Archive for the ‘week 2’ Category

Week 2 – Another Hot One!

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

This week’s route is a staple of the Sunday Long Run. Based on the Melrose Half Marathon, the race that ultimately grew into Boston’s Run to Remember, we’ll be retracing most of the hilly half’s route. The first mile is nice and flat out West Wyoming to Grimsby’s. A left turn there introduces us to the hills of the Fellsway East. One large hill that never seems to end will end, then you’ll notice its little brother right behind it. For every uphill there is a downhill though, and the downhill sends you flying through a set of lights at East Border Road and down to the rotary at Highland Ave in Malden. You’ll take a right onto Highland Ave and slowly make your way up to water stop 1 just before you make it to Spot Pond.

Barry will be hydrating you back up and sending you out for more. It’ll be a hot one so make sure to drink up! Full route runners will turn left at the rotary at McSheffrey’s Mobil gas station and complete a full loop of Spot Pond. Half route runners will stay to the right of the rotary and run the east side of the pond to Pond St back down a steep hill to Grimsby’s. Here they have a choice, turn left onto the Fellsway for the 7.1 miles or continue straight down W. Wyoming chopping off a mile of their route making it 6.1. Be smart, if its hot don’t push it! Meanwhile back on the long route we’ll be pushing through this hills on the west side of the pond. If we can have someone set up at the Straw Point parking lot (the cut through by Friendly’s and the Mobil Station) we can get another water stop in there too.  Finishing the loop of the pond will bring us by the Stone Zoo, along winding paths up to Flynn Rink, and back to Barry’s water stop.

After that a quick left on East Border Rd will climb back to the Fellsway East and a few more hills will bring us back to Grimsby’s. Any long runners who have had enough can turn right down Wyoming retracing the start of the route for an 11.5 mile run while the die hards continue up the Lynn Fells for one more hill! Passing Melrose High School and turning up Melrose St to Main St will bring you in along what promises to be a scorching last half mile back to Brueggers!

That’s the route for tomorrow. Barry has the main water stop covered. I need one volunteer to park at Straw Point for an extra stop due to the heat. I believe Barry will pick you up there around 7:45 and bring you to Brueggers.

Who’s in. Roll Call!

Week 2 – Let’s get serious!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

We started with Week 0, a snowy escapade through Saugus challenging every step of the 8.8 miles. We progressed to Week 1, rerouted due to icy snow at Breakheart we instead did a frigid march up and around Lake Quannapowitt. Both weeks tested the resolve of even the most die-hard Sunday Runner. Hopefully things change a bit for Week 2.

What’s in store? The old Melrose Half Marathon! As temperatures strain to stay above freezing for the first time in 2010, we should be able to get our run in before the next winter storm stops by. The footing should be better and the challenge should be the actual run rather than surviving the conditions. There will be plenty of hills along the way, two water stops to keep us hydrated, and 12.5 miles to get us back in shape!

The water stops will be located on Highland Ave by the Flynn Rink rotary, right by the Mobil Station. You’ll break there at about 3.5 miles and if you’re running the full route again around 8.5 miles. The shorter 7.1 route runners will join us for the first stop before heading over to Pond St and back to Melrose.  Not ready for those distances? A five mile run more your style? Volunteer to man the first water stop, meet us there with the supplies and run a loop of Spot Pond with the long route runners back to your car! If anyone wants to do that, let me know before I ask for other volunteers to set it up.

Who’s coming? Sunday! 8AM! Roll Call!!! (if enough people show up I’ll actually write a recap this week)

Week 2 – Why dost thou run so many mile about?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

With the institution of a sign-in sheet for the Sunday Long Run comes confusion and shenanigans. The sign-in sheet is meant to provide me with some record of who ran that day and how long they planned on running. The information helps me write the recap (remembering who was in a group of 30 runners can get confusing), it also makes it easier to verify that everyone returned to Brueggers, and at the end of the season I’ll use these sheets to coordinate the Sunday Long Run post-season breakfast invitations. This week seemed to cause some confusion since many of the runners were planning on improvising their own version of the long run route. In the end all 28 runners had put a signature on a map, all but Sue Clough who either didn’t want to be counted or couldn’t figure out which route to commit to. Another face in the crowd whose name was missing was Nick Lamberti but this was offset by a name on the paper whose face I didn’t see… William shakespeare. Since Shakespeare is a heck of a lot more quotable than Nick, I’ve used a quote of his from Richard III as the title of this week’s post, and the following passage from Richard II to recap this run:

