Archive for August, 2009

Week 5 – You thought you’ve run hills?

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

This week we finally make it into Breakheart, the nastiest hills of the MRC SLR program yet one of the favorite places we visit. The downside of this week’s route is that the short route doesn’t get to experience any of Breakheart. I suggest those that want to run about 6 with us through Breakheart plan on meeting us at the J Pace’s parking lot at the LynnFells Parkway and Main St in Saugus. Run to the water stop, through Breakheart and back to the water stop, then run back to J Pace’s to finish up.

The tip of the week is to eat along the way. Most of you have been drinking but now it’s time to start taking a snack to help you get through the miles. Try a Snickers or some jelly beans this week to get ready for Gu in the upcoming weeks. If there’s a snack you like while you run and we don’t have it either suggest it today and I’ll try to buy some or bring it and we’ll add it to the bin.

Water Stops: This week there is one planned at Wakefield HS that we’ll stop at twice. Rick has offered to host this stopfor us (Thanks Rick). Walt offered as well, but what I would like Walt to do is drop his car over at Nahant & Main in Wakefield. This will give us an extra drink along the way. All that will be there is water. Also, if you get thirsty in Breakheart there is a water fountain at the headquarters on the Saugus side. This should get us through without any troubles.

Rick, please confirm you’ll be with us tomorrow. Thanks.

Walt, let me know if you want to pick up supplies (water/cups) here or if its easier for you just to buy a gallon of water and cups on your own.

Ok, Who’s in? ROLL CALL!!!

Week 4 – Back to Spot Pond

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

This week we’re back to Sunday and we’re back to Spot Pond and the Melrose Half Marathon course. Ulike a few weeks ago, this time we do the whole Half course plus a little more to make it 14.6 miles. Half trainers, you run the same mileage, mixing up your start and finish routes from last time.

Advice for the week: Blisters on your feet? If you’re getting them already we should do something about them now before we get into the really long miles. You can try putting bodyglide on the spots you get them, it cuts down on the rubbing that causes blisters. Another remedy given to me by a podiatrist: anti-perspirant. Its not just the rubbing that causes the problem, its the wet caused by sweat that loosens the skin in the area. Apply anti-perspirant to the area and it will cut down on the moisture in the skin and reduce the likelihood of blisters. And if you use an anti-perspirant/deodorant mix you can take care of two problems at once.

I’ll need help with water stops again. Same three stops as two weeks ago, hopefully three different people doing the water-stopping. If there any runners interested in doing just the 5 mile loop of the pond you could help out by bring the supplies out to the pond for us and then hooking on as we go by. Volunteers?

So eat your breakfast, put on your anti-perspirant, and meet us at Brueggers, 8AM, for a long run. Roll call, who’s in?

Week 3 – Saturday Morning

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

This week’s run was held on Saturday Morning instead of Sunday to facilitate a night of partying at the annual MRC Summer Party on Saturday evening. I rushed out the door on my way to the corner of Main St and Nahant St in Wakefield where I would perform the duties of Walt and leave my car there chock full of water stop supplies and run back to Brueggers. On the ride down Main St I spied Mike Quigley relaxing at a table at Brueggers Beach with his coffee, his newspaper, and the early morning rays of the sun. I dropped a copy of the route maps with him and raced the clock towards Wakefield. Running late caused some running fast as my footrace back to Brueggers was doomed to finish after 8AM. Just short of a mile into the 3 mile trip BrianG pulled alongside and offered me a ride, which I declined, if Walt could pull this off so could I. Passing a clock I noticed I had about 10 minutes left to make the start of the run on time and about 2 miles left. Twenty-five years ago I could have made it close but not now, not at my speed. Luckily the Cossettes happened by and extended another offer for a ride which I accepted. One mile down for the day, 9+ more to go on the day.

At Brueggers  the maps were all signed by the runners, 3 opting for a 6.2 mile trip to Nahant St and back, 14 opting for a 10.7 mile run that included a loop around Lake Quannapowitt. There were a few asterisks in the mix, planning on extending the 6.2 or shortening the 10.7 to run 8 miles. Having stated their intentions up front would keep them in the clear for public ridicule for not running as far as they claimed. (I wouldn’t really ridicule, just tease a bit). The crowd was slightly smaller than usual, 17 in all, as some regulars had run the Blessing of the Fleet in Rhode Island the night before and others were unable to change their schedule to a Sunday Run.

Joe, Brian, and I led the charge north along Main St, a warm thick air bringing on the sweat very quickly. The conversation pulled me along for more than a mile or so, then I found myself in no man’s land, too slow to keep up with them, but starting fast enough that a quick check over my shoulder revealed a large gap between me and the rest of the pack. I slowed a bit, they forged ahead, and a mile later I was finally joined by Rachelle, who kept me company to the first water stop. Mike Quigley had abandoned his chair at the urban beach to provide us with waterstop service that would put Jimmy (our faithful bartender) to shame, taking care of all 18 of us with a refreshing sip of Gatorade and water and using the water-stop clothesline from the spring to hang our plastic cups up for later.

Having let Joe and Brian run off without me, I decided to wait for Peter and Carol before heading out with Rachelle and I. It was obvious we both had trouble keeping a reasonable pace so we would let these two veterans pace us along the way. Pleasant conversation moved us along Main St to the lake and around. Numbered runners passed us from the opposite direction as they finished laps of the 24-hour Lake Quannapowitt race. Along North Ave Rachelle and I inadvertently picked up the pace once more, almost putting enough distant between us and Carol to take the shorter path down North Ave back to the water stop. Carol called ahead though to remind me our route required us to loop the WHOLE lake before heading back along Main St. No shortcut for me! Along this last mile of the middle stretch of the run Rachelle and I trotted ahead, Carol clocking us with her Garmin at about an 8:25 pace, quicker than I should be training.

At the water stop we gathered again with Mike, me taking my time with my Gatorade and Snickers in the hope the speedy Rachelle and Carol began the last stretch without me. They did and I hooked on with Lauren and Barry, both running a slightly more manageable pace for me but not easy by any means. I ran a mile with them and then turned back to rerun that mile (the same mile for the fourth time today) so I could finish my 10 miles and bring my car back with me. On the way back I got to see the runners behind me in action: smiles from Tall Dave, Ginny, and Peter, determination on the face of Demi as she passed on the opposite side of the street without noticing me, and a cheerful wave from Matt as he went by. A beep from Mike as I zoomed away, his SLR water stop duties complete, and I was back to my car, another run finished.

Heading Back to Melrose I drove by the runners making their way to Melrose. I picked up my dog Tucker and headed over to Brueggers. The crowd was sparse, Demi, Tall Dave, and Matt. We lingered for a bit before heading home to prep for the big party!

Addendum: Those that couldn’t make it Saturday ran despite partying the night before, this is their tale as told by Mary…

Seven bright-eyed MRC runners made it out to Bruegger’s this morning at 8 am– Molly, Brian, John, Jose, Kaj, Alicia, and myself. We forewent the flat, hot route you set out and headed for the cool shade of Breakheart. Alisha turned around for 6 at Main St. while the rest of us continued on to find trees and water at the Breakheart visitor center. John, Brian, Molly and I did the outer loop while the other two did the inner loop. When the hills started to come, John and Brian took off assuring me that there were only 2 or 3 big hills. I’m pretty sure I counted at least 10 and there was some trick of elevation because I know we didn’t come down as much as we went up. Then it was back for more water and some gus at the visitor center and a nice flat stretch back to Bruegger’s for about 9 ish. We’ve all agreed that next time the run needs to start and end at Breakheart so that we can go for a swim at the end of our run.