Fitness Goals

Weekly Workouts

July 23, 2023

T – 20 weeks

I thought I was 17 weeks away from the race last week but apparently I missed a month in there! Oh well, more time to train = fine with me.

M: 7.1 mi @ 9:07/mi average; a friend in the group had scheduled a workout that included 2 x 2 mi @ 8:30 pace, so the group did that. It was fun to do all together.

T: 8 mi relaxed @ 10:20/mi (included 6 x 30s hard at end, paces 6:24 – 6:51/mi) + strength work at a PT appt

W: TM hills –> 8 mi total, 10:13/mi ave. 3 mi warmup, 3 min x 6 hills @ 4-5% with 3 min jog recoveries, 6.3 mph, 1.7 mi cooldown to total 8 mi

R: 7 mi relaxed, 10:05/mi, 40 min strength mix (barre, upper, bit of lighter lower)

F: 6.9 mi super relaxed, 10:27/mi

S: 13 mi done as 3 warmup, 3 @ ~10s faster than MP, 1 recovery, 3 @ ~10s faster than MP, 3 cooldown. Splits for the faster miles: 7:56, 8:02, 8:18, 8:20, 8:03, 8:06. Average overall pace for the full 13 = 9:20. I was happy with the “MP+” miles. I was working hard but it felt doable as a half marathon pace (esp if the weather were better!). I have to admit anytime splits like that pop up on my watch during a training run I am really pleasantly surprised. Even when I am supposed to be pushing.

ignore the HR data it must have picked up cadence or something! I was working hard but not HR of 210 level, that would be impressive and/or scary

S: Rest. About to do some (Peloton) yoga.

Total: 50 miles / 2 strength sessions / 1 yoga

It’s still hot, like 77-81F most days and dew points in the mid-high 70s/90%+ humidity. Even my shoes are soaked after long runs somehow (without any rain or puddles!). I am already ready for October/November (and am EXCITED for the reprieve I will be getting soon on our trip!)

Nutrition Stuff

Note: I will limit any discussion of nutrition-related stuff to these weekly workouts posts!

I did download MyFitnessPal and did a few days of quantitative nutrition tracking. Getting actual data has been a bit helpful, I have to say. Sometimes I do think the post-run hunger does seem to outpace (pun intended, lol) the actual burn from the run, at least in my case. I can also see that I struggle with getting enough protein and probably could ease up on fat (aka peanut butter, sigh).

I do not plan to quantitatively track forever (and definitely not on our trip) but a few more days of data will be good. And I can see it being a good periodic tool – kind of like time tracking!

I do not plan on doing anything aggressive or to make any sweeping changes to my overall eating approach. Instead, I am hoping (perhaps optimistically?) some increased awareness of things like macronutrient needs and just a little more intention applied overall will help me drift back to my prior baseline. I am not willing to exist in a super hungry state all the time but I am wiling to play with the balance of things a little, if that makes sense.


  • Reply Morgan July 23, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    Your posts on body changes resonate with me so much! Curious if you have any suggestions for getting started with macro tracking?

    • Reply Amy July 23, 2023 at 4:15 pm

      I’ve had success using a formula like this:

      – Calculate your calorie needs (total daily energy expenditure, maybe? there are lots of tools online to help you determine what that should be)
      – Eat anywhere between .7-1.0 G protein per pound of body weight, figure out how much that would be in calories (protein is 4 calories per gram)
      – Divide up the rest of your calorie needs between whatever fat / carb combo works best for you. Carbs are 4 calories per gram as well, fat is 9 calories per gram.

      Good luck!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 23, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      I just use the free version of My Fitness Pal – if you click on nutrition, you can see fat / carb / protein. I am not quite meeting protein goals (as set by them) most day but close.

    • Reply Grateful Kae July 24, 2023 at 7:53 am

      @Morgan, I’d use caution though relying on My Fitness Pals pre-set “goals” for your fat/carb/protein. Their recommended default percentages typically set protein goals much lower than what most experts recommend. I think in MFP they set protein no higher than ~20% of total calories. The gold standard that seems pretty universally accepted is Protein goal of .7-1 g per lb of body weight. So as Amy said, once you figure out how many total calories you need, next move on to protein and calculate how many grams of that you need. If you are a runner/ not prioritizing weight loss & strength training, it’s probably okay to be a little on the lower end of that range, but if trying to lose fat or maintain/build muscle, usually it’s recommended to go for at least .85-.9 g/lb of body weight. Once you have your protein total, you can move on to calculating fat and carbs (these are much more flexible based on your preference/ needs).

