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Week 14 – Final SLR of 2018

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

Last week –We had a small crew run the SLR. Many of our half trainers were off doing the BAA Half Marathon (yeah the sidebar had it in the wrong week), and results look good. Our small crew ran through Swains Pond and around to Melrose High School. Many of the people training for half marathons decided to put in a few extra miles, a good sign people are feeling healthy and ready for their races. A handful of us continued on to Farm Street and looped back Main Street. It was good to part of the long route, as I left the water stop duties to Tom and Hank and partook in the full route for the first time since 2011. Felt good to be back out with the crew.

This week –We’ll wrap the whole thing up with the old standard, out the Fellsway East to Spot Pond and back. We’ll do this a little different for those looping Spot Pond, this is the only week of the season we loop the pond counter-clockwise. For those running the Howling Wolf this course gives you a good dose of the same hills you’ll see in that race.

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Start – We’ll head up Main Street towards Ell Pond. As you pass the pond look for the monument to Clarence DeMar. Clarence lived in Melrose for some time before moving to Keene, New Hampshire. He ran the same paths we run but 100 years earlier. Clarence DeMar is the man that has won the most Boston Marathons to his name, winning 7 times over a 30 year span. The monument to him also mentions another Melrose resident that won the Boston Marathon multiple times, Bill Rodgers. As you finish up your training know we’ve been running the training routes of champions. Keep that in your head as you turn left on Melrose Street and left again onto the Lynn Fells Parkway heading towards our hills. Run past Grimsby’s, through the Fellsway East hills, and turn right on Highland Ave, making your way to the water stop.

Half Finish – The half runners will go through the Highland Ave rotary onto Woodland Rd, up to the right on to Pond Street. Run down to Grimsby’s and continue straight on to West Wyoming to finish up with a left on Main and a trip to Brueggers.

Full 2 – The full distance runners will also continue straight through the rotary onto Woodland Rd. Continue straight at Pond St, past the Stone Zoo, and veer left into the Straw Point parking lot. You should find Hank there for a little water before continuing left onto the Fellsway West, over I-93, past the Sheepfold, under I-93, and down to Elm Street. Elm will take you up, up, and up back to the Highland Ave rotary. (I never liked Elm Street this way, that’s why we only circle Spot Pond this way once per season). Turn right on Highland for the next water stop.

Full Finish – From Highland, turn left on East Border, left at the lights on to the Fellsway East, and up to Grimsby’s. Turn right on West Wyoming and a left on Main to finish up at Brueggers.

Water Stops – I believe Hank is in, Tom is taking the last weekend off, but Dan is stepping in to be you Highland Ave water helper. (I think I get to run again!)

Roll Call – Who’s in?!

Week 13 – Taper Time

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Last Week – The half route runners made their way through 12.5 miles, except those that decided to follow the erroneous side bar distance instead and stuck to 9 miles. The few full route runners pushed through a hilly 22 mile run to complete their longest of their long runs (until their race). All seemed to make it through healthy and happy!

This Week – Bring on the taper! Over the next week or two we give our bodies a little recovery time as we head into our October races. I call period the “Don’t Do Anything Stupid” time. Your training is done and your legs got you this far. Human nature will be that you’re nervous you didn’t do enough, you’ll think about that one long run that didn’t go right or you cut a few miles off and you’ll feel the need to cram in one last hard training run. Don’t do that! Recover instead. Your taper runs should be at the same intensity as your training runs, but the miles will be less and the toll they take on your body should be minimal. With that in mind we’ll all head through Swains Pond and the long runners will continue out to Farm Street.

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Start – We’ll cross Main Street and head up East Foster to the Melrose Common where we’ll turn right at the Common onto 6th Street. This will turn into Swains Pond Ave and bring you up into a wooded section of Melrose. When you reach Swains Pond and Turners Pond there will be a stop sign, turn right here to stay on Swain’s Pond Ave. This will eventually bring you to Lebanon Street where you’ll take a sharp right. Lebanon will bring you to a set of lights where you’ll turn left on Forest Street which will lead you across to Main Street in Malden. Citizens Bank will be across Main Street with a water stop.

