Week 10 – 20 Miles!

September 9th, 2017

With the extra week, the 20  miler is falling on the same day as the Victorian Fair. This rarely happens. Typically we move the start of the 16 mile run earlier by encouraging runners to pre-run 5 miles before 8AM so they can get back to Melrose in time to help with the course marshalling of the race. That won’t happen this year, with the extra week of training, the 20 mile run is this week and it doesn’t lend itself to staggering the start time The 16 mile run is easy to plan varied starts and distances as the route only has a single water stop visited several times.  Because there are so many water stops in the 20  mile run, and since cutting off an hour still won’t get you back to Melrose for the 10am race start, we’ll go with our regular start time of 8AM. Also note that Main Street will be closed at 8AM between Grove Street and Essex Street.

Last week we had 20 people say they were coming to the SLR, then 35 people showed up. Please let me know you’re coming so I have enough water. Thanks to Brian Walfield for running to the supermarket to get more water. Also a big thanks to both Brian, Tom Gorman, and Hank Murphy for standing out in the rain to support the water stops.

This week, as mentioned, is the 20 mile run, or 10 for the half marathon trainers. The route will be another trip out to Winchester, but will venture even further out to the edge of Arlington. We’ll start down Main Street, past Dunkin Donuts, to a right on West Wyoming. Take that past Grimsby’s and up to Spot Pond where you’ll turn right. Continue past the Stone Zoo, past Friendly’s, straight on to Park Street. After you pass the I93 on-ramp you’ll come to a set of lights where you’ll turn left on Marble Street. Take that over I93 into Winchester to the water stop on Eugene Drive.

After the water stop continue down what is now Forest Street to Highland Ave where you turn left. This will take you past Winchester Hospital and this week you’ll continue straight on Highland (no Reservoir Rd this week). If you’re running long keep running straight until you hit the water stop at the end of Highland Ave. If you’re running short you’ll turn right on Eaton Street, there is a little park there. Eaton will take you down to Washington Street where you’ll turn right. Continuing your shorter route by running on Washington until you get to the intersection with Forest Street at the Gingerbread Construction Company and turning right to run up a series of hills back to the Eugene Drive water stop.

The shorter route runners will finish up by running back to Brueggers the way they came: Forest becomes Marble, turn right at the first set of lights onto Park, past Friendly’s, past the zoo, left on Pond Street down to Grimxby’s, straight onto West Wyoming, and then left on Main to finish up.

The longer runners will leave the Highland Ave in Winchester water stop by going left for the first time this season. Follow Main Street/Rt38 into Medford. Cross over to the right side of the road, watch for Oak Grove Cemetery on your right, you’ll turn right on to Playstead Road, a wide boulevard-type road that runs along the entrance side of Oak Grove Cemetery. Follow Playstead to High Street where you’ll turn right at the commuter rail station. Notice the Dunkin Donuts on High Street, a convenient restroom stop. Follow High Street to Mystic Ave, being careful NOT to fork right at Grove Street along the way. High will come to a little rotary at the Mystic Valley Parkway. Do NOT go over a bridge into Arlington or you’re 2o mile run will become a lot longer. The Mystic Valley Parkway will take you along the Mystic Lakes. Enjoy the scenery. The road will seem to end at a T intersection with Bacon Street. Turn right on Bacon and then take your next left on to Mystic Valley Parkway again. Watch for a water stop along the way, typically on the right side by the track in Winchester.

After this water stop, continue on the Mystic Valley Parkway through a set of lights and then turning left at the next set of lights on to Washington Street. Continue on Washington as you go through the 5-way intersection at Mt Vernon Street. Cross Mt Vernon and stay to the right on Washington. If you pass Winchester High School you went the wrong way. If you pass a few churches you’re on the right track. Continue on Washington to the Gingerbread Construction Company, turning right there on Forest Street and then up, up, up to the Eugene Drive water stop.

