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Saturday Running Sunday Kayaking

The Melrose Running club began their “Fall Sunday Long Run Program” this week. We call it the Fall Program because local runners use it to prepare for their fall marathons.

Because the MRC had their summer party Saturday night, we had our first run on Saturday. We didn’t want anyone staying up too late and have to run hungover or anything.

Saturday Running

We had a great turn out for our first run of the series. There had to be 50 runners, mostly from The Mystics and Melrose. The run was only 8.8 for the long run and 4.2 miles for the short run.

sunday long run, marathon training, week one, wk 0, wk 1, saturday runningBetween the good weather, short distance and being the first run we had a great turn out. Many familiar faces and as always a few new ones.

Jim got us started just after 8AM with a quick run down of the route and we were off.

I’m trying to get geared up for and decide on two marathons. For this run my goal was 9 minute miles. To qualify for Boston I need 8 minute miles, but you have to start somewhere.

Since this was more of a test run, 9 minute miles ware sufficient. To ramp up properly and avoid injury, exercising patience and smarts is crucial.

I have lingering issues that I need to be careful with. I’ve been examined by a Physical Therapist and an Orthopedist who both said there is nothing wrong with me. Somehow, my knees still hurt when I run long distances.

I made it though the run with an average pace of 9:04. Most of my miles were within 10 seconds of 9 minutes, so I was pleased with my consistency.

No heroics, but a good start to a long training program.

Sunday Kayaking

My wife and I signed up for Boating in Boston this year. For the past two years my wife has had an individual pass which gave her several friend passes also. This year we did a family plan which is good for two boats.

Boating in Boston is set up at Spot Pond in Stoneham, Lake Quannapowitt, Newton Lower Falls on The Charles River, Hopkinton State Park, and Lake Cochituate in Cochituate State Park in Natick.

lake quannapowitt, kayaking, boating in Boston We’ve kayaked on Spot Pond many times, so we decided to try Lake Q for a change of pace.

Lake Q was a bit longer of a drive, but not by much. There was plenty of parking on Rt 129 and it was an easy walk to the pavilion. They checked us in quickly and after we fiddled around getting our life jackets to fit, we were on the water in no time.

Spot Pond is next to Rt 93 and Lake Q is close to Rt. 95. At some places on each lake you cannot hear the traffic and in other places it sounds like a speed way.

Spot Pond definitely has clearer water and is actually a back up reservoir for the MWRA. You can see the bottom in 10 to 15 feet of water easily. Lake Q is not a reservoir and it’s a good thing.

I’ve run around this lake 100 times easily, but I’ve never been on it.

As soon as you push off into the water you can see how murky it is. The water doesn’t smell bad, but you really don’t want to go for a swim.

I’ve seen people fishing and talked to a couple fisherman once. There are fish in the lake, but I’m not sure I’d want to eat them. I think this is a catch and release lake.

Soon after we cast off, I started my watch. I’ve done this before at Spot Pond and it’s always fun to see where you went.

Somehow, Garmin recorded my splits in meters and shows that we averaged 7:01 per 1,609 meter split. 1,609 is just about a mile, so we were moving at 7:01 per mile in a kayak!

After we got out of the boats my watch showed a time of an Hour and twenty minutes, and a distance of about 3.5 miles. That would be a more realistic pace of just under 22 minutes per mile.

So we had a leisurely and enjoyable 1:20 kayaking trip on Lake Q.

Spot Pond is cleaner and has move coves to check out. I think we both prefer Spot Pond, but were happy for the change of scenery at Lake Q.

Another great summer weekend!

Run well my Friends!


Mystic Runners Lake Q 5k May 24 2017

Mystic Runners Lake Q 5k takes place every Wednesday evening in Wakefield, MA. It’s been going on since I can remember and is the weekly club run for The Mystic Runners.

Mystic Runners Lake Q 5k

I’ve run with The Mystics quite a few times. Two years ago when I was going for 50 5K races before I turned 51, I ran the Lake Q 5K 9 times.

One of my fondest running memories was running one of these races. Me and about five other guys were flying down Rt. 129 on the eastern shore of Lake Quannapowitt. For those of you not familiar with the area, Lake Q is surrounded by roads and parking lots.

It’s a large pond but it is an urban body of water with no camps or cottages and no power boats. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone swimming in the lake, nor would I want to.

