One Last Run

The last run of the fall started a bit ominously. While picking up Lois at Breakheart and moving Gatorade from my car to hers I heard a hissing sound. Following the noise led to her rear right tire where a nail had embedded itself through the tire treads. It wasn’t flat yet but it would be sometime soon. A problem to tackle later in the day.

Arriving at Brueggers around 8AM there was some quick decision making on clothing for the day. Short-sleeve? Long-Sleeve? It was in the 50s but overcast and sprinkling. I opted for the short-sleeve, so on the sidewalk I took off my windpants and my longsleeve shirt and suddenly realized I was half-naked in front of the window. Inside a group of nine women hardly took notice, perhaps I need to try that Axe chocolate body spray to get attention.

With the clothing choices made we headed out the door. Brian and I took the lead for a short time until Judi wooshed by through the wet leaves. With a pat of the Clarence Demar monument we were off up Main St towards Wakefield. Through sticks, pine cones, pine needles and leaves left behind be a windy over-night rain storm we made our way to the first water stop at Sue’s car at the corner of Nahant and Main St. Before heading out on our next stretch a few tactical decisions were made. I left behind my glasses which were covered in misty rain droplets and fogging up. Also Sue, Joanne and Lois discussed the snack situation at the next stop… which was limited. It was decided that some Snickers needed to be transported ahead and reluctantly I volunteered to be the Pony Express (sans Pony) to deliver them.

While our recovered BAA Half marathoners turned back to finish 6 miles for the day, off I went down Nahant St, Judi and Brian well ahead of me at this point, Beth and Audrey right behind me. Crossing Farm St the route took us up past several football games and practices, Pop-Warner, Middle School and High School teams occupying every field as I carried a baggy of candy in the nook of my arm like a wide-reciever making his way to the endzone down an open field. Up past the Voc and through the slippery leaf-covered hills of Breakheart to the Saugus side of Breakheart we went. Getting to the water stop I found Liz waiting next to Lois’ locked car. She unlocked it before we left, I saw her do it, but it had locked itself. It’s like those Chevy commercials where the gas pumps hate fuel efficient cars and lock the doors and let air out of the tires when you’re not looking!

(Perhaps I’m watching too much TV, two ad references in one recap!)

With some water from Liz and some candy from my bag we improvised an impromptu water stop and headed on our way once more. Through the flatter side of Breakheart Beth, Audrey and I chitchatted our way back to the Wakefield side. Audrey was very pleased with the downhill heading back to Farm St after the challenging hills of Breakheart. As we headed past Wakefield High the marching band was assembled in the parking lot but remained silent as we went by. Lois, Liz, Nancy, Sue, and Joanne were treated to the tune of Thriller as they went by, I’m sure bringing thoughts of Katie Sinnott to mind. Although I missed the band I was treated to random song lyrics from Audrey as we traversed Nahant St back to the final water stop.

A quick drink and Snickers all around, our little pack headed out for the final three miles… leaving my glasses in Sue’s car by mistake. D’oh! Beth and Audrey kept up a good pace all the way down Main St while I tried to distract from thinking about slowing down with many of my not-very-interesting stories. A great 12 miles for the two of them, looking ready for the Seacoast Half in two weeks. Behind us Lois and Sue came flying in, having run a strong 12 miles plus an extra hill as they turned off to the left onto Green St in Wakefield to spice up the last three miles of the run.

In short time all the runners (and my three kids) were back at Brueggers enjoying coffee, bagels, chocolate covered pretzels from Joanne, and Starburst jelly beans from Kelly who ran 3 miles for her return to running after her maiden voyage in the world of marathoning last week. And all that’s left for the Fall training session is the running of the last marathons and half marathons over the next few weeks… and changing Lois’ tire for her.

(Good Luck to Peter who is running the Dublin Marathon tomorrow morning!)

3 Responses to “One Last Run”

  1. Ginny Rowe says:

    Sorry I missed this one. Breakheart is one of my favorite routes. I ran the Half at Hampton Beach instead. Rick and I headed up in the heavy drizzle, but luckily, the skies cleared by the start of the race, and it turned out to be a gorgeous day. Aside from the 2 miles of the honky tonk strip with boarded up shops and arcades, the course is actually beautiful. The race takes you into a newer residential development, turning onto a wooded tree lined road which leads into old homesteads and turn of the century mansions. The first four miles I was running next to an older man wearing headphones, everytime I passed him he would moan nooooooo, and sprint in from of me. I couldn’t shake him, then when he took his shirt off I had to slow down a bit to widen the gap. Some people just aren’t meant to run topless! I bumped into him at the finish and talked with him a bit, and I asked him if he intentionally kept saying no to psyche me out. He blamed it on the music track he was listening, too, sure!
    At mile 8 we turned out onto route 1A, and followed the coast all the way to the finish. It was sunny and exposed, but the waves served as a great distraction. They were humongous, and provided a very fine spray which felt great with the sun beaming down. At various spots there was roadside entertainment, and anyone that has run the NewMarket half and remembers the guy that plays the washboard, he was there scraping away and chanting “running 13 miles oh yeah, running 13 miles”….(instead of gonna get up that hill….) The ending was a bit suprising where they had us taking a left, down a side street, a right down the next street, and another left to the finish. All the while knowing the finish was so close. I gassed it way too early not knowing about this circuitous finish, and practically creeped across the finish. But finish I did. And thanks to all those Sunday morning long runs for helping me get through this feeling strong with a pretty decent time for me.
    Good luck next weekend to all running a marathon. You’re gonna rock!
    (p.s. I too, had a little snafu relating to my car. I parked at the hampton beach state parking lot; nice and paved and not flooded from overnight rains. Only problem was the state park closed for the season at 12 noon, and locked the exit gates. Luckily, with a little engineer ingenuity from Rick and one of the Loco guys, they created a ramp for me and the others stuck so we could drive up over the new curbing and newly seeded dirt. Hope the ruts fill in by next spring!)

  2. Jim says:

    Good run Ginny. Thanks for the recap! Sounds like a nice run once you got past the Hampton Beach strip and away from the topless guy. Keep up the good running.

  3. liz tassinari says:

    JIm, don’t use the choclate axe.

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