life Parenting Work

Life This Week

June 21, 2022

Orientation week is going well so far. Selfishly, I am happy that it’s a bit of a break for me — while I do have to lead some of the orientation sessions (including this afternoon), I blocked off the entire week, so there is less multitasking for me than usual.

(I still have to check in daily with my clinical inbox, but having no patients scheduled is definitely a luxury.)

I have several GME-related projects that have been looming in the background (letters of rec, learning plan, curriculum-related things, eventually ACGME reporting due in August) so I am seizing the extra time to get some #%(*#$& done. After ~3 years in this role I guess I finally seem to understand the rhythms of its yearly calendar.

I have a tempo run on today’s workout schedule. I am trying something wild and eating before running, as inspired by Fuel For the Sole (running nutrition podcast recommended by Chelsea). I have run fasted for years though not in my marathon training days.

In hindsight I do feel I started to run slower once I started running fasted BUT this also coincided with running in South Florida which is much hotter/humid in the mornings, too. Also, I am old. But let’s see if a half bagel with jam is the key to speed on today’s tempo run today. I will report back tomorrow . . .

The big kids are getting so excited for camp! And admittedly so am I. I just think it will be a really fun/relaxing change of pace around here. 4 weeks is just about perfect – it feels substantial but also will go SO quickly (there’s a call week, a PHL trip, and a visiting day/NY trip as well in there — and I know this will make it fly). I just sent them postcards via Postagram (recommended by my SIL so they’ll have mail when they get there).

And for the first time G will sort of dominate our family rhythms. How incredibly different and what a treat for her.

(Hopefully no one will fail their COVID tests on Thursday or rapids on Saturday. That is our last hurdle!)

((And on that note, I scheduled G’s vaccine for this weekend! I’m not actually sure which she will be getting because Walgreens didn’t specify but then decided not to worry about it because neither seems to be a clear winner or loser anyway.))

from last night. C watched The Last Kids On Earth and eventually A&G got bored and we had a girls-only viewing of Get Organized with The Home Edit. Now G wants a professional organizer to come sort through her toys . . . and she also wants all of Winnie Harlow’s makeup (episode #2).

Apparently we are leaning into summer hygge which at this house means Netflix and Youtube. I’m not too upset about it.


  • Reply Amy June 21, 2022 at 6:44 am

    Lol, we are leaning into summer hygge around here too, except our kids are sucked into Ninja Turtles — oh well!

  • Reply Chelsea June 21, 2022 at 7:22 am

    I totally get that hygge feeling when we have an epic thunderstorm.

    Hope your run goes well. Hydrating and fueling well has been a complete game changer for me – especially in the summer. You might also like some of the recipes on the Featherstone Nutrition webpage. The Thai spaghetti is a favorite at our house. **End fangirl mode**

  • Reply Hannah June 21, 2022 at 8:58 am

    My top morning running foods are banana and a frozen greek yogurt bar or a small bowl of cereal and nut milk plus a banana. For those really hot days, either a propel fitness water packet or maple syrup, lime juice, mint and salt added to really cold water.

    I never like working out fasted, I find my workouts much more pleasant when I have the energy for them.

    Also hi. I’ve never commented before. I’m mostly here for the book recommendations but I figured I would comment since I’m pretty evangelistic about recommending food before workouts in real life.

  • Reply KGC June 21, 2022 at 8:58 am

    I am always appalled/fascinated by people who can run on an empty stomach…I would literally be on the ground after about half a mile. It is sooooo much easier when you have a bit of fuel! I would love to hear your experience with adding in a bit of food; I bet it helps.

