It’s week 14, the final Winter Sunday Long Run for our Boston runners andÂ the final loooongÂ training run before taper for my fellow Providence runners, a momentous occasion for both groups. We hadÂ four Boston Marathoners run their 12 mile taper: Barry, Judi, Ed, and Brian. There were six Providence Marathon runners doing 20 miles: Mike York, Nancy, Lois, Pam, myself, and a cameo appearance by Ron. Training for other upcoming races or just out there to keep us company were Nick, Linda, Ginny, Evan, Sue, Joanne, JoAnn, Denyce, Donna, Ed Morris… hmmm, I’m forgetting a few. We all headed out of Breuggers into bright sunshine and 45 degree temperatures. There were shorts being worn, it felt like spring! Off we headed down Main St.
One last pass by the Clarence DeMar monument by Ell Pond for our Boston Marathon crew, a few taps for good luck and we rounded the corner onto the LynnFells. With a gentle push from the wind we made our way through the first stretch of hills along the old Melrose Half Marathon route. Despite getting fitter through our training these hills are always humbling. The order of the runners kept shuffling until we were all inÂ our correct position heading into water stop 1. Here Gloria served as hostess, gatorade and water lined on her trunk meeting the needs of some thirsty runners.
Heading out for the next section of the run some followed the mapped route running counter clockwise around the pond, others kept to the traditional half marathon route running clockwise, and others (Ron) just seemed to be running around and around. We all crossed paths on the far end of the pond for another quick water stopÂ served up byÂ Margaret and Mike Quigley. Gummi Worms were on the menu and Ginny chewed and chewed and chewed. Not making any progress sheÂ polled the pack to see if anyone could save her if she choked. Wrong pack for that I guess and she swiftly spit out the remains of her worm.
Circling back to Gloria’s water stop we passed some virtual roadkill, a pink cat doll soaked and wet along the side of the road in a pose similar to the one seen in movies when a guy falls several floors to his demise onto a city sidewalk. Further up we sighted several extremely large birds circling overhead. They were either waiting for roadkill on the adjacent highway or waiting for one of us runners to drop, or perhaps trying to figure out if the dead cat doll was something they could eat. Joanne tried to tempt them with her baggy of candy but none of them took the bait. We left the big birds high above the Fellsway West as we climbed up Elm street to water stop 3 where our whole pack partook in the delights of aÂ midrun Snickers, even Mike York indulged despite this not being part of his Iron Man Mike diet.
OverÂ the hill of East Border Road and back to the Fellsway West Brian and I pushed on with Mike trailing slightly behind. Brian turned down Wyoming and back to Brueggers, as did all the BostonÂ runners,Â to top of the 12 mile taper run and complete their Boston Marathon Training. Ginny headed off home from there too while Mike and I hopped on the MRC summer route for the Providence Marathon training run. Mike slowed a bit as his body tried to digestÂ its unexpected contents: that Snickers bar! They work wonders once you get used to eating candy mid-run. Pulling into the next stop where Quigley awaited with more fuel for our bodies, we spotted Ron ahead. Somehow he found the 4th water stop without running our route.
We followed the summer route up the LynnFells, over to Porter Street and down Upham St to Lebanon. The day had grown darker, windier, and colder but still comfortable for a really long run. Heading up Lebanon we ran into Gloria who had run over to the spot to meet up with us for the next section of the run. Only one problem, a slight communication issue left us without a water stop. She thought one of the runners who was done was hosting this stop. They thought she was hosting this stop. That left us without water. Gloria graciously ran back to her car and returned with water for the next pack of runners and for those circling around to this stop again.
Leaving there we continued up Lebanon passing Nick, whoÂ had made up his own routeÂ for the day and seemed to be wandering aimlessly around Melrose at a substantial clip. As he headed towards the water stop that wasn’t there Mike and I headedÂ to Swains Pond Ave tracing the Melrose Run for Women route back to Lebanon via Beech Ave. As I pulled ahead Mike York turned back, never recovering from his Snicker’s bar he cut his run short. Along the way I passed Jean Terranova, an MRC of years past, the second week in a row I’ve had a chance run in with a Terranova. Maybe instead of the roadkill sighting of the week I’ll start the Terranova sighting of the week. Heading down Beech Ave we passed the Slater residence where the front door was adorned with a “Welcome Finnegan” sign. “Who’s Finnegan?” I wondered aloud (yeahÂ I sometimes talkÂ to myselfÂ out loud whenÂ running alone this late in a looooong run).Â I passed by without an answer. Upon reaching the bottom of Beech Ave I saw Lois and Pam running by along Lebanon. One benefit of a looping course is the opportunity to run into some people you don’t see often during the run, this was quite a treat as now I had someone to talk to while we made out way to the next water stop.
We left Gloria at the water stop where she was doing hill repeats up Park St to pass the time. Further up Lebanon Lois and Pam followed the loop around Swain’s Pond as I turned right on Forest to finish up the summer route and my run. As I made my way down Main St Lois and Pam got the pleasure of meeting Finnigan on their way past Brian’s house,Â he’s the family’s newÂ adorable little puppy.
We all gathered back at Bruegger’s one by one and settled into a quick cup of coffee before heading out to our busy Sundays. Another training session complete.Â A bit more tapering and our respective marathons and then itsÂ time to take it easy!