Archive for September, 2019

Week 12 – New Route for 22, Almost 12, and 9+ Miles

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Last Week – We experienced some late September summer temperatures making for a longer feeling long run. Once the sun came up and shined brightly on the LynnFells Parkway half route and full route runners pushed through the challenge and got one last summer long run behind them. Lois and Tom kept everyone hydrated as the conquered their 18 and 11 mile distances.

This Week – Our training season peaks (for some, although most people are running marathons and halfs at different times of the year).
But for those running Baystate it’s time for the “22 mile run” which is really 21.7 miles in the fall. Half marathon runners should be looking to hit their max their distance 2 weeks before you half. If you haven’t run a half before or haven’t run one in a while, I suggest running 11 three weeks before and tapering two weeks into your race. If you’ve run a few, look to do ~12 miles two weeks before. If you’re a more experienced half marathon I recommend stepping up to ~15 miles two weeks prior to the race, as those extra miles will make the 13.1 feel much more manageable on race day.

The Route – I’ve made some tweaks for a few reasons. First, the half route has never been the right distance… oops. Second, the water stop planning on the original route was much too complicated, this one is much more manageable.

Full route maps on Strava: 22 Miler 11.8 Miler 9.4 Miler

Week 12

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Start – We’ll start out from Brueggers at 8AM, heading north past Ell Pond. Turn left at Melrose Street and a quick left onto the LynnFells Parkway. Run past Melrose High School, straight along the LynnFells Parkway past Grimsby’s onto the Fellsway East. Run through the hills and down to the traffic circle at Highland Ave where you turn right. Follow Highland Ave until you get to the water stop on your left before the rotary at the end of Highland.

Everybody 2 – All runners will turn left at the rotary onto Elm Street and follow that to the end, turning right on to the Fellsway West. Run under I93, past the Sheepfold, and over I93.

Half Finish for 9+ Miles – Turn right through the Straw Point parking lot continuing on to Pond Street, past the Stone Zoo, turning left onto Pond Street. Continue down to Grimsby’s onto West Wyoming. Turn left on Main and finish at Brueggers at 9.4 miles.

Section 2b Full route and Half runners wanting ~12 Miles – Continue up to the lights at Friendly’s and turn left onto North Border Road heading over to Park Street. At the next set of lights turn left onto Marble Street and cross over I-93 where the street name turns to Forest Street as you enter Winchester. There will be a water stop on your left at Eugene Dr.

Half Finish for ~12 Miles – These half route runners will return over I93 onto Marble Street straight through the Park Street intersection, following Marble to Main Street in Stoneham. Cross straight over Main Street to Summer Street, which will take you over to Franklin Street. Turn right on Franklin, heading back to Melrose. When you hit Main Street in Melrose, turn right on Main and finish at Brueggers with 11.8 miles.

Full 3 – The full route runners will run some familiar streets through Winchester, but with a twist! This section will take you down Forest to the right on Highland, by Winchester Hospital. We’ll turn left on Reservoir Rd, which becomes Hillcrest Parkway… you know, the really pretty street. This will follow the Fells and loops back to Highland where you’ll turn left. Follow Highland to the 5-way intersection. Now for the twist… cross Mt Vernon, but go to the right onto Mystic Valley Parkway. Follow Mystic Valley Parkway to a water stop you usually hit from the opposite direction.

Full 4 – Now you’ll do the Mystic Lakes section in reverse. Follow Mystic Valley Parkway to what seems like the end. Turn right onto Bacon Street, under the commuter rail tracks, then left back onto the Mystic Valley Parkway. Run along the Mystic Lakes to the little roundabout at High Street. Turn right on High, run up to Dunkins (used to be Dunkin Donuts), turning left onto Playstead Rd. Take Playstead up to Rte 38 in Medford, its called Winthrop Street here but becomes Main Street in Winchester. Main Street will take you past the end of Highland Ave where there won’t be a water stop so keep going straight on Rte 38. This will take you to the traffic circle at Main Street in Winchester where you’re going to stay to the left and cross Grove Street and stay straight onto Bacon Street again. This will take you over to a right on Mystic Valley Parkway bringing you to the next water stop, which is the same spot as the last water stop.

Full 5 – Continue on Mystic Valley Parkway and turn left onto Washington Street. Cross Mt Vernon Street and bear right to stay on Washington. Follow straight on Washington until you get to the Gingerbread Construction Company where you turn right and run up, up, and up Forest Street to Eugene for another water stop.

