The Half Marathon Question Mark

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 17, 2009

Hey guys!

I hope you are all enjoying your fabulous Saturday. Last night Eric and I stayed up until 1am watching our new favourite show- Shark Tank! We have a similar show in Canada called Dragon’s Den and we have been hooked on it for the past year so we were happy to see a US version. Two of the investors are actually from the Canadian show too!

We are now all caught up on this season!

I was up and at it early this morning to bake. I am working on a Spooky Chocolate Lovers Variety Pack that I will be unveiling soon! I can’t wait. :) I think it will be fun for Halloween.


Project Snow

Lately I have been neglecting my fitness in favour of working long hours.

My exercise has really been pushed to the sidelines a bit and I have just not been feeling myself. It has been very challenging for me to be baking for 10 hours a day and then try to find the energy to workout. Yesterday, I decided to channel my inner Project Snow strength (P.S.S.) and hit the road for a long run. It was cold, but sunny, and I knew it would make me feel like my old self!

Before I left, I tested out the temperature…


It was just 4C/39F outside and way too cold for just my tank! I decided to wear my shape jacket, hat and gloves to seal in some warmth.

Project Snow Tip #2:

If you really don’t want to go outside because it is cold out, try warming up inside first!

I warmed up for about 1/2 a mile (speed walking) on the treadmill until I broke a sweat. Once I was warm, I was no longer afraid to go outside! I will definitely be doing this on a regular basis. If you don’t have a treadmill you can try skipping rope or stair climbing to get your body warm. It honestly made the difference between chickening out and heading out!

Before I left I was super excited to try out this new Vega Sport powder.


I was sent this to try out and I was quite excited about it because it claimed to increase physical and mental alertness, recovery, energy, the whole she bang!

I mixed 1 scoop with 1 cup water and it provides about 70 calories and just under 20 carbs. The taste was fairly pleasant mixed with water. It was fruity tasting.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this powder agreed with me. :( You know the saying, ‘Never do anything different before a long run.’? Well, I should have listened to that advice! I had a horrible stitch in my side from mile 4 onward. Now of course, I am not sure if it was because of this powder or not. It could have easily been from the cold, perhaps? I will have to test it out again on a shorter run and give you the lo-down.

Project Snow Tip #3:

If you get too warm while exercising outdoors, simply unzip the front of your sweater or jacket about half way until you are cooled down.

Around mile 2 I was heating up and the sun was beating down on me (loved it!), so I decided to try out this tip. It worked awesome too! I felt a cool breeze on my chest and was able to cool down a bit. Once I was cool, I zipped it back up. Thanks for the tip everyone!

The run:

  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Duration: 1 hour 24 mins
  • Max heart rate: 190 bpm
  • Avg heart rate: 165 bpm
  • Avg pace: 9:20 min/mile

As a result of my side stitch, the run was not pleasant from miles 4-9. I was actually quite happy with my pace for this long run, especially given the circumstances. Aside from the stitch, I had a great time enjoying the brisk weather and beautiful blue sky.

Heart Rate and Cold Weather:

I have done about 3-4 cold runs now, and I have noticed something each time. My heart rate is super high when I run in the cold!!!!!

It averages about 10 beats a minute faster (from 155 bpm –> 165 bpm) than when I am running in pleasant conditions. Isn’t that crazy?! I’m sure it is because my heart has to work harder to warm up the air. At any rate, I find it is much more difficult for me to maintain my pace when my heart is working so hard. I’d love to do some research on this!

Has this happened to anyone else?


I still haven’t decided whether I am running a half marathon tomorrow! Nothing like leaving it to the last minute, eh? I guess we will soon find out! ;) If I decide I will sign up, I have to go into Toronto today to register. It will depend on if I get my baking done in time as I have a full day ahead of me.

It would definitely be a great challenge for Project Snow because it is only supposed to be 32F tomorrow morning! eek!


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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet October 17, 2009 at 10:53 am

I hope you get a few more nice hours of relaxing today! I’m loving the project snow tips!


Niki (Running In Pink) October 17, 2009 at 10:55 am

Nice job on your 9-miler yesterday, and great tips for Project Snow. I haven’t noticed any changes with my heart rate when running in the cold, but I also don’t wear a heart rate monitor, so I’m not much help!

