Archive for the ‘Week 8’ Category

Week 8 – Making It Up As We Go Along

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

The winter continues. This week, if this were any other winter, you’d be in for a great run through the wooded paths of Breakheart. Instead, I’m making up an 18 mile route that actually has roads you can run on. That’s easier said than done. The current plan (Here’s the map) is to run Swains Pond to Spot Pond to Farm St for 18.5 miles.

Swains Pond is new for this years group and it can be a little confusing. We cross Main St right away and head up East Foster to Melrose Common. Turning right at the Common Market at 6th Street we’ll head straight onto Swain’s Pond Ave. This will wind its way around Swain’s and Turners Pond through a very pretty part of Melrose. Note there are some blind turns in the road so run cautiously. Also, at the ponds there is an intersection where you won’t know where to go. Swains Pond Ave turns right. Don’t go left, don’t go straight (there’s a big hill there you won’t want to go up so don’t), go right. If you did it right the pond will be on your right as you continue on. After doing that right you’ll pop out to Lebanon St. There will be a little market on the corner. Turn right here. If you aren’t paying attention you’ll head left thinking you didn’t have a decision to make here, then you’ll end up and Malden and we’ll never find you so go right on Lebanon. On Lebanon you’ll hit an intersection with a set of lights, an auto mechanic garage, a school. This is Forest St. Turn left here and run past Oak Grove. This will take you to Main St where we’ll have the first water stop set up. That all sounds really confusing, pay attention and you’ll be fine. We’ll be back here in a few weeks so do it right this time and it will be much easier next time.

From here you’ll head out Winter St over the Oak Grove T Stop to a 5 way intersection. Your options there will be a sharp right, a soft right, a straight, and a left. Go straight onto Glenwood St. This windy hilly road will bring you to the rotary where the paperboy sits at the Fellsway East and Highland Ave. Go through the rotary onto Highland Ave. Now you know where you are! Follow Highland up to Mobil Station, go left onto Elm, Right onto Main St/Rt 28. Follow that to the parking lot at Straw Point (if you get to Friendly’s you went a little too far). We’ll have a water stop at Straw Point.

Now continue on past the Zoo and down Pond St to Grimsby’s. Turn and follow the Lynnfells Parkway past the Middle School. We’ll have another water stop at the knoll across from the middle school.

Next up, take the Fellsway out to Main St in Saugus. Turn left at that intersection where there used to be a gas station and there used to be a J Pace’s. Follow Main St, it’ll turn into Farm St and take you to Wakefield High School where we’ll have another water stop.

From there you run out to Water St, take a left there and follow it to Main St in Wakefield Center and follow that on home to Melrose and Brueggers.

Besides the first part this route is a bunch of pieces of runs you’ve already done so you should be fine after we get started.

If you’re running short you’ll do the first part and continue on out Highland. At the end of Highland you’ll head along the front side of Spot Pond like you’ve done several times before and down Pond to Grimsby’s. There you’ll have a choice to go back Wyoming for 7.5 miles or turn left along the LynnFells to Main St for an extra mile. If you’re interested in a distance more like 10 miles, run the longer route but go straight at Grimsby’s down Wyoming.

So who’s in for this impromptu, flying by the seat of our pants route? ROLL CALL!!!

Week 8 – If you aren’t in Hyannis

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

This week’s Sunday Long Run will be competing with the Hyannis Half and full Marathon. Many of our runners have made this one of their goal races for the winter, but the rest of us will hit the familiar roads of Melrose and Stoneham for a 14  or 7 mile run.

This week’s route heads out Franklin St to Stoneham and along Main St to Friendly’s where water stop 1 will be. From there the shorter route goes along the frint side of Spot Pond and returns to Brueggers via the Fellsway to Main St in Melrose. The longer route loops around the backside of Spot Pond, down Highland Ave to the Fellsway East. When we reach Grimsby’s we cut back up Pond St and follow the front side of Spot Pond Back to Main St in Stoneham to Franklin, returning to Main St back to Brueggers. Any questions, look at the map in the sidebar to the right.

Water Stops, as I mentioned there is one at Friendly’s and a second one will be at Highland Ave. I’ll be running shorter this week, so will meet start and stop at Friendly’s. If someone would volunteer to leave their car on Highland Ave, I can pick you up in the morning. The location is on Highland close to the Fellsway East. Any volunteers?

I know most of the people who aren’t in this week, but who is in? Roll call!

Week 8 – Labor Day Weekend Long Run

Friday, August 29th, 2008

As summer comes to the close and the kids head back to school our Sunday Long Runs are just beginning a stretch of some intense training miles. This week is 18 for the marathoners, 9 for the half marathoners. This route is a tough one to cover water stop wise so all the help I can get will be needed.

The run begins with a trip out to Breakheart along the Fellsway to the Saugus entrance. We need one stop in the parking lot there that we’ll pass going in and coming out. From there the half marathoners follow the same way back to complete 9 miles. The long runners head out to Farm St. If you ran the Law Enforcement Half when it was in Wakefield you’ll recognize the next part of the run. With a stop at Wakefield HS (Walt’s covering this one) we’ll head out Montrose St to Rte 129 and head over to Lake Quannapowitt. Another stop in the Converse parking lot starts the next stretch down North Ave to Main St. One last stop at the corner of Nahant and Main before heading back Main St to Brueggers to finish off 18 miles.

 That’s 5 water stops which means I may need 5 or 6 volunteers this week. Demi has volunteered the help of her and her kids. Before I figure out the tasks let’s see who’s willing to help with either the use of their car or pick up/drop off duties. So Roll Call: who’s running and who’s willing to help pull this one off? I’ll start figuring out who’ll have to go where and do what once I get the list of helpers.


