Archive for the ‘Week 1’ Category

Week 1 in the books…

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

A hot Saturday morning kicked off the Sunday Long Runs for the fall of 2010. In order to keep our Summer Party activities from being dented by our running, we pushed the run up one day. Although this did create some conflicts with some runners we still had well over 20 show up for the run. At 8AM, with the sun shining and humidity hanging in the warm air the first steps towards fall races were taken up Main St to the Lynn Fells Parkway. Heading east into the sunshine Jen, Judi, Katie, Mary, Joe, and BrianG lead the way. Slightly behind was BarryC and a troupe of the wounded spring runners, Michelle, Carol, and Lauren, along with some newer faces to the Sunday Long Run, Kristen and Beth. Rounding out the long runners were Dorota, Catherine, AJ, and Jose. As this group headed up Main St in Saugus towards Farm St in Wakefield, our half marathon crew took a sharp U-Turn and headed back Howard St.

The smaller crew, made up of MaryAnne, AudreyH, Matt, Diana, and Ann, stopped for a quick sip of water at one of our extra water stops. Due to the heat and heavy humidity everyone needed all the water they could get. As they moved on from the stop, past the man dressed in a cow costume at a Howard St yard sale, and back towards Main St to finish up there run, I took off to Wakefield HS to meet up with Barry at the real water stop. On my way I passed all the runners as they shuffled along the sun drenched hills. The lead pack formed a cluster and tried to trigger the school zone traffic radar sign before getting to the water stop. Their cluster was not in a tight enough formation though, so their sprint did not get recorded, therefore the SLR radar record still stands at 13MPH set by Mary, Wayne, and me (Jim). At the water stop BarryP served up cool beverages and melted Snickers bars to red faced sweaty runners. After watching the condition of the first few groups come in I decided to cut across Nahant to catch the front runners for another extra water stop along the route. As the looped around, Lauren followed my shortcut by foot. Having seen her struggles to get back from her Boston training injury I’d rather see her taking shortcuts over not seeing her run at all. In the end she beat out Catherine who showed up having taken the same short cut, but she did it in the passenger seat of BarryP’s car. Not quite “a Lamberti”, defined as offering to drive the last water stop car back to Brueggers as if Nick’s doing you a favor,  a Kane was stopping at 2 consecutive water stops without running a step, then continuing on. Catherine refueled a second time and jumped back in with Dorota to run the last 3 miles of the route.

With a few modifications to the run, all understandable due to the weather (I didn’t run at all so who am I to judge) each runner made it back to Brueggers in one piece. Some (Katie, Judi, anyone else?) continued on further to throw some more miles on top of the 8.8. A job well done by all. A run like this will make you appreciate the cool fall temperatures you’ll be racing in in just a few short months.

Welcome back everyone. On to week 2….

Season 10 of the Sunday Long Run – 7/10/10!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The 10th season of the Sunday Long Run starts this Saturday (yes, Saturday)! Just like last season we’re moving the day of the week to deconflict with an MRC Party. Saturday Night is the MRC Summer Party, and to avoid making you run long the morning after some unbridled partying, we’ll head out on the roads on Saturday morning. One word of warning, on Saturday morning there is a lot more traffic on the roads, be extra cautious.

New to the Sunday Long Run? Take a look through the About section on the blog (go to the front page of the blog and its in the top of the right hand sidebar. This will explain how we do things, how things get paid for, where and when we meet, and how the training works. There are many that have run this training over the past 5 years with great results. Of course each runner is different, your results may vary, but almost all of us make it to the starting line prepared to go the distance. The biggest benefit of the SLR training is the opportunity to run with people that have done this before. Conversations during and after the run will answer many questions on how to prepare for a marathon or a half, or anything in between. If you have a question about training, rest and recover, eating or hydrating, avoiding blisters, beating the heat… toss the question out and you’ll get a myriad of answers from veterans that have figured this out for themselves.