These high wild hills
and rough uneven ways
draw out our miles
and make them wearisome

These high wild hills: The first section of this week’s run started out like the MRC Summer route, down Main St and out West Wyoming Ave. This was the one of the rare flat sections of the course which was pleasantly breezy, shaded, and cool… perfect running conditions. I was accompanied by Lois and JenR, with Joe, BrianS, BrianG, Mary, and some new comers Tim Gilday and Craig and Alicia Simmons, up ahead. Behind us the rest of the pack jockeyed for their positions as the mass of runners broke into packs. At Grimsby’s we turned left and ventured into the high wild hills of the Fellsway East. Along the first hill we watched Jen disappear into the distance, catching the runners up ahead. Passing me along the uphill went Walt then MikeY. Barry Cossette pulled up next to me and Lois drifted back, conversations transitioning with each running partner. Through the hills and along Highland Ave we moved along to water stop 1, where Walt’s car waited full with the essentials.

And rough uneven ways: After waiting until all runners had found their way to the water stop and had continued on, I headed out on my weekly quest to catch back up to my pack. The shorter route took Woodland Rd back to Pond St, and either followed Wyoming to Main or LynnFells to Main for a run of 6 or 7 miles. Tall Dave joined them, keeping his streak of making his own route alive. The rest of us zoomed down Elm St to the Fellsway West, up Slacker’s Hill, under I-93, past the Sheepfold, back over I93, and into the Straw Point parking lot at Spot Pond. As I arrived at the water stop Kristen, Lauren, BarryC, and Nick stood next to my car, watching me come in. None were holding a cup of water which made me wonder “Did I lock my car when I left it here earlier?!” No, they were just about to head out so a quick sip and I followed right behind. Nick stayed, waiting for others and planning out his alternate route back to Brueggers. Our new pack of four ran together up to where Pond St turns down to Grimsby’s. There Kristen and Lauren turned to run a shorter route while Barry and I forged on to Woodland Rd and back to Walt’s car for another break.

Draw out our miles: The supplies at Walt’s car were running low, a side effect of people running longer and the temperatures getting hotter. As Peter came in to the stop Barry and I continued on, the toughest miles in front of us. In an instance we almost encountered our first road kill of the day as Barry darted out into oncoming traffic. Up East Border Rd we almost encountered our second road kill of the day, a little toad making its way to the side of the road in front of Barry. Conversations of softball and baseball distracted us from the return trip through the Fellsway East hills. Here we passed Walt, which the way he’s been running lately would be quite the accomplishment. We passed Walt as he returned from the opposite direction. Having already completed his early miles and the full route, he was now headed back to pick up his car. With each passing year Walt gets faster and faster, as if he’s getting younger rather than older, which led us to refer to him as Benjamin Button for the rest of the morning. The run continued, coming out of the hills and cruising down to Grimsby’s where Nancy’s car awaited with a jug full of water, the last break of the day.

And make them wearisome: The wearier of runners turned down West Wyoming to finish up 11.5 miles on the day. The weariest hopped in Nancy’s car and Lambertied their way to Brueggers. Lamberti himself was off wandering along his own route which took him to Pine Banks in search of water where there isn’t any. The remaining few followed the official route up the final hill of the day on the LynnFells Parkway. To dampen our spirits a pack of 5 teenage boys zipped by Barry and I making what felt like a good pace seem sadly slow. We continued behind them, past the Melrose Middle School and down Main St. To add insult to injury the pack of 5 looped Ell Pond and passed us again on Main St. Feeling old and slow and beat down by the sun and heat, the final mile slowly rolled by bringing us back to Brueggers.

After the run we all relaxed at Breuggers Beach, soaking up sunshine, relating the various routes of the day, estimating mileages, eating bagels, drinking coffee, and watching Walt get younger.

Week 2 – Love the Hills

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Been there, done that advice of the week: Love the Hills, they’ll love you back.

