Fitness Parenting

Workout Report + Screen-free May . . .

April 30, 2023


M: Rest (recovering from strep, wasn’t feeling ready to work out!)

T: 6 mi total, 6 x 30s at 5K pace. 10:03/mi average. 20 min full body strength (Jermaine Johnson) + 10 min yoga for runners with Kristin McGee 69F / 89%

W: Group run! 6.6 mi total, 9:18/mi ave. 68F / 98%

R: Treadmill hills, with warmup and cooldown outside! 3 mi warmup @ 10:46/mi, 2.55 mi on treadmill doing 8 x 90s hills at 6-7% grade 6.0mph with 2 min recovery jog between each, 2 mi cooldown outside 10:37/mi 69F / 93%

F: 6 mi relaxed at 10:18/mi. 72F / 94% humidity

S: 17 mi long run with intervals as follows: 2 warmup / 3 at MP / 2 recover / 3 at MP / 2 recover / 3 at MP / 2 recover. Here are splits:

strava data via my Apple watch

Super happy with this run; felt like a bit of a breakthrough. Fueled by taking a Gu Liquid Energy gel with water prior to each 3 mi MP interval and ~5-6 oz Skratch before each recovery interval. 76 – 79F, 83-91% humidity. I guess I am really getting heat adapted!

S: 3 mi easy. Windy. (And we are now under tornado watch, sigh!) + 20 min strength for runners + 10 min yoga for runners. 75F / 87%

miles: 46.2

strength: 2 x 20 min sessions

yoga: 2 x 10 min session (basically stretching, but it felt good)

weather: summer has apparently arrived (and probably won’t leave until mid December. But I seem to be adapting a bit!)


After a particularly bad day yesterday Josh and I decided it was time for another extended stretch of screen-free time for the kids. There will be some very specific exceptions (mostly for when we go away for a little 48 hr getaway later this month) but no iPad, no TV after school, etc. Occasional family movie chosen by parents. And probably Are You There God in the theaters! That’s it.

(We, as adults, have also agreed not to generally spend time on screens for recreational purposes for the most part. For example, right now I have explained that I am working and told them it would take me about 30 minutes to write a post.)

They are actually not that upset. Genevieve seems downright gleeful at the opportunities to focus on other things. We did this before (in March 2022) so I know we can do it again. Happy MAY!


  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns April 30, 2023 at 10:00 am

    We have been leaning more on screens lately since our weather has been so horrid. I can’t wait for nicer weather so we can be outside more! We’ve let the boys watch a movie to start the day on weekends for the last several weeks. But hopefully that is coming to an end soon.

    Great work on your week of training. You are getting fast!! This week was not great for me as I was traveling and then got some sort of URI at the end of the week which isn’t too surprising with all the travel + being on a high dose of prednisone for a flare. But I am getting tired of this cycle of illnesses. Nice weather should help with that, though.

  • Reply Daria April 30, 2023 at 10:32 am

    Yesterday all of us in this house were climbing walls… Cooped up inside because of non-stop rain and it just started up AGAIN. We let them watch when we couldn’t take it anymore -in 20 minute increments.

  • Reply Chelsea April 30, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    Awesome job on the long run! You really nailed it!

  • Reply Omdg April 30, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    It’s amusing to me that you have to hop on the dreadmill to do hills. For me, I have to hop on it to do a flat run. Lol. I still can’t fathom your training volume. Wondering whether you have pain or stiffness after running. When I get out of bed in the morning everything hurts. A podiatrist was perplexed that I didn’t have pain when I was younger bc apparently my feet are that bad. Well, apparently I do now so yay.

    • Reply Amanda April 30, 2023 at 9:40 pm

      I was thinking this too. I’m not 40 yet, and have been running for 25 years and need so much more recovery, foam rolling, etc. than before. Way to go!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 1, 2023 at 12:04 pm

      haha yep, no convenient hills! I don’t have the time to drive to the one park with man made hills or find a bridge somewhere. It’s pancake flat around me in every direction other than one tiny bridge I can use for strides.

      I’m recovering well. Honestly I am less sore and achey than when I was doing intense lifting. I remain in fear of injury (tendons esp) but so far so good. i take collagen, rotate my shoes (and I think the super shoes are helpful), do my 2 strength sessions, run slow on easy days and hope for the best.