This week’s run: Click on the distance shown on the sidebar (right under the About link) and you can get a map for this week’s run. We’ll be heading out on the LynnFells Parkway and out Farm St. A couple of nice hills will get you in the groove. As you head into the water stop at Wakefield HS group up on the right hand side of the road and see if you can trigger the speeding radar for the school zone. The current SLR record is recorded at 13MPH by Wayne, Mary and myself. After the water stop you’ll be heading out to Water St and into Wakefield Center. Take a left on Main and head back to Brueggers. For the half route runners, run with the full route up to J Pace’s and then return on Howard St. to Green, then back to Main.

Getting Lost: At some point the packs spread out and you may be running alone for a while. Nobody is keeping track of where everybody is. It is a runner’s responsibility to get themselves back to Brueggers. If you’re unsure of where you’re going, print out a map and bring it with you. You should put it in a ziplock bag since sweat will make the ink run. We run the same routes multiple times through the training so learn them while they’re still on the sort side. You don’t want to get lost on a 22 mile run!

Roll Call: Each week I’ll ask who’s in. This is necessary so I know how much to stock in the water stop supplies. If you don’t respond don’t complain if we run out of water… and expect dirty looks from those that didn’t get water if you drank it all on them. Please don’t be shy and let me know if you’re coming. Also if you say you’re coming and you run a few minutes late, we’ll be more likely to wait up for you.

So that’s it for the humongous kick off post for the 10th season of the SLR. Only one thing left: ROLL CALL!!! Who’s in for this Saturday, 8AM, Brueggers. And also let me know what you’re training for. I won’t be running so I’ll handle the water stop. I do plan on running Philadelphia this fall though.

Week 1 – Saturday Edition

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Due to the Melrose Running Club Year End Gala (Saturday Night at 7PM at the Knights of Columbus) we’ll be doing our Sunday Long Run on Saturday this week (Brueggers 8AM Saturday Morning).

Due to the early arrival of ice and snow we’ll be forced to skip our first trip to Breakheart this year. I know you were looking forward to those hills, but instead you get a little longer, much flatter run. This week we’ll be heading to Lake Quannapowitt instead. I’ll try to get a map together tonight (although I’m also trying to get a video together for the party) but in case I don’t refer to the Week 3 map. The only difference we’ll have is instead of completely circling the lake, we’ll shorten it just a bit by returning to the water stop via North Ave. If you’ve done the Sunday Runs before you know what to do… if you don’t ask someone who does.

The water stops… BarryP are you up for a Saturday Morning visit to Melrose? If so, Jen, just bring the supplies to Brueggers (if you’re coming) and we’ll add to the bucket and give it to Barry. If that plan falls through I’ll need a volunteer to drop their car out there. Anyone?

That’s all I’ve got for now. ROLL CALL, who’s in?!

Week 1 – MRC on Ice

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

This past Saturday we had over 20 people join in on the Sunday Long Run… Saturday style. With the MRC Year-End Party planned for Saturday Evening and a winter storm warning declared for Saturday night into Sunday morning, our band of runners were eager to get their run in.

Barry started the run off early, trading a box of video equipment for the party with me for a box of gatorade and water. He parked at Breakheart, took a quick peak at the conditions of the paved pathway there, and headed back to Breuggers to meet up with us. Back at Brueggers I provided the maps and explained optional routes for all that weren’t interested in the adventure that is steep ice-covered hill running.

The first few miles were unadventurous, following the same start of last week’s run up Main St and out the LynnFells Parkway. It was good to see that new Sunday Long Runners Suzanne and Jose had come back for more miles and hills. In addition we had Rebecca and Christine joining in for the first time as the group continues to grow. Up in the front Judi and Barry led the way to Breakheart’s Saugus entrance, Judi prepared for anything toting her Yak Trax in her hands. The air was chilly, low 20s, and the wind was light, feeling as though it was slightly in our face on the way to Breakheart. I made my way along with Audrey for the first part of the stretch and Evan for the second part. At Breakheart we stopped for a few minutes to hydrate as we eyeballed the impending icy run. The sight of the mess in there was not welcoming, Evan was so intimidated by it that he spun around so fast to leave that it looked like his pants were on backwards… wait, his pants were on backwards! Yes Evan ran his whole tun with his pants on backwards.

