Archive for the ‘Winter 2010’ Category

Week 12 – The Plan

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Thanks to all that got back to me, we now have a plan with a couple of question marks in it. There’s a lot of information in here so read through, correct any misinterpretations I have,  and ask any questions…

THE CARS: We’ll bring 5 cars to Hopkinton, but we have 6 cars to choose from. The final count will determine which ones we take. The options are Sue (seats 8), Barry (5), Liz (5), Dave (5), Ginny (8), and Gen (4). If we need the extra seats we’ll take Ginny’s car instead of one of the others, if we don’t need the seats we’ll let her family use their car. Right now I count about 24 people making the trip plus a few maybes. I haven’t turned anyone away, so if you asked to come we should be able to accommodate you.

THE DRIVERS: This year we have 3 dedicated drivers (Liz, Barry, and Gen’s husband Nate). We have several partial route runners that will keep the other two cars rolling along (Catherine, Ginny, Jim, Lois, Nancy, Sue). Drivers, e-mail me your cell-phone numbers, I’ll make a list so we can communicate along the course. A cell-phone will be assigned to a car in case one of the partial route drivers gets separated from their belongings.

THE WATERSTOPS: Each car will get a map of the route and the assigned duty of the car: lead car at odd stops, trail car at odd stops, lead car at even stops, trail car at even stops, and wandering assistance vehicle. The odd stop cars will be responsible for stops 1, 3, 5, and the finish.The even stop cars will be responsible for 2, 4, and 6. The lead car is responsible for being at the stop for the lead runners, the trail car stay at the water stop until the last runner has come through. During the latter parts of the run, the lead car will need to be at the stop before the first runners come in, stay until the trail car arrives, and then head out to the next stop. Don’t assume smooth sailing to the next water stop, traffic builds up due to all the runners on the road. The 5th car will be available to check on runners along the way and pick up the slack if the runners get so spread out that we have troubles covering all the necessary waterstops.

GETTING READY: A tip for first time marathoners, use this run as a training run and a test drive for marathon day. Saturday eat what you plan to eat the day before your marathon. Sunday Morning eat as you would marathon day (although with Boston’s start time that timing won’t be the same).  Plan to wear the same shorts and shirt you plan on using on marathon day, and sock and running shoes for that matter. You may wear layers over it, but at least you’ll have the same layer touching your skin as you plan on having on the big day. This way if the meal upsets your stomach, or a seam irritates your skin, you can learn that this Sunday instead of when it matters most.

PACKING YOUR BAGS: The run will start with cold temperatures around freezing. The end of the run will likely be much warmer. Dress in layers as you will be discarding clothing at waterstops along the way. Don’t rely on those clothes being available at the finish line however. You may finish well before the water stop cars all gather at Boston College, or a car may inadvertently head back to Melrose with your discarded clothes in it. Pack a bag with some warm clothes, money, and a hearty post run snack. There are no facilities at the finish, however coffee shop bathrooms across the street can be used to change, and buy coffee.

GETTING READY TO GO: Cars should be at Brueggers at 6:45. Runners show up before 7AM. Each car will have a packet, with information on which role it will execute during the day. Runners can ride to Hopkinton in whatever car they want, but choose the car you put your bags in based on your pace. Fastest runners put your bags in the lead odd stop car. This will be the first car at the finish. Mid-pack runners put your stuff in the lead even stop car or trail odd stop car. Slowest runners put your stuff in either trail or the 5th car. We want to make sure your bags are at Boston College when you are.

THE TRIP: Again, we’re leaving at 7AM sharp. The ride to Hopkinton will take just under one hour. When we get off the highway in Hopkinton we’ll stop briefly at the first gas station on the right for a bathroom break. There’s a bathroom across the street if the line’s too long. From there we’ll head right to the starting line and take a group picture at the start and send you on your way.