Have a great day!


Courtney October 17, 2009 at 11:20 am

I wonder if it was the maca that upset your stomach? I can’t eat anything with maca so I usually go for other energizing herbs. You are awesome for going out in the freezing weather. It is pouring down rain here and I want to run (ipod) is loaded but getting soaked isn’t on my list of fun things to do today!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I don’t think it is the Maca because my Run glo bars have it and they don’t upset my tummy. I’ll have to try out the Vega powder again to know for sure if it was that!


Melissa October 17, 2009 at 11:30 am

I just got back from a 9 mile run and I was thinking the same thing about my heart rate the entire time! I’m in NYC and this was my first time running in 40 degree temp. Normally, my heart rate on a casual run is 165-175…today I averaged 181! I’m going to google it now…I’ll see what I find. I’m interested in seeing if others experience this too!


Susan October 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

Ha, I tried that Vega flavour and definitely would not describe the taste as pleasant :P In fact, I believe the term “sewage water” was used in my post! It didn’t give me a side stitch, but did make me kinda burp-y. Too bad, because it looked so promising!

I like the idea of warming up inside! My 5-10 minute warm-up walk is the worst part of my run these days. I’ve noticed my heart rate is lower? But maybe I’m just slower in the cold air…


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I totally forgot it made me burpy too! lol. It was gross!

I didnt mind the taste, but then again I am used to drinking Swamp Water (wheatgrass powder + H20) and pure wheatgrass juice! I get used to thinkgs after a while. ;)


Penny October 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I love this Project Snow challenge, I really need it! I ran 4 miles in 35 degree F this morning, and I layered up. I LOVE your suggestion of warming up before leaving…I think that will really help me!


Erin October 17, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Hi Ange! I’m loving PSS too and I will be doing my own PSS too b/c chilly, dark weather puts my running outside to the test. One good thing about cooler weather is I notice my pace gets a little faster without feeling like I’m running harder. Have a great weekend!!


Jolene ( October 17, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I have to say … I am scared for project snow!!! I want to try it, but in Saskatchewan the temps/ conditions are ridiculous. Last winter it was around – 30 C for most of the winter, sometimes colder – yikes!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Oh yes the Prairie winters can be brutal with a capital B!
What I am going to do is look at the weather forecast at least 1 week in advance (or two) and plan out when the best days *might* be to get outside. Of course they are often wrong, but I think it will help. That is what I have been doing lately. Goodluck!


Lara October 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I have always read that HR increases with heat, not cold.


Diana October 17, 2009 at 12:56 pm

4ºC ? Wow, THAT’S cold. We rarely have that kind of cold here, even in the winter!


Sammi October 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I can’t imagine even trying to go out in a tank top in that kind of weather! I had my second 5k today and it was sooooo cold plus really bad wind (and it was right on the ocean front which only made it colder). I did learn something important though, listen to my first instinct. Starting out I thought that I would leave my jacket in the car but then seeing everyone else with their jackets and long sleeves I started second guessing myself and almost tried to run with it. I decided not to though and it was such a good decision! Only about a half mile into the race I was getting hot with just my t-shirt and knee length shorts.
Ended up beating my first 5k time which was 30.35 (I haven’t seen the official time for today’s race but it was around 27.45!
Good luck on tomorrow’s half marathon if you end up going!


Kristine October 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

That is really interesting about your heart rate in the cold! I have always wondered whether mine is faster or slower! Don’t beat yourself up over not being able to work out as much because of your baking hours! You are probably still just getting used to having to bake so much for such a large clientele! Also, I bet you are burning tons of calories baking!!


