Archive for January, 2011

Week 4 – Same Old Song and Dance

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

This training season has had a similar story ever Sunday. There will be snow on the ground, the temperatures will be well below freezing, and the miles will fly by. This week we return to Spot Pond, taking a slightly different way to get there. From Brueggers we’ll head north on Main St up past Ell Pond and take a left on Melrose St and another left onto the LynnFells Parkway. This is where the start of the old Melrose Law Enforcement Half Marathon was located. That race evolved over the years into  Boston’s Run to Remember over the years but if you never got a chance to run it, you will Sunday.

From the LynnFells you make a loop of Ell Pond, just keep taking lefts until you wind up back at the LynnFells, and then follow the LynnFells to Grimsby’s. Here we’ll give you a quick water stop if you need it. From there you’ll follow the week 2 route, out the Fellsway East to Highland Ave and the main water stop for the route, around Spot Pond back to the water stop, up East Border Rd back to the Fellsway East and continuing onto the LynnFells. Back at Melrose Middle School the old Melrose Half would have you do a loop of the track. We’ll skip that and head back the way we came, Melrose St to Main to finish up the 14.6 mile run.

If you’re running the Half  route this week is the same distance as week 2 but you head out the LynnFells to the Fellsway Easy, Highland Ave to the front side of Spot Pond, and cut down Pond to Wyoming. This will be another 7.1 mile run, if you feel like stretching to 8 miles go back the LynnFells to Main instead.

Since another foot of snow has fallen in Melrose I again need to warn you to be very careful. Watch your step, be aware that cars can’t see you coming around a corner, and the roads are much more narrow since the snow plows seem to have given up trying to find where the side of the street actually is. This all means we need to share the road with others that don’t like to share the road. Remember all drivers are in a hurry and they assume they have the right of way.

Go out and enjoy your run, the last one in a very snowy January.

Who’s in?! Brueggers, 8AM!

Week 3 – In the Grip of Winter

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

For those training for Boston and wondering how you’re supposed to get this done in such harsh New England weather, I’ll paraphrase what was told to me when I trained for my first Boston: The running Gods put these challenges in front of you to make you tough so when race day comes you’re prepared for anything. Last week you fought off 4 foot snow banks, well it’s getting more interesting.

This week, now with about 30 inches of snow piled into 6 foot snow banks around the greater Melrose area,  harsh temperatures have joined in on the fun. Coupled with wind that will make it feel as though its in the single digits out there (if that), this week’s trip to Lake Quannapowitt will not be the most pleasant run you’ve ever done. The good news is Main St is one of the better cleared roads around so when you’re forced out into the street you should have some running room. Remember single files and assume cars don’t see you coming.

As far as cold goes, when the temperatures dip into the single digits its a good idea to keep as much skin covered as possible. You can cover just about everything but your face, and when its this cold, consider a light coating of Vaseline on your skin. This will take a bite out of the wind chill. Also if you have questions about what to wear, there is a link to the right under the weather forecast to Runner’s World’s What to Wear form. Put in your info and take their suggestion… and add a little to that, they’re not from New England. Also remember you can always shed clothes at the water stop, we usually give it back at Brueggers after the run.

Water stops, Barry I hope you have this one covered because I have a conflict this week. As a father of three kids, occasionally two sports occur on a Sunday Morning, so while you’re braving the cold I’ll be at softball practice with my daughter… don’t worry, its indoors.

So who’s tough enough to make it up and around the Lake? Who’s in for the shorter route up to Nahant St and back?

Brueggers, 8AM!

Stay Warm, Run Hard!!!

Week 2 – Cold and Snowy Around the Pond

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

In case you haven’t noticed, winter is here. Last week we were worried about ice and snow and we lucked out with a relatively clean run in Breakheart. Since that run about 2 feet of snow has fallen in the area and, with temperatures below freezing, its not going anywhere. So that bring us to this week’s run…

Sunday’s run will be out to the Fellsway and around Spot Pond. Total distance for the marathon trainers is 12.5 miles, for those readying for a half it’s 7.1 miles. There will be one main water stop at Highland Ave in Medford by the rotary near the Flynn Rink. Another may be at Straw Point at Spot Pond (the corner of the pond near Friendly’s in Stoneham).

The main tip for this week is BE CAREFUL! Although sidewalks have been cleared to some extent, I’ve seen many that just end in a giant snow bank, so we may have limited use of the sidewalks. The roads in Melrose are very narrow do when running in the street run single file and facing traffic whenever possible. Remember too that every corner has a 6 foot snow bank on the corner, so drivers need to creep out into the road to see if its clear. Unless you’re well over 6 feet tall, assume you are invisible to drivers.

Also make sure you’re dressed warmly. It will be in the 20s during the run, a reasonable cold weather run, but the wind chill will feel like the teens. And if there is ever a place to feel the wind chill, it is Spot Pond. Remember, you can always drop clothing off at the water stop and pick it up after the run.

Ok, now that I’ve sufficiently warned you all about the difficulties of running after a major snow fall, get your sneakers ready, bundle up, and get out there and enjoy the beautiful peacefulness of running through the hills of the Fells on a quiet winter morning! Who’s in?!

Brueggers, 8AM, Run Safe, Have Fun!


Friday, January 7th, 2011

Sorry for the late post, I’ve been waiting to get a better idea of the weather situation.

First major point, this week’s run is SATURDAY MORNING. Yes SATURDAY,  due to the MRC Holiday Party on Saturday Night. What this means, however, is that we’ll be running in the middle of a snow storm. Please plan your long run with safety in mind, if you don’t feel comfortable running in the snow, run this week’s run on your own at a different time.

The route is up the LynnFells Parkway to Breakheart, around, and back. With the weather being what is (the snow has already started so expect a few inches on the ground in the morning) things might be a little slick on the hills. I suggest a run to the parking lot, run the flatter side of Breakheart (to the right) and at the Voc side make a judgment call to continue into the hills or turn and run back the flatter side.

For those running the shorter distance, you have the option to run to Breakheart and back, or start at the old J Pace parking lot and run to and around Breakheart from there. That would give you about 5 miles.

Again, use your best judgment as to when and where to run tomorrow. Barry will be supporting the water stop. I’ll drop in early but I’ll need to head off to a dentist appointment.

Who’s in for the Saturday Run? 8AM, Brueggers.

Run Safe! I want to see you all at the MRC Holiday Party Saturday Night!