Post Saturday long run thoughts

December 3, 2022

I had been doing long runs on Sundays for quite some time. But today I switched it to Saturday and realized it works SO much better for multiple reasons:

  1. I almost never do anything on Friday nights, so it’s easy to wake up early on a Saturday morning
  2. It’s easy for Josh and I to switch off because most weeks all 3 kids have gymnastics @ 10 am. He cares much less than I do about beating the heat, so this way we can both get our workouts in sequentially.
  3. Saturday night we often do something more fun and it will be great to be able to sleep in a bit.

Why did I just figure this out now? Not sure . . . but I think this will be my new routine. I did 13 miles this morning and felt really good the whole time. I had mentioned wanting to run Big Sur in 2024 and I still do, but I think maybe I will also train for a flatter/local marathon too next fall. Miami or A1A 2024, we will see. I guess this is officially a running renaissance for me. Hoping a little bit of speed will come eventually . . .

SPEAKING of speed and fitness. Here’s some interesting (okay interesting to me) data:

Steps have definitely increased with training:

Okay December doesn’t count here, but the trend is still there.

Mileage by month: July – 62 (I had COVID that month so might be extra low), August – 84, Sept – 84, Oct – 132, Nov – 133

VO2 max:

slowly increasing.
Hopefully not entirely plateauing yet.

SOOOOO one might conclude I feel amazing and fit (relatively speaking anyway).

Actually, I do feel pretty good. I am impressed at how much energy I currently have post-run today. I have not felt tired overall despite the increase in average milage.

On the flip side, I have definitely gained ~5 lb over the past few months (and no, it’s not muscle). Which I actually don’t care about that much, not as much as past me has cared anyway. BUT would I prefer they not be there? Yes. And would I prefer that this trend not continue? Definitely yes.

Not sure what I am going to do about it really but probably just be a little more cognizant of portion sizes and ‘extras’ over the next month or so and see if things settle out. I am totally sold on carbohydrates as training fuel (thank you Meghann Featherstun — and BOBW spoiler alert I got to chat with her and it was awesome, ep coming soon!) AND I don’t really think lowering protein is the way to go either. Thus, I do not plan on reducing those in any significant way. I think I have to come to terms with the fact that running makes me hungrier and sometimes I have to make less calorie-dense choices to satisfy said hunger, once requirements are met.

I’m also planning on signing up for one of her sports nutrition groups next year, so maybe that will help me figure some of this out.

Unrelated note:

HOME ALONE has 100% stood the test of time. A+. We had such a nice peaceful Friday evening watching this together (well, me + the kids. I think Josh got home after 9).

Interesting inflation-related observation: there was a scene in the beginning where they had 10 pizzas delivered and were charged $122.50 and the pizza guy says “$12/pizza”. I feel like you can still buy a pizza for just above that, depending on the venue!? The movie is 30 years old! I found this very surprising.


  • Reply Chelsea December 3, 2022 at 11:50 am

    I love Saturday long runs :). I feel like it also gives you a back-up day incase the weather is really bad or something else weird comes up.

    On the body comp front… those 5 lbs might also be water weight. If you are storing more glycogen and taking in more sodium, you’re going to be holding onto more water, which will make you look and feel squishier but will help you a lot in a race or long run. In light of that, you might *not* want to look for lower density food options while you are training hard. That might just make you hungrier and prone to really diving head first into a bag of chips at the end of the day (for me it’s chocolate chips, lol).

    You probably know this already from talking to her for the podcast, but Meghann’s sessions don’t emphasize body weight or composition AT ALL except to say that for most people, running your best means accepting you will not look your best. There are no weigh-ins (except if you are doing your own personal sweat rate test), no body measurements, no real talk about losing weight or “improving” body composition. Probably at least in part because she gets a fair number of clients with a history of disordered eating. Anyway… I just wanted you to know that ahead of time in case that’s something you were hoping to get out of doing her class.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 5, 2022 at 10:39 am

      Totally makes sense. I still want to do it though 🙂 But understand I may have to some of my own work in the background b/c hers is focused more on actual race/workout fueling.

  • Reply Coco December 3, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    i miss long run days… a day dedicated just for the long run as I clear out the rest, and feel zero guilty of doing nothing.
    running does cause more hunger, now that I don’t run that much, i rarely feel hungry. which is nice for a change especially those hangry moments were not fun. but well… if I get into chicago next year, I’ll start training earlier for a solid build up.
    oh.. i think feeling great despite more mileage is definitely related to proper fueling. I guess finding the balance of not overfueling is the challenge for many runners.

  • Reply Brenna December 3, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    I also think doing your long run on Saturday eliminates a lot of the pre-run stress…if I do it Sunday I worry / dread alllll day Saturday!

  • Reply Amelia K. December 4, 2022 at 6:08 am

    Home Alone is such a family win, the nostalgia of the movies cannot go unnoticed. I hope I am not the only one who marvels at the house – I love a great wallpaper and those hunter green tile kitchen countertops bring my so much joy even though I would never try to bring those styles back! My husband and I actually bought the Home Alone house as a Lego set and I give it an A++++ for detail and family fun. It was pricy, but will make for a great holiday decoration in the future :). Link below:

  • Reply MP December 4, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    I do find when I’m fit, my weight is a bit higher (4ish #s). Don’t know exactly why but I make myself not stress to much about it.

    Funny that you posted this about weight as I was just thinking based on your thanksgiving post “look at how great SHU looks, jeans fitting well, looking relaxed and stylish (or I guess emo per A:)), look at how much she is running and she has younger and one more kiddo than you, I should really run more….” So for what it’s worth, even though you maybe reviewing changes in weight…please know you are also inspiring many of us:).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 4, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      Annabel managed to take a very flattering pic, she may have talent! But appreciate it <3

  • Reply Canuck December 4, 2022 at 3:32 pm

    Curious as to why you do weigh yourself?
    It sounds like you are healthy, feeling great and running really well – a win all around!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm

      I like the objective measure I guess. Though I could probably guess my weight on any given day by how my clothes fit and the mirror. I guess i like having the data …

  • Reply Heather December 4, 2022 at 3:52 pm

    I would say if you were truly interest or cared about weight and food intake while training, it would probably be necessary to count your macros and measure your food, but that’s just me. I don’t really think you run a lot, eat intuitively, AND maintain your weight. Again, though, this is coming from someone who has been counting for years and it’s just second nature.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger December 4, 2022 at 4:26 pm

      That might be true but I also truly hate the idea of measuring food. And it’s not something I would want to ever encourage my kids to do. I’m thinking there is a middle between eat haphazardly and weigh every gram? Maybe if I simplify things a bit and just create some general rules around certain things …

  • Reply FlorA December 5, 2022 at 6:05 am

    Hi Sarah! I’m from Argentina and here we have 80% inflation and we usually are surprised/amused when seeing old movies and how much money valued in such times.
    I love your work and I’ve become a planner fan thanks to you!
    Have a nice day!

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