Archive for the ‘Week 3’ Category

Week 3 – To the Lake and Back

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Despite the crazy triple digit heat over the past few days, I think we’ll hit a relatively cool spot for our run on Sunday Morning. Temperatures at the start of the run are forecast to be 75 and as long as we finish within 2 hours we’ll be back at Brueggers before it hits 80. I did check the hourly forecast to see what difference it would make if we started an hour earlier, that would be 73 degrees at the start and 79 by the finish. Not really worth the confusion. So 8AM start it is!

The run will take us straight up Main St to Wakefield. The water stop will be at Nick’s Pizza at the corner of Nahant and Main St. From there the short route will turn right around and head back to Brueggers. There is a middle distance option as well, continuing up Main St to the lake, left on church, left on North to bring you back to the water stop. This addition will make the total distance 8 miles.

The longer runners will leave the water stop and head up to the lake and keep on Main St to the right of the lake. A full loop around the lake will bring them back on Church St where they’ll take Common St and merge back onto Main St to the water stop. From the water stop the route will take them back down Main St to Melrose finishing the 10.7 mile run at Brueggers.

As for the water stop. I’ll pick up water, gatorade, candy, and gu for this week’s run. If Brian volunteers again, I’ll drop the bucket of supplies off at his car, if not I’ll need someone to pick me up at about 7:45 and bring me back to Melrose. Post the options here and I’ll coordinate it all later tonight.

So who’s in for the Sunday Long Run?! ROLL CALL!!!

Week 3 Recap

Friday, July 30th, 2010

At 8 AM Barry moved a crowd of over 30 runners out on to Main St and announced the route and identified the water stops, preparing the large pack for the long run. When he was done the group mulled around chit chatting waiting for something… the word “GO!”. It seems a group of runners will stay at rest until that magic word is uttered. Once we figured that out we were off. A long line of runners quickly stretched out with Erin (from Marathon Sports) at the head of the line.

It was another hot run, temperatures in the high 80s, low 90s, but a swirling breeze kept the dryer air moving. Most of the three mile stretch to the first water stop was spent in the sun. Along the way it dawned on each runner at some point that a shady cooler side of the street was right next to us if we only crossed the street. This wasn’t crucial knowledge at the time, but it would be a key factor as the sun got higher in the sky and hotter on the skin.

Barry’s water stop at Nick’s Pizza in Wakefield was the turn around point for the shorter route runners. We had a good group of non-marathon training runners turning back there. Along with them a handful of longer route runners that raced The Blessing of the Fleet 10 miler two days before or that would race the Yankee Homecoming 10 miler two days later, all opting to keep the distance a little shorter on Sunday. The rest of us headed further north to the lake for a loop around.

I found myself in a pack with Kristen, Ginny, JohnL, Billy, and Carol. Hugging the right side of the street for the shade we kept cool along the east side of the lake. Ginny talked of the magnitude of this run for her. With her eyes on a possible marathon in the fall, this run was her “Decision” run. There would be no live ESPN show with Jim Gray at the finish, but if she made it through this run without issue she would announce “The Decision” for her fall marathon.

I trailed back behind the pack as we made our way around the top of the lake. The pack opted to go around the Converse building instead of falling the shorter walking path along the shore of the lake. I was planning on the shorter route, but seeing the pack take the longer way, and realizing that I would probably end up in front of them if I took the shortcut, I decided to avoid the taunting I would surely receive when the passed me and followed suit around the building. I regretted my decision as each step away from the lake seemed hotter and less breezy as I fell further and further behind the pack. (As a side note, I was one of the runners that ran the Blessing of the Fleet 2 days prior and I was feeling it). As I turned onto North Ave I spotted Nick coming the other way. For those new to the SLR, there is a term for running a slight variation of the route everyone else is doing, it is called “Nicking the Route” after Nick who is often seen running “with us” in the opposite direction. After passing Nick I ran North Ave watching my former pack fade further into the distance. Leaving the lake I had lost sight of all of them but Carol.

One note from the loop around the lake that I didn’t witness: Jose, DaveH and AJ were behind me at the lake and its been reported that Jose had found his own method of beating the heat by creating an extra water stop. This water however was not drinking water, it was swimming water. For the first time on an SLR one of our runners ran into a body of water. Jose took a dip in Lake Quannapowitt (I’m not sure that’s legal so if it isn’t I’m making this up). I always thought there would be a day one of us went for a swim on a run, but I imagined it would happen at Breakheart.

