Mar 11

My Place In The Pace – Miss Zippy

It’s Wednesday in March, and that means it’s time for another look into what life is like in a race, at different pace!


Today Amanda aka Miss Zippy is sharing what life is like for a veteran runner who is still in the fast lane. My advice to you is to pay attention! Not only has Amanda run countless road races and finished an Ironman, she has done something few other runners accomplish though out a long racing career – she has learned from her experiences. Imagine?

Not only has Amanda started paying closer attention to her body, she actually listens to it and gives it what it needs when it needs it, even if that means choosing rest over training. Gasp! I believe that is the “secret” to her running career longevity and we’re lucky enough that she shares it on her blog in the most straight-forward, easy to understand way possible.

I was thrilled to meet and run (in Central Park!) with Amanda this past fall and she’s even cooler in person. Trust me.

VITA and Miss Zippy in the flesh at Fitness magazine Meet and Tweet in NYC this past October.

VITA and Miss Zippy in the flesh at Fitness Magazine’s Meet and Tweet in NYC this past October.

Ok, enough about Amanda and I, let’s get to her experience running races:

Hey guys—I’m thrilled to be over here on Allie’s site today. I not only admire her as an athlete, mom and overall person, but I got to room with her last fall for the Fitness Magazine Meet-n-Tweet and enjoyed every minute of it. I’m flattered she wants to include me in this fun series of posts!

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So let’s kick things off by talking about my favorite race distance—the 10-miler. Maybe not the conventional choice, but I feel like it suits my strengths, a combo of endurance and speed. In general, I run the distance in the 72- to 73-minute range.

Pre-race rituals for me include laying out my outfit, packing a bag of post-race clothes, gels, water bottle and the like. I love being able to get up, have my pre-race meal, and get out the door without much thought.

For most races, I line up toward the front, unless we’re talking a big event like Cherry Blossom 10-miler or Boston. I never line up AT the front, however, because that’s for the speedier gals and I’m all about seeding yourself properly (yes, I’m giving the side eye to those who do otherwise).

Getting it done on the trails!

Getting it done on the trails!

During a race, I rarely talk, nor do I hear much talking around me—it’s a race, which to me generally means working hard. No taking pictures or texting for me; I’m too old school! I also don’t wear a GPS watch when racing and will admit that I don’t like to hear others beeping. They are just about never accurate to the race course, and it’s the race course mile markers that matter.

When I cross the finish line, I’m usually pretty spent, gasping for air. I’m not incredibly social for a few minutes until my heart rate has had a chance to come down. I generally go to races with friends, so I’ll look for them and regroup, before heading off for a short, easy cooldown run.

Finishing strong!

Finishing strong!

After I get home? In the old days, before kids, this usually involved a nap and chilling for the afternoon. Today, more often than not, it means rushing off to one of my kids’ games. Dinner that night, however, will usually entail a bit of indulging and some wine—I believe in celebrating the accomplishment of a race!


Amanda Loudin is a freelance writer, running coach, and the voice behind the MissZippy blog, a site for runners seeking experienced advice, the latest running news, and a fun exchange of all things running related. Amanda has been running and competing in triathlons for 16 years now. Her athletic experience includes 13 marathons, an Ironman, and literally hundreds of other races. Amanda’s philosophy is that fitness is a journey and she loves sharing her passion with readers, fellow athletes, and running clients alike.

Follow her lead:


Twitter: @misszippy1





Do you learn from your life/race/training experiences?

If you race/run is it more serious or more social?

What else would you like to know about the racing experience?



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  1. Thanks so much for including me, Allie! Sometimes I feel like an old dog, but at least I’m an old dog who is still out there, no matter what my paces these days. Looking forward to seeing who else is lined up!
    misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

    1. Not at all!! You are still getting it done and doing it well. Thanks so much for being a part of my little series 🙂

  2. I always enjoy reading posts by Amanda. She is truly an inspiration and thanks for sharing! I am not coordinated enough to text or take pictures…I will talk though!
    Hollie recently posted…RecoveryMy Profile

    1. Hahaha – hear you! I usually never even have my phone until after the race.

    2. Aw, thank you, Hollie!
      misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

  3. Loved reading and getting a bit of insight into this today. Thanks to Amanda for sharing with us here 😉
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Fake It, But Still Not Making ItMy Profile

    1. She is awesome and shares all her experiences – good and bad! Thanks Janine.

    2. Thanks, Janine, for your kind words!
      misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

  4. Amanda is so awesome! It was so nice meeting her last fall 🙂 I loved this! She is so old school and I respect that because as a newbie runner I still have so much to learn and I have learned a lot just from this article!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Weekly Wednesday Workout: Pike and Pull ExerciseMy Profile