Route 129 is a very well traveled road with cars doing up to 40 mph quite often. All along the road there is parking. When no cars are there it makes a great space to run in.

The night I was racing those guys each parking space was occupied, and often we were on or over the white line. We were pushing it in more than one way.

As we brushed mirrors with our right shoulders, often it felt like our left shoulders were being brushed by passing cars. It was tight, but none of us was letting up and heading for the side walk.

Running down Route 129 is between the one mile and two mile mark for this race. When you are still hauling ass at this point, you are in a race.

It was so much fun to be totally in the moment and a little bit in danger. Each of us knew what we were doing and each of us trusted that the guy right behind or right in front of us wouldn’t do anything stupid.

It was kind of like the stories my friend Big Daddy Jim tells about cycling. You push the limits, go to the edge and trust the guys you run or ride with won’t screw up.

Mystic Runners Lake Q 5k May 24 2017

Wednesday night was the first time I’ve run with The Mystics since August 26th, 2015. I ran a 22:02 that night and two weeks before I ran 22:00. That was the night I raced five guys down Route 129.

I’m not in the same shape that I was two years ago. Age is only part of that.

Wednesday night I ran a 24:20 race, which isn’t too bad for where I’m at right now.

When we lined up for the start my buddy Mat Kerton tried to get me to start in front with the fast people. I knew better and started about a third of the way back. I did a warm up jog and some stretching, so I was ready to go.

As we ran down Quannapowitt Parkway I got the feel for my legs. My quads were a little sore from running a hard 7.53 the night before, but no twinges in my knees. My lungs were clear and the weather was perfect.

I decided to go all in. Nothing new about that I guess!

I kept up with the people around me and by the time we got out onto Route 129 I began to pass a few people. I kept telling my self that anyone can run a good first mile and mine came in at 7:47.

Mile two is where the work begins in a 5K. The first mile gets you into your group and mile two is where you pull ahead or settle in.

As usual, I ran in the road down Route 129. The traffic was light and there was room to run in the parking lane. All the way down the road I looked around and admired the beautiful homes and the view of the lake. Lake Q may not be fit for swimming, but I still enjoy looking at it.

As we hit the bottom of the lake and took our right onto Church Street, I began to feel the run. I was pretty much maxed out. I set my sights on the runner in front of me and went after her.

Mystic Runners Lake Q 5KWe had hit mile two right at the turn and I managed a 7:57 mile. I wasn’t going to get a 24 minute 5K, but I was doing all right.

With about three-quarters of a mile to go I knew it was going to be tough. I traded places with one runner and another passed me and kept on going.

All I could do was keep going at 100%.

As we ran down North Avenue, once again I got into the street. The street pavement is even and I didn’t have to look out for walkers.

As I approached the turn for the finish I could hear shoes behind me. With only a few hundred yards to go I tossed it all in. When the shoes got closer my stride lengthened. Near the finish it sounded like the shoes were going to overtake me.

Photo Courtesy: John Mulroy

As you can see in this photo I was very focused on staying one step ahead of this young lady. It turns out that I tied with Jennifer Rolfes who is 27 years my junior. While she looks like she is effortlessly finishing, I look like every fiber of my body is fully engaged in getting to that finish line.

Immediately after the finish I was exhausted. Lately, I’ve been making note of how quickly I recover. In the first 30 to 60 seconds after a race I can barely talk. But after about two minutes, I’m ready for a great conversation or a cool off jog.

I did not get a chance to talk to Jennifer, but I think I gave her a fist bump. What a great run.

Driving from Cambridge to Wakefield at the height of rush hour can easily take an hour, as it did this week. Getting to these races is not easy and requires planning ahead. But they are so much fun!

To me, this race was the symbolic beginning of the summer racing season. What a great way to start the season!


I have two races this weekend, so look for my post on Tuesday.

Run well my Friends!


Summer Running Advice

Summer Running Season is finally here.

We endure freezing cold winters and soggy springs to get to this beautiful weather. Ideal running conditions are temps in the 50’s, low humidity and maybe overcast skis and a light breeze. Sometimes we get perfection, but usually we do not.

Running takes up a lot of our spare time, often that spare time is not the best time for running. It is best to run in the morning or the evening and avoid the heat, strong sun and high UV index. Air quality is often better with fewer cars on the road also.