After this water stop you’ll go over I93, right at the lights onto Park Street, over to Friendly’s and then right at Main Street in Stoneham. This will bring you around the back side of Spot Pond (I know, again) to the left at Elm Street and up to the Highland Ave rotary. Go right onto Highland Ave this week and find the water stop in its usual place.

After this water stop continue on Highland to the traffic circle at the Fellsway East. Go left here, following the Fellsway East to Grimsby’s. Turn right there on West Wyoming, back to Main Street in Melrose where you’ll turn left and after passing Marathon Sports, finish up in glory down the center of Main Street to the horror of all the Victorian Fair-goers.

Water Stops. I need a minimum of three water stop people this week. One stationed at Eugene Drive, one to cover both Highlands (Winchester near Medford first, then Medford near Malden second), and a Mystic Valley Parkway at McCall Middle School. Who can help? Hank? Tom?

Ok, Who’s in? Roll Call!

Week 9 – The Extra Week

September 2nd, 2017

When training started back in early July I neglected to verify the date of the Baystate Marathon, this resulted in an extra week of training for those running Baystate. This week we run the extra week’s route by repeating Week 6’s route. Typically we step up two weeks in a row at this point in the training, but this allows for a step back week if it’s Baystate you’re running this fall. The route itself was a challenging hilly run on a very hot day, leading to a lot of long faces back at Brueggers. Tomorrow the hills will still be there but the distance should be a bit easier for you and the temperatures are going to be much cooler, with a possibility of a little rain. This will be your first taste of what should be expected for a Fall race.

The route is going to start up Main Street past Ell Pond. Continue up past Whole Foods, taking a left onto Franklin and heading into Stoneham. After passing Stoneham High School, take a left at a set of lights on to Summer Street. Follow that as it curves around to the right and crosses Main Street in Stoneham and becomes Marble Street. This will take you through a set of traffic lights and up and over I93 to Eugene Drive where water stop 1 is.

If you’re running short, after the water stop turn back over I93 and turn right at the first set of traffic lights onto Park Street. This will bring you past the I93N on ramp, around to Friendly’s in Stoneham. Keep following this road past the Mobil station, past Stone Zoo to a left down Pond Street to Grimsby’s. Go left at Grimsby’s onto the LynnFells Parkway, past Melrose High School, right on Melrose Street, and right on Main Street to complete your 8 mile run.

If you’re running long, after the water stop continue down what is now Forest Street in Winchester. Turn left onto Highland Ave, and turn left across from Winchester Hospital on to Reservoir Road. Follow Reservoir along the edge of the Fells as it loops back down to Highland Ave. Turn left to continue along Highland to the end where water stop 2 will be.

After water stop 2, turn right on Main Street (Rt38) and head up to a rotary. Go around the rotary to the right leaving it at the first major road with the Symmes Farm sign on it to stay on Main Street in Winchester. Stay on the right side of the road and veer off at the fork to get on Washington Street. You’ll come to a 5-way intersection, crossing Mystic Valley Parkway and heading off to the right to stay on Washington Street, passing churches. If you pass Winchester High School you’ve gone the wrong way, head back and try again. Washington Street will continue straight, bringing you to a set of lights at the intersection of Forest Street where you’ll see the Gingerbread Construction Company. Turn right here to run up the Forest Street hills to bring you back to Eugene and another water stop.

After water stop 3, take Forest back over I93 and turn right at the first lights at Park Street. Follow this road to Friendly’s and turn right on to Main Street. This will bring you around the backside of Spot Pond, continuing on the road without getting on to I93 (don’t follow the ramp on the left). You’ll go over I93 and then under I93 and eventually will get to the place you turn left onto Elm Street. If you make it to Roosevelt Circle over I93 you went to far, turn around and try again. Elm Street will climb up to the rotary at Highland Ave in Medford where you’ll go left and find another water stop at the Flynn Hockey Rink.

After the final water stop you’ll have about 2 miles left to finish up. Follow Woodland Road along the front side of Spot Pond, turning right at Pond Street down to Grimsby’s. Run straight down West Wyoming to Main Street in Melrose, turning left to get to Brueggers.

