Week 11 – May The Road Rise To Meet You

March 17th, 2018

Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all! Today is traditionally full of drinking and dancing, which I hear was practiced at last week’s water stops as well. Thank you Lois, Hank, Tom, Audrey, and Jen Elise for helping everyone get through their run hydrated and well fed. Congrats to all that ran the Black Cat, and those venturing off to places like Virginia Beach to run races this week. For the rest of you, keep focused on what’s ahead of you, there are only a few weeks left to your adventures.

So while I was away Mother Nature obviously thought you had it too easy this winter and decided to challenge you with more snow and wind. Part of your Boston training is toughening you up for whatever race day brings. There are no short cuts to that and the weather will always be there to let you know you need a little more toughening. With that said, I was hoping for some rain to come in and wash this snow away so I didn’t have to change this week’s route. No Luck. Not even on Luck of the Irish day. We will run through the paved side of Breakheart, but we will skip the hills and pop out at the Voc to Wakefield High School and run Farm Street back instead.

The Route

Start-1 Everyone crosses Main Street and turns immediately left on to East Foster. Run up to Melrose Common and take a right onto 6th Street. Continue straight as this becomes Swains Pond Avenue. Swains Pond will take you up to Turners Pond where you’ll turn right at a stop sign to continue on Swains Pond Ave. There will be a point where you meet Lebanon Street, sometimes people just follow left and end up in Malden, don’t do that, instead take a sharp right onto Lebanon, then a left at the traffic lights on to Forest Street. At the end of Forest Street you’ll hit Main Street where you’ll find Water Stop 1 in the parking lot of Citizens Bank.
Start-2 Everyone continues together onto Winter Street, past the Oak Grove MBTA stop to a 5-way intersection. Cross straight across to get on Glenwood Street. This will take you through some hilly roads over to Highland Ave where you’ll turn right and then immediately turn right onto the Fellsway East. Continue on to Grimsby’s where you’ll go straight on to the LynnFells Parkway. When you get to Melrose High School look for a water stop at the knoll on your right.
Half-Finish If you’re running the half route you’ll continue on with the full runners down the LynnFells Parkway until you get to the stop light at Main Street in Saugus. Turn left, and immediate left onto Howard. Take Howard back to a left on Green Street. Green Street will merge with Main Street which will take you back to Brueggers with 11 miles under your belt.
Full-3 If you’re running the full you’ll continue along the LynnFells Parkway until you hit the Saugus Breakheart entrance. Head up to the headquarters and look for a water stop.
Full-4 Run the flatter side of Breakheart by entering to the left, keeping right at the beach and popping out at the Vocational School. Run down to Wakefield High School and turn left on Farm Street. Farm will become Main Street in Saugus where you’ll take a right at the second set of traffic lights back on to the LynnFells Parkway. Continue back to Melrose High School where the last water stop will be waiting for you.
Full-Finish To finish the full you’ll take the LynnFells back to Grimsby’s, turn left on Wyoming and left on Main and finish at Brueggers with 18 miles to your credit.

Water Stops After a night of celebrating St Patrick’s Day we should have some combination of Tom, Audrey, and Hank out there to get you through.

Roll Call! Who will we see at the top o’ the mornin’?

Week 10 – In Like A Lion

March 10th, 2018

After a successful 10 and 20 mile week, with many runners improvising distances in between, this week we’ll be stepping back the miles and recovering as we rebuild up over the next few weeks. Mother nature has once again saved you from the hills of Breakheart, dropping snow as well as trees all over the area. So this week’s route will have some changes. The crowd is expected to be light with the Black Cat 10 miler and 20 miler happening today.

The Route

Start-1 – We’ll be running up Main Street, past Ell Pond, all the way in to the Wakefield, stopping at Nick’s Pizza for a water stop.

Half-2 – Will continue up Main Street through Wakefield Center, bearing left onto Common Street, turning right on Church at Lake Quannapowitt, and then turning left at the traffic lights at North Ave. This will bring you back to the water stop at Nicks.