Full Finish – To finish up the run you’ll cross over I-93 to Marble, straight through the Park Street intersection, following Marble to Main Street in Stoneham. Cross straight over Main Street to Summer Street, which will take you over to Franklin Street. Turn right on Franklin, heading back to Melrose. When you hit Main Street in Melrose, turn right on Main and finish at Brueggers and start tapering!

Water Stops – It looks like we have Tom, Dan, Lois, and I waterstopping people up this week!

Roll Call! Who’s in?!

Week 11 – Loop Around Melrose

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Last Week – The group run up to Lake Quannapowitt where half loop runners caught a glimpse of the lake before heading home to Melrose and full route runners circled it before heading over to Breakheart. The water stop stood at Nick’s for the whole run, with Tom hosting the runners while I jumped in and did the Breakheart section. Thanks Tom!

This Week – We increase the mileage as we work up to the peak next week. We’ll head over to the peaceful Swain’s Pond area of Melrose before cutting over to the Fells and around to Breakheart again. Sort of the Emerald Necklace of Melrose.

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Start – Crossing Main Street, we’ll start from the corner by the Melrose YMCA. Head up East Foster for a hill right away, turning right onto 6th Street at the Melrose Common. 6th will become Swain’s Pond Ave, taking you up to Turners Pond and Swain’s Pond. Take a right at the stop sign at the ponds to stay on Swain’s Pond Ave. You’ll come to Lebanon St where you have to turn right on Lebanon Street back towards Melrose. If you find yourself deep in Malden you went the wrong way. On Lebanon you’ll come to a set of lights where you turn left on to Forest Street. Run past the Forest Dale Cemetery to the end of Forest, where you’ll cross Main and find a water stop in the parking lot of the Citizens Bank.

Half/Full 2 – All runners will leave the parking lot onto Winter Street, running over the Oak Grove stop on the Orange Line to a 5 way intersection. Go straight across onto Glenwood Street. Follow this windy hilly road to Highland Ave, take a right and an immediate right to get onto the Fellsway East. Run over those familiar hills up past Grimsby’s and onto the LynnFells Parkway. Some more familiar hills will take you to Melrose High School, where there will be a water stop at the Knoll on your right.

Half Finish – Everyone will continue on the LynnFells Parkway into Saugus. The half runners will turn left onto Main Street in Saugus and turn left again on to Howard Street. Howard will bring you down to Green Street where you’ll go left, cross the LynnFells Parkway and merge onto Main Street. Pass Ell Pond and make your way into Melrose Center to finish up 11 miles. If you’re looking to stretch your half training miles you can turn onto the LynnFells Parkway past the high school, grab a little more water and make your way to Grimsby’s to Wyoming to Main for an extra mile.

Full 3 – Long runners will keep straight on the LynnFells until they get to the Saugus entrance to Breakheart where you’ll head up to the headquarters parking lot for a water stop.

Full 4 – Run the outer loop and come back to the water stop. You should know how to do that by now.

Full 5 – Run back to the Knoll by leaving the parking lot, turning right on the LynnFells Parkway and keeping straight to Melrose High School. The Knoll water stop will be on your left.

Full Finish – Finish up by running the last few hills along the LynnFells Parkway as you get yourself to Grimsby’s. Turn left on West Wyoming, then left on Main and stroll in to Brueggers.

Water Stops – Tom will be back handling the water stop 1 and 3. I’ll take water stop 2 but will likely jump in for some miles. If anyone else wants to help, feel free to join us.

Roll Call! Who’s in?

Week 10 – Back to the Q

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

Last Week – We started on an empty Main Street in Melrose, ran off to Winchester for 20 miles or 10 miles, and returned to Melrose Center with the Victorian Fair in full swing at the finish. While only 5 people ran the full route in what has been another quiet season for marathoning, we had over 20 runners doing the half route. The weather was cool with a pleasant breeze, which led to a lot of upbeat runners stopping by the water stops.