Week 8 – “Everyone knows it’s Windy”

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

This week we headed out for 18.1 miles for the marathon trainers and 9.1 miles for the half marathon trainers. As the races get closer the routes stretch out longer and the water stops become more important. This was a short week for me, coming off a Tuesday return from my Florida vacation, Saturday was upon me and I had 5 water stops to plan. With some hectic last minute organizing I came up with an overly complicated plan that called for the use of four cars and six people to make sure there was Gatorade, Gu, and Snickers hidden around Saugus and Wakefield for everyone. Thanks to Nick, Walt, Joanne, Sue, and Nancy for helping pull everything together and a special thanks to Mike for providing a rolling water stop that followed runners around in every direction to ensure nobody was left thirsty.  [Note: Ed Torres will be helping out to coordinate water stops for me. Watch here for announcements earlier in the week]

March came in like a lion I guess with a Saturday storm but as we gathered for the Sunday Long Run we would be running under a bright blue sky and temps in the high 20s climbing to the 30s. What we may have underestimated, despite some accurate warnings by our weatherman Walt, was the strength of the wind and what a significant wind chill feels like. The crew headed down Main St into the wind, and approaching Ell Pond the strength of the wind became obvious. Shortly after though we had turned onto the Lynn Fells with the wind at our back and things began to feel warmer. The gusts pushed us all the way to the Saugus entrance of Breakheart giving a false sense of how easy this run would be.

After some quick sips of Gatorade and water from Mr. Quigley most headed into Breakheart for a 3 mile loop. The first half of the loop (the flat half) was plowed and for the most part dry. While I was enjoying the easy side I’m sure Linda was the decision to run through there to Mike Murphy or Judi was badmouthing me to Erin as they were the first to attempt the frozen tundra on the hilly side of the loop. As Ginny, Ana, and I got closer to the unplowed section a runner coming from the other direction said “Gilroy’s complaining about you”. Brian, Walt, and Ed were up ahead taking on the challenge of running on ice and snow now. As I trudged through the snow up the first hill I came to realize this wasn’t easy. I’ve run in worse there, but this was a close second. The middle of the path was iced over and very uneven. The sides had some loose snow that made it possible to dig your running shoes in, but underneath was ice so occasionally your feet would slide as you put weight on them. Even the scenery, accented with snow, didn’t hold enough charm this time of year to make it seem worthwhile. But in my opinion, which some would discount as crazy talk, keeping track of my footing and the constant crunching of snow distracted me from the fact that I was running through some incredibly steep hills. Before I knew it I was back at the water stop for another refresher.

The next section of the run began an hour long fight with the wind. Coming out of the northwest, a strong wind was in our faces on any road going north or west. Unfortunately the next 6 miles was all on road heading north or west. We circled around to a water stop at Wakefield High where I lost my company, Ginny headed out Nahant for a 13 mile run and Ana stopped her run due to a sore hip. I headed out alone, northbound on Montrose, and west on Rte129 and crested a hill to bring Lake Quannapowitt into view and taking the wind tunnel run to its crescendo.

To this point Nick had been running his own altered route, and Walt, well ahead of me for most of the run, had inserted an extra 2 miles somewhere. Out of the blue all three of us converged at water stop #4 at Comverse. From there Nick headed back to his car to finish a run of who knows how long, and Walt and I headed out to follow the prescribed route back to Melrose. Heading down North Ave Mike stopped by to ask where he should be heading next. I had no clue. I knew there were people still running, but didn’t know where in their routes they would be. He headed out to take attendance and did a great job keeping track of everyone.

Walt and I circle the lake over to Main St and headed south, wind finally at our back now. A short stop for water again at the corner of Nahant and Main and the wind nudged us toward the finish. Along the way a little beep from Joanne and a funny face and wave from Sue in the passenger side window brought a smile to a tired, salty, windburned face.

Back at Brueggers we swapped notes on the run. Grumbles about the ice and wind were common. The location of the waterstop cars was another hot topic. Satisfaction that another very long Long Run is behind us kept the mood light though.

For those training for Boston, there are only two runs longer than this coming up. You’re almost to Hopkinton!

Darn Groundhog!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Even with an extra day in the year (Happy Leap Day) spring is still taking its time getting here. Another weekend, another snowstorm. What does this mean for us you ask? This week’s route is supposed to be a trip through Breakheart again, and again we may have to bypass it due to snow. We’ll have more on that later.

Before I get to far ahead of myself I want to thank Nick for helping out last week and running the show here in Melrose while I was sunning at the Red Sox training facility in Ft Myers. I did try to get a long run in while I was down there but it was too hot and I had to cut it short. I know, you don’t want to hear about it. It sounds like you had some good running up here, both along snowy Spot Pond and down in Hyannis. Thanks to Lois for bringing us along for the trip via her recap. Oh, and I think I can guess who had the wardrobe malfunction 🙂

So this week…. 18+ for the marathon group and 9+ for the half marathon group. I’ve asked for some rolling water stop support via the forum but haven’t heard back from anyone. The route as it stands is a tougher one to support with water stops in 4 different places. Depending on the snow we may run to Breakheart and let people choose to run the loop there or skip it and add a loop around Pine Banks at the end of the run instead. Let me see what kind of snowfall we get first. (Walt, any input?)

Ok, enough outta me, who’s coming? Post here. Anyone interested in running part of the route and serving as a water stop too, let me know, we can use all the help we can get this week.