Miss Zippy http://misszippy1.com Mom. Runner. Coach. Writer. Mon, 24 Aug 2015 04:23:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Nearing the finish linehttp://misszippy1.com/2015/08/finish-line.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/finish-line.html#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 04:23:18 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6371 I’ve alluded to the fact that I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to keep going with this blog. I think you can tell by the frequency–or rather infrequency–of my posts of late that not is kind of winning. I’m a never say never kind of gal, but it feels right at the moment to […]

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Carving out more time with these guys means stepping away from the screen.

Carving out more time with these guys means stepping away from the screen.

I’ve alluded to the fact that I’ve been wrestling with whether or not to keep going with this blog. I think you can tell by the frequency–or rather infrequency–of my posts of late that not is kind of winning. I’m a never say never kind of gal, but it feels right at the moment to shut things down here. Or at least put them on hiatus. So that’s where I’m headed.

When I started this blog five years back, my kids were much younger and it probably felt like I had infinity left with them at home. Today my son is starting high school. High school! The speed at which this day arrived gives me whiplash. And not a small dose of emotion–how can I only have four more years with him at home? With that finish line rapidly approaching, I want to remove extraneous commitments from my day in order to make the most of the time I have left with him (and my daughter) here at home. The blog, in my opinion, has become extraneous.

I started this site as a way to showcase my writing about running so that I could have opportunities to write for running publications and web sites. Mission accomplished. Like many of you, I found that the blog took on a life of its own and took me to so many unexpected places, allowing me fantastic experiences and chances to meet some very cool people along the way. I am grateful for all that.

One of those opportunities is a new project I’m launching and I’m hoping that, as with the blog, you’ll come along for the ride. It’s a new podcast series called Running Story, and it will fall under the umbrella of an already established series handled by UpDoc Media. I’m hoping it will serve as something of a marriage between This American Life and running. I’ll be interviewing an incredible array of runners–some elites, many not, and everything in between. The common theme will be the colorful story that each of them can share with us. We plan to launch in full right after Labor Day, so keep your eyes (and ears!) open for it. We’d love your suggestions for guests, too, so let us know if you have someone you think we should put in front of the microphone.

I’ll also be staying in touch through Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms, so please reach out and keep me up to speed on your goings on.

Finally, thank you all so much for being my readers over the past several years. I have loved forging relationships with so many of you and that is probably the hardest part about giving up the blog. I will miss sharing the road with you here but will carry you with me as I move forward.


Moving on with new projects via @misszippy1 #runchat #podcasts #blogging…
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XO, Amanda

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/finish-line.html/feed 67 The finish line of my blog Carving out more time with these guys means stepping away from the screen.
One post/two reviewshttp://misszippy1.com/2015/08/two-reviews.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/two-reviews.html#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 04:03:40 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6356 After a much too long time, I am finally getting some product reviews in for you all. The upside to being tardy with reviews is that the reviewer has more time to spend testing the products, right? Right. The two I’m featuring today are the Soleus Running GPS Mini watch and the Journal Menu fitness and […]

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After a much too long time, I am finally getting some product reviews in for you all. The upside to being tardy with reviews is that the reviewer has more time to spend testing the products, right? Right.

A review of the Soleus GPS mini running watchThe two I’m featuring today are the Soleus Running GPS Mini watch and the Journal Menu fitness and workout journal. Here’s what I liked/didn’t like about each:

Soleus Running Mini GPS:

I admit to not having heard of Soleus until the brand approached me to try their watch. I was curious to see what this competitor to the bigger boys like Garmin had to offer. It’s funny that I chose this week to review the watch because one of Soleus’ sponsored runners happens to be Nick Symmonds. Onto the review…

Let’s start with the pros:

  • Small size overall but with large enough sized fonts that even my aging eyes can read the data (without readers!)
  • A USB connection right on the band–no wires
  • A battery that holds its charge for a good long time, longer than any other I’ve tried
  • The price: At $99 it provides a million and one features, which prices it lower than similar counterparts on the market

The cons:

  • All those features made this more of a watch than I like–I found that the learning curve on this unit was much steeper than any other GPS watch I’ve tried in the past. I prefer a watch where I can simply hit mode, go right into the screen I want, and go without a heavy duty tutorial.
  • I had a tough time figuring out how to unhook the band to reveal the USB connector for charging. I had to refer to the YouTube video to figure it out.

All in all, this is a great watch for those who want to track lots of data and really dig into their training stats. Being fairly tech savvy (I am not) doesn’t hurt, either.

A review of the Journal Menu running journal.Journal Menu running journal:

I haven’t tracked my training in eons. I did it when I first got into triathlons and running, but have lapsed badly for more than a decade. That said, I like the idea of having runs written down and tracked so that I can look back for reference if I want.