So what to do when the only time you have to run is in the middle of the day in blistering heat? It takes time for our bodies to acclimate. Give your self some time to build up your distance running in high temps. If you usually run 10K for a training run, cut back to a 5K on the first hot runs.There is more to training than just racking up the miles. If your body has time to adjust to the heat, you will perform better at races and during training runs.

Hydration is key

If you don’t normally carry a bottle, you may want to start. The best idea is to have a re-usable bottle that you can toss in the freezer for a bit to chill your water. I think cold water tastes better, and cold water will stay cool longer out in the heat. You may even want to use a sports drink even for your 5K run. You will be sweating more than usual so the electrolytes in these drinks could make your run more comfortable.

If you run in an urban area, you may want to map out water sources. You may find public drinking fountains in a park or along a walking path. Some stores will have fountains just inside the door. Tucking a $5 in your pocket is another idea, as you can pop into a store and buy an ice-cold bottle of water should you need it.


heat stroke, heat, summer running
Dress for the heat

Light colors are best when running in the heat and sun. They do not absorb as much heat from the sun and they make you feel cooler also. A hat or visor will help protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, reduce glare and shade your face. Now is the time to wear your singlets and tech running shirts.

Select your Route Carefully

During the 2012 Boston Marathon, I made a great effort to run on the shaded side of the road. I wasted energy crossing the road to get into the shade, but I feel it made a difference. A shaded area can be 10 degrees cooler than a sunny area. If you can run on trails or in a park with a lot of coverage, it may be your best choice.

If you can run along a river, stream or a lake or ocean shore that could be ideal. You may be more exposed to the sun, but you will have the cooling effect of the water and possibly a breeze off of the water.

Warning signs of Heat Stroke

If you are out running in the heat and feel confused, (more than normal), are not sweating, have a rapid and weak pulse or have cramps or seizures, you could have heat stroke. Early signs of heat stroke are profuse sweating, fatigue, thirst and cramps. Many of us experience these symptoms all the time. If you are running on a hot day be sure to pay closer attention to these symptoms.

If you notice that you are no longer sweating, feel confused or don’t know where you are, seek help immediately. You need to get to a cool place, lie down if possible and drink something. If possible raise your feet about 12 inches.

The NIH has additional information that you may want to take a quick look at. It could save your life, or someone you know.

Run well my friends,


© anagelin 2014

Tick Season is here

New England Tick Season is here

Tick season is during the warmer months of the year, April through September. We had a cold and snowy winter here in New England and some parts of northern New England still have snow on the ground.

Ticks are able to winter over in leaf litter on the forest floor, or your back yard. They are hearty little buggers. So even though you still have the furnace on, ticks are emerging from their winter rest.

Ticks transmit numerous diseases, here in New England the primary concern is Deer Ticks and Lyme Disease. The black-legged, or deer tick, is the primary vector for Lyme Disease. The Massachusetts Town of Dover, Board of Health’s Lyme Disease Committee issued a tick warning on April 13th. The CDC reports that in 2012, 95% of Lyme disease cases were reported from 13 states, including 5 of the 6 New England states.

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

While common in only 13 states, Lyme was the 7th most reported disease in the entire country. The Minnesota Department of Public Health provides the following on the black-legged, or Deer Tick:

Where do we find black-legged ticks?

  • black-legged ticks live in wooded, brushy areas that provide food and cover for white-footed mice, deer and other mammals.
    • This habitat also provides the humidity ticks need to survive.
  • Exposure to ticks may be greatest in the woods (especially along trails) and the fringe area between the woods and border.
  • black-legged ticks search for a host from the tips of low-lying vegetation and shrubs, not from trees.
    • Generally, ticks attach to a person or animal near ground level.
  • black-legged ticks crawl; they do not jump or fly. They grab onto people or animals that brush against vegetation, and then they crawl upwards to find a place to bite.
  • White-tailed deer live throughout Minnesota, but black-legged ticks are not found everywhere that deer live.

What can be done to control tick populations?

There are measures you can take to reduce the number of ticks around your home. In general, drier conditions mean fewer black-legged ticks:

  • Keep lawns mowed, brush trimmed, and leaf litter away from the home.
  • Keep trails or paths in wooded areas on your property clear of vegetation

Continue reading “Tick Season is here”