Water Stops: Hmm, not sure if Hank is around to help. If anyone wants to help me out, let me know.

Roll Call: Who’s in?

Week 8 – Not Sure How Long, I’m traveling

August 26th, 2017

I’m on the road right now and have no idea what happened last week or what will happen tomorrow. I’m sure Lois and crew did an amazing job last week and have everything planned out for this week, but they’d probably appreciate knowing who all is coming this week. Keeping this short, look at the map, let Lois know you’re coming and what you’re planning on doing. Who’s in? Roll call!


Week 7 – Old Melrose Half Marathon Route

August 18th, 2017

Last week was difficult. It’s usually a difficult week, where the heat and humidity of a New England August conspire against your training. You each fought through it and gave a great effort to get the miles in. I guarantee this week will be shorter, I can’ control the weather though.

This week is Week 7. If you look at the maps, which are conveniently linked to the mileage numbers shown over to the right (———–>), they’ll say Week 4 because we used to run this route in Week 4. The route is the old Melrose Half Marathon route, with a little tacked on at the start and end since the Melrose Half Marathon didn’t start at Brueggers.

Leave Brueggers heading north on Main Street, up past Ell Pond (say hi to Clarence) and turn left on Melrose Street. Take a left onto the LynnFells Parkway and pass Melrose High School and Middle School. If you’re running long you’ll take a left at the lights at Tremont Street. If you’re running short you’ll continue straight towards Grimsby’s. Long runners loop Ell Pond with consecutive left turns on Lake, Emerson, and (not Palmer) Main which will you take you back to Clarence. Turn left on Melrose Street again, and the LynnFells Parkway again, and this time continue straight at Tremont to take the LynnFells past Grimsbys now trailing the short runners. After Grimsby’s you’ll continue straight on the Fellsway East, through the hills in the Fells, down to a traffic circle where you’ll turn right onto Highland Ave. Highland will take you to water stop 1 where you’ll find… wait for it… Lois!

After the water stop the shorter route will go straight through the rotary onto Woodland along the front side of Spot Pond. Continue to the right onto Pond Street, down to Grimsby’s and continue straight onto West Wyoming. A left onto Main will finish up your 7.1 mile run. Long runners will go left at the rotary onto Elm Street, this week you get to run down that hill. Turn right at the end of Elm onto the Fellsway West, running under I93 then over I93, past the Bresnahan I93 Offramp, to a right turn into the Straw Point parking lot where you should find Tom with some water for you. Continue through the lot turning right to stay along Spot Pond, continuing back to the rotary near the Flynn Rink. Run through the rotary back onto Highland, where you’ll find Lois again at another water stop.

After that water stop you’ll continue down Highland a bit, turning left onto East Border Road. Run to the lights and turn left onto the Fellsway East. Go through the hills past Grimsby’s, past Melrose High School, and turn right on Melrose Street. Make your way along Main Street, saying hi to Clarence once again, and into Melrose Center where you’ll stop at Brueggers to finish up 14. 6 miles.

If you’re running Chicago you may be looking to add some more miles. One choice would be to double look Spot Pond to add 5 miles, then turn right at Grimsby’s onto Wyoming to subtract a mile. For those that like math that’s 14.6+5-1=18.6 miles. Another option is to continue along the Melrose Running Club summer route after you pass Melrose High School to add either 2, 3, or 4 miles depending on where you break off back to Brueggers. Let Lois know what you’re planning though so we know when and where to expect you.

Ok, who’s in for the no-Jim-n-Hank Week 7 SLR? Roll Call!