Barry, Judi, and Brian were already in there and it seemed as though people were milling about to see if they were gonna turn around and come back out. Many discussed their plan to run the flat side of Breakheart and go out the Wakefield side to Farm St, where they would run back to the LynnFells Parkway to join up with the rest of the crew. Not me, I’ll never ask someone to do something on the Sunday Run I wouldn’t be willing to do myself, I was going all the way around Breakheart! Slowly groups headed into Breakheart Reservation with reservations. Careful steps on choppy white ice were taken as people made there way along the sides of the path where their running shoes could sink in to the white crusty snow a bit. I left the water stop with just Nancy, Sue, and Joanne left and made my way along the middle of the path from the back of the pack forward. I felt confident that the hard ice was runnable and tried to convince each runner I passed that this wasn’t really too bad. Past Nick, and Jose, and Suzanne, and Peter, and Erin, and Barry, and Lauren… none of them were buying it. Then I caught Mike, the one guy willing to give the hilly side a try with me. Passing the Wakefield entrance we turned up the first major hill and tried to figure out the plan to get through. Luckily we weren’t the first idiots to go through there, as evident by deep frozen footprints marking the pathway. By landing the front of our shoes into the footprints we could get the traction needed to scale the steep hills. Easy. Easier than the downhills anyway. Downhills took some figuring out. They were much too slippery to let gravity take you down, on your feet anyway. They were also too slippery to try to keep a slow pace by braking, unless you wanted to break something. So somewhere in between we went, carefully planning where each step would land, not picking up too much speed and never trying to slow down. Before we knew it we were out the other side, sore quads and all, and safely back at the water stop.

Brian Gilroy was already at the stop, another brave soul that made it through. Nancy and Joanne came walking out of the Breakheart building talking up how wonderful and warm it is in there. I question if they ever left the water stop the first time but they claim they did and ran the shorter route around Breakheart. Barry came running in from somewhere, having run through Breakheart and around Saugus and Wakefield to get in 12 miles or so. Nobody else returned to the water stop. All the others headed out the Wakefield side to avoid the icy hills.

Mike and I went back out to the LynnFells and caught up to the back of the pack that had short-cutted it. The wind worked against us in this direction, cold and biting in our face. Barry drove by and rolled down his window to taunt us with how well his heater was working. We finished up at Brueggers as the short-cutters made there way in from all directions, each adding on a bit of distance to make there run no shorter than ours. If running on a Saturday weren’t enough to make things different, improvised routes made each run unique.

Week 1 – Saturday Morning Special

Friday, January 9th, 2009

In order to get a good run in this weekend as well as a good party, we’ll be pushing the run up one day to Saturday Morning. Now you have no excuses to go home early from the MRC Holiday Party Extravaganza!

I’ve been watching the weather all week and it seems like we’ve lucked out run-wise. Sunday morning would have been a snowy sloppy run, but Saturday morning looks clear, although cold. The plan at this point is to follow the original route, out to Breakheart, around it and back for 9+ miles, just back for 6+. Breakheart is a key part of our training, giving us the hill work we need in our long runs for the inevitable challenging hill in the late miles of a marathon or half. Be forewarned though, Breakheart gets tricky in the winter! Ice tends to build up all around and ice + hills = a fall. Luckily we’ve had no major injuries (knock on wood) and if you’re all careful we’ll keep it that way. If you find yourself questioning the terrain turn back and run the beach side of Breakheart again.

Water stops, I need one volunteer to park at Breakheart. If you want to run short you can pick up the supplies at Brueggers at 8 and drive to Breakheart, picking up the run at mile 3. Any voluntees for that option? If not I’ll meet someone there at 7:40 and we’ll leave a car there.

Roll Call!!! Who’s in?