THE RUN: Know the course (pretty much a straight line) because if you get lost we’ll have no way to find you… and you’re far from home. If you do think you’re lost, head back to the last spot you were sure you were on the course and wait, we’ll come back to find you. Also, remember this run is a training run, it is not the Boston Marathon. There are no medals at the end for finishing, we’re not publishing any results, so don’t push yourself beyond your limits on this one. Get your 22 miles in, learn from the course, and go from there. Don’t hurt yourself trying to do something crazy, save that for the marathon. If you haven’t run this before, the start of the run will be just us and a few other runners along the way. After the half way point you’ll see many runners along the way, running in both directions, training for the big day. Enjoy the experience, look around, and have fun!

AFTER THE RUN: 22 miles later you’ll wind up at St Ignatius Church at Boston College. Actually this is slightly less than 22, those with a Garmin and the need to make it officially 22 miles can turn right here and follow the road to Alumni Stadium and back to ensure that they got their 22 miles in. The group will gather on the grass in front of the church. Make sure you check in with one of the drivers when you finish, we’ll be counting heads. Typically, if the weather is nice we all hang out there until everyone finishes. If the weather is bad however the lead odd car will take the first carload of runners home before they get too cold. Otherwise know, you will be driven back to Melrose when the group is ready to leave so don’t make other plans that require you to be anywhere before 2PM.

BACK TO MELROSE: Typically we are back to Melrose by 2PM, and sometimes we go out for a little celebration to kick off the Boston Marathon taper. Last year we went to the Dockside in Wakefield. This year, I don’t know what we’ll do (I don’t plan this part of the day) but keep your ears open if you’re interested.

LOST ITEMS: Once you get home you’ll realize you left clothes in random cars along the way. Car drivers should put items left in their car in the water stop bins and bring them to the Tuesday Night run. Runners should show up on Tuesday Night to collect their stuff… otherwise I’ll wash it and it’ll become mine if it fits and its not girlie.

That’s all the things I can think about. Or at least all the things I’ve considered in planning this run. Again, if you have any questions, ask them so I can add them to my list of things to plan.

Ready? We’re almost there!

Week 10 – Sweet 16

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Last week we had a great run. Nine people completed their 20 mile run out through Stoneham, Winchester, Medford and back. Meanwhile ten others had fun running 10 to 13 miles along the route with them soaking in sunshine and enjoying the views. Us shorter runners waited at Brueggers to see how each 20 mile runner faired. Michele came in finishing strong and looking no worse for the wear. Behind her BarryC charged in with a great run. Lauren and John showed up right behind him, all three smiling in the sunshine after a fine performance. Billy was next, staggering into Brueggers with a grimace that turned quickly into smile once he found a chair to sit in. Carol put in another solid performance despite dealing with a nasty cold that’s been hitting runners throughout the club. AJ had an awesome run, his first 20 didn’t seem to phase him at all. Kerry and Genevieve completed the set, coming in with big satisfied smiles on their faces. Congrats to all that completed this very challenging (hilly) 20 mile route!

Now for this week’s run, the sun is gone but the route is easier. A short and sweet 16 mile recover run. Stepping back a bit and rebuilding towards the 22 mile run in a few weeks. The route will take us out to Nick’s pizza, out and around Lake Quannapowitt, over for a few hills at Breakheart, then back the flats of Main St. Simple. For those looking to do less there are a few options, 6, 8, 10.5,  turn around wherever you like.

As for water stops, everyone has the week off this week, unless someone wants to bring something over to Breakheart. I’ll be parking at Nick’s and doing 10 or 13 starting from there. The Breakheart loop is a 5 mile section of the run, so if someone would like a bucket to bring to the Saugus side, up by the parking lot at the lodge house thing, I’ll pick you up in the morning before the run.

So who’s in for this one? Roll Call!

Week 9 – Finally!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Just in time for the big 20 miler, one of the 2 major runs of your marathon training, or the big 10 miler for the half marathon trainers, the weather looks to be on our side! After 8 weeks of snow, rain, ice, wind, and temperatures well below freezing,… tomorrow  there will be blue skies, there will be perfect running temperatures, there will be a little breeze. A nice day to go outside and run for hours.