At the final water stop I had decided to call it a day and planned on hitching a ride with Barry back to Brueggers. The pack I once ran with took off as soon as I arrived, although Carol lingered behind with me. A cool cup of gatorade and water coupled with a mini-snickers reinvigorated me and soon Carol and I were off tackling the last 3 mile stretch along Main. I hear earlier SueC had considered a dip in the Murphy’s pool as she made her way back to Melrose, but obviously she wasn’t as desperately hot as Jose.

Back at Brueggers a sweaty healthy crowd mingled and lingered through the morning. With another satisfying long run under our belt we cooled off and awaited the big announcement: “The Decision”! Would Ginny be bringing her running talents to South Beach with Lebron? Or Baystate? Or would she take the season off? Her answer… “I don’t know” More indecisive than Lebron I guess we need to tune into part II of “The Decision” next week!

Week 3 – Saturday Morning Long Run

Friday, July 24th, 2009

NOTE: This week’s Sunday Run will be run on Saturday. This will allow you to get in a long run and then attend the MRC Summer Party and enjoy a long fun evening without worrying about getting up early on Sunday morning.

WEEKLY ADVICE: This week’s advice is “Eat and Run”. In most social settings this isn’t encouraged but for the SLR it is. Consider the fact that without breakfast you’ll be heading out for the most strenuous part of your week after about 12 hours without eating. Compare that to a regular day, if you had breakfast at 7AM and didn’t eat throughout the day, at 7PM in a hungry state would you even consider running for over 2 hours before you had dinner. That sounds pretty crazy doesn’t it! So remember to eat a good breakfast at least an hour before the start of the run each week. You’ll need to do this the day of your race anyway so its best to figure out what and when to eat through trial and error now.

THE ROUTE: In the spirit of recovering from last week’s run, this week’s run is short and sweet, 6.2 for the half route, 10.7 for the long route. If the memories of last week’s hills are still haunting you, this week is the flatest route we have, up to Lake Quannapowitt and back with a loop of the lake for the long run, no loop for the shorter.

ROLL CALL: Who’s in for the Saturday edition of the Sunday Long Run?

Week 3 – The 2009 Dashing Through The Snow Run

Monday, January 19th, 2009

This Sunday we awoke to about 3 inches of snow on the ground and heavy snow falling with much more to follow. Even in a snowstorm 13 runners made there way to Brueggers for the Sunday Long Run. We reviewed the routes and the many options that could be taken along the way to tailor the distance to your willingness to endure the elements. Demi took the first option, and I’m sure there were many more that made the same decision in absentia, her run was across Main St to the Melrose YMCA for a jaunt on the treadmill. The rest of us headed out in the storm up Main St to West Wyoming.

In an attempt to keep track of people the best I could I started out at the front of the pack running with a new visitor to the Sunday Long Run, John. John is a strong runner with years of experience, a self-professed “thick Irishman” who would not give up his space along the side of the road while I kept moving from roadside to sidewalk trying to figure out where I felt safest. There was enough snow on the sidewalk to cover our shoetops, with unsure footing underneath from choppy ice from last week’s storm hidden underneath. The roadside was slushy snow, much more manageable for a runner but not so much for a car as the plows were just making there way out into the storm.

At Grimsby’s we picked up Lois who had braved the storm, driving all the way from New Hampshire, but arrived a little late. She hopped in to the pack and followed us to the Fellsway East hills. Here’s where things got interesting. John pulled ahead having the advantage of his superior speed and his Yak Trax. Brian Gilroy caught up to me as we ascended the second long hill of this stretch. Coming down the hill was an old man in a big car who thought it necessary to let out a succession of beeps to let us know that an icy road in the middle of the snow storm was no place for a runner, but apparently is the right place for an old man with an attitude. All of us were aware of him now as he passed the frint pack and stopped beeping. A second later he passed the middle pack and beeped beeped beeped a little more furiously. Then again as he passed the back of the back. The Mad Beeper had introduced himself to the Sunday Long Run group, I sure hope our new friend made his way to his very important destination.

