Archive for March, 2010

Week 10 – Recap: What a mess!

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

With rain in the forecast most runners rearranged their schedules and got their miles in at a dryer time. Nine still showed up for the SLR and braved the elements for what became a challenging run. The first three miles headed straight into the wind driven rain. Michele, Tim, Doug, Mary and Kerry led the way (Sasha being smarter than the rest of us sat this week out). AJ continued his strong running right behind them and Dave and Jose, having started a bit late, trailed behind. When this soaked group came in to water stop 1 I joined in for the loop around Lake Quannapowitt.

For those that ran the Boston course 22 miler last year, it was a very similar run. Heading up Main St to the east side of the lake Kerry and I hopped puddles like little girls playing hopscotch, not an efficient way  to get the miles. You could watch the pattern of the wind in the rain and along the surface of the lake, swirling gusts lifting the water off the lake. The nasty weather inspired us to run faster, with the hope that the faster we ran the sooner we would be out of the wind driven rain. Keeping the front back close we trudged through ankle deep puddles that spread the width of the streets. At this point there was no reason to avoid them, our shoes were full of water. You know when you’re walking in the sand right at the edge of the shore, and when you lift your foot up the sand tries to suck on to it as long as it can… each step felt like that. Turning up North Ave the cross winds kept pushing and we kept fighting. Kerry had fallen behind me, the front pack was beginning to pull away when a loud sigh was heard next to me. Mary had caught up and sounded happy to slow back down to my pace. The two of us fought through the wind back to the water stop.

There the front pack had decided they would skip the Breakheart part of the run and head back to Brueggers, happy to get 10+ miles in and live to run another day. I decided I would just stop at my car (I’m not training for anything). Mary and Kerry gladly followed their lead. AJ came in and with a little coaxing decided to run back to Melrose with the option of running more when he got there. Dave and Jose were a little harder to convince. Not wanting the elements to beat them they had a hard time letting go of the Breakheart loop, but the fact that I wasn’t going to sit around the water stop in wet clothes for another hour waiting for them seemed to be the deal breaker.

Back at Brueggers, the sideways rain brought the runners in one by one. Each deciding it would be best to make up the long run miles during the week sometime, they got their bagels and headed straight home. AJ, Dave, and Jose lingered a bit, I know in their heads they were trying to talk themselves into a little more, but as they dripped massive puddles on the floor of Brueggers we all called it a day and headed home. Hopefully we won’t have to run in that again for a while!

Thanks go out to the Cossettes who came and got a water stop container and headed over to Breakheart. None of us made it there, but thanks for being there for us.

Week 10 – Sweet 16

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Last week we had a great run. Nine people completed their 20 mile run out through Stoneham, Winchester, Medford and back. Meanwhile ten others had fun running 10 to 13 miles along the route with them soaking in sunshine and enjoying the views. Us shorter runners waited at Brueggers to see how each 20 mile runner faired. Michele came in finishing strong and looking no worse for the wear. Behind her BarryC charged in with a great run. Lauren and John showed up right behind him, all three smiling in the sunshine after a fine performance. Billy was next, staggering into Brueggers with a grimace that turned quickly into smile once he found a chair to sit in. Carol put in another solid performance despite dealing with a nasty cold that’s been hitting runners throughout the club. AJ had an awesome run, his first 20 didn’t seem to phase him at all. Kerry and Genevieve completed the set, coming in with big satisfied smiles on their faces. Congrats to all that completed this very challenging (hilly) 20 mile route!

Now for this week’s run, the sun is gone but the route is easier. A short and sweet 16 mile recover run. Stepping back a bit and rebuilding towards the 22 mile run in a few weeks. The route will take us out to Nick’s pizza, out and around Lake Quannapowitt, over for a few hills at Breakheart, then back the flats of Main St. Simple. For those looking to do less there are a few options, 6, 8, 10.5,  turn around wherever you like.

As for water stops, everyone has the week off this week, unless someone wants to bring something over to Breakheart. I’ll be parking at Nick’s and doing 10 or 13 starting from there. The Breakheart loop is a 5 mile section of the run, so if someone would like a bucket to bring to the Saugus side, up by the parking lot at the lodge house thing, I’ll pick you up in the morning before the run.

So who’s in for this one? Roll Call!

Week 9 – Finally!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Just in time for the big 20 miler, one of the 2 major runs of your marathon training, or the big 10 miler for the half marathon trainers, the weather looks to be on our side! After 8 weeks of snow, rain, ice, wind, and temperatures well below freezing,… tomorrow  there will be blue skies, there will be perfect running temperatures, there will be a little breeze. A nice day to go outside and run for hours.

The run will start from Brueggers as usual, and head out W. Wyoming to Spot Pond, continuing over past Friendly’s, along I93 and cross over I93 to water stop 1. From there you’ll head down Forest St to Highland Ave. Those running the shorter route will turn off Highland onto Eaton St at a small park and return via Washington St. Those running the longer route will continue to the end of Highland Ave and hit water stop 2. For the new Sunday Long Runners here’s where things will get interesting, a part you’ve never seen before (bring a map or find someone who’s done this before). Hed left on Rt38 into Medford. You’ll come up to a cemetery on your right where you’ll turn right onto Playstead Rd, a big wide road. This will bring you past Oak Grove Cemetery, past a ball field, along the commuter rail tracks to Rt 60 (High St). There’s a Dunkin Donuts there if you need a potty break, otherwise turn right onto Rt 60. Run along there, past a church and a steeple and a bunch of people. There’s a point where you  come to a slight fork in the road, stay left on Rt 60, don’t go right onto Grove St! Its pretty obvious which way the main road continues but 7+ miles in if you aren’t paying attention you might follow the sidewalk down the wrong street. After that you’ll come to Mystic Valley Parkway. There’s a little rotary type island there, turn right onto Mystic Valley Parkway. Do not cross the bridge over the Mystic River. Do not run into Arlington! Once on the Mystic Valley Parkway you’ll run along the Mystic Lakes. If the footing is nice, cross the street and run along the path and take a look at the lakes. You’ve run a far way, take in some sights. Once past the lakes you’ll run up along the commuter rail again. At the end of the road turn right (Bacon St), under the tracks and then take your next left (Mystic Valley Parkway again). There is a path there too to run along the left side of the road to water stop 3. (With all that detail, no excuses if you get lost!) From there you continue on to Washington  St where you turn left. You’ll come to a 5 way intersection. If you imagine a clock, you’re coming in from 6 O’clock, 12 O’clock is straight across. Washington St is at about 2 O’clock. There is a road at 3 O’clock and 11 O’clock, don’t run on those! If you went the right way you’ll be running by churches (one has a bathroom in the basement in case you need it). If you ran the wrong way you might be running past Winchester High School. From here things get easy again, directions-wise. Run Washington St to Forest St and up to water stop 4 (same as water stop 1). After that make your way back to Friendly’s the way you came, turn right along the back side of the pond, follow around to Highland Ave to water stop 5. Now the 6th short run of the day, Highland Ave all the way to the rotary, through the Fellsway East, and back W. Wyoming.

The shorter loop runners would return along Washington St to Forest St to the water stop, then back to Brueggers the way they came. You also have the option of helping with a water stop! If you want to start at water stop 1 and run the more interesting part of the route (the lakes) with everyone, you’ll wind up back at water stop 1 with 9+ miles done.

I’ll put my car out on the route again. BarryP will be helping. Two more cars will make everything work, but we could get by with one more. Who’s interested?

And who’s running and how far? How many 20 milers do we have? Roll call!