Archive for August, 2012

Week 8 – Breakheart and Lake Q

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Here we go, getting into the mileage that most of us just have to think of as running “from water stop to water stop.” In other words, don’t overwhelm yourself thinking about the total miles we ARE going to conquer. Just set the GPS in your mind to head to the water stop that is ahead of you. Once there, take in a couple sips and/or a bite of something, reset your mind’s GPS to the next water stop, and move forward. Keep repeating that until you find yourself back at Bruegger’s.

Please acquaint yourself with the route you’ll be running – maps are just a click away on the right hand side of this post. I’ll go over the route, roughly, before we head out, but it is way better to show up on Sunday morning knowing where you’ll be running. This week, as all our waterstops might be unattended; you won’t have the luxury of showing up and asking where to go next. KNOW YOUR ROUTE. It will save you worry and possibly unnecessary miles that you don’t need to run as a lost sheep from the herd.

This week we all take in the beauty of Breakheart Reservation. All runners, going the half distance or the full, head straight to the Saugus entrance of Breakheart for a clockwise outer loop… because we love the hills going in that direction.  After the loop of Breakheart, those taking the half route will run back to Bruegger’s the very same way you came. Those running the longer distance will head out in the same way, but take a right onto Farm St., keep running until you get to Wakefield High – pause for hydration – get back on the route and make your way to Lake Q via Montrose Ave, Salem St. and Lowell St. Once you see the Lake head in a counter-clockwise direction around the lake… because going in this direction will get you to the water stop quicker. Keep running with the Lake on your left until you get to Main St. in Wakefield. Turn right on Main Street and start heading back to Melrose, making one last pause for water, Gatorade, GU,  what have you at Nick’s Pizza. Then all you have left is one last push to the finish. Easy peasy (says the one who will probably complain the most).

Waterstops – I think I have Betty Cooper for waterstops #1&2 at the Saugus entrance to Breakheart,  Sue Worrall for waterstop #4 in the corner of the Comverse parking lot, I’ll probably take waterstop #5 at Nick’s Pizza unless anyone else wants it…  I just need one more for Wakefield High. Erin, was this the week you said you could help? Once I know we’re all covered, we will make a plan for picking people up and getting them (myself included) to the start of the run.

Okay, who is in? ROLL CALL!

The changing of the guard… er, waterstop coordinator

Monday, August 27th, 2012

There was a ceremonial handoff of waterstop buckets that took place on this seemingly ordinary Monday. With Jim leaving town for the next three Sundays, I offered to step in and do the weekly Roll Call post here on the blog and coordinate helpers for hydration duty. Jim leaves us well stocked with plenty of new Gu (thanks very much for the Peanut Butter and Vanilla GU, Mr. Carson).

Seeing as I’m less experienced than Jim, I’ll try to post the Roll Call on Thursdays for the Sunday Long Run so that people have ample time to express their desire to help support the crew.

So, stay tuned for this week’s post, eat your proverbial ‘Wheaties’ and get ready for more hills… uh, I mean delightful miles.


Your Temporary Waterstop Coordinator,


Week 7 – Old Melrose Half

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Last week we ventured out to Winchester for the first time this season, with new sights and new hills to experience. This week we return to a route we ran a few weeks ago with a little twist.

This week’s route will take up up Main St, turning on to Melrose St and down the LynnFells Parkway in front of Melrose High School. This is where the Law Enforcement Memorial Half Marathon began. The race started back in the late 1990s, moved over to Wakefield a few years later, and eventually became the Run to Remember in Boston.

We’ll pass the start from the knoll and make our way to Tremont St. If you’re running the short route go straight along the LynnFells, long routers turn left down Tremont, left on Lake, left on West Emerson, left back on Main St, left on Melrose and back out the LynnFells. Yes this race started with a small circle. Back on the LynnFells you’ll be trailing the short route runners along the LynnFells, past Grimsby’s, along the Fellsway East to the Highland Ave rotary. Turn right onto Highland Ave and head up to the water stop.

After the water stop the short route runners will go to the right of the Flynn Run rotary along the front side of the pond, turn down Pond St past Grimsby’s and take West Wyoming back to Main St, and hang a left to get to Brueggers. Long route runners will head left at the Flynn Rink rotary and run Elm St (this week you get to go down that big hill) and circle Spot Pond clockwise. Look for a water stop at Straw Point along the way, and then make your way back to the water stop by the rotary.

After the water stop turn left on East Boarder Road and then another left on to the Fellsway East. This week when you get to Grimsby’s keep going straight like the race did, along the LynnFells to the high school. Back in the day we would end the half marathon with a loop around a track for all to watch your last quarter mile of a grueling race. The track is no longer there, so instead you’ll head back to Melrose St, cut up to Main and head back to Breuggers and a little snack.

This will be the second time you run this route, this time with a few extra miles. After all this training it won’t feel as hard as the first time.

Water Stops, Janice Meckstroth and I have got them cover!

Who’s in? ROLL CALL!

Week 6 – Winchester, a Learning Experience

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Last week the humidity was a giant factor in the run. Maybe more giant than the hills in Breakheart. Everyone had a “Tom” day as they came through the waterstop with every stitch of their clothing sopping wet. But you made it through another week, and for that you get… wait for it… another week!

