Habits life

Taking Hobbies to the Next Level

August 31, 2022

First of all – thank you for the outpouring of support and positive vibes on yesterday’s announcement post! I’m excited too. The transition does not actually happen for one more month (October 1st) but I can feel the change in the air.

(This was probably one reason behind my planner unrest. LOLOL.)

On a tangentially-related note (because maybe I’ll have a little more time for hobbies?), I was inspired by Kelsey’s post earlier this week to think about how I might think about taking my own hobbies to the next level. Here go my pie-in-the-sky versions of these pursuits:


Not fitness per se (though running certainly contributes to that area) — but running and racing. I have really missed this part of my life, and you all know I’ve been getting back into it over the past several months.

I know that in my 40s, I have to be more careful with injury prevention AND energy management. BUT I feel like I have some decent racing years left. My biggest challenge is the urge to compare myself to my 30 year old self, but I am working on it!

Anyway, I want to make running a hobby I really lean into and enjoy. This might look like:

  • Working with a coach, either through Runners Connect or perhaps Marathon Training Academy
  • Thinking through a race calendar! I THINK I’d like to do a half this winter, 5K speed training summer 2023, and then — yep — Big Sur marathon in 2024. Maybe even with Josh. He is into the idea; we will see.
  • Being more intentional with strength training and stretching etc to support running.
  • Fitting in some longer runs on my more flexible weekdays
speedwork, hard but gratifying!


Yep, I definitely align with Kelsey here! Reading brings me so much joy, and I always know I am in a good ‘life place’ when I am reading regularly. Ideas for expanding this hobby and savoring it a bit more:

  • Sharing book reviews in some regular way (Insta? blog? etc?)
  • Continuing to grow our neighborhood book club! I’m so excited this exists even though we’ve only met once so far (next meeting is in Sept).
  • Crafting seasonal lists and tracking my progress in my planner
  • Bring back the Parenting Book Club. My Miami Beach BFF is on board with this as well. I really miss this!!!
  • Going to the Miami Book Fair
  • Joining a reading-focused Patreon (Anne Bogel or Laura Tremaine come to mind!)
currently enjoying


Can travel be a hobby? I just know that I want to continue to do it, and do it in an intentional and fun way. I love planning out a year’s worth of trips and mini-retreats. Ways I might lean into travel a bit more would be:

  • Planning more fun family itineraries, now that the kids are getting older and able to enjoy more things (well, at least in theory . . .)
  • Create a bucket list of destinations, activities (ie: hike in White mountains), or restaurants and think about which might be priorities in the next 5 years
  • Make sure I am maximizing rewards programs and ‘travel hacking’ to make the most out of points and loyalty benefits
  • Think about tacking some fun activities onto my next work trip (Pediatric Endocrine Society is in San Diego in 2023, and I definitely want to go!)

Which hobbies do you want to lean into? Obviously, no one can do everything. But it’s fun to think about what the options are!


  • Reply Jenny August 31, 2022 at 11:05 am

    I love the idea of leaning into your hobbies. This year I decided to really lean into running and try to accomplish a big goal of mine – a sub 3:30 marathon. I hired a coach that I meet with once a week. I’m 5 weeks out from my race and I have been focusing on getting good sleep, stretching and other recovery, and specific running related strength training. Sometimes it seems a little silly – like I’m a middle aged lawyer mom, not a professional runner – but I get a ton of enjoyment and satisfaction working towards this goal and I really wanted to give it my all. If you are at all interested I highly recommend working with a coach. It took all out all of the guess work for me re what paces, distance, etc. to run. He also helps me with recovery and if I ever feel like an injury is popping up we adjust the training plan to address it.

    My husband’s hobby is golf and he also is very into it. He practices all the time and takes improving very seriously. We have similar personalities so I understand where he is coming from and why dedicating time to his hobby is important to him. He has a busy career too but we always make sure we are fitting in enough family time. Our house is always a mess and we definitely don’t devote nearly enough time to house projects or that kind of stuff, but that’s fine with me.

    • Reply Nicole Vinson August 31, 2022 at 3:48 pm

      LOL! From another busy lawyer, I love the honesty & I really like your priorities. The mess always comes back!

    • Reply Chelsea August 31, 2022 at 4:59 pm

      Good luck to you!!! Are you running Chicago? I’m trying to BQ for the first time Saturday (goal time is 3:35 to come in 5 mins faster than my BQ time and actually get to run Boston, lol), and I feel like I’ve been eating-sleeping-dreaming running since the beginning of the year. On the one hand, it is a bit silly because 3:35 is not actually that fast, but it feels fast and like a huge accomplishment *to me* 🙂

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 31, 2022 at 6:20 pm

        It would be insanely huge to me! Excited to follow your journey you will have to let us know how training and racing goes!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 31, 2022 at 11:10 am

    What a fun list of pursuits! If you post reviews, I selfishly hope you post them on your blog and not insta since I am completely off social and don’t think I will ever go back… I do a monthly book round-up but don’t talk in depth about the books. I share my favorites so people know which books were the gems.

    Your travel planning sounds fun. My husband is like Laura’s husband in that he does not like to plan in advance or even talk about what to do in the future. So I would have to do this on my own, which is fine of course. But it would be a good idea to kind of dream/plan about what we might be able to do in 2-3 years. I think we will stick to low-key beach trips to FL until our youngest is 4. We will only have 2 kids and they are only 3 years ago, so we don’t *have* to push the youngest to do things that won’t be enjoyable/a good fit since we will still have about 10 years of having our son under our room by the time Will turns 4.

