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!

[Tweet “Find your place in the pace with @MissZippy1 today!”]


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?