Week 6 – Baby It’s Cold Outside

Ok, We may have a decision to make. This Sunday will be very frigid, predicted to be near zero at the start of the SLR. While dangerous, as long as you dress right and avoid exposed skin, a run in temperatures that cold is doable. I’ve done it (a tip, a layer of vaseline on your face works wonders).

On the other hand you could run your run on Saturday. It’ll still be in the teens, slightly warmer, but it’s also Saturday…. that means more traffic. Normally it takes extreme circumstances for me to move a run to Saturday. I’m trying to find out if we can use the Knights of Columbus Saturday morning

My question to the group is, if the Knights is available, do you prefer running in heavy traffic on a slightly warmer Saturday SLR, or do you prefer to brave the cold on a quiet Sunday morning SLR. Weigh in here, should the S stand for Saturday or Sunday for this week’s SLR? I’ll post later tonight if we’ll be changing the run to Saturday of sticking with Sunday.

The Frozen Valentine Sunday Long Run

The day was chosen, we’re running tomorrow, Sunday, February 14, 2016. Not only is it Valentine’s Day, but it is also forecast to be one of the coldest days in the past decade. Back when Over the ten year history of the Sunday Long Run we’ve had a few days in the single digits, but I’m not sure we’ve run below zero, which may hit tomorrow. Also the wind will be blowing, which could make it feel like its about 20 below tomorrow.

Get those warm running clothes ready. Here’s a few tips for running in the cold… Dress in layers. For tomorrow’s weather wear three layers on top and two layers on bottom. The inside layer should be a tight layer, this will work like a wetsuit trapping warmth against your skin. Keep your extremities warm. Mittens are better than gloves, your fingers will like the warmth from their friends next to them. Better yet, a light pair of gloves inside a pair of mittens. Feet, wear warm socks. For the boys, yinvest in warm weather windbriefs, I’ve found some at REI and they were worth it! Wear some sort of balacava around ¬†your neck. This will allow you to pull it up over your face when you feel you need it as well. Wear a winter hat to trap the heat in, and if its water resistant that’ll keep it from icing up from your sweat. Remember, no matter how well you dress, you’ll have some exposed skin. If you put a layer of vaseline on your face, your wrists and your ankles that’ll protect the skin from the cold, reducing the risk of frostbite especially when its windy. If you do all these things you’ll be ready to tackle the cold. Just in case though, bring some additional layers to the start with you in case you decide you need to change something mid-run.

This week’s route will stay local, just in case of emergency, you’ll never be more than 2 miles from the Knights of Columbus. Here’s the plan: ValentineRun. The run will be a clover leaf with the Knights of Columbus in the center. If that sounds too St Patrick’s Day for you, imagine it’s four hearts. The four loops will leave the KofC, head off to a Melrose neighborhood, and return to the KofC for a water stop. That’ll give you a few seconds to rehydrate out of the cold before you head out for the next loop. Long runners do all four loops, shorter distance runners only do the first two loops.

Loop 1: Start going up Main Street towards Wakefield for a run through the Horace Mann neighborhood. ¬†After Franklin Street, move over to the right side of the road as you’ll be turning right on Baystate Road. You’ll turn right onto Damon Avenue which will bring you down to the Horace Mann School. The road will curve to the left after the school and end at Cochrane Street. Turn right on Chochrane then another right onto Howard Street. Howard will end at Green Street, you’ll merge to the left onto Green at a triangle island. Green will cross the LynnFells Parkway and bring you onto Main Street. Take Main back into Melrose Center and come back to the Knights for a water stop.

Loop 2: Continue down Main Street to West Wyoming. Turn right on W Wyoming, crossing to the left side and take a left on Ravine Road. Ravine will take you to the Fellsway East, turn left on the Fellsway, run the hills and stay left as you the approach the traffic circle at Highland Ave. turn left on Highland and then a very quick left onto Glenwood Street. Glenwood will take you over to Oak Grove. Go straight through the set of lights and head over the Orange Line tracks. Continue to the next set of lights and turn left on Main Street. Head back to Melrose Center and stop back in at the Knights of Columbus.

