Fitness life

Failed Run + BLPA Fun

January 19, 2023

It rhymes, so it’s a good title, right?

My run sucked this morning.

It really did. I didn’t start it until 8:30 (Thursday is my current late start day) and was attempting to do a 4 mile tempo segment at 8:45-9:00/mi pace (with 2 mi warmup / cooldown, so 8 total).

2 miles into the tempo portion and I was entirely over it. I was hot and thought of two more miles at a the same effort seemed insurmountable. So I stopped.

(Now, I’m kind of doubting whether I really needed to stop, but at the time I really didn’t feel good, so I think the answer was yes.)

Now there are several factors that might account for a crappy run, the most obvious being that I am getting over being sick. AND it was 72F and felt hotter because it was humid and the sun felt relentless.

BUT ALSO? I feel like I am improving SOOO slowly for the amount of effort I am putting in, and it makes me feel kind of sad and old.

So, way too many feelings after a failed tempo run. I’m running a 5K (this one – 10 minutes from my house!) on Saturday; hope that goes better.


Best Laid Plans Academy – happy news!

round 1: let’s go!!

Today is the live kickoff for BLPA session 1, and I’m so excited! It has been a long road putting all of the pieces together and I just hope everyone enjoys it and gets a lot out of it.

AND AND AND, I think Best Laid Plans Academy LIVE is going to happen!! Still in the process of choosing a venue, but we are thinking South FL in early November so maybe mark your planners VERY LIGHTLY in pencil. Actually maybe just use a post it note.

This event will be for anyone who wants to spend a Thursday through Saturday planning (and RELAXING – that’s also kind of the point) with me on a live planning retreat! I will be presenting the modules I developed for BLPA, but in a live format and you will be encouraged to get your planning done in real time. AHHH! Obviously I will post details when I have them.


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 19, 2023 at 11:29 am

    I think your recovery likely impacted your run so don’t be too hard on yourself. Thinking back to when I was in run club and was training for a sub-2 hour 1/2, I remember the tempo run workouts being SO hard. I was training during our hottest months and we met at 6pm so it was a really awful time to be pushing my body. I remember telling the coach that if it was so hard to sustain sub-9 for 4 miles, how was I ever going to do that for 13.1. And yet – it happened. I don’t really understand how things can be so different in a race environment, but something magical seems to happen. So try not to beat yourself up too much over a bad run! You might surprise yourself on race day!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2023 at 11:58 am

      If race day is 50F maybe . If it’s 70F+, then . . . I probably should just pretend it’s not a race!

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 19, 2023 at 12:25 pm

        Yes, if it’s warm on race day, I would definitely adjust your expectations!!

  • Reply KGC January 19, 2023 at 11:45 am

    SHU, I’m sorry that you are feeling sad and old and I’m just posting to say me too. I used to run 25-30 miles/week and went into PT almost a year ago for plantar fasciitis (and now recently confirmed that there’s also a plantar fascial tear). A year in with significant reduction in running (think, intervals now for half a mile and walking the rest) and it is…not gone. I have seen a lot of providers, switched PTs, started shock wave therapy, switched shoes, am re-learning my walking and running gait, and the improvements are small, given the time/money/effort I’m pouring in. My newest PT basically said, “You’re at the age where things start to break down” (I’m 38! only 38!) and I’m working on just accepting that lots of effort with slow improvement might have to be the new normal. I hope your bad run today is just a bit of a post-viral slump and that things pick up for you, but also…if you do find that a slower improvement is the new normal and can find a way to make mental peace with it, could you share how??!?!! Signed, slowly losing my mind.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      oh man – 100% get it. Running seems to get harder and harder on the body too – the 2 Another Mother Runner ladies are not really able to run much anymore either after many decades of really leaning into it. I do think I have to come to terms with ‘new normal’ to some extent. It does not help that I feel surrounded by faster and more naturally gifted runners (at work, my running friend, my husband!). I need some slower friends 🙂

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 19, 2023 at 12:28 pm

        I’m happy to be your slower friend, SHU! 😉 My 10k felt in Sept felt “fast” and I ran that at a 9:20 pace which was pretty slow for pre-kid Lisa. I am not as motivated as you, though, so I don’t aspire to run as fast as that version of myself. I know I just don’t have the time/energy to run at my old pace.

        I think it’s important to be mindful about your “benchmark” – we talk about benchmarks all the time in asset management. If you don’t pick the appropriate benchmark, you are setting yourself up for failure! This is something I think about a lot and something I’ve meant to write a post about actually!