We turned at the rotary at Highland Ave, greated the guy under his tent selling newspapers who seemed completely unphased by the weather, and headed up to water stop 1 where Rick would be waiting for us. The effects of trying to accompany John began to take its toll, and with snow accumulating on my glasses, John and Brian faded into the snowy distance even quicker. Ed pulled up next to me and as we dodged the parade of plows intent on clearing out the complete width of Highland Ave we hoped in out of snowbanks all the way to the water stop.

I stayed at the water stop to make sure all runners arrived safely and headed out to their next destination correctly. Brian and Ed left as another John and Ginny pulled in. And another John, BarryC, Christina, and Jose followed in behind them. A plow stopped in the middle of the street and asked “Can I ask you guys a question? How many of you are out here? What race is this?”, about a dozen, not a race. “Then what are you people doing out here!!!”. He laughed at us as he pulled away, which was much more pleasant than the plow driver coming the other way who made it obvious he resented us being in the streets, slowing down his progress, delaying his late morning of sitting under a bridge somewhere in his plow.

The rule of the day seemed to be that if your name was John you headed down Woodland Ave to run 7 miles for the day, otherwise you turned left on Elm to loop the backside of Spot Pond. As they headed out Suzanne, Lois and Pam pulled in. Liz pulled up to let us know she would not be running today, being on the saner side of the crazy runner line. With everyone accounted for we Suzanne, Lois, Pam and I headed down Elm St while Rick moved the water stop over to the Stone Zoo parking lot. Somewhere on Elm St a muscular guy in a cutoff t-shirt shoveled his driveway. I didn’t see him, but according to Ginny he was quite a sight. To keep warm I set off ahead of this pack up Slacker’s Hill towards the Sheepfold. I could see the footprints from the pack ahead of us and could tell I was getting closer to them as the prints became more defined. Heading over Rte 93 and through the South St parking lot of Spot Pond I could see Barry, Jose, and Christina, plus the argyle pattern of Ginny’s Yak Tracks were well defined in the snow so I knew she wasn’t much further ahead. I caught the three as we headed toward the zoo, where Ginny was already sipping Gatordade with Rick.

I let them head out ahead of me while I waited to see that the rest of the runners were coming, again with the intention of catching up to them at some point. The stretch from the zoo to the hockey rink, runners were forced out into the street. About 7 inches of snow had accumulated on the sidewalks, and although they were runnable, our wet sneakers were starting to make our feet too cold. Lois and Pam headed back down Pond St by Grimsbys for about an 8 mile run, the rest pushed forward to the hockey rink. A pack of plows cleared the opposite side of the road so I headed up there to run, where I could see the expressions on people’s faces when they spotted the crazy snow covered runner coming at them. Turning up North Border Rd Rick pulled over to offer more water. I was more concerned that he might be stuck in the snow bank than my own hydration, but all was ok. Back onto the hills of the Fellsway East where an elderly woman panicked at the sight of runners in the road and slammed on her brakes on the downhill, sending her skidding into the path ahead of the runners. Luckily she was well ahead of us and nobody was hurt. She drove about 1 MPH after that until all runners had passed her. Back past Grimsbys some chose to turn down Wyoming to bring the adventure to a slighty quicker end. Ginny, Jose, Christina, and I formed a pack of four making our way to the Melrose Middle School knoll for our last water stop. Rick was quite a trooper dealing with the snow storm to keep us hydrated. With Gatorade fueling our last mile we headed up to Main St.

Ginny and I pulled ahead on Main St, running on the side of the road. Suddenly we heard a big bang behind us. Peaking back I saw a plow heading down the street. A few seconds later I heard the big bang again, this time right over my shoulder. This is when I realized these were on purpose, a signal to us runners that we were about to get scooped up by a massive plow blade. Hopping over a large snow bank into the foot of fluffy snow on the side walk we found safety as the big plow scraped the side of the street.

Pulling into Brueggers, a snowy mess, our 12.5 miles were done. Brian came in having added extra miles on for about 16, wearing a bushy mustache seemingly made completely of ice. With frosen hair, sweaty icicles, soaked clothed and soggy sneakers, 13 of us made it through what hopefully was the messiest long run of this winter… but it is still early in the season. I told everyone they could add 10% to the distance they had run today, the degree of difficulty warranted it.