      So for example, the last time I counted macros in a little deficit, I was eating around 1,725 calories/day with a goal of 125 protein, 155 carbs and 60 fat. (*Don’t ever just copy someone else’s calories or macros!! They are individualized based on your height/weight/activity level/expenditure etc.) I weigh usually 133-135 lbs or so, so this worked out to about ~.93 grams of protein/ lb for me (or 30% of my total calories).

      Also MFP will often set carbs really high too, or at least too high for an average person wanting to lose weight. If you’re running and WANT/need the higher carbs, that could be totally fine! But I’d still recommend not just plugging it in to MFP for calculations. There are tons of better macro calculators online that will break down the specifics for you. After setting the protein goal (DON’T lower that one), you can titrate up the carbs and the fats down, if you need more carbs for running. But the total of all 3 should still fit within your total calorie goal/ needs.

      Then, just go into the Goals section in MFP and change the macro numbers to be whatever you want (based on the macro calculator) vs the pre-set ones from MFP.

      *disclaimer-not a coach or anything, just have counted macros several times over the years and have learned a lot about it. I do not currently count macros though. 🙂

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 24, 2023 at 10:12 am

        So this is interesting: MFP recommends just under 1 g/lb protein for me! Is that higher than you would think? This is 20% calories and I have it set at a slight deficit aiming for 0.5 lb loss/week.

        I don’t think the carb range is overly high either for the running I am doing though agree it would be quite high without it …

  • Reply Amy July 23, 2023 at 4:10 pm

    It is really cool to see your paces get faster and faster — I think I remember when you got back into running a while back you were frustrated by your speed. Well done! How long have you been training with this volume?

    Also, as a fellow runner in her 40s I wonder what your experience is with recovery and if things feel different now vs 10-15 years ago. Personally I feel fine, but my younger years were marked by being a brand-new, inexperienced runner in my 20s and then repeatedly pregnant / postpartum in my 30s (and, uh, early 40s), combined with zero focused strength work. So if anything I feel better than I ever did when I was younger, but I feel like all I ever hear about training in midlife is how much harder it is! Any thoughts? What’s your experience been like?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 23, 2023 at 5:01 pm

      OMG yes – just one year ago my “tempo” pace was like 9 minutes. I ran (really tried to race!) a 5K in September 2022 at 9:15/mi pace – crazy that was 10 months ago. Training works.

      I definitely know a lot more than i did in my 20s. My pace esp easy pace is naturally WAY slower. Super shoes are AMAZING and I think help my ‘fast paces’ when I use them. I know more about how to fuel now. I was good at endurance (over speed) then and that is also true now. My 30s were also a baby making / small child caregiving decade and I never really trained, even though I still ran (prob ~15-20 mpw most of the time).

      I’ve NEVER run fast in heat like this – even in NC, we could get some high 60s-low 70s temps in early morning. But I’m adapting I think!

      my PR was from age 29, marathon 3:48. I *think* I could run that now, but only in super shoes .. .

  • Reply Chelsea July 23, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    I 100% think 3:48 is within your reach! Obviously there’s nothing you can do about illness, crazy weather, etc, but fitness-wise, I think you are definitely be in shape to run that fast.

  • Reply Jenna July 24, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    So curious about supershoes? Are you wearing VaporFlys? I’ve been working on getting faster for about 6 months now, and training works (as does prioritizing sleep and not drinking alcohol to facilitate better sleep), but I wonder if I’d be able to train better/faster with supershoes? Do you use them for all fast workouts?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm

      I wear alphaflys (old version) for speed workouts + races! They absolutely help – both to run faster and to recover faster.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm

      PS I don’t know if you use strava but i always put which shoes i wear so when i look back i can see if i had the supershoe advantage 🙂 plus it will track shoe mileage accurately that way.

  • Reply Jenna July 24, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you! I’m not on Strava, but I definitely want to try them for some fall workouts and races.

  • Reply Jenny July 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

    You had a good week! I swear THIS week I’m getting to the gym to do some treadmill hills (inspired by you.) I’m also ready for October/November- we’ve got a ways to go, sigh.
    I don’t track macros, other than my recent tracking of protein grams. Well, I guess that’s tracking macros. But I don’t pay attention to carbs or fat and maybe I should.

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