Half-Finish – Run back down Main Street to Brueggers to finish up your 8 mile run.

Full-2 – Run up to Lake Quannapowitt by taking Main Street through Wakefield Center, staying to the right of the lake. Turn left on Lake Quannapowitt Parkway through the parking lot to a left on North Ave and take North Ave straight back to Nicks for another water stop.

Full-3 – Next we’ll run along Nahant over to Wakefield High School. Since Breakheart is snowed in, we’ll turn left on to Farm Street, left on Water Street and left back on Main Street in Wakefield Center. Return to Nick’s Pizza for another water stop.

Full-4 – Return to Melrose along Main Street, passing Brueggers, passing Marathon Sports, and look for a water stop on the left in the parking lot at Montvale Tire.

Full-Finish – Continue on Main Street up past Pine Banks Park. Enter in to Malden, turning left on Forest Street. Forest will take you over to Lebanon Street. Run on Lebanon taking a left on East Foster. When you get to Main Street you’ll take a right to finish at Brueggers for about 16.5 miles.

Water Stops – I’ll be gone this week, so Lois Parker Carmona will lead the way this week. With the change in route there will be two stops, one at Nick’s you’ll see several times, and one at Montvale Tire for the Full runners. Thank you Lois and your band of water stop helpers!

Roll Call! – Who’s in?

Week 9 – Time for Twenty

March 3rd, 2018

Last week we endured yet another harsh rainy Sunday after a better weather Saturday. Running marathons are almost an equal part body versus mind endeavor. While we are training your heart, lungs, and legs to get through increasingly tough miles, we’re also training your brain to adopt the “I can do anything” attitude. You’ll need both when things hit a bump in the road on a 26 mile journey, and things typically do hit that bump. If you can run through some wind and some rain or some snow, you can take whatever they give you on marathon day. The 25 people that proved that last Sunday, plus those that were out racing in Hyannis in it, you can do anything! Hopefully the blustery wind that has been howling for over a day is gone by tomorrows run.
Shoes… If you are running a marathon in 6 weeks, its time to look at the bottom of those running shoes you’re wearing. You’ll likely see all these miles have started to wear this pair out. This is a good time to hit up the running shoe store and get yourself another pair. You’ll either be breaking in the pair you will toe the line with, or you’ll save the tread on this pair by only using it for long runs hear on out.
The Route… This week we have a trip to Winchester, and for those running long a visit to the Mystic Lakes.

Start – We’ll start down Main Street to West Wyoming, taking a right and running up past Grimsby’s to Spot Pond. Turn right at the pond, past the Stone Zoo, past Friendly’s, straight onto North Border Rd. Continue to a set of lights where you’ll turn on Marble Street. Marble will become Forest Street as you enter Winchester, where you’ll find a water stop tucked on Eugene Drive.

Half-2 – The half runners will continue with the long runners, heading down Forest Street and turning left on Highland Ave where the Winchester Hospital direction sign is. They’ll continue on Highland until they find a little park on the right side at the corner of Eaton Street. This will bring you down to Washington Street where you’ll turn right. Continue on Washington to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you’ll turn right on to Forest Street. Run back up Forest Street until you find the water stop at Eugene again.

Half-Finish – The third leg of the half run will take you back to Melrose the way you came. Go over I-93 and Forest Street will become Marble Street. At the set of lights turn right on Park Street which becomes North Border Road, taking you back past Friendly’s. Continue straight as you go past the Stone Zoo to where Pond Street turns left to head towards Melrose. Run past Grimsby’s onto West Wyoming, turn left on Main Street and get back to Brueggers to finish your 10 Mile run!

Long-2 – The long runners will head down Forest and turn left on Highland. This week continue straight on Highland all the way to the end where you’ll find a water stop.