Week 3 – I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Has Gone…

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

(Congratulations to our Sunday Long Runners Judi Chiavetta, Lois Parker-Carmona, Sue Clough, Nancy Gaudet, and Pam Walcott on their runs at the Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler this past Friday. Great job ladies!)

At 7AM I put the water stop container out on my front steps for Walt to pick up. At the time a moderately heavy rain was falling, the skies were dark and gray, and a wind was blowing. Walt, our long run meteorologist, had posted a weather update promising an end to the rain before our 8AM run but that prediction didn’t look promising, but having faith in Walt I left the house without a hat to block any precipitation and hoped for the best. Walt dropped his car off in Wakefield and made his way back with a 3 mile pre-run run back to Brueggers. In that time the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and our group was greeted with a bright sunny start at 8AM. “Gone are the dark skies that had me blind”. Nice call Walt!

As Walt made his way into downtown Melrose, seventeen more runners readied themselves for runs between 6.2 and 10.7 miles on the sidewalk outside Brueggers. Through the store front windows two little red-headed girls, Erin and Allison my next door neighbors, sent us off with smiles and waves. Along Main St towards Wakefield we went, Brian Slater and Judi leading the way, Brian Gilroy and I keeping close behind, with Walt, Ed, Eve (a new speedy addition to our group), Ginny, Nick, and Sue Worrall on our heels. Peter, Jo-Ann, Mike Quigley, Nancy, Steve, Donna, Denyce, and Jen kept a solid pace down Main Street to round out the group. As we headed into Wakefield we got another smile and wave, this time from Sue Clough who was on her way to the water stop to join in for a few miles, making it an even 20 runners for the day. We pulled into the water stop, sweaty from the humidity and the heat from the sun but comfortable from a gentle cool breeze that was in our faces along the way. “Look straight ahead there’s nothing but blue skies”. Judi headed over to the first ‘red car’ she saw and peered in for water stop supplies… not Walt’s car of course which Judi quickly pointed out is maroon, not red.

The group rehydrated in the Dunkin Donuts auxillary parking lot. From there the long route runners continued down Main St to Lake Quannapowitt. The Brians led the group around the lake, matching each other step for step, both wondering how fast the other one actually is. Walt did his best to keep pace with them, a tough task having run 3 extra miles than them, and planning on another three after they were done. Judi, along with Nancy and Sue Clough, is recovering from Friday night’s Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler and took it easy on us today, looping the lake slightly in front of Ed and Eve. Ginny and I, after chatting at the water stop for a while, began our chase after them. With Sue Clough now part of the mix, Sue Worrall and Jo-Ann ran the lake with her to get in about 7.5 miles. Peter and Steve ran along with them as part of their 10.7 mile run. The rest of the crew turned around at the stop and headed back, or added on another mile by running up to the lake and back.

After running most of the loop around the lake with Ginny I pulled ahead and caught sight of Ed and Eve. I tried to catch up as we followed the loop back to Main St and headed back to the water stop but a sore knee was hampering my pursuit of them. I kept them in my sights though and could see Judi slightly ahead… and saw Ginny pulling into the stop ahead of me. A moment of confusion, trying to figure out how she got ahead of me while I was giving quite an effort to catch Ed and Eve… then it dawned on me, she took the short cut along North Ave! At the water stop we took a quick accounting of who was where on the route to make sure no runner was left behind, and then headed out down Main Street to finish up our run. The lead pack took off quickly, again without dilly-dallying at the water stop. Ginny and I followed out but never caught sight of anyone ahead of us. As me moved along my knee stopped hurting and I picked the pace up some. “I think I can make it now the pain is gone”. As we headed into the finish at Bruegger’s we all spotted Walt heading back down Main St again in the opposite direction finishing up his 18 mile training run.

One by one our group gathered together at the tables in front of Brueggers, sipping on coffee drinks, sports drinks, and water while soaking in what was so far the most pleasant weather of the summer session of Sunday Long Runs. The conversations centered on the outcome of last Friday’s 10 miler in Narragansett and the planning for Tuesday’s 10 miler in Newburyport. The enthusiasm for longer races made it apparent that the Sunday Run group gained some momentum from this “bright, bright sunshiny day”.