    1. Seriously, I have learned a lot from her just because she tells it like it is. Gotta love that in a runner 🙂

    2. I’m super old school…but stuck in my ways, too!
      misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

  5. Look at you two gorgeous ladies being your awesome selves!! Great write up — Amanda seems so chill and badass about racing. I’d like to take that perspective and badassery and apply it to pretty much everything I do in life 🙂
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness recently posted…The 30-Second WorkoutMy Profile

    1. Me too!! Can you tell I want to be Amanda when I grow up?

    2. I don’t know about the badass part any more! ; )
      misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE as I knew I would! Two of MY inspirations in one place! By the way, Amanda, I never knew you had completed an ironman! That is so cool! This post gives me a glimpse into my future, I hope I can be as balanced as both of you!
    Tina muir recently posted…Fuel Your Recovery- Active Release Therapy and Graston TechniqueMy Profile

    1. Something tells me you will exceed both of us!! And now I’m going to print out this comment and hang it on my wall as proof that you called me your inspiration. Wow. Just wow. xoxo

    2. That means a lot coming from you, lady! And yes, I started in triathlon before running–backwards, huh?
      misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

  7. An ironman is such a huge accomplishment!! I don’t think I could survive that!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Cyber Friends Not EnemiesMy Profile

    1. Me either. Totally serious. IM is a step above all else.

      1. Just like a marathon…anyone can do it with the right mindset (and time!)
        misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

  8. Love this post and LOVE Miss Zippy!!!
    I try to learn for all of my race and training experiences…good and bad. The same goes for life of course :).
    Serious in a race for sure!
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…A rough start but a great finish to last weekMy Profile

    1. Of course!…it’s just so hard sometimes!!

  9. Love that action photo of Amanda on the trail. Go girl!
    Yum Yucky recently posted…How to Detox For Fat Loss Without Going HungryMy Profile

    1. Get some!

  10. I love me some Miss Z! Amanda seems like such a cool chic. I’m with her on racing…all business. I recently had a guy try chatting it up with me. I wanted to punch him in the throat. If I’m not responding, take a hint!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…7 Reasons Why Runners Need YogaMy Profile

    1. Hahahaha!!! OMG I love that. Good thing you didn’t waste your energy with a throat punch 🙂 And I agree – I hate when guys especially – try to chat me up in a race. It’s one thing to say a quick “nice job” or “keep going” but to have a conversation? Um, that is not happening!

    2. Well, that’s something I’ve never tried but now your’e giving me ideas! ; )
      misszippy recently posted…Multi-grain hot cereal recipeMy Profile

    • Kim on March 11, 2015 at 8:15 PM
    • Reply

    Oh, so cool to see Amanda/Miss Zippy over here!!! So cool to read about her race prep because I have always thought that she and I have a lot in common. Now I know we have even more – because at a race I’m the same – show up run (no chatting or pictures) and then enjoy after pushing hard!!!
    Kim recently posted…Not Every Day Is PerfectMy Profile

    1. The three of us would race very well together 🙂 Although I would insist on a picture afterward!!

      1. We need to do it! : )
        misszippy recently posted…Agility trainingMy Profile

          • Kim on March 13, 2015 at 9:13 PM
          • Reply

          Let’s do it!! But….not in the snow!
          Kim recently posted…Spring BreakMy Profile

  11. Love seeing Amanda over here- I feel lucky to have met up with her a number of times and like you, thoroughly enjoy and appreciate her. Oh the days of afternoon naps pre-kids… I miss that!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…The marathon of motherhood + N.E.A.T. activitiesMy Profile

    1. Oh Laura, I desperately miss those days!! I used to nap after my long runs. I wish I had appreciated it more!

    2. You and me, both!
      misszippy recently posted…Agility trainingMy Profile

  12. Loved this post!! Two awesome women and hope to meet you both one day 🙂
    Yes, definitely serious during a race! Pics afterwards and would love to have a nap – can someone tell my kiddos that? :0
    Natalie recently posted…Anne of Green Gables, lots (and lots) of yellow and some great muffins!!My Profile

    1. Oh how I wish someone would tell the kids that!! Thanks so much Natalie 🙂

  13. I love seeing Amanda here – she’s one of my favorites and has so much knowledge to share! I love this series Allie. It’s so fun to hear about everyone’s approach to races and their race experiences.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Why Running Fits MeMy Profile

    1. Isn’t it? I just find it so interesting the reasons and ways people race. I could do this for years!…but I won’t 🙂

    • Jen on March 18, 2015 at 8:04 AM
    • Reply

    Love this! Vita, I asked Miss Zippy for some running bloggers that she thought I would enjoy and she recommended you among others . She was right!!! I enjoy following both of you!
    Two great writer!

    1. That is awesome!! Thank you so much and welcome!

  14. I love this series and learning about other runners’ likes, dislikes, rituals, etc. Love that Amanda doesn’t wear a watch. She would hate running beside me and hearing mine beep at us. LOL. Happy running to you both! xo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted…Run Happy Springtime SmoothieMy Profile

    1. Me too!!! And that’s pretty much all I hear when I run races…

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