Week 6 – Winchester Highlands

August 12th, 2017

Last week Gail and Hank took you out to Breakheart where you found some fun but challenging hills. While it is unlikely you’ll find hills like that in a marathon, what that run trains you for is the mentality to push through the miles after your legs have been challenged… something you’ll likely need to do in a marathon. This week we’ll take you over to Winchester and run through the Highlands. This route is longer and harder compared to the prior routes, but it is also a very scenic route, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

One note before I get into the details of the run, I’ve updated the calendar to the right. I added another week, after week 8, to adjust for the unusually late running of the Baystate Marathon. I also have added suggested milage for those training for Chicago. The marathon distances will read Baystate/Chicago distances. Chicago runners won’t have a route map with additional miles, but I’ll try to give you suggestions to add the extra miles in each week. This week I suggest everyone training for a marathon do about 16 and diverge starting next week. Of course, if you already have a plan you want to follow, feel free to deviate as needed.

This week’s 16 mile route was my favorite run when I ran marathons. We’ll run up Main Street past Ell Pond and give a nod to Clarence DeMar as you pass the pond. Continue past Whole Foods up to Franklin Street, where you’ll turn left. Follow Franklin into Stoneham, past Stoneham High School, to a light at Summer Street, where you’ll turn left. Stay single file on the curve of Summer Street and continue across Main Street in Stoneham onto Marble Street. Marble Street will become Forest Street in Winchester as you cross I-93. On your left  you’ll find the first water stop at Eugene Drive.

If you’re running short, you’ll turn back along Forest to Marble and turn right at the first set of lights you hit, on to Park Street. Park will take you over past Friendly’s, straight past the Stone Zoo, and along the front side of Spot Pond. Turn left onto Pond Street to head down to Grimsby’s, where you’ll turn left onto the  LynnFells Parkway. Take the parkway up past Melrose High School and turn right on Melrose Street to cut up to a right on Main Street, which will take you back to Brueggers.

If you’re running long, you’ll continue along Forest Street down to a left turn onto Highland Ave. There are blue hospital traffic signs to help point out where to turn. You’ll run up Highland Ave to the Winchester Hospital. Don’t go into the hospital, it’s not that hard of a run, instead turn left onto Reservoir Road. This is my favorite road to run on. You’ll come up to one of the Winchester Reservoirs in the Fells, running along with the Fells on your left and gaslight lamps and stately homes on your right (and a big hill in front of you). Enjoy the view as the road loops you back down to Highland Ave where you’ll turn left. Continue along Highland, even when you come to a 5 way intersection just go straight across to stay on Highland, until you get to the end where you’ll find water stop 2.

After water stop 2 take a right onto Rte 38, Main Street in Winchester. You’ll come to a rotary, pay attention here and follow these instructions as if you’re a car. Run counterclockwise into the rotary, passing a tiny street and taking the next exit out of the rotary staying on Main Street. There is a historical marker for Symmes Farm there. Stay on the right side of the road, as you’ll bear right onto Washington Street. Washington will bring you to another 5 way intersection where you’ll cross Mystic Valley Parkway and bear right to stay on Washington Street. If you run past a church you’re good, if you run past Winchester High School please turn around and try again. Washington will be a long flat run to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you’ll turn right onto Forest and run up a big series of hills to get back to the water stop on Eugene Drive.

After water stop 3 you’ll head back over I-93 and turn right at the lights onto Park Street. Run up to Main Street where Friendly’s is and turn right onto Rte 28 to run along the backside of Spot Pond. Turn left when you get to Elm Street, up to the rotary at Highland Ave, and go left there onto Woodland to find another water stop at the Flynn Hockey Rink in Medford (if I’m fast enough to get there in time for you). After the Flynn Rink follow the front side of Spot Pond to Pond Street, turning right down to Grimsby’s and straight on to West Wyoming. Turn left at the lights at Main Street and get yourself back to Brueggers.

Anyone looking for a mile more, turn left at Grimsby’s and take the LynnFells Parkway to Main Street, turning right to get back to Brueggers.

Water Stops. Hank and I will get Eugene Drive and Highland Ave. I’ll get over to the hockey rink to cover that stop.

If you need extra miles and can’t figure out how to add them on, let me know here and I’ll suggest some alterations.

Ok, who’s in? Roll Call!