The run will start from Brueggers as usual, and head out W. Wyoming to Spot Pond, continuing over past Friendly’s, along I93 and cross over I93 to water stop 1. From there you’ll head down Forest St to Highland Ave. Those running the shorter route will turn off Highland onto Eaton St at a small park and return via Washington St. Those running the longer route will continue to the end of Highland Ave and hit water stop 2. For the new Sunday Long Runners here’s where things will get interesting, a part you’ve never seen before (bring a map or find someone who’s done this before). Hed left on Rt38 into Medford. You’ll come up to a cemetery on your right where you’ll turn right onto Playstead Rd, a big wide road. This will bring you past Oak Grove Cemetery, past a ball field, along the commuter rail tracks to Rt 60 (High St). There’s a Dunkin Donuts there if you need a potty break, otherwise turn right onto Rt 60. Run along there, past a church and a steeple and a bunch of people. There’s a point where you  come to a slight fork in the road, stay left on Rt 60, don’t go right onto Grove St! Its pretty obvious which way the main road continues but 7+ miles in if you aren’t paying attention you might follow the sidewalk down the wrong street. After that you’ll come to Mystic Valley Parkway. There’s a little rotary type island there, turn right onto Mystic Valley Parkway. Do not cross the bridge over the Mystic River. Do not run into Arlington! Once on the Mystic Valley Parkway you’ll run along the Mystic Lakes. If the footing is nice, cross the street and run along the path and take a look at the lakes. You’ve run a far way, take in some sights. Once past the lakes you’ll run up along the commuter rail again. At the end of the road turn right (Bacon St), under the tracks and then take your next left (Mystic Valley Parkway again). There is a path there too to run along the left side of the road to water stop 3. (With all that detail, no excuses if you get lost!) From there you continue on to Washington  St where you turn left. You’ll come to a 5 way intersection. If you imagine a clock, you’re coming in from 6 O’clock, 12 O’clock is straight across. Washington St is at about 2 O’clock. There is a road at 3 O’clock and 11 O’clock, don’t run on those! If you went the right way you’ll be running by churches (one has a bathroom in the basement in case you need it). If you ran the wrong way you might be running past Winchester High School. From here things get easy again, directions-wise. Run Washington St to Forest St and up to water stop 4 (same as water stop 1). After that make your way back to Friendly’s the way you came, turn right along the back side of the pond, follow around to Highland Ave to water stop 5. Now the 6th short run of the day, Highland Ave all the way to the rotary, through the Fellsway East, and back W. Wyoming.

The shorter loop runners would return along Washington St to Forest St to the water stop, then back to Brueggers the way they came. You also have the option of helping with a water stop! If you want to start at water stop 1 and run the more interesting part of the route (the lakes) with everyone, you’ll wind up back at water stop 1 with 9+ miles done.

I’ll put my car out on the route again. BarryP will be helping. Two more cars will make everything work, but we could get by with one more. Who’s interested?

And who’s running and how far? How many 20 milers do we have? Roll call!

Week 7 – Halfway point

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

For training for Boston with us, this Sunday’s run will mark the halfway point. After this 14 mile run you’ll have trained for 7 weeks, with 7 weeks remaining. Enjoy this easy 14 though, the big miles are right around the corner!

This week we head over to Franklin St into Stoneham, around the back side of Spot Pond and up Highland Ave to the Fellsway and around to Grimsby’s where we’ll head back up to the Pond to Friendly’s again and back Franklin. Same roads as usual but with a twist in order and direction. With some new snow on the ground this week, keep a look out for icy spots and be extra careful when forced of the sidewalks into the road. Remember Sunday morning drivers aren’t always the most diligent.

For those running the shorter loop, this route is very similar to last week’s route, just changing the water stop location. It is possible to jump in at Friendly’s and get a 6.5 mile run in. Or go longer by following the full route and cutting back at Grimsby’s for about 10 miles.

Water Stops: there are two stops, Friendly’s in Stoneham and along Highland Ave in Medford/Malden. Barry’s away this weekend so he’s out. Let me know if you’re interested in volunteering (with or without running, or starting mid run). I’ll check back later and figure out how we’ll handle the stops.

So who’s in and for how much? Roll Call!

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!