Running Short? You’re done. Running Long? Loop 3: Continue on Main Street heading north again. This time when you get to Franklin Street, turn left. Run through Franklin Square and up to Perkins Street where you’ll turn left. Perkins will bring you down to the LynnFells Parkway. Right on the LynnFells to Grimsby’s. Turn left on W Wyoming, back to Main and back to the Knights for another warm water stop.

Loop 4: Cross Main Street onto East Foster and head up to Melrose Common. Turn right on 6th Street and follow that as it turns into Swains Pond Avenue. We’ll end the run with a loop through the quiet Swains Pond section of Melrose. Follow Swains Pond Ave up to Turners Pond, where you’ll turn at the stop sign to stay on Swains Pond Ave. At the end of Swains Pond Ave you’ll be at the In&Out Convenience Store on Lebanon Street, where you’ll turn right. Follow Lebanon back to East Foster and turn left to get back to the Knights. And you’re done!

For water stops, I’ve had offers from Tom, Paul, and Denise but since I’m planning one stop, inside of the Knights, I won’t need that much help. I would like at least one helper though to make sure runners get in and out as quick as possible (enough to warm up, but not enough to sweat too much).

That’s it. Who’s in for the Frozen Valentine’s Day Sunday Long Run?! ROLL CALL!

40 Responses to “Week 6 – Baby It’s Cold Outside”

  1. Rob says:


  2. Courtney says:

    Sunday and I’ll even bring Vaseline to share!

  3. Jeff Rushton says:

    Sunday…IFTF !

  4. Gail says:

    I’m running on Sat

  5. Kristen D says:

    Sunday because I can’t Saturday but if it moves I can find a treadmill….

  6. Matt Sazama says:

    Sunday. Saturday’s warmer but has stronger winds and snow showers to deal with.

  7. Andy says:

    If I run, I’m in for Sunday.

  8. Ashley DeAcetis says:

    Sunday please!!

  9. Denise Judware says:

    Not running Sunday (I will eek out my small miles on Saturday) but willing to do the water stop on Sunday.

  10. Tom Gorman says:

    I’m not running this weekend. I ran this weeks long run Thursday night. I can do a water stop also if needed.

  11. Jim says:

    Well the Sundays have it.

    I am considering a different route, perhaps 4 unique loops that return to Melrose Center so that we can keep an eye on the cold runners and give people the option to warm up if needed. Keep your eyes on the post above for more information.

  12. Paul Locke says:

    I’m IFWS (In For Water Stops) – let me know where you’ll need tea and handwarmers.

    – Paul

  13. sheree says:

    I will run Sat …is anyone else up for a long run Sat?

  14. Freddi Pare says:

    Sunday please…or…How about Monday? It’s President’s Day and school vacation week for a lot of people. Maybe their won’t be any traffic on the roads.

  15. Lee says:

    Layering up for the full on Sunday.

  16. Denise Judware says:

    I can help with the stop

  17. Jessi says:

    Iftf…. Only because of this amazing Elsa themed map with hearts!!! Thank you Jim!!

  18. Sue worrall says:

    Iftf I think. Nice route Jim

  19. Matt Sazama says:

    In for the frozen full. Or at least part of it.

  20. Marian Sales says:

    Marian Sales and Krissy Nowell are ‘tentatively’ in for the ‘really really’ cold full

  21. Lois says:

    oh, Jim, you’ve made it very hard to bow out this week. i’m a maybe for the moment, but a part of me doesn’t want to miss out.

  22. Kristen D says:

    This sounds great… Minus the cold. Thanks Jim – IFTF

  23. Heather Lane says:

    I’m almost positive that I’m in for the full. I’m hoping to not wimp out in the morning. I’ve got to get it done and I’m thinking that the cold will be less painful than the treadmill. Thank you, Jim!

  24. Amanda says:

    Wow this is going to suck lol but couldn’t do it without MRC! I’m in for the full
    Thank you Jim!

  25. Katie says:

    IFTF – though I will be complaining about the cold the whole time. How much Vaseline is too much? Can the water stop actually be a hot cocoa stop??

  26. Brian Walfield says:

    I’ll be there. Not sure what I’m doing
    Thanks Jim!

