Sunday Long Run Number 8 was a step up in distance to 18.1 for the long run. The short run was 9.1 and for our friends running the Chicago Marathon there was a 20 mile run.
My race isn’t until December 10th, so I did the 18.1 mile run.
Like all Sunday Long Runs, we started at Bruegger’s on Main Street in Melrose and headed north to Green Street which lead us to the Lynn Fells Parkway. The Parkway can be a busy street and as you get into Saugus the breakdown lane gets narrow.
I ran the Lynn Fells Parkway with Daniel Deoliviera all the way to Breakheart Reservation and our first water stop.
Sunday Long Run Number 8 – Breakheart
This run has two parts. The first is getting to Breakheart and surviving the hills. The park is a great place to run with a wide and well paved path. There are always people in there walking, some with their dogs. I hardly ever see a cyclist, which is good. The place just isn’t set up for cycling.
While the park can be peaceful and cool on a warm day, there are those hills! I believe there are five of them all in a row, but they always seem to add a new one. It’s great for building your legs, but you do have to be careful.
If you have been away from hill running, you can get hurt in Breakheart if you push the hills too hard. Most of us have been running hills consistently for about two months by now, so most of us were ready for the challenge.
I ran the loop by myself and in the opposite direction of everyone else! As I ran the hills I ran on my fore-foot and focused on lifting my legs and pushing off. Often I just land a foot and lean forward. Today I thought about pushing my body forward and not wasting energy bouncing up and down.
It definitely takes more effort to run like this. I could feel the sweat rolling and my heart pounding as I ran up each hill. This is good training for a race where I will want to maintain my pace on the hills.
As we finished the loop and came down the hill into the parking lot, we hit the water stop one more time. A great thing about using this location is that there are clear bathroom facilities available.
I took water and a few Snickers minis at this stop, both times around.
I ran down Forest Street and took a left onto the Lynn Fells Parkway headed west with a few other runners. The sidewalk on The Parkway can be rough, but you really can’t run in the road here.
Our next turn was a right onto Main Street in Saugus for about a two-mile run to Wakefield High School and our next water stop. About half way up the road I passed Diarmuid Cahill and Don Keren.
From the high school we ran down to Rt. 129, took a right and then a left onto Montrose Ave.
We only run this part of the route twice a year. It’s a little hilly at the start of Montrose but I like the change of scenery. Montrose is a cut through street to Rt. 129 so traffic can be heavy and sometimes fast.
At the end of Montrose we took a left onto Salem Street. This is right by the exit off of Rt. 128/Rt. 95 and there can be a lot of traffic here as well.
Sunday Long Run Number 8 – Lake Q
We run Salem Street for about two miles down to Lake Quannapowitt for the second chunk of this run. Usually we run Rt. 129 and loop the lake. On this run we approach from the east at the north part of the lake and then go through the office park area and then down North Street.
We have our fourth water stop in the parking lot at the top of the lake and caught our breath. I was running with Don, Durm and Stephanie.
Stephanie is running her first marathon and this was her first run with the club! Don and I saw Stephanie and her husband at the Melrose Starbucks last Sunday and told them about the Sunday long run. We must have been convincing!
As we ran down North Street I gave Stephanie a few tips on marathon running and we had a good chat.
We took a left onto Church Street at the bottom of the lake and then made our way to Main Street in Wakefield for the run home.
We had our 5th water stop at about mile 15 at Nick’s Pizza. Stephanie’s Garmin was off by about 0.7 miles. Other people had distances off by about 0.1 or 0.2 miles.
With tight muscles we headed up the hill for the final slog. It’s a nice strait run back to Melrose. The road is in great shape and in many places the breakdown lane is actually for parking. This gives us plenty of room to stay safe.
As we run into Melrose we pass several restaurants serving breakfast. Sometimes there are people waiting outside and you can always smell the food. Being 16 miles or so into a long run it is just killer!
All’s well that ends well. As we approached Brueggers we were short of 18 miles, so Stephanie and I continued around the corner until my watch beeped. Then we headed to Starbucks and parted ways. I had to run home to shower and catch my plane to Indianapolis.
I got home in plenty of time but got to the airport with little time to spare. While waiting to go through security my boarding time came and went. When I got to the gate, we were delayed 30 minutes!
Run well my Friends!