Section 2 – Leave the Citizens Bank parking lot onto Winter Street. Follow this past the Oak Grove T station to a five way intersection. Cross straight through the intersection on to Glenwood Street. Wind your way up to Highland Ave where you turn right with a very quick right onto the Fellsway East. Make your way through the hills down to Grimsby’s. If you’re running the half route you can turn right at Grimsby’s and head back to Brueggers for 7 miles along West Wyoming and left on Main Street. If you want a little longer of a run continue with the full route runners on to the LynnFells Parkway and keep going to you get to the knoll across from Melrose High School for a water stop. Half runners can then head up to a right on Melrose Street and a right on Main Street for an 8 mile run.

Full 3 – From the knoll, continue on the LynnFells Parkway until you reach the intersection with Main Street in Saugus. Turn left and follow Main Street, which will become Farm Street in Wakefield, and turn left onto Nahant Street. This will bring you across to Main Street in Wakefield where a water stop will be waiting for you at Nick’s Pizza… or maybe Dunkin Donuts.

Full Finish – Its taper time so we’re already heading back to the finish. Head south on Main Street from Wakefield to Melrose and finish up at Brueggers. That’s it, you’re done already.

Water Stops – Tom, Hank and I will man the water stops… unless I decide to join in on the run!

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 12 – The Big Week

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Last Week – The group wandered around Melrose, through Swains Pond, over by Oak Grove, along the Fells and for the few long runners out and around Breakheart.

This Week – We bring the training to a crescendo for marathon runners with the “22 mile run” which is really 21.7 miles in the fall. Half marathon runners should look at their plans for their race. If its still a few weeks out, I would suggest you aim for a max distance 2 weeks before you half. If you haven’t run one before or have only a couple under your belts, look to do ~12 miles two to three weeks before. If you’re a more experienced half marathon I recommend running ~15 miles two weeks prior to the race. Those extra miles will make the 13.1 feel much more manageable.

Week 12

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Start – We’ll start out from Brueggers at 8AM, heading north past Ell Pond. Turn left at Melrose Street and a quick left onto the LynnFells Parkway. Run past Melrose High School, straight along the LynnFells Parkway past Grimsby’s onto the Fellsway East. Run through the hills and down to the traffic circle at Highland Ave where you turn right. Follow Highland Ave until you get to the water stop on your left before the rotary at the end of Highland.

Section 2 – All runners will turn left at the rotary onto Elm Street and follow that to the end, turning right on to the Fellsway West. Run under I93, past the Sheepfold, and over I93. Half runners will turn right at the Straw Point Parking lot and find a water stop there before continuing this section on to Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo, straight onto Woodland Rd along Spot Pond before hitting the Highland Ave rotary again. You’ll finish this section off back at the water stop. Longer route runners will not turn into the Straw Point parking lot, instead they’ll continue to the intersection where Friendly’s is, turning left at the lights onto North Border Road and following that straight past the on-ramp to I-93 onto Park Street. At the next set of lights turn left onto Marble Street and cross over I-93 where the street name turns to Forest Street as you enter Winchester. There will be a water stop on your left at Eugene Dr.

Half Finish – The half route runners will continue on Highland Ave, turning left onto East Border Road. Climb this little street to a set of lights, turning left back on to the Fellsway East. A few more hills will take you to back to Grimsby’s where you turn right onto West Wyoming, and then left on Main to finish up at Brueggers with 12.6 miles. Yeah, I know the sidebar said 11 something… I lied 🙂

Full 3 – The full route runners will run the same route through Winchester and Medford that they did for the 20 miler. This section will be down Forest Street with a left onto Highland, passing Winchester Hospital and continuing on Highland to the end. There will be a water stop at the end there.