    I selfishly also think a BLP retreat would be very very fun! Like in the winter months when people really want to come to FL. 🙂 Annie Jones of The Bookshelf (a great podcast to listen to – she has amazing taste and is like a real life Kathleen Kelly) hosts a couple of reader retreats each year. I really want to go some day but this year wasn’t quite the year for it. A planning-themed one would be delightful to attend, too!

    • Reply Keren August 31, 2022 at 2:51 pm

      I second posting book reviews in the blog

  • Reply CBS August 31, 2022 at 11:34 am

    I don’t know if I’ve ever really had a serious hobby – I’m a voracious reader making my way through 2-3 books per week, I enjoy pottering around the garden, and pre pandemic I was a hot vinyasa devotee, but after a move/new job/immunocompromised concerns, I haven’t made my way back to it. I volunteer at a local zero waste/reusable org, but on a quite ad hoc basis (ie, they need someone to unpack a delivery or to help set up their reuse festival). I find it a good way to connect with my community, and I quite like physical rather than intellectual community.

  • Reply Sophie August 31, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    Those ideas sound great! I’ve definitely leaned into reading and writing fiction in past years (and running but that was a long time ago!). Reading involved being in reading groups in my favourite genres on Facebook, and going to book events including meeting up with other book fans. Writing fiction I took courses and wrote a novel. I’d like to get back into hobbies a bit more again, I took a break when my second child, my now 1 year old was newborn and it all felt too difficult. I like the idea of a local book club, and starting writing again, maybe revising my novel. Also from a fitness perspective maybe joining a hiking group, I’ve recently moved to a beautiful part of Australia with a lot of rainforest and waterfalls etc so it would be great to explore and get fit and meet new people at the same time. I love travel too so definitely enjoying planning more again, including a trip to NZ in January, so I guess that’s a hobby for me too 🙂

  • Reply Ashley Gross August 31, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    For leaning more into reading – I love the Currently Reading podcast and I’ve been debating about joining their Patreon for a long time. You should check out their podcast if you’d like to dive more into reading!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 31, 2022 at 6:58 pm

      I am adding to my queue! I’ve heard such great thing about Currently Reading.

    • Reply Stacey September 1, 2022 at 7:59 am

      Their Patreon is excellent.

  • Reply Chelsea August 31, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    While you are thinking about coaching, I totally recommend McKirdy Trained: https://mckirdytrained.com/

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 31, 2022 at 6:58 pm

      ooh thank you! Do you have a specific trainer you love? (can send privately if that’s easier!)

      • Reply Chelsea September 1, 2022 at 11:22 am

        Sydney DeVore is my coach and I love her. I got her name as a recommendation from Meghann Featherstun, my running nutrition guru. If you contact them, James McKirdy, the owner, will definitely help you figure out the right person for you. It is not super expensive, and I think you will be very happy with your results. I also really like the system they use for sending you workouts and getting data back.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 1, 2022 at 12:09 pm

          thank you so much! I think i’m going to go for it. ahhh! I hope it won’t mean abandoning my apple watch, i love having one device and would miss other functionality if i had to switch back to garmin!

  • Reply Kersti August 31, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    I’m so excited for you. I am engaged in a similar process of deliberately spending less time on work in favor of hobbies and side hustles. I am looking forward to seeing how you end up spending your additional time!

  • Reply Grateful Kae August 31, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    I think I struggle with hobbies because I end up wanting to do everything and I am not the best maybe at figuring out how to balance it all without getting frustrated. For example, things I like to do/consider hobbies are: exercising, walking outside, reading, writing on my blog, reading other blogs/commenting on them etc., playing the piano, journaling/planning stuff, travel research and planning (and blogging about travel, takes time), and misc “projects” like, organizing my photos, etc. (this last one sounds like a lame hobby. Lol. But I do get satisfaction from this kind of thing). Obviously, this is a long list. I end up wishing I could do most of these things like, daily. But I also have 2 kids and a full time job and a husband and a house and, well, that’s not exactly realistic. I struggle knowing “how much” is the right amount to dedicate to these extra things versus things I have to do/family time, etc. Certainly I can do SOME things daily, or a combination of things, but it would be impossible to do ALL of them daily… unless maybe I were retired. Hehe. I end up feeling bad sometimes that I’m failing to fit in my hobbies or end up wondering why I can’t do certain things (like, read as much as other people, or be in the gym consistently right now), but basically it probably boils down to just not enough time! We can do a lot of things, but not all the things, all the time. Anyway, I probably need to think more about priorities and focusing on a select few. Or embrace Laura’s idea of 3x/week is a habit. Maybe, say, reading 3x/ week is enough! Maybe I just scratch even trying to do it everyday. Anyway, rambling here. But I loved this post! Great food for thought. And I love your hobby list.

  • Reply Coco August 31, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    you know i’m very leaning into my hobbies (running) these days.. it’s more important than work even. hahaha… I think getting a coach is really nice now that I have one. we are not in communication every day but whenever I need feedback on something, he’s responsive and provides the best guidance, small things that make a big difference in my performance.
    I was also debating between runenrsconnect and marathon academy and ended with runnersconnect as they are more professional in some sense, and marathon academy seems more beginner friendly coaches. but give it a try to both maybe to see which one you like.
    I need to think about what to do after my marathon, but a race calendar sounds fun.

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