    I usually do dates and peanut butter (don’t knock it ’till you try it) before a mid-week run of 5-6 miles, but I eat a full breakfast sandwich (English muffin, sausage, cheese, egg) prior to a weekend long run. (I realize my ability to eat a breakfast sandwich and then bang out 10-13 miles is weird, so maybe not for everyone). Plus I take a GU for any run over about 8 miles. I actually ran out of breakfast sandwiches for a while and was subbing oatmeal and found that long runs were harder – it was a running friend that pointed out that I probably just didn’t have enough calories! I think tracking can help figure some of this stuff out but…that seems like a lot of work =)

  • Reply Marianne June 21, 2022 at 9:02 am

    I ran fasted for years but started eating once I started training with the new heart rate coaches at Another Mother Runner. They’ve helped me think about fueling my body for working out and then if I want to work on weight loss, that’s what the rest of the day is for. For me, that means having something before a run and if it is a long one, boosting the breakfast too. After that, I count my WW points as usual (when I’m in this mode). I’ve found it works well!

    Are we supposed to suggest half marathons for you to train for where we live or are willing to go for a BOBW/BLP meet up? Because I’m in for that!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 9:19 am

      hahahahah maybe!!

      The heart rate coaches would probably tell me to just give up. My HR was up to 201 according to my apple watch during my mile intervals today, ie, possibly incompatible with life . . . haha.

      • Reply Chelsea June 21, 2022 at 11:04 am

        I ended up on this whole nutrition thing because a running buddy of mine was having an insanely high heart rate during her long runs. Turns out hers was due to inadequate sodium intake… you might want to think about some electrolytes as well.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 11:29 am

          very interesting. technically the birth control i’m on might cause you to lose more sodium (via urine) as well so could bee a factor. maybe in lieu of bagel the answer is something like NUUN endurance etc

  • Reply Beth June 21, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Well huh. Maybe I should try some food before my morning runs/swims. I never eat before my morning workouts, more because I am trying to quietly sneak out of the house than for any specific reason. But since my 50k I have been feeling sooooo sluggish on my morning runs. Maybe some fuel would help. Food for thought (hee hee)!

    • Reply Beth June 21, 2022 at 9:45 am

      PS. Can we talk about summer camp? Is there a reason you picked this one? I would really like my kids to go to sleepaway camp next year but I feel like I get paralyzed by the choices and then end up being too late.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 10:44 am

        I recognize this is totally unhelpful but we picked it bc their older cousins go there!!

        • Reply Beth June 21, 2022 at 11:38 am

          Honestly, a personal recommendation seems like a great way to choose!

  • Reply Coree June 21, 2022 at 10:48 am

    Ooh, I’m so excited for the camp updates. I grew up on the West Coast and it full on summer camp wasn’t really a thing people did (beyond church, or scouts, but these were shorter, less traditional). We don’t have anything like that in the UK, which makes me kind of sad, I think my son would love a summer of running around outside.

    We’re still 5+ for vaccines here, and I doubt it’ll go any lower, and we need to book my son in for the day after he turns 5, to give a bit of protection before he starts school 2 weeks later. “Happy Birthday! xoxo Science” But luckily we’ve created a pavlovian association between vaccines and donuts, so my son will march in happily to get his. Best parenting move we’ve ever made. He’s in a longitudinal study on who develops asthma and we had an hour long appointment including BP, a breathing test, drop of blood, nose swabs, and allergen scratch test and he was a champ.

    The same doesn’t hold for the nasal flu vaccine, where I had to bribe him with a trip to the bookshop to get him to unclamp his hand from around his nose.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 10:55 am

      Haha on the donut pavlovian response! I already told G she could pick out a candy of her choice at Walgreens to eat immediately post vaccine!!!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 21, 2022 at 11:55 am

    I have always needed to eat before I run! I hope it helps a bit? I feel so depleted if I don’t eat before a run, but it has never bothered me whereas I know some people have major tummy trouble if they eat before a run.

    So exciting that G is registered for her first dose. Our ped clinic needs to approve the vaccine before administering it, which seems kind of odd, but oh well. There is a vaccine clinic with appts but they only do a deltoid injection, which I totally understand, so I need to hold off until our ped schedules appointments since our 4yo is so skinny so needs a thigh injection, and the 18mo does, too. But they just had covid so at least they are *hopefully* in the clear for 60-90 days!