      • Reply KGC January 19, 2023 at 1:58 pm

        Yup, you definitely need to find yourself some slower friends. It can be REALLY disheartening to run with people faster than you (especially when they make it seem so effortless…) unless it’s done deliberately or part of a training plan. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to find a running group (some people like them, some people don’t…this extrovert LOVES having people to run with!) but in my experience there are groups that have members of all different speeds. If you want to find other runners your pace, they are definitely out there! And being with them may change your attitude a bit. But really (as others have mentioned) I think your bad run today was related to COVID/flu and I bet the next one is better!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2023 at 2:04 pm

          my fast friend is actually SO much faster than me that it doesn’t bother me in that way – it’s like completely another realm 🙂 and she is SUPER gracious and does not mind running slowly at all. But it would also be great to have friends similar pace to me!

      • Reply Ashley January 19, 2023 at 3:08 pm

        Um, I’m your same age, also a runner, and much, much slower than you are. It’s all the same distance!

  • Reply Omdg January 19, 2023 at 11:50 am

    Ok please forgive me if this comes off harsh, but you are still recovering from Covid and the flu. Of course your run felt like crap. Today means literally nothing with respect to your performance. And yeah we are all getting older and have to work harder for relatively fewer gains, but that was not what was going on today.

    Keep on kicking ass!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      totally fair 🙂 and not harsh. I was trying to tell myself the same but I needed someone else to say it!

    • Reply Amy January 19, 2023 at 7:40 pm

      I agree with this — come on Sarah, of course it was a crappy run! You’ve had the flu. Your body needs time to rest and recover. Bailing on an 8 mile tempo run was the right move.

  • Reply Lori C January 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

    Live event! Woo hoo!!!

  • Reply arc January 19, 2023 at 11:58 am

    This seems like one of those situations where it might be helpful to imagine what you’d say to a friend who was in the same situation as you.

    What would you say to a friend who told you she managed to run almost 4 miles just a couple of days after a high fever while recovering from covid + influenza, but she was bummed she couldn’t do more at pace? I imagine you’d say that she kicked ass for getting back into the groove so quickly and managing to do so much! And that this run isn’t a good data point for evaluating all the effort she’s put into improving.

    Recovery takes time. Try to be gentle with yourself.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2023 at 12:13 pm

      thank you <3 patience is NOT one of my strengths . . . obviously . . . but very wise!

      • Reply Lani Inlander January 19, 2023 at 12:17 pm

        Exactly! Are you silly? Get some rest!!! Give yourself a break!

  • Reply Chelsea January 19, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    I second everyone who blames the bad run on heat and illness, but I will also say it took me soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long after having my 3rd to really feel in shape again. And every little bit of progress still feels like it takes an incredible amount of effort.

  • Reply Grateful Kae January 19, 2023 at 4:00 pm

    Now I’m curious what my paces would be like if I were to start running again and train for another race. I last ran a marathon in… 2011 I think it was (Asher was a toddler!), in around a 9:30 pace. I used to always hover right around 9 min miles when I was just “out for a run” (casual/steady state) of like 3-5 miles. Seemed to be my default pace. I am sure I would be much slower now since I never run anymore. I can’t say I care enough to take up running again just to find out, lol! But it’s interesting to think about.

  • Reply coco January 19, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    definitely it’s because you were sick!!!! don’t doubt the training. I know it takes a while, long time to see results, but running is something that guarantee progress if we put the effort in it.
    most of runs are great, but sometimes we do have those crappy runs which make a good run even more rewarding. i had a bad run yesterday too, but I was glad I went out to sweat a bit, otherwise my PMS would have been even worse.
    oh the meet up!!!!!! can you do October right before or after the Chicago marathon? hahahah… would love to meet up with you.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 19, 2023 at 5:25 pm

      are you running chicago this year? maybe i should do it (!). except too late to apply for lottery to enter! lol. another year . . .

      • Reply Grateful Kae January 20, 2023 at 7:12 am

        Come to Chicago when Coco is here, Sarah, and I’ll drive down and meet you guys too!! 😃😃

  • Reply Jenn N January 19, 2023 at 9:03 pm

    Just want to add my voice that for sure it’s because you’ve been sick! I am the total opposite of the spectrum where I never push myself to do tough workouts within like a week of illness haha so I would have been impressed if you briskly walked for 40 minutes. I am also an extremely slow runner…wait, do I just have super low expectations in general? Bahaha, just kidding. All about giving yourself grace over here. 🙂

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