Long 3 – You’ll venture into new terrain for this section. Turn left on Main Street/Rt38 and head to Medford. Cross to the right side of the road and as you run along the wall of the Oak Grove Cemetery, turn right at Playstead Road. This will continue along the cemetery, past a soccer field, along the commuter rail to High Street in Medford. You’ll turn right on High, cross the train tracks, and if you must the Dunkin Donuts has been a convenient rest stop for many years. Continue on High Street, making sure to keep left to stay on High where Grove Street forks off. DO NOT GO ONTO GROVE STREET. High will bring you to the source of the Mystic River. Do not cross the Mystic or you’ll be in Arlington and we don’t go to Arlington. Instead turn right on the Mystic Valley Parkway at the little rotary. Follow this past the Mystic Lakes, which feed the Mystic River, until you get to what seems to be the end of the Mystic Valley Parkway where you’ll turn right on Bacon Street. Follow Bacon under the commuter rail and then take your first left onto Mystic Valley Parkway (told you it wasn’t the end). This part of the Mystic Valley Parkway runs along the Aberjona River, which feed the Mystic Lakes. Along this stretch will be a water stop which feeds you.

Long 4 – Continue along the Mystic Valley Parkway, going through a set of traffic lights and then turning left at the next set of lights on to Washington Street. Washington will take you through a five way intersection where you cross Mt Vernon Street and keep right to stay on Washington. If you run past Winchester High School, well you didn’t learn the last time we ran through here and are likely to be lost for a while. Washington will cross Winchester taking you over to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you could buy a muffin but won’t, you’ll instead turn right onto Forest Street and head back up, up, up to the water stop at Eugene Drive.

Long 5 – After this water stop you’ll continue on Forest over I-93 as the road becomes Marble Street. You’ll turn right at the lights onto Park Street and continue as that becomes North Border Road. At Friendly’s you’ll turn right onto Main Street and continue as that becomes the Fellsway West. Turn left on Elm Street, which will stay Elm Street all the way up to the rotary at the other Highland Ave. Turn right onto Highland and look for a stop right after you turn.

Long Finish – The final leg of this journey will take you down Highland all the way to the traffic circle at the Fellsway East. Turn left and follow the Fellsway East through our version of Heartbreak Hill as you make your way to Grimsby’s. Here you will happily remember that you can take a right on West Wyoming and a left on Main to finish your 20 Mile run at Brueggers!

Water Stops – There are quite a few stops this week. I believe Hank is back, Tom and I will be there,  and Sheree Wheeler has volunteered to help out with the stops.

Roll Call!  Who’s in?

Week 8 – Its Getting Real!

February 24th, 2018

Week 7 gave us fresh ice and snow underfoot and crazy plow drivers swarming as roughly 30 SLRunners made their way through Melrose, Stoneham, and Medford. It was wet and cold, but it was beautiful…

This week the weather is predicted to be rainy and cold in the morning so dress appropriately as the miles continue to climb to 18 miles for the long runners and 9 for the half runners. The route incorporates much of the route of what was the Law Enforcement Half Marathon after it left Melrose and before it moved to Boston, during the few years it started at Lake Quannapowitt.

Route Maps –

Start 1- This week we start up Main Street towards Ell Pond. Say ‘Hi’ to the Clarence DeMar monument for luck and bear right onto Green Street to a traffic light where you turn left onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. Follow the Lynn Fells all the way to the Saugus entrance to Breakheart on the left. Follow the road up to the upper parking lot at the headquarters building. Look around for the water stop, where we find parking varies every visit.

Start 2- All runners, short and long, will head into Breakheart. We’ll be taking the outer loop around Breakheart Reservation. We typically go in the right side and run counterclockwise through the woods, bearing right at the fork in the road at the swimming area. Some runners like to go clockwise, others like to just run the flat side, so feel free to improvise, just don’t cheat yourself out of miles. Make your way back to the headquarters parking lot for a second water stop.

Half-Finish- The half runners backtrack the way they came to finish up their 9 mile run, along the Lynn Fells Parkway to the left on Green Street and back onto Main Street to finish at Brueggers.

Long 3- The long runners will had back along the Lynn Fells but will turn right onto Main Street in Saugus at the first set of lights. The group will continue on Main as it becomes Farm Street in Wakefield and stop at a water stop on the right at Wakefield High School.