Full 4- Take a left on Main Street and continue into Medford, crossing over to the right side of the road. Turn right on Playstead, follow that to the end at High Street. A Right on High brings you across the railroad tracks, past a Dunkin Donuts (might be the last time I type that as they’re becoming just plain Dunkin soon… not sure what you’ll be dunking though, it used to be a donut). As you continue on High Street, there will be a slight fork where you want to stay left to stay on High Street. This will take you to a little rotary at the Mystic River where you turn right onto the Mystic Valley Parkway. Follow that past the Mystic Lakes to what seems to be the end of the road and turn right onto Bacon Street. Cross to the left side and turn left back onto the Mystic Valley Parkway. This will bring you to another water stop on your right by the Middle School in Winchester.

Full 5 – Continue on the Mystic Valley Parkway and turn left onto Washington Street. Cross Mt Vernon Street and bear right to stay on Washington. Follow straight on Washington until you get to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you turn right and run up, up, and up Forest Street to Eugene for another water stop.

Full Finish – To finish up the run you’ll cross over I-93 to Marble, turning right at the lights at Park Street. Follow this back to Friendly’s and cross Main straight towards the Stone Zoo. After the zoo turn left on Pond Street and left again at Grimsby’s. Follow the LynnFells Parkway past Melrose High School to Melrose Street, where you turn right. A quick right onto Main will bring you back to Brueggers and the start of tapering!

Water Stops – It looks like we have Tom, Hank, Lois, and I waterstopping people up this week!

Roll Call! Who’s in?!

Week 11 – Working the Miles Back Up

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Last Week – We visited Wakefield with a run up to Lake Quannapowitt. Some runners training for a half made their way up to the lake and looped around to get their miles in. Others tacked on some extra by looping the lake before heading back to Melrose. The marathon training runners looped the lake and then headed over to Breakheart for a run around the outer loop before heading back to Main Street in Wakefield to finish up. The water stop stood at Nick’s for the whole run, with Hank, Tom, and Audrey providing top notch service the whole morning… which allowed me to joined in on the Sunday Long Run for the first time in a long time. I joined Jen Elise, Lois, and Yvonne for a loop around the Lake and then set off solo to make the loop of Breakheart. It was good seeing Mike Sikkema and Dave Corbett effortless speed by. I found Andy Nagelin going rogue, looping the outerloop the opposite way around. I had forgotten how tough the Breakheart hills are, but I didn’t walk, and I hear neither did Regina! And I was reminded of how long a mile Nahant is when it gets hot. It was good to be back on the roads with the SLR, even for only 9+ miles of it.

This Week – We keep increasing the mileage as we work up to the peak next week. Changing the routes up a tiny bit, we’ll head over to the peaceful Swain’s Pond area of Melrose before cutting over to the Fells and around to Breakheart again. Sort of the Emerald Necklace of Melrose.

Week 11

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Start – Crossing Main Street, we’ll start from outside of the Melrose YMCA. Head up East Foster for a hill right away, turning right onto 6th Street at the Melrose Common. 6th will become Swain’s Pond Ave, taking you up to Turners Pond and Swain’s Pond. Take a right at the stop sign at the ponds to stay on Swain’s Pond Ave. You’ll come to Lebanon St where you have to turn right. Over the years there have been many that have zoned out and continued on Lebanon Street the wrong way… they’re still wandering Malden somewhere. But you’ll turn right there and come to a set of lights where you turn left off Lebanon on to Forest Street. Run past the Forest Dale Cemetery to the end of Forest where you’ll cross Main and find a water stop in the parking lot of the Citizens Bank.

Half/Full 2 – All runners will leave the parking lot onto Winter Street, running over the Oak Grove stop on the Orange Line to a 5 way intersection. Go straight across onto Glenwood Street. Follow this windy hilly road to Highland Ave, take a right and an immediate right to get onto the Fellsway East. Run over those familiar hills up past Grimsby’s and onto the LynnFells Parkway. Some more familiar hills will take you to Melrose High School, where there will be a water stop at the Knoll on your right.

