Fitness life Reading

Late Start

November 30, 2022

I was supposed to record a rather exciting podcast guest this morning, but they had to move the session (for a very understandable reason).

So. Today is the first day of non-clinical work WITH childcare I’ve had in what feels like forever. I’m enjoying a rather late start and trying not to feel anxious about it. I do have things to do, including some meetings, but I ended up staying up until 10:30 pm reading I’m Glad My Mom Died (which was pretty riveting) and decided to sleep in and delay my usual AM routine until after driving the kids to school.

a good reminder that even if someone seems to have it all, that can be a complete illusion.

I was thinking yesterday about how I’ve been telling myself the story that my BOBW/BLP/blog work doesn’t take up much time or isn’t a ‘real’ job.

But it’s not true. It is absolutely a real job. There is real income — not super-high income, but significant income that becomes particularly noticeable when it’s tax time! And there are definitely very real hours poured into these pursuits. It’s a FUN job, absolutely. But it is one. I am a physician but I’m also a . . . writer? “Content creator”? “Podcaster”? “Planning/organizing thought leader”? Definitely not influencer (nothing against influencers but I’m pretty sure you can’t be one without an active social media account).

Anyway, I feel like I’ve been doing this stuff forever (and to some extent I have) but since officially going part time I can truly own it. This comes with a little bit more pressure but it’s also kind of cool.

A running-related note

A commenter (Allison) on Sunday noted she was impressed at how much my speeds vary. I realized today that this is new for me, but I think it’s a good thing! Some runs are pure recovery – it’s just about movement, and a little heart rate elevation. Yesterday I did 4 miles at ~11:15/mi pace, with HRs in the 140s. 10 years ago I absolutely would have SCOFFED at that run. But today I did a prescribed tempo (2 mi warmup, 3 mi @ 9:10-9:15 pace, 1 mi cooldown) and the faster miles felt great. The super easy slow miles have a purpose, which is to provide some conditioning and recovery WITHOUT tiring me out in any way, to save my muscles for harder/faster efforts.

I feel like there is probably a larger life lesson here too: we can’t push all the time. Sometimes it’s GOOD to do less, push less, just recover. We will come back stronger and avoid burnout (and injury) that way.

And this makes me feel better about my slow run and today’s slower morning.

the only downside of a late run. let’s hope temperatures drop in December . . .


  • Reply Susan Haven November 30, 2022 at 10:58 am

    Well, you did influence me to buy the Jennett McCurdy book…

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2022 at 11:33 am


  • Reply Tierney November 30, 2022 at 11:14 am

    I read the book for a book club, which made me realize how difficult the memoir genre can be for book club discussions. As in, we can discuss writing style a bit but it’s hard to discuss content since it’s someone’s life, rather than a fictional plot to advance a theme. If I picked someone’s life apart, it is judge-y, rather than literary critique that would occur for a novel.

    Two things that I was struck by include how much parents and environment can influence what “normal” is for a child even when it’s horribly wrong. I would imagine that protecting kids from their parents while protecting parental rights is a fine line in situations that pediatricians or teachers face. The second is her insight into why, exactly, she says that she’s happy her Mom died in the epilogue. I felt like that was some of the best writing in the book because earlier, I think it was written from the perspective that she saw the world at the time in order to convey why things seemed “ok” when they clearly were not. That writing style seemed a bit forced at times, even though it was effective overall.

    • Reply gwinne November 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      I hear that! I teach memoir and this is a definite challenge to stick to the page. YET you’re not reading her life. You’re reading a carefully contructed version of a life. While the facts are the facts, there are things that are included/excluded, highlighted/downplayed, ordered/ structured in a particular way for particular effect, etc. I’d say everything you talk about with respect to fiction, you can talk about with respect to memoir.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2022 at 2:22 pm

        Ooh interesting!!

      • Reply Tierney November 30, 2022 at 3:41 pm

        What a great point! Thank you for this perspective. If we pick another memoir, this will definitely help with discussion!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      I thought her “from a childlike writing perspective” was actually the best part – but I didn’t think the rest was bad!

      Her story definitely needed to be shared so I’m glad she wrote it …

  • Reply Chelsea November 30, 2022 at 11:47 am

    I think it’s a good sign that you are able to differentiate your paces a lot. I’ve heard that Kipchoge does his easy runs at 7:30/mile pace with is probably like a 12 min/mi (or slower!) pace for us.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2022 at 11:49 am

      yes and my extremely fast friend doesn’t mind running 9 min/mi with me on Mondays! (Her last 10K was like 6 min mi pace – OMG!). It’s her recovery and my tempo all in one 🙂

      Kipchoge’s 7:30/mi probably feels like slow motion floating to him. Can you even imagine?!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 30, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve heard so much about McCurdy’s book so will have to check it out. I have no idea who she is but it has gotten a ton of buzz.

    I have a real knee-jerk reaction to the word “influencer.” I should probably be more open minded about it. But you influence people in a different way than what I think of from the IG influencer types – you share what you love/brands you’ve tried. You influenced me to get the W222 – Kae did, too.

  • Reply Noemi November 30, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    I was just feeling bad about how little I’ve been to martial arts this fall, but then I reminded myself that I (and my kids) have been sick a ton. Our cat died (and I took it really hard), then we got kittens. It’s been a lot and it’s okay that I took a bit of a break from martial arts this fall because I had a lot going on. Hopefully I can recommit myself in the new year.

  • Reply Kaethe November 30, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    I know you’ve probably answered this before, but how are you currently planning your runs? Which training plan or coaching are you using? I’d love to try another plan that has both fast and slow runs, ideally that works well with the 1-2 days/week that I do a CrossFit-type class.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger November 30, 2022 at 4:14 pm

      I’m using a (paid) plan via RunnersConnect – it’s $29/month. Not personalized coaching but it is a custom plan based on current paces + goals!

  • Reply Coco November 30, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    the varying speed is what i learned when I trained too… i used to run around the same speed all the time, no wonder i didn’t improve. i now truly believe the value of targeted training and it’s actually good to slowdown sometimes.

  • Reply Jenny December 1, 2022 at 8:55 am

    I love this post! I’m currently reading I’m glad my mom died and I just ran a marathon and think A LOT about my paces and my feelings about my paces. You have to take the easy days easy and the hard days hard. I try not to let my ego get in the way re thinking I should be running a faster pace but its hard to do sometimes. I got a coach for the first time this training cycle and it was crazy how much my pace varied throughout the week depending on the workout he planned.

  • Reply Ashley December 1, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    I live in a very hilly city and in the winter, we spend a few weeks in the Florida panhandle. I’m always amazed at how much faster my pace is when it’s all flat. 🤣🤣

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 1, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      winter FL running is the best! just need to get the temps below 70 down here . . .

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