Amy October 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Hi Angela-I love the Vega Whole Food Optimizer and was stoked to try the Sport drink. I got the Lemon-Lime and had the same problems as you and everyone else here. Burpy and some pains in my tummy. It’s really too bad :(

As a fellow Canadian…i find the best times to run is when there is some snow falling in the evening. The snow makes everything so quiet and pretty. Good luck with Project Snow! We have had snow on the ground for almost 2 whole weeks now in Calgary :)


Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) October 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Yay Project Snow! I’m really looking forward to hearing about other people workout out outside this winter, it will help me get out too :)

I’m not a fan of the Vega sport either…


Jil October 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm

That’s such a good idea to get your body warmed up before heading out the door — I would assume it really helps not only to be able to psyche yourself up for the cold, but to warm up your muscles so that they aren’t shocked by the temps. Yay project snow!


adriana October 17, 2009 at 1:36 pm

I am in Los Angeles. Last week we had colder than average temperatures and my heart rate was also reaching the lower 180s even though my pace was the same as any other 5-6 mile run. This morning I ran 13 miles. The weather was back to normal and my heart rate was 164 average and it did not go above 174! I definitely think cold affects heart rate.


Oxidaisy October 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Wow, you are brave, going outside in a tanktop in that wheather!
I went for a run yesterday in about 7C and I felt just great! Like it was no effort at all to run. I could have gone forever. Maybe because of the cold I did not feel my muscles getting tired. On the other side, I wasn’t sore the next day either!
Gonna have to research this too.


Cynthia (It All Changes) October 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I’ve definitely noticed that about my heart rate. It’s one of the awesome things about our bodies. And I love your tips.

Good luck with your half if you decide to run it!


Tay October 17, 2009 at 1:50 pm

You are one strong woman to be running out there in the cold!! Great tip about warming up inside. It usually only gets to 50s in the lowest here, and even then I’m too wussy to go out! hehe

You’re such a spontaneous runner about the half! lol


Whitney @ Lettuce Love October 17, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I am such a baby when it comes to cold weather. I love winter but running in the cold is not my cup of tea. I need to work on that this winter because running in the cold can be fun!


Courtney October 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

My heart rate is faster in the cold I noticed as well! I was wondering if that was the norm…and thanks for the great tip on warming up inside first! I’m going to use that tip for sure.
Can’t wait to see if you do the half or not! I’m doing a Trick or Treat Trot 5k tomorrow..I’m excited!

Adventures in Tri-ing


Jenny @JennyLikesToRun, on a mission to run a marathon to fundraise for the Breast Cancer Foundation October 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Man, cold weather is really off-putting aye? I hate running in the cold. It’s just getting OUT there that’s the hard part. Once I get into it I’m ok because I warm up, but it’s having the mental strength to get off my booty, leave the comfort of my warm house and run.
I love the idea of the warming up inside first though and I will definitely be trying that next winter.
I think you should run the half :) I’d love to see how you go!


Maggie October 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

That’s really interesting about the heart rate… I don’t have a HRM so I don’t know how mine changes, but I do know that I don’t sweat when I run in the cold. I wish I did, because I like to use the sweatiness factor as a judge of how hard I worked out :P


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope October 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm

When I was struggling with my eating disorder a while back, my doctor told me how important it was for me to STAY WARM! According to him, our body has to work extra hard to keep our temperature normal when we are in cold conditions. This causes us to have a faster heartrate and burn more calories. Not the best idea if you are at a low weight, but not a bad thing for working out!



Katie October 17, 2009 at 5:35 pm

I say, if you’re leaning towards it…do the half tomorrow! I am doing it for the second time, it was my first half when i did it last year…and it was such a nice course! A lot of it is on a slight downhill so it is a nice one for beginners like me. Love your blog.


[email protected] October 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm

When I was training for my last Boston Marathon, we did our 21 miler in 20 degrees F. There were snowflakes eveywhere ,but I was actually hot after a few minutes! One of the best tips I have for cold weather running- hydrate!!! People often forget this because its not hot out.


maria October 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Loving all the cold weather exercise tips. It’s starting to cool down here and I’m learning how to continue working out, even in the cold. Not easy, but do-able.


Jenn (eating bender) October 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm

LOL – love that picture of you in the chilly weather :) Project Snow is such a nifty (yes, that word is still in style) idea – loving all the tips!!


Tina October 18, 2009 at 11:05 am

That’s a great idea to warm up inside first! I was in my dorm yesterday and just NEEDED to do something active. It was like 40 degrees and raining but I bundled up and went for a 20ish min walk/run. Even though it wasn’t much, that small burst of activity felt great!


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