Half Finish – Everyone will continue on the LynnFells Parkway into Saugus. The half runners will turn left onto Main Street in Saugus and turn left again on to Howard Street. Howard will bring you down to Green Street where you’ll go left, cross the LynnFells Parkway and merge onto Main Street. Pass Ell Pond and make your way into Melrose Center to finish up 11 miles. If you’re looking to stretch your half training miles you can turn onto the LynnFells Parkway past the high school, grab a little more water and make your way to Grimsby’s to Wyoming to Main for an extra mile.

Full 3 – Long runners will keep straight on the LynnFells until they get to the Saugus entrance to Breakheart where you’ll head up to the headquarters parking lot for a water stop.

Full 4 – Run the outer loop and come back to the water stop. If you don’t know how to do that correctly by now… you’re Judi.

Full 5 – Run back to the Knoll by leaving the parking lot, turning right on the LynnFells Parkway and keeping straight to Melrose High School. The Knoll water stop will be on your left.

Full Finish – Finish up by running the last few hills along the LynnFells Parkway as you get yourself to Grimsby’s. Turn left on West Wyoming, then left on Main and stroll in to Brueggers.

Sneakers! – You’re marathon or half in coming up. Check the soles of your shoes, they’re probably worn, you’ve been running a lot. This is a good time to buy a new pair of running shoes. This will either let you break in your race day shoes in time for the big day, or extend the life of those shoes you’ve grown to love over the past few months so they’re still usable on race day. Don’t wait until taper time to realize you need new shoes!

Water Stops – I’m in, although I’ll want to run some of the run. Hank is in. Tom is in I believe. That should get us through the day.

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 10 – Lake Q Run

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Last Week – We set off to Winchester for 20 miles and 10 miles, returning to the Victorian Fair in Melrose Center to finish. While only 5 people ran the full route in what has been a quiet season for marathoning, we had about 30 runners doing the half route. The weather was cool which led to a lot of upbeat runners stopping by the water stops.

This Week – A recovery week for everyone, the mileage goes down 4 miles for the long runners, and down two for the half runners. We’ll be running up to Wakefield along Main Street. Full route runners will continue on to loop Lake Quannapowitt and then loop Breakheart. Half route runners will run up to the lake before turning back. I do suggest veteran half marathon runners consider adding on some miles to this run. Ramping up to 15 miles in the near future will make racing 13.1 feel just a little easier. The weather looks comfortable again, primed for another good training day. This week’s run will have multiple legs that all end at the Nick’s Pizza parking lot for water stops. Yes, you travel all around and the water stop stays in one spot.

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Start – Heading north on Main Street, we’ll pass Ell Pond, continuing on into Wakefield, and hitting the Nick’s Pizza parking lot at the corner of Nahant for a water stop.

Half 2 – Both groups will head through Wakefield Center along Main Street, but half route runners will veer to the left onto Common Street and turning right on Church Street. Run to the set of lights at North Ave and turn left. North Ave will bring you back to Main Street at Jiffy Lube. Cross Main Street and get yourself another cup of water at the Nick’s Pizza water stop.

Half Finish – The half route runners will then return to Melrose along Main Street the way they came.

Full 2 – Full route runners will continue to follow Main Street after they pass through Wakefield Center, running along the east side of Lake Q. Turn left on Lowell Street at the end of Main Street, then another left on to Quannapowitt Way. Head along the path on the north side of the lake going over to North Ave where you’ll turn left. Follow North Ave all the way back to Main Street where you’ll cross over to the Nick’s Pizza water stop again.

Full 3 – Next run along Nahant Street over to Wakefield High School. Head up Hemlock Street to the Northeast Technical Vocational School, through their parking lot to the Wakefield entrance to Breakheart. Go counterclockwise around the outer loop, staying right through the hills (Love the hills, they’ll love you back), past the headquarters, along the flat side, staying right at the beach, and back out at the Voc. Run back down Hemlock, crossing over to Nahant and back to Nick’s Pizza.

Full Finish – From here, head back down Main Street to Brueggers to finish up!

Water Stops – There is one water stop today, and likely four people helping out, so you’ll be well taken care of.

Roll Call – Who’s in?