1 Week to Go + Prerace Analysis

May 18, 2024

Last Week of Training:

This week the SoFlo heat arrived in full force with its BFF, humidity. It felt miserable + I was kind of over running this week, to be honest, and if I wasn’t preparing for a race coming up so soon I might have decided to take a day or two off.

But . . . my marathon is in 7 days (!!!) so I followed my plan.

(Also, if someone gives me a plan it does take a LOT for me not to follow it. Sometimes to my detriment. But this cycle thankfully it all seemed to work out!!)

M: Run with Jacy, 9:10/mi ave and 9 mi total

T: 10 x 1 mi at 20-25 seconds faster than MP with 2 min rests. I walked outside and was greeted with a WALL of humidity. I honestly wasn’t sure I could complete this workout. I started at 5:10 AM and it was 79F “feels like 85” with 86% humidity according to Strava (but honestly in my memory it felt worse than that even!). I decided to take extra rest if needed but still try to hit the splits. I wore my aging Alphafly originals (200+ miles on those now) because I am saving my Metaspeeds for race day.

Overall ran 12.99 @ 8:46/mi ave (that included some parts at 0 mph as I rested or walked slowly between repeats). Mile repeat paces: 7:20 (lol unsustainable), 7:36 (still unsustainable), 7:42, 7:47, 7:42, 7:47, 7:53, 7:51, 7:47, 7:45. This was the hardest workout for me of the whole training cycle though I think the weather was a major factor. It just hasn’t been even close to this bad since probably September! I took an extra minute to drink water during 2-3 of the recovery periods.

W: 6.5 mi @ 9:20/mi

R: 8.5 mi @ 9:44/mi. I was so tired and weather was staying really stagnant.

F: 6 mi @ 9:12/mi

S (today): 14 mi @ 8:48/mi that included 2 @ MP (miles 12 + 13 were each 8:08/mi). It was again hotttttt (we are truly in a heat wave, high is 97 whereas normal right now is more like low-mid 80s). 92% humidity, 79-81F. I actually felt pretty chill during most of this run but the MP miles didn’t feel as easy as I hope them to feel on race day. Hopefully next week’s very light training load, a carb load, and SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER TEMPS will make a huge difference!

S: will be OFF

This week: 57 m

My coach definitely had me do less of a taper than some, but I am okay with that. I seem to recover pretty quickly and I think next week will be enough to leave me fresh for race day! And today’s 14 miler did seem oddly . . . short. Crazy how that happens.

Race Goals + Predictions

The coach I have been working with thinks 8:10 is a “conservative” marathon pace to shoot for. This is a 3:34:07 marathon. This would be an official BQ and might be fast enough to get me in the actual race (one elaborate prediction model I came across predicted something between ~5 and 7 minutes for Boston ’25). I’m honestly less fixated on actually running the race in 2025 (thinking more 2026 . . .) for a few reasons, but it would be super exciting to qualify.

A GOAL: Anything under 3:35. This would be so wonderful. A huge PR and a major training victory!

B GOAL: BQ, anything under 3:40.

C GOAL: PR, anything under 3:48 (vintage race report from when I ran that time — also my most recent marathon, yes it was almost 15 years and 3 kids ago!).

D GOAL: Finish strong and be proud of my effort

Prediction calculators:

Just for fun (and future reference), here’s what Metathon and Runalyze think of my chances:

METATHON: Based entirely on average pace and total mileage (from Strava data). I believe that Metathon greatly overestimates my abilities, probably because a) I feel like I have a relatively narrow range between easy pace and harder efforts compared to some and b) I run high-ish mileage (though not THAT high!).

I think on an ideal weather day, I could MAYBE run a half marathon at that pace. Full? Not in my current shape. No way. But interesting!

RUNALYZE: In comparison, Runalyze is a killjoy and a Negative Nellie. I think there are three reasons behind this:

1- Whenever my watch cadence locks (ie puts my HR at 180-190 instead of the actual numbers), it makes my VO2 max look horrendous, and this artificially lowers my VO2 max calculation. (The predictions are all based on estimated VO2 max plus how “trained” you are.)

2- Hot weather raises HR and since they use HR to calculate VO2 max, this also artificially lowers my VO2 max calculation.

3- Whenever I run in super shoes, Runalyze gives me a significantly better calculated VO2 max which makes sense, as I’m definitely a far more efficient runner in those shoes (as are many, probably most people). I’ll obviously be in super shoes for the race! But I don’t usually wear supershoes (only for 1-2 runs/week).