  27. Dorota says:

    It’s official. You’re all INSANE. :0)

  28. Freddi Pare says:

    I’m on the fence. I think I’ll decide in the morning. I’ve only used a treadmill once and I can’t imagine 16 miles on one.

  29. Ashley DeAcetis says:

    Most definitely IFTF and am loving the Elsa themed route map!! Let’s get this done!!

  30. Judy Dolan says:

    Some of us have decided to run Monday morning if anyone would like to join the group. Being a holiday and school vacation, traffic should be light. We will run Main St to Lake Q and back. Mike will water stop us at Walgreen’s Wakefield lot. We plan on leaving Bruegger’s at 8. Stay warm and safe. Happy Valentines Day.

  31. Don K says:

    In for the full

  32. Jose says:

    Hi Judy.
    What time on Monday? Today would be suicide.

  33. Jose says:

    I see 8 am Monday. I am up for that. Thanks Judy & Mike.

  34. courtney's sucky neighbor says:


  35. Judy Dolan says:

    We leave Bruggers at 8 on Monday. Me, Maryanne, Haecha, Audrey, Jackie so far Mike water stopping

  36. Jim Carson says:

    Judy, note that Brueggers is closed until March so you won’t be meeting inside. You might want to pick someplace else to start from.

    The Frozen Valentine run went off as planned at 8AM from the KofC. On Valentine’s Day 2/14 fourteen people showed up to run the four unique loops around Melrose.
    The first loop to Horace Mann started off cold, -9 degrees with a wind in the runners’ faces making it feel like -25 degrees. The runners were well prepared for the challenge though, and all came back to the Knights with frosted eyelashes and all the 280 fingers and toes they left with.
    After a brief water stop they headed off for loop 2, out through the Wyoming neighborhood to the Fellsway East into Malden, by Oak Grove and back. The temps were now at a balmy -5. A pair of runners opted for an extended tour of Malden, making for an unpleasant run along Pleasant Street. Finding that the temperatures were not much different that far south, they returned to the Knights. Four decided that two loops were enough for the day, chalking up 8 miles in the cold and settled in for some hot chocolate and coffee provided by Denise.
    A dozen heart shaped donuts didn’t deter a dozen runners from heading out for loop 3, 11 from the original pack plus Don Keren who joined in the fun. The third loop took the gang out to Franklin Square, up to Perkins Street and along the LynnFells. Back at the KofC with 12 miles under their belts, the hearty group of Valentines headed out for more.
    The last section took them up to Melrose Common and out to Swains Pond, with Lebanon Street bringing them back to the finish. While the temperature had made it to 0 degrees, the wind was still whipping through Melrose. Krissy joined in to make the group an even dozen.
    After the 16 miles were done we had a little post run party with valentine donuts and conversation hearts, coffee and hot chocolate was enjoyed by all before we cleaned up and headed home.
    Congratulations to Amanda, Ashley, Courtney, Heather, Icicle Rob, Jessi, Katie, Kristen, Lee and Mike for running all 16 miles. And Andy, Birthday Boy Brian, Coutrney’s twin brother Don, Krissy, Jeff, and Matt for running parts of the run. Thanks to Paul Locke for scouting at the end of each loop to make sure nobody was struggling (and taking pictures of them to prove it). Thanks to Denise for the coffee and hot chocolate. Thanks to everyone for making the MRC such a great group of people to run with, and the SLR such an impressive bunch of determined (insane) people.
    Happy Valentines Day! No go snuggle something and warm back up.

  37. Courtney says:

    That write up was great Jim!!!! Thank you Denise and Paul and my pack of Valentine’s who kept me honest and from falling onto Ell Pond. Let the chocolate binge begin!!!!!

  38. Jose viveiros says:

    Hi Judy Nolan
    Still starting from brugger parking lot gets this morning ?

  39. Adam Machanic says:

    Hi all,

    I was watching this with great interest, total cold weather wimp that I am; I didn’t leave my house AT ALL on Sunday, let alone for a run. So congratulations to those who made it, and huge thanks to Jim for the writeup. This is certainly going to be on my mind next time I decide to make a weather-related excuse for not going out. Wonderful inspiration!


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