Archive for the ‘Week 5’ Category

Week 5 – Now Its Just Ridiculous

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Last week we had 38 runners and two dogs navigate there way through the snowy streets of Melrose, Malden, Medford  and Stoneham to run anywhere between 7 and 15 miles. At that point I thought this group was training through some of the more challenging snow conditions we’ve ever seen, but I did mention that in a way we were lucky, we haven’t had to run through a storm yet. Since then we’ve received yet another of our seemingly weekly snow storms, this one adding a bit of sleet and rain to really spice things up. This has left snowy roads, icy corners, and even larger snow banks along our favorite running routes. Now for the icing on the cake, Saturday will be providing us with a rain/snow mix, most likely more rain than snow in Melrose. This should lead to some icy conditions for us in the morning, or possibly puddles with small icebergs floating around in them. The good news, there has to be some good news, is that temperatures will be above freezing for most of your run. When was the last time that happened?

Sunday’s run would have been a nice romp through Breakheart, which is beautiful in the winter time. You won’t be seeing that tomorrow unless you bring your snowshoes. Instead we’ll be following the snow route. Yes, there is a snow route already designed for conditions like this, scroll down under the Breakheart map and find the Pine Banks alternative. In this snow alternate we run Farm Street, like we did in Week  0 and tack on a loop of Pine Banks at the end. A water stop will be provided near Brueggers for those continuing on.

The shorter route runners will follow their regular route unless the would like to stretch the run to 8.8 miles, running the Farm Street route with the longer runners.

While this season has been challenging, the training continues and is forming a very hardy breed or marathoners and half marathoners. I promise you, in a month or so the roads will be clear, the warm sun will shine on you, and spring will let you know its coming. In the meantime WHO’S IN!!!!

Roll Call! Who will we find at Brueggers at 8AM?

Please post so our Gatorade and Water purchases are adequate.

Week 5 – First Trip to Breakheart

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

At 7:30 AM Nancy and SueC began Week 5 with an early bird start, leaving early down the LynnFells Parkway, turning left to Wakefield High School, and heading into Breakheart. Behind them came the thundering footsteps of the regular crew that left Brueggers at 8AM. Down Main St we went. A tap on the Clarence DeMar monument for marathon training good luck and a turn onto LynnFells to put the run into high gear. The first observation of the day was that, although it was cool with temps under 70 degrees, the humidity was high and the sweat started to accumulate on runners skin and clothing very quickly. Hydration would be key to finishing this run strong.

We picked up Beth along the way, starting at her own waypoint along the Fellsway. Turning onto Main St in Saugus we picked up the “scenic route” half marathon trainers to complete the crew of over 25 runners making this morning’s trek. My run had started quicker than planned, and as I watched the speedier runners disappear into the rolling hills towards Farm St, I slowed a bit to gather up my regular crew to make a run at the School Zone radar sign. I prompted them to band together as we approached the sign, me in the front, Beth and Kristen on my shoulders, John,  Ginny and Dorota along with  others right behind. Picking up speed as we approached the sign, no cars in sight to trigger it, we closed ranks and put on the sprint. 10MPHs. A valent attempt at the record, but nowhere close to the 13MPHs triggered in the past. With the short sprint done, our group of out of breath runners pulled into the water stop where Barry and Christopher Terranova served up some fluids to some very thirsty runners.

Next stop was a loop around Breakheart, our first of the season. This jaunt began with a climb up the the Northeast Vocational School parking lot, a precursor to what lied ahead. In Breakheart our course takes us to the right, circling counter clockwise through the reservation, hitting the hilliest section first. On our way in we found Nancy and Sue on their way out. Their early start gave them the rare pleasure of encountering two deer, mother and fawn, crossing their path through the hills.

 I count five hills on this side of Breakheart, but as the hills build on each other it gets hard to distinguish one from another. Rolling through, Kristen took the lead going up the hills with strong strides and I would take the lead going down with experience letting me know just how much I could let gravity push me down without pushing me over. As the two of us exchanged the lead, the rest of our pack followed right behind. I’m sure each of us thought to give in and slow down through this challenging section, but working as a team we pushed through strong the entire way. At a crossroads in the pathway we foudn the “scenic route” half marathoner trainers, each on their first run through Breakheart unsure where to go. They joined our pack for the “flat side” of Breakheart, which Dorota pointed out is not flat at all.

Back out the Voc side of Breakheart and back to the water stop, Christopher and Barry filled us up with more fluid and snacks. Ginny was prepared to shortcut through Nahant Street taking a mile off the run, but peer pressure from the pack pushed her into joining us along Water Street for the full 12.5 miles. Along Water Street a rather attractive blonde runner ran in the opposite direction across the street from us. The typical runners crossing paths waves were made and the woman yelled out “Looking good!” We responded with a group “You too!” Under her breath Ginny muttered “you’re really looking good though”, a though shared by the entire crew. At 8+ miles into our now hot humid run it would be a tough sell that any of us was really looking that good, and we’ll assume that the pretty blonde had just left her house in the last minute or two to explain why she was looking so fresh.