  • Reply Emily June 21, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Random question — I just tried to use your affiliate link and the SARAH10 code to order a new full focus planner and it told me the code didn’t work. Do you know if it expired? Would love to get you the affiliate $$ if possible.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      Oh no! I will find out but definitely don’t wait on me to order. Thank you for trying!!!

  • Reply coco June 21, 2022 at 5:33 pm

    I just listened to that episode too and made me wonder if fueling before a run would work for me. please report back and see how it helps u with tempo workout. I might start doing that slowly before long run. what do you eat? I can’t think of eating breakfast at 5am.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 5:47 pm

      I ate a half bagel with jam … not sure if it helped. I think next time I might just try a sports/electrolyte drink instead

  • Reply Noemi June 21, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    Oh I want l hear how the run goes. I feel like I cannot eat before I run because I’m sure to get a side stitch or full on cramp. I have to wait HOURS after eating to run. Even just drinking too much water before I run gives me a side stitch. Sometimes I get a side stitch even if I don’t eat first but it’s much less likely.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 21, 2022 at 5:49 pm

      I usually drink water and black coffee. Not sure it helped but my first two tempo mile splits were a bit improved. I still felt dead on on the third and my heart rate was insanely high. Might try a sports drink next time instead. No stitch though!

  • Reply JJ June 21, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Sarah – are you comfortable sharing your smart physician thoughts about why you are vaccinating G now? Specifically, is there utility in waiting until closer to the school year, so her resistance to symptomatic disease is highest when she returns to that congregate setting? Also, did you consider waiting until age 5, for a higher dose of Pfizer (with potentially fewer jabs)? And, given that (if memory serves), G has had COVID before, did you consider allowing her natural immunity alone to suffice? This stuff is SO HARD. “Seeing the work” from educated professionals makes the job of parenting seem less daunting. Thanks for all that you do.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 22, 2022 at 5:45 am

      I have basically Lazy Geniuses this one and have decided not to really spend much time stressing or thinking about it, quite honestly. So I am not sure I have smart physician thoughts to share other than my college BFF pathologist who is married to an infectious disease physician is vaccinating now and so is my smart Seattle general peds friend, so I figure no reason to do things differently.

      I’m not even sure which one she is getting (the Walgreens appointment didn’t specify) and have decided not to really worry about that either; after all, both were approved.

      Yep, we all had COVID Dec 2020. There must be something to that immunity because I find it pretty surprising we haven’t yeet had it again!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 22, 2022 at 5:46 am

        and PS: I haven’t stressed about us getting covid, either! The only thing I want to avoid is giving COVID to my parents and inlaws. That is my main motivation for vaccinating (and also avoiding quarantines – such as the older kids would have at camp if not boosted).

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 22, 2022 at 9:00 am

        Our under 5s just had covid in May/June. I asked our pediatrician (who is the program director of a peds program in Minneapolis/St Paul and super well-respected in the physician community) if we should hold off on vaccinating since they have some natural immunity. She said to vaccinate as soon as possible because natural immunity + vaccination is best and with the variants, they could be susceptible to another variant and get covid again even though they just had it. This happened to a classmate of my 4yo – the classmate had a mild case of covid and then tested positive less than 90 days later! Plus with the 2-3 dose regimen, it will take quite awhile to be fully protected. I’m excited for the quarantine period to be shortened once our kids are fully vaxxed. Right now it’s 10 days and while that is manageable for the 4yo, it was extremely difficult with our 18mo!

  • Reply Svetlana June 21, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    I usually drink coffee with cream before running…feel like the cream helps somehow, though maybe not, because of its low/no sugar content. Sometimes I’ll have a couple of dried apricots or some other dried fruit or up to a half of a Larabar. Anything bigger makes me get a side stitch…ugh. Understanding the rhythms of the yearly calendar is a really nice thing! I’m a year into my current job, and I’m only now starting to get it.

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