So, while I think Metathon is wayyyyyy off in the flattering direction, I sort of think Runalyze is possibly underestimating me. I guess we will find out soon enough!!

One more important prediction:

This looks absolutely amazing. PLEASE PLEASE STAY IN THIS BALLPARK, WEATHER!!!!

It has been an awesome training cycle and I am so happy to be approaching the start line without injury. I could absolutely still get a virus or something and mess things up, but I’m thrilled and grateful (and maybe slightly surprised) that my muscles/tendons/joints were able to withstand training at this intensity.


If you are invested enough to track me on race day (assuming this is just a small minority, but figure it doesn’t hurt to share) — you can do so here by just entering my name. I won’t be using the RaceJoy app (I worry about it draining my battery!) but it looks like you’ll be able to receive text or email updates at various points with the other option.


  • Reply Marie May 18, 2024 at 12:04 pm

    Will be cheering you on virtually! I’m really glad you and Laura talk about running fairly often – it’s inspired me to start this spring after years of listening to you.

  • Reply Lori C May 18, 2024 at 12:19 pm

    I’ll be tracking you and cheering you on!! Rest rest rest this week and HAVE FUN on race day!

  • Reply Marianne May 18, 2024 at 12:32 pm

    I’m excited for you! Sometimes I think maybe I should try a 10k, then I run 5, think about doing that again, and am like, nah, I’m good! I love how you have tiered goals, so no matter what happens on the day you’ll feel like a winner!

    • Reply Elaine May 18, 2024 at 5:06 pm

      Good luck! You’ve had such a great, consistent training cycle, hope the race is fun. Can’t wait to read the recap. Have you decided what music you’ll run to for each section?

      Thanks for the inspiration to run while having small children 🙂 I’m set to run my first half since having kids next weekend. My goals are to get to the start line (daycare viruses and teething have meant minimal sleep for my 10mo old) and then get to the finish line.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2024 at 5:44 pm

        I probably should get on that! I have a basic race playlist I use so will modify that to include more chill vibes for first half or so!!!

  • Reply Lisa’s Yarns May 18, 2024 at 12:48 pm

    I will be tracking and cheering you on from Minneapolis! I hope that race weather holds. Your MP will feel so much easier in cooler, less humid temps! I always loved the final month before the twin cities marathon because the temps would really drop in the am and a pace that felt HARD in the heat of the summer would feel so much easier. So I am sure you will feel amazing on race day. I miss that feeling of 14 being ‘kind of short!’ Your idea of what a long run is gets so distorted during training! I can’t wait to see what you do and it seems like you are coming in with great goals and good perspective about this race!

  • Reply Chelsea May 19, 2024 at 8:59 am

    Good luck!!! I’ll definitely be tracking you from Orlando :). Metathon was also overly optimistic for me (3:31 vs 3:36) and Runalyze decided I wasn’t running enough and way underestimated my time (I think 3:48 – something like that). But hey! Somewhere between 3:37 and 3:22 would be fantastic!!! I’m so excited to see all your hard work play out. Crossing my fingers for the weather.

  • Reply jennystancampiano May 19, 2024 at 10:47 am

    I’m SO EXCITED for you!!!!! Of course you never know what can happen in a marathon, but you’re in a good place to crush your goals. Our recent horrendous weather (arrrrg!) will probably make race day feel easy. One thing- not sure if you already do this, but maybe wear a mask at work this week? I hate masking, but I wore a mask at work for about 10 days before my race in February. After all this hard work, you DON’T want to get sick now.
    Since your race is on Saturday, I’ll be at work while you’re running, but I’ll try to track you.

  • Reply Maggie Arnold May 19, 2024 at 5:19 pm

    So excited for you to crush this race! I know you are going to fly. You have put in all the work and your mileage is amazing. Enjoy it! Embrace the pain!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 19, 2024 at 5:25 pm

      Aww thanks so much Maggie!!

  • Reply Miriam May 20, 2024 at 7:50 pm

    I’m so happy for you Sarah!! You are so prepared and are coming to the race with so much fitness! Can’t wait to cheer you on virtually!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 21, 2024 at 5:58 am

      thank you Miriam!!

  • Reply San May 24, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    I find the predictions wildly entertaining… but I do think you’re capable of a BQ, so go you… leave it all out there!

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