Week 5 – 13MPH

Relief from the humidity. The last two weeks we’ve struggled through some oppressive humidity, going through water and Gatorade at a record setting pace. This week we awoke to temperatures in the 60s and crisp dry air. With Rick agreeing to handle the major water stop of the day and Walt planting his car for an extra stop for late in the run, I got to be lazy this Sunday and headed straight to Brueggers minutes before 8AM. Having not rushed around coordinating in the early hours I walked into Brueggers a little less frantic than usual which was interpretted by most as very sleepy. In a few dazed moments I had welcomed all, taken their dollars, counted their 21 heads and started them along Main St.

Mary and I escorted the crowd down to Ell Pond, continuously checking over our shoulders to make sure they were really following. Turning on the LynnFells Parkway they still lingered behind, and I started to wonder… am I running way to fast or is everyone taking it easy?No worries, I hadn’t gotten faster, Mary explained that an 8 hour car ride from central PA got her in at 2AM the night before and was in more of a daze than I was. Wayne and BrianG pulled up and from their ability to easily chit chat proved they weren’t going full speed yet, saving some for Breakheart. Behind us was Judi, recovering from her 17 mile run the day before. On our way through the hills that lead us to Wakefield High School and water stop 1 we crossed paths with an acquaintance of BrianG, a local 72 year old runner which is impressive enough but to watch the two of them pull away from Wayne, Mary and I made it all that much more impressive. While the idea of keeping up with them faded the idea of breaking the traffic radar sign record crept in. I quickly explained to Mary and Wayne how we needed to cross the street, get in a close triangle formation in the breakdown lane and pick up the pace as we passed the second to last mailbox before the Wakefield HS school zone radar sign… and hope a car doesn’t come in behind us. Wayne checked over his shoulder, no cars coming, he pulled into the lead of the triangle, Mary and I flanking him, speed increasing as we reached the mailbox and then the sprint ensued. 9MPH… 13MPH, 12MPH! The previous record of 11MPH set by BrianG and I had been broken! The official new record is 13MPH, the 12 probably registering my lagging speed as Wayne and Mary moved out of the picture.

We celebrated the record sprint with Gatorade and Cliff Bloks, which Wayne’s heritage inspired him to interprete as blokes instead of block. Rick put the plastic cup clothesline into practice and without much delay we were off into Breakheart. Brian, Wayne, Mary and I were joined by Judi as we headed up towards Breakheart Reservation. Brian’s 72 year old super athlete friend circled around to get him again and with a sigh Brian continued on ahead of us with him. Heading into the parking lot a car passed us and started entering the divided entrance on the left side… until he noticed an exiting pickup truck soming towards him. Brakes squeeling followed by accelerating wheels spinning on the sand on the road as the car quickly darted back to the correct side of the street. Wayne noted the driver may be from the UK… perhaps some crazy bloke that forgot what continent he was on.

Breakheart’s hills were greated pleasantly with an accented comment by Wayne expressing fake enthusiasm for the task in front of us. The chit chat of the group pulled us up and down the roller coaster hills, at one point in fact Judi and I were running with hands in the air down a steep decline. At the half way point Brian had stopped with his old buddy and waited to hook back on with us. Passing a water fountain I considered taking an unneeded water break to see if the speedsters would move ahead without me, allowing me to settle back in to my own slower pace. Before I could decide we were past and headed back the flatter side of Breakheart. I kept up with them until the beach, where thoughts of Mary’s suggestion of ending out run there and going for a swim distracted me causing me to slow… or maybe it was just that I’m not as fast as them. Keeping them in sight we made our way back to Rick and another water break.

Before the break was over Walt came flying through for a quick sip. Having left his car at the next stop, he had run back to Brueggers, arriving shortly after we left.  His plan was to run longer and faster, forcing himself to play catch up for some of the run. 7 miles into the run he was already in the lead. The fast group hit the road before I was ready, so Judi and I waited for some company then headed out. Unfortunately for me we waited for Tall Dave and a minute into this section of the run I foundout Judi and Dave were short-cutting it across Nahant St while the full route was taking the longer route to the other end of Nahant St via Farm St, Water St, and Main St in Wakefield. I hooked on with Peter for a bit, then with Carol, pulling into the Nahant St stop to see a rested and happy Judi and Tall Dave still having a drink at Walt’s car, joined by Brian, Wayne, and Mary. A group pulled in right behind me and in no time we all set out for the last three mile stretch to Brueggers.

The last stretch was warm and fast. Judi, Wayne and Brian took the quick lead, Christina and I settled in yards behind them, Mary settled back with Ginny, Peter, Lauren and Dave. Carol was off trying to add a bit on to make an even 13 miles for the day. Walt was doing a loop of Lake Quannapowitt for some extra mileage, and behind him was Nancy doing the same. By now JenB, Denyce, and Donna were well done with their half training run, Sue, Joanne, and Catherine were moving along, finding some questionable things on the side of the road, and BarryC and Matt were playing caboose for this week’s long train of runners. (Did I get all 21 of us?)

Back at Brueggers the group reconviened, coffee and bagels trying to bring us back to life. A call from Lois let us know that the SLR group of one up in Maine had stopped for water and would be continuing on to finish up 16 miles, making 22 of for the day. What seemed like hours later we finally got up and headed on home, 1/3 of the way through training.

Leave a Reply