Sunday Long Run 15
This year the Melrose Running Club made a few adjustments to accommodate our Chicago Marathon runners. Their race was on October 8th, so Jim Carson had to accelerate their schedule to get a 22 mile run in on September 17th, and still have time for an orderly taper.
Everyone else is running the Bay State Marathon on October 22nd. They had their 22 miler on October 1st. With Chicago over we had a noticeably smaller group today. Maybe 20 runners in total.
My marathon isn’t until December, so I’m totally out on sync with the program. I missed a lot of long runs this year, mostly due to work. Some runs I missed so I could go and run races.
This is a map of the route, but we headed north and not south from the start. And I added almost two miles to my run.
This week we headed north on Main Street in Melrose from Bruegger’s. At Melrose Street we turned left and then left again onto the Lynn Fells Parkway. I ran with a few people early on, but no one was doing my pace.
Before the first hill I passed everyone at the back of the pack and could see the lead pack off in the distance. The lead runners were long gone.
By the time we turned left onto Highland Avenue I was running alone. I wondered where my usual gang was, but figured they were racing or climbing a mountain somewhere.
Right after I got onto Highland Avenue I took my first salt capsule and two Hyland Cramp tablets. As I got them out of the packet it occurred to me that I was practicing getting them in my mouth without dropping them as much as I was testing to see how my system tolerated them. The conditions were not that harsh.
All went as planned and I took a drink from one of my running bottles to wash them down. I saw three club runners ahead on the other side of the street. I decided to cross to get into position for the next intersection.
As we approached the first water stop the three ladies stopped, but I kept on going. I was trying to practice race conditions which means no stopping unless absolutely necessary.
For this run we were running through the intersection by Flynn Rink and heading down Woodland Road past Spot Pond and the MWRA water plant.
As I ran past Flynn Ice Rink it dawned on me the The Irish were in the right place at the right time. Boston and the area have a high concentration of families with Irish ancestry and almost every thing has an Irish name. Flynn Arena, Callahan Tunnel, Tip O’Neill Tunnel, The McGrath and O’Brien Highway, The Boston Celtics.
There are plenty of public facilities and infrastructure named after people without Irish ancestry, but the Irish seemed to lock down a lot of them many years ago.
As I ran past the Boston Boating parking lot I could see two people down by the docks and a rack full of kayaks. I knew they were closed, but did they leave the kayaks there all winter?
Sunday Long Run Running Long
Since I am at least a month from my taper time, I decided to add to this run where I could. When we got to New South Street which hugs the shore of Spot Pond I went strait down South Street to the intersection with the Fellsway West and turned left.
It probably added about a tenth of a mile, but they all add up.
The Fellsway West goes behind Spot Pond and crosses over Rt. 93. There is also an exit off of Rt. 93 that we need to negotiate. You have to run across the exit ramp and watch for cars coming towards you headed east on Fellsway West.
I didn’t have any cars to deal with this week, but it can get hairy. Drivers don’t expect to see runners. And I don’t think most of them see us when they do see us. You gotta look sharp.
I met a few runners and a cyclist as I ran the Fellsway West. As I was running up the hill I could see a woman running down the hill towards me. It was one of our regular Sunday Runners, Amanda. She was just gliding along and made it look so easy.
We said hello as we passed and I was on my own again.
Shortly after Amanda passed I took my single gel. It was a Honey Stinger Gold. I think it is pretty much pure honey with a few vitamins and electrolytes added. It tasted like honey, which is much better than some gels I’ve had.
I’m trying to keep things simple and as natural as I can. It’s a challenge.
As I took the left onto Elm Street I thought about how much better I felt this time. I was now past mile 8 and I was still running 9 minute miles, give or take. Earlier in the year and in the heat I walked part of this route.
Now I felt fine. My energy was good and my knees and quads were holding up nicely. I pushed up the hill and considered that I may be pushing too hard since I still had to run the Fellsway East hills one more time.
I crossed the road near the rotary and took a right onto Highland Avenue. There was supposed to be a water stop there. I didn’t see it and I hadn’t planned to stop any way.
The route this week took a left up East Border Road. To add on to my run I continued down Highland Avenue to the Fellsway East and turned left to face the hills.
When you make that left off of Highland onto the Fellsway you are going up hill immediately. This was just after mile 10 which came in at 9:04. With the hills, Mile 11 came in at 9:43. Not bad and some good training.
Over that mile I had gained 101 feet of elevation. This is similar to what I will face at Diamond Head in Hawaii. I think Diamond Head is steeper, but any hill work will help prepare me for that.
For me running down hill is always the toughest part of the hill. I try to run like I’m on egg shells, but it takes a lot of concentration and I always loose it. I have some tendentious that down hill running aggravates. So downhill is no gift for me.
As I got to the bottom of the last hill I crossed the street and considered taking a right down West Wyoming Ave for one last mile, and calling it good.
Instead I crossed that intersection and headed for Main Street. Across from Melrose High there was youth soccer going on, which brought back many fond memories!
As I crossed West Wyoming I calculated that squaring the corners had added about a mile to my run so far.
When I got to the intersection with Main Street, I went to the intersection and not up the Melrose Street short cut. I had gone this far to lengthen my run, why start cutting corners now?
As I turned right onto Main Street, I knew I was on the home stretch. When I got close to the finish I realized I was going to be short of 14 miles. So I went down Essex Street, ran around the block and around the Shaws parking lot a bit.
I hit 14 miles and jogged a bit more to where I wanted to stop.
I ended up with 14.05 miles at an average pace of 9:23. This was only about 0.7 miles longer than a half marathon and slower than my last one, the BAA Half. It was still more than the 12.5 on the schedule for this week, so I was happy about that.
Now I need to find ways to get long runs in by my self for the next 55 days!
The Plan for the Next 55 Days
As of today, there are 55 days to my marathon in Honolulu. It’s both exciting and terrifying!
I haven’t run a marathon since the 2016 Boston Marathon and I’m dealing with issues.
I’ve got two half marathons, a 10K, 5 Miler and three 5Ks scheduled.
I’ll be stretching my Tuesday night Club Runs past six miles and my lunch time runs will have to be no less than 5 miles. Getting in an 18 or 20 mile run is going to be a challenge.
I find that consistent running seems to work well for me, but for marathon running, you do need some long runs in the schedule.
Let me know if you have any weekend long runs coming up or know of a good long trail race.
Run well my Friends and good luck at Baystate!