The last run of the fall started a bit ominously. While picking up Lois at Breakheart and moving Gatorade from my car to hers I heard a hissing sound. Following the noise led to her rear right tire where a nail had embedded itself through the tire treads. It wasn’t flat yet but it would be sometime soon. A problem to tackle later in the day.
Arriving at Brueggers around 8AM there was some quick decision making on clothing for the day. Short-sleeve? Long-Sleeve? It was in the 50s but overcast and sprinkling. I opted for the short-sleeve, so on the sidewalk I took off my windpants and my longsleeve shirt and suddenly realized I was half-naked in front of the window. Inside a group of nine women hardly took notice, perhaps I need to try that Axe chocolate body spray to get attention.
With the clothing choices made we headed out the door. Brian and I took the lead for a short time until Judi wooshed by through the wet leaves. With a pat of the Clarence Demar monument we were off up Main St towards Wakefield. Through sticks, pine cones, pine needles and leaves left behind be a windy over-night rain storm we made our way to the first water stop at Sue’s car at the corner of Nahant and Main St. Before heading out on our next stretch a few tactical decisions were made. I left behind my glasses which were covered in misty rain droplets and fogging up. Also Sue, Joanne and Lois discussed the snack situation at the next stop… which was limited. It was decided that some Snickers needed to be transported ahead and reluctantly I volunteered to be the Pony Express (sans Pony) to deliver them.
While our recovered BAA Half marathoners turned back to finish 6 miles for the day, off I went down Nahant St, Judi and Brian well ahead of me at this point, Beth and Audrey right behind me. Crossing Farm St the route took us up past several football games and practices, Pop-Warner, Middle School and High School teams occupying every field as I carried a baggy of candy in the nook of my arm like a wide-reciever making his way to the endzone down an open field. Up past the Voc and through the slippery leaf-covered hills of Breakheart to the Saugus side of Breakheart we went. Getting to the water stop I found Liz waiting next to Lois’ locked car. She unlocked it before we left, I saw her do it, but it had locked itself. It’s like those Chevy commercials where the gas pumps hate fuel efficient cars and lock the doors and let air out of the tires when you’re not looking!
(Perhaps I’m watching too much TV, two ad references in one recap!)
With some water from Liz and some candy from my bag we improvised an impromptu water stop and headed on our way once more. Through the flatter side of Breakheart Beth, Audrey and I chitchatted our way back to the Wakefield side. Audrey was very pleased with the downhill heading back to Farm St after the challenging hills of Breakheart. As we headed past Wakefield High the marching band was assembled in the parking lot but remained silent as we went by. Lois, Liz, Nancy, Sue, and Joanne were treated to the tune of Thriller as they went by, I’m sure bringing thoughts of Katie Sinnott to mind. Although I missed the band I was treated to random song lyrics from Audrey as we traversed Nahant St back to the final water stop.
A quick drink and Snickers all around, our little pack headed out for the final three miles… leaving my glasses in Sue’s car by mistake. D’oh! Beth and Audrey kept up a good pace all the way down Main St while I tried to distract from thinking about slowing down with many of my not-very-interesting stories. A great 12 miles for the two of them, looking ready for the Seacoast Half in two weeks. Behind us Lois and Sue came flying in, having run a strong 12 miles plus an extra hill as they turned off to the left onto Green St in Wakefield to spice up the last three miles of the run.
In short time all the runners (and my three kids) were back at Brueggers enjoying coffee, bagels, chocolate covered pretzels from Joanne, and Starburst jelly beans from Kelly who ran 3 miles for her return to running after her maiden voyage in the world of marathoning last week. And all that’s left for the Fall training session is the running of the last marathons and half marathons over the next few weeks… and changing Lois’ tire for her.
(Good Luck to Peter who is running the Dublin Marathon tomorrow morning!)