As we move forward with our training anyone new to our training group will become aware of the uneven terrain that surrounds Melrose. Almost every run has a challenging hill along the way. Some have two. This week we have about six or seven. Don’t let them scare you though, the hills are your friends. They’ll help you get ready for your big race. There isn’t a race director alive that doesn’t get a kick out of designing a course with a hill somewhere in it, somewhere you least want it, somewhere that’ll make you glad you love hills. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones that runs a race without challenging hills you’ll still be all that much better trained than anyone else by running the hills. Hopefully I haven’t scared you into sleeping in on Sunday morning. Hills can be intimidating, Runner’s World has included many articles in their magazine on this topic alone.

The route this week will be a part of what used to be the Melrose Law Enforcement Half Marathon (which became Boston’s Run to Remember) and was hosted by Runner’s Edge (which became Marathon Sports). So you can see the only things that still exists from this race are the roads it was run on and the pond that it circled. This race was a great Boston Marathon training race and attracted a lot of marathoners. It’s hilly terrain prepared many people for Heartbreak Hill. So this will be your challenge for the week, and remember these things as you’re cursing me, I didn’t invent the route I borrowed it from a race, I didn’t put the hills there I think glaciers did many many years ago, and Love the Hills, they’ll love you back.

For those that are looking at this route and thinking 12.5 miles is a big step up from last week, stop you whining! Just kidding. This is a big step, but the general progression to the 22 mile training run is add 4 miles, then subtract 2 miles week by week until we climb to the big run. This is a +4 week. Now for those that are thinking “I just want to run long, I’m no marathoner”, there are short cuts (marathoners please jump to the next paragraph I don’t want you to consider this) by following the full route around the pond then cutting down Pond to Wyoming you can do 8.5 miles, cut down Pond and do the LynnFells to Main St you can get about 9.5, Or do the full route but go down Wyoming at the end instead of the LynnFells stretch and you’ll get 11.5 miles in.

Walt will be handling the water stop again this week (Thanks Walt!)  and if it looks warm I would like some volunteers to park/pickup  at Straw Point on Spot Pond (the lot by Friendly’s in Stoneham) with just water and cups in the car. I’ll plan on putting my car over by Grimsby’s with water in it too. This should give us a little extra to get us through. Who’s interested?

Ok, that’s about it. Who’s in this week? Roll Call!

Week 3 – That Old Half Marathon Feeling

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

This week the Sunday Long Run returns to Sunday morning, 8AM at Brueggers. We’ll be making our first trip of the season along parts of the old Melrose course of the Law Enforcement Half Marathon, which moved to Wakefield for a few years and then moved again becoming Boston’s Run to Remember. Of the three versions of this race the Melrose course was the hilliest, a common theme for our Sunday Long Runs.

The full route this week will take us out West Wyoming Ave to Grimsby’s where we’ll turn left to follow the Fellsway East. Two big long hills will take us into Malden where we’ll come to a rotary at Highland Ave and turn right to water stop 1. Short runners (by distance not height) will continue straight to Pond St to Grimsby’s following the LynnFells Pkwy to Melrose St where they cut up to Main St and back to Brueggers for 7.1 miles. Longer runners will make a clockwise loop around Spot Pond and return to the water stop. Any runner looking to do a 5 mile run can meet at the water stop and run the pond loop with us. From there we’ll return by cutting up North Border Road and back through the hills on the Fellsway East to the Lynn Fells all the way to Melrose St where they’ll cut to Main and return to Brueggers too. If that didn’t make any sense to you see the maps for Week 3. If it still doesn’t make sense print out the map and ride the route. This route is the basis of a lot of our training runs so you should familiarize yourself with that area.

For the water stop we’ll need at least 1 volunteer. If someone would like to do just the pond loop they could meet us at Brueggers at 8 to pick up the water stop supplies and meet us on Highland Ave near the Mobil Station by the Flynn Rink. If nobody volunteers to do that I’ll leave my car there and someone can pick me up and drive me back to Brueggers before 8. In addition, when its warm, we sometimes have an extra stop at the parking lot on the opposite side of the pond near Friendly’s. It won’t be warm by any stretch of the imagination so unless someone feels strongly about the extra water stop we’ll skip it.

Any questions, comments, volunteers?

Who’s in? Roll Call!