Shortly after the pretty blonde John and Dorota took the lead in a sudden burst of speed. As the pulled away Kristen decided to jump into quick pursuit. Melting in the heat Ginny and I held back and watched them pull away. Turning onto Main St we watched them lengthen their lead ahead, until they got to Nahant St. Thinking Barry would have made it across to give us a bonus water stop here, John and Dorota looked very disappointed to see no treats awaiting them in the empty parking lot. They stopped on the corner and looked back shrugging as we caught up. “Just keep going, don’t wait” I told them. This idea didn’t sit well with them, but Kristen and I regained the lead and kept going as they relucantly fell in behind us and went ahead without more water.

The final stretch seemed quick to me, trying hard to keep up with Kristen. She had somewhere to be later this morning and was motivated to run home at top speed. The two of us pulled away from the pack, keeping a strong pace to the finish… or at least to the fire station on Main St where Kristen turned to run straight home and I let up knowing nobody was watching. Shuffling into Brueggers we ended the 12.5 miles of week 5 which, although shorter than week 4, felt much harder due the humidity.

Another one in the books, 1/3 of the way to Baystate for those that are running it!!!

Week 6 – Valentines in Winchester

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and what better way to start it than a visit to your one true love, HILLS! This week we continue our training with the hills of Winchester Highlands. A 16 mile route takes you out over 93 to hilly Highland Ave with a side trip to Reservoir Rd in Winchester (one of the prettiest streets we train on) . Highland Ave takes us to Rt 38 in Winchester where we take a right and end up in a rotary. If you’re gonna get lost, it’ll probably be here, as you go right around the rotary you take the second road out of it. It is Main St, Rte 38 but it isn’t marked. Once your on Main St follow it to Washington St where you’ll head back to Forest St and back home. Confused? Ok, this week you’ll need a map then.

Out on the course to help you this week, since I’ll be down in Martha’s Vineyard running a 20 Miler, will be Barry Petzold and Trevor O’Shea. Barry will man Water Stop 1 and 3 at Eugene St and Forest St in Winchester. Trevor will handle Water Stop 2 at the end of Highland Ave at Rt 38.  Trevor might also be able to head over to the Flynn Rink by Spot Pond for a 4th Water Stop if necessary.

Barry has his supplies, I need to drop the supplies off with someone to bring to Brueggers. I’ll have to do this Friday Morning, so if you’re running and you live close to Melrose Center, let me know if you can take the supplies. Thanks!

Ok, Who’s in? Not me. Roll Call!

Week 5 -Breakheart it is!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Sorry for the late post this week, I’ve been waiting to see what the weather report is…

Last I checked, as everything south of us gets slammed with 2 feet of snow, the high pressure that’s keeping it cold here will mean we have only flurries in our future. For the first time this year this cold has been a good thing! So what does this all mean, it means (unless I hear its icy there) that the long runners are headed to Breakheart for the first time this season. Something some people are looking forward to while others are dreading.

The shorter distance runners can do one of two things, run the posted 6 mile route, which turns off the main route pretty early and unless I get an extra volunteer won’t have a waterstop, or do what many do and carpool from Brueggers over to J Pace’s in Saugus where we turn off the LynnFells Pkwy. If you join in there and run Breakheart with us you’ll run about 7 miles and get 2 water stops!

Speaking of water stops, I believe Barry is available to help and if that’s true, that’s all I need.

Cold weather. If anyone has any tips for the less experienced long runners, post them here. There is a link under the weather outlook on Sunday Long Run main page “What to Wear” that lets you plan your running clothes based on the weather conditions you input. Basically dress in layers, you’ll get hot and cold at different times throughout the run.

Some will be testing out their racing skills at the Great Stew Chase tomorrow, but let’s see who’s planning on running with us tomorrow. ROLL CALL! Who’s in!

Week 5 – Breakheart Roll Call

Friday, August 8th, 2008

This week we’re heading to Breakheart for some hills. If you like the hills last week, you’ll love the hills this week. (Love the hills, they’ll love you back!). We’ll be heading out the LynnFells and turning down Main St in Saugus to Farm St in Wakefield, popping in for a loop around Breakheart and then over to Main St in Wakefield, following Main St back into Melrose for 12+ miles.

 The shorter route, we have planned a run out the LynnFells returning along Howard St to Main St and then following the LynnFells over to Grimsby’s and back Wyoming. This is 6+ miles.

Want more than 6 but less than 12, here’s an option. Meet us at 8 at Brueggers but shuttle yourselves over to the J Pace parking lot to cut of the first 2 miles. Join us as we run by. Heading up to the waterstop, looping Breakheart back to the water stop, then returning to the parking lot is about 7 1/2 miles.

Walt will be setting up the water stop for us once again, this week its at the Wakefield High School parking lot. We’ll pass through twice, roughly at mile 4 and mile 8… there’s also a water fountain halfway around Breakheart if you get extra thirsty.

So who’s in? Let me know so I have the right amount of water/gatorade and cups. Also let us know what you plan on running so others can plan their company along the way.

See you at 8AM, Brueggers. I’m in for the 12.5 miles.