Long 4- After the water stop you’ll continue on Farm Street to a right onto Water Street and an immediate left onto Montrose Street. This windy hilly road will bring you to its end where you turn left on Salem Street. Salem will fork left, but you’ll take a right onto Lowell Street at a rainy version of this scene…

Lowell Street will bring you up to Lake Quannapowitt near the Gingerbread Construction Company. Cross to the left side of the road, turn left onto Quannapowitt Way and look for the water stop in the Comverse parking lot.

Long 5- After this stop you’ll make your way over to North Ave, choosing to either go along the dirt path or follow the roadway through the parking lot. At North Ave go left and follow it all the way back to Main Street, where the final water stop will be waiting for you at Nick’s Pizza.

Long Finish- From here you’re going back to Melrose along Main Street, straight back to Brueggers to finish  your 18 miler.

Water Stops- Hank is taking the week off, but I’ll be joined by Tom and Audrey at Breakheart. After runners come through there for the second time Tom and Audrey will head over to the drop off area in front of Wakefield High School. When runners make their way through there Tom will move on to Comverse. I’ll meet up with Audrey to help care for the last runners through. After we’re done there I’ll head over to Nick’s, Audrey will check on Tom’s stop, and when they’re done there they’ll meet up with me at Nick’s. That’s the plan.

Roll Call! I know quite a few of you are heading down to the cape to run in the Hyannis Marathon or Half so I’m expecting a little lighter of a crowd this week. Let me know if you’re coming so I have the right amount of supplies for the week. Who’s in?


Week 7 – Friendly Run

February 16th, 2018

Its with regret that I bring the news of the death of Jeff Brogan to our Sunday Long Run group. Jeff ran with us off and on over the past few years, specifically through his training for the Baystate Marathon in 2016. There he qualified for Boston running a 3:32:40. He returned to the group this season for his training for this spring’s Boston, running 16 miles with us just this past Sunday. Jeff passed away on Wednesday, experiencing complications with his heart. Jeff Brogan’s Obituary can be viewed here.

Our training continues on this week with a 14 mile long run and 7 mile shorter run. Be aware, there is snow in the forecast. While the snow should end before Sunday Morning, be wary of slick sidewalks, narrow roads, and plows. The google map sections are outlined below.

The Start will be similar to last week’s run as we head north, past Ell Pond, continuing on to a left turn on Franklin. Follow Franklin into Stoneham, continuing on all the way to Main Street in Stoneham Square where you’ll turn left. Main Street will bring you towards Spot Pond, hitting a water stop at Friendly’s on Main Street.

Half-Finish will leave Friendly’s, crossing to the left side of the road to take an immediate left on South Street which will become Pond Street. Continue past the Stone Zoo, then turning left to stay on Pond Street as it heads down to Grimsby’s. Turn left on the Lynn Fells Parkway, running past Melrose High School and turning right onto Melrose Street and right on Main Street to finish at Brueggers.

Long-2 will continue straight after leaving Friendly’s as Main Street becomes the Fellsway West. Follow around the backside of Spot Pond to Elm Street where you turn left. Elm Street will climb up to Highland Ave where you’ll go right and run the length of Highland in Medford, looking for a water stop on the left side of the road near the traffic circle at the intersection at the Fellsway East.

Long-3 After the water stop you’ll turn left onto the Fellsway East, running through the hills to Grimsby’s. Turn left onto Pond Street and climb back up to Spot Pond. Turn right at the pond and run past the Stone Zoo to return to Main Street and the water stop at Friendly’s.

Long-Finish returns to Brueggers the way you got to Friendly’s originally. Run Main Street in Stoneham back to Stoneham Square where you’ll turn right onto Franklin Street. This will take you back to Main Street in Melrose where you’ll turn right to make your way back to Brueggers.

Water Stops at Friendly’s and Highland Ave will be hosted by me, Hank, and Tom.

Roll Call! Who’s in?