  • Reply Alyce April 30, 2023 at 5:52 pm

    When you say that your kids don’t seem all that upset about screen-free May, I can’t help but think that they likely appreciate the boundary, and having it be enforced by someone else. Simone recently got into screens after being 100% oblivious to them for fours years, I think because screens are incorporated into preschool/school. As of now, we let her use her iPad on weekend mornings, and any other time is a firm no. And the firm no is so much easier behaviorally than letting her use it for a defined/short period of time.

  • Reply Amanda April 30, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    I was wondering if you had any advice around rules for sweets/sugar for your kids that you’ve done in the past. So far we haven’t had big issues with needing screen limits but my 4.5 year old loves sugar. We tried to put some limits in place (ice cream on Fridays + one other treat after dinner per week) and it backfired – she actually got up in the middle of the night and snuck out to eat chocolate. Which is kind of hilarious but also felt like a parenting fail. So now we’ve become more relaxed again and she probably gets a small serving of ice cream or something like a chocolate PB cup 4-5x per week if I’m honest. She’s not overweight or anything, but I just can’t figure out what I think is the right balance/rules for our family. I have thought about doing a sweet-free month and have nothing in the house for 1 month, but I don’t know if I’m over thinking it. Curious if you’d be willing to share your thoughts/approach as a parent and endocrinologist!

    • Reply Amy May 1, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      I’m not an endocrinologist, but I am a parent — we let our kids have dessert every night and have pretty firm boundaries otherwise. I mostly just want to encourage you to rethink how you’re framing that “parenting fail” — your boundary didn’t backfire; she tested it. That’s normal! Not a sign that you were on the wrong track or that your rules were somehow too strict or harmful. Be confident in the structure you’re providing her, however feels right for your family!

      • Reply Amanda May 2, 2023 at 6:24 am

        Thank you! I honestly meant more of a fail in that now I’m
        afraid of giving her some sort of complex around sweets/food. It does seem like when we make less of a big deal about it, she does too and asks for it less. Thanks for sharing your approach and your encouraging words!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 2, 2023 at 5:26 am

      This is a great question and complex topic. I would say we do have boundaries in place but my kids get a small dark chocolate treat every night and usually ice cream once a week or so plus if they are at bday or family parties they eat whatever (though I tend to limit juice to 1!).

      I definitely grew up having a small treat each night (and still do) and so this feels normal to me!

      • Reply Amanda May 2, 2023 at 6:28 am

        Thanks for sharing! I grew up having pretty regular dessert too and I now limit myself pretty well and don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But I feel like it’s sort of a “good parenting” thing right now to not let your kids have sugar. I’m finding that a more relaxed approach seems to make it less of a big deal to her overall so hopefully that will work out.

  • Reply Irene May 1, 2023 at 7:17 am

    I’m trying to get back to running more and find it harder to balance keeping some strength training in (which I think is important). 2 20 minute sessions seem really different than what you were doing a year or so ago when you were more focused on strength. Do you feel like your body composition is very different? Are you planning to cycle back to more strength after the race?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 1, 2023 at 12:01 pm

      my body composition is definitely “worse”. Can’t have it all I guess!!! I am too into running faster to care much 🙂

  • Reply Jenny May 1, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    I was curious as to how you found your running coach. I have done several longer races using an online training plan, but I have the NYC marathon in the fall and would like to *actually* train. Any advice on how you found your coach, what the system is, etc?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 1, 2023 at 4:19 pm

      I work with a coach at Microcosm which I learned about from Reddit (I guess some good things come from that place, ha!). – I met with Coach Drew via Zoom and liked his style so I went with him. So far it’s going well! He lays out the plan, I fill out a google doc with info about each run, and I get feedback and plan adjustments. I think it has been really helpful already.

  • Reply Jenny May 3, 2023 at 9:35 am

    Wow, you had some good workouts! And a 17 mile long run… what are you training for right now?
    i’m impressed with your screen-free May intention. Especially impressed that your kids are okay with it. I think if I tried to impose that my daughter would go on a hunger strike or something equally extreme. But she’s 14, so… things are rocky enough right now. Good luck with it!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 3, 2023 at 12:19 pm

      Oh yeah, i don’t think I’d try it with a 14 year old!!!!! (Limits, but not as extreme).
      I’m training for nothing coming up soon but I am planning on doing Jacksonville Marathon (the Ameris Bank one) in December!!

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