right at the stop sign by the ponds. Follow Swains Pond Ave to the end where it intersects with Lebanon Street. Turn right on Lebanon, left at a set of lights on to Forest Street, and finish the first section at Citizens Bank in Malden at the corner of Main Street and Forest Street.

Full 2 / Half Finish – Leave the water stop on Winter Street and pass the Oak Grove T stop into a 5 way intersection. Cross straight over to Glenwood Street. Follow that to Highland Ave where you’ll turn right and quickly turn right again on to the Fellsway East. Ride the hills of the Fellsway to Grimsby’s. If you’re running the half distance you’ll turn right on West Wyoming, left on Main, and finish at Brueggers for 7 miles. Long runners will continue straight past Grimsby’s on to the LynnFells Parkway to Melrose High School where they’ll hit the next water stop.

Full 3 – Taking the LynnFells Parkway into Saugus, turn left at the lights at Main Street in Saugus, running along Main Street until it becomes Farm Street in Wakefield. Turn left on Nahant Street, which will take you over to Nick’s Pizza where there will be another water stop.

Full Finish – Head south on Main Street, to Melrose, to Brueggers, and finish up your run.

Water Stops – Lois and I have them covered. Anyone else who wants to help is welcome.

Roll Call – Who’s in?!

Week 12 – Hopkinton to Boston College

March 23rd, 2019

Here is Sunday’s plan!

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If you have any questions post them here and Lois will answer.
Have a great run, enjoy the weather, let Lois know if you’re in for post-run pizza, the KofC bar will be open!