This week we’re heading to Winchester. This route is used a few times during the fall training, notably its your 20 and 22 mile runs so learn the path well, you’ll want it in your memory when you’re scuffling through 22.

We start at Brueggers at 8AM (surprised?) and head up Main St towards Wakefield. Turn left on Franklin and take your first hill of the day into Stoneham. Go out past Stoneham High School, past Dunkin Donuts, and hit a set of lights at Summer St. Turn left here. This street winds around to Main St in Stoneham, cross that to Marble St. Take this over I93 into Winchester where it becomes Forest St. On the left will be Eugene where water stop 1 will be.

If you’re running the long route, turn back the way you came but take a right at Park St. Follow that past Friendly’s, past the Stone Zoo, and back to Pond St where it takes you down to Grimsby’s. Take a left at Grimsby’s run through the hills, past the High School and up to Main. Right there and you’ll be back to Brueggers and done!

Long runners, not so fast… Leave there and head downhill until you get to Highland Ave. Turn left here, there should be signs pointing you to Winchester Hospital there. Head up hill (its called Highland for a reason) up to the hospital. Don’t go in the hospital (unless you need to) instead take a left onto Reservoir Road. This road is the most scenic road of your training season. You’ll run up to one of the Winchester Reservoirs in the Fells. The street is decorated with gas-light style lamp posts. The fells woods follows you along on the right while stately homes line the right side. Take that all in as you climb the hill up, and then cruise back down to Highland Ave. Take a left on Highland and keep on running, through a five way intersection at Mystic Valley Parkway where you head straight across staying on Highland. Attack those hills over the next mile and find the water stop at the end of Highland.

Now turn right onto Main St/Rt38. This will take you to a rotary. Here’s where it gets a little confusing. When you go around the rotary there will be a little street to your immediate right, don’t run on that one. the next street will me Main St (it isn’t straight across from where you came in, its more like a 90 degree angle, people get confused here. I believe there is an historic sign for about some Symmes guy where you turn). Follow Main St back to Mystic Valley Parkway. Here’s another 5 way intersection. To the right will be Mystic Valley Parkway, don’t take that. Across and to the right will be Washington St, TAKE THAT! If you run by Winchester High School, you’re not in the right place, go back and try again. You should run past a church which is usually bustling with activity at the time we go by. Now that you’re on Washington St run the flats all the way to Forest St. The Gingerbread Construction Company is a landmark for this intersection. Don’t buy a muffin there! Turn right and climb some hills. These are the ones you ran coming back from Horn Pond, so you should know what to expect this time. When you get to the top, the water stop will still be there with some refreshments for you.

Leave that water stop and head across 93 and turn onto Park St at the lights. Go down to Friendly’s and turn right. Yep, you’re going around Spot Pond. Follow Main St in Stoneham behind the pond, down “Slackers Hill” to Elm St. Left there and head up one long hill to the rotary at Highland Ave in Medford. (Yes, all the streets in this area reuse the same names). Go left at the rotary onto Woodland Rd. Look for a water stop at Flynn Rink. If you’re fast it might not be there yet.

From the hockey rink you run the front side of Spot Pond to Pond St and down to Grimsby’s. Unless you really want to, you don’t have to do the LynnFells this week, just head straight back West Wyoming to Main, take a right and you’re home! We’ll at Brueggers anyway.

Water Stops. If I could get a helper that would be good. If I can’t I at least need two cars. One at Eugene, another at the hockey rink.

Who’s in? ROLL CALL!!!

Week 5 – Hills Anyone?

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Last week was a step up week, and to add to the challenge the humidity sapped the energy of the runners early. When the runners got to water stop one they were already soaked with sweat and gulped down water in record amounts. It got worse as they made their way to Horn Pond and the sun came out in sizzling style. A loop around the pond offered some shade for a bit but the struggle back took its toll on many runners.

This week we step back in distance, but the miles you do run have some challenging hills in the way. This week’s route is very similar to week 1’s route, out the Lynn Fells Parkway to Main St in Saugus up and down a couple of hills to Wakefield High School. You’ll have another chance to try to hit 13MPH on the school zone radar sign. From the stop you’ll head up a hill to Breakheart. Going to the right and circling Breakheart Reservation counter-clockwise will introduce you to the steepest hills incorporated in our training runs. Chug through the series of 5 hills over about a mile span then ride a hill down to the park headquarters. Go left on the opposite side of the headquarters and run the “flat” side of Breakheart. When you hit the fork at the beach area bear to the right. This will bring you back to where you came in. Go back to the water stop and grab a drink. After rehydrating continue on the route as you did in week 1, up to the left to turn on the Water St, left at Wakefield Center, and then Main St back to Brueggers.

Short runners, you’ll run the same route as Week 1 as well, LynnFells out to Main St in Saugus and back Howard St. When you get back to Main St turn on the LynnFells past the high school and over to Grimsby’s. Run Wyoming back to Main and into Brueggers to finish up.

Water Stops… there’s a chance I’ll have to head off to a softball game early on Sunday so I’m looking for one, maybe two volunteers to get water around the route for the runners. Let me know if you can help. I’ll know tomorrow night if I’ll be around.

Who’s in?! ROLL CALL!!!