This Week – A recovery week for everyone, the mileage goes down 4 miles for the long runners, and down two for the half runners. We’ll be running up to Wakefield along Main Street. Full route runners will continue on to loop Lake Quannapowitt and then loop Breakheart. Half route runners will run up to the lake on Main Street before turning back along North Ave. I do suggest veteran half marathon runners consider adding on some miles to this run. Ramping up to 15 miles in the near future will make racing 13.1 feel just a little easier. The weather looks comfortable again, primed for another good training day. This week’s run will have multiple legs that all end at the Nick’s Pizza parking lot for water stops. Yes, you travel all around but the water stop stays in one spot.

If you use Strava – here are the routes: Half Full

If you get lost easily, here’s turn-by-turn directions:

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Start – Heading north on Main Street, we’ll pass Ell Pond, continuing on into Wakefield, and hitting the Nick’s Pizza parking lot at the corner of Nahant for a water stop.

Half 2 – Both groups will head through Wakefield Center along Main Street, but half route runners will veer to the left onto Common Street and turning right on Church Street. Run to the set of lights at North Ave and turn left. North Ave will bring you back to Main Street at Jiffy Lube. Cross Main Street and get yourself another cup of water at the Nick’s Pizza water stop.

Half Finish – The half route runners will then return to Melrose along Main Street the way they came.

Full 2 – Full route runners will continue to follow Main Street after they pass through Wakefield Center, staying on Main Street to run along the east side of Lake Q. At the end of Main turn left on Lowell Street, then another left on to Quannapowitt Way to continue circling the lake. Head along the path on the north side of the lake over to North Ave where you’ll turn left. Follow North Ave all the way back to Main Street where you’ll cross over to the Nick’s Pizza water stop again.

Full 3 – Next run along Nahant Street over to Wakefield High School. Head up Hemlock Street to the Northeast Technical Vocational School, through their parking lot to the Wakefield entrance to Breakheart. Go counterclockwise around the outer loop, staying right through the hills (Love the hills, they’ll love you back), past the headquarters, along the flat side, staying right at the beach, and back out at the Voc. Run back down Hemlock, crossing over to Nahant and back to Nick’s Pizza.

Full Finish – From here, head back down Main Street to Brueggers to finish up!

Water Stops – There is one water stop today. I’ll man the water stop but if anyone wants to join me so I can get a few miles in too, I’d appreciate it.

Roll Call – Who’s in?

Week 9 – Would You Like That in 10s or 20s?

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Last Week – Cool weather swept in to help the group get through a 9 miler or 18 miler last week. Everyone ran over to Breakheart for a loop and while the half runners headed back to Melrose, the full runners wound their way through Wakefield over to Lake Q before coming home. Big thanks to Matt, Andrea, Diána, and Julie for the water stop support all morning!

Running Shoes – Its time to look at the bottom of those running shoes you’re wearing. You’ll likely see all these miles you’ve been running 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 wear marathon or half day, or you’ll save the tread on this pair by only using it for long runs here on out. Either way, plan ahead so you have a good pair of racing shoes for the big race.

This Week – Looks like we missed the rain as Hurricane Dorian passes by out in the Atlantic. The winds are pretty light too. By morning it should be sunny and in the 60s, perfect for a looooong run. We’ll also have the Victorian Fair to contend with this week. That means the streets around Melrose Center will be closed. We can usually get in to the parking lot fine, but there may be less parking spaces to choose from. Besides this stuff, we have a long run to go do. For the marathon trainers its a 20 mile jaunt to the cusp of Arlington, and for the half marathon trainers there’s 10 miles that bring you into the Winchester Highlands.

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Start – This week everyone starts down Main Street to West Wyoming where they’ll take a right and run 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 left on Marble Street. Marble will become Forest Street as you enter Winchester, where you’ll find a water stop tucked in 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. Continue on Highland until you find a little park on the right side at the corner of Eaton Street. Turning right on Eaton will bring you down to Washington Street where you’ll turn right. Continue on Washington to the Gingerbread Construction Company and turn right on to Forest Street. Run up, up, and up Forest Street until you find the water stop at Eugene again.

Half Finish – The final leg of the half run will take you back to Melrose the way you came. Go over I-93 on Forest Street as it becomes 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 straight past Grimsby’s onto West Wyoming, then 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 with the half runners. Continue straight on Highland, past Winchester Hospital, past where the half runners turn, straight through a 5-way intersection staying on Highland, all the way to the end of Highland 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 at the half way point of your run.

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 from your mistakes 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. We should have Lois, Tom, and myself out there helping you move along, but anyone else interested in helping would be appreciated.

Roll Call! Who’s in?