The pros:

  • The idea behind Journal Menu fitness journals is that you receive a customized journal in which to document your training. I had fun looking through the options and making it my own.
  • Well organized pages with space to make training plans, set down goals, track your training, and pacing charts, among other things.
  • Motivational quotes at the top of the training pages

The cons:

  • While I love the design and quote I chose for my journal, it came on the back cover, rather than the front.

Other than that, I’d say the journal is a win for any runner who likes a neat, all-in-one spot to track training the old-fashioned way (me!).


@journalmenu fitness journal via @misszippy1 #runchat #productreview…
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Disclosure: I was provided a GPS watch by Soleus and a running journal from Journal Menu for free. All opinions are my own.

 

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/two-reviews.html/feed 15 A review of the Soleus GPS mini running watch A review of the Journal Menu running journal.
The no plan running planhttp://misszippy1.com/2015/08/running-plan.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/running-plan.html#comments Mon, 10 Aug 2015 04:28:29 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6348 Around 11 miles into Saturday’s 18ish-mile run, one of my friends asked if I wanted to join her for some marathon pace miles. First I looked at her like she was on drugs. Then, I asked her what her definition of that was since I have none, considered the terrain we had ahead of us […]

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unstructuredrunningAround 11 miles into Saturday’s 18ish-mile run, one of my friends asked if I wanted to join her for some marathon pace miles. First I looked at her like she was on drugs. Then, I asked her what her definition of that was since I have none, considered the terrain we had ahead of us for the next few miles and then agreed. We’d been running comfortably up until that point, the humidity wasn’t oppressive and so why not?

The MP miles passed quite quickly and it was fun to shake things up in the midst of our long run. The spontaneity of these miles is just one thing I am loving about my version 2.0 training these days. Outside of knowing what my long run mileage should be on a given weekend leading up to the Wineglass Marathon, I have no structured plan for my running. I love it.

Yes, I do speed work on Tuesdays, but there’s really never a plan going into that. We sometimes discuss our intentions the day before, but often we make it up during our warm up miles. Even once we’ve started our speed work, we have no goal paces to attain. We run the intervals how we feel they should be run. Also, there’s never a defined pace for easy miles–I don’t believe there should be, anyhow. And long runs are generally just that: putting in the miles. Unless, like Saturday, they aren’t.

The best part about this approach to training for me is that I’m letting my body take the lead and it’s working. I rarely have a bad run. Maybe because I don’t have a definition for what good should be? But I also don’t find that I have heavy legs very often, and that’s a welcome respite from years past when I had goals in mind.

I realize this approach isn’t what many of you are after because, unlike me, you still have race goals you want to attain. But I have to tell you, I’m feeling pretty fit right now, and that’s in spite of any kind of training plan. Maybe there’s some value in letting your body determine how you structure (or not structure) your runs? Something to think about.


Sometimes the best plan for running is no plan. #runchat #fitfluential #fitness…
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Are you a slave to your training schedule or do you let it go now and again? 

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The secret to fast runninghttp://misszippy1.com/2015/08/fast-running.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/fast-running.html#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 04:23:19 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6338 I’m back from a week completely unplugged in the Adirondacks. As in no phones, no computers, no electricity. Pure bliss. This was our seventh trip to Timberlock, a fabulous family camp on Indian Lake. You stay in cabins without electricity but with indoor plumbing and propane lighting. The host (Caitlin) family feeds you three amazing […]

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My family's favorite place on earth

My family’s favorite place on earth

I’m back from a week completely unplugged in the Adirondacks. As in no phones, no computers, no electricity. Pure bliss.

This was our seventh trip to Timberlock, a fabulous family camp on Indian Lake. You stay in cabins without electricity but with indoor plumbing and propane lighting. The host (Caitlin) family feeds you three amazing meals each day on a communal dining porch. You have access to kayaks, canoes, SUPs, sailboats, horseback riding, tennis, and all the hiking you could want. My kids prefer traveling here to anywhere in the world.

Stand up paddle boardingIn addition to some epic hikes, regular swimming in the cool lake, plenty of time on SUPs, etc., I did, of course, run. And those runs were pretty darn spectacular, in spite of all the elevation change they provided. It took me a couple of days to figure out why. Was it the amazing sleep I was getting there? The lack of daily routine stress? Incredible views? None of that hurt, I’m sure, but here’s what the secret sauce was: cooler, less humid temperatures.

Snowy Mountain

We hiked that bad boy in the background: Snowy Mountain

I’m telling you folks, hang in there with the summer weather. All that slogging and sweating through the dog days of summer pays off. Come fall, you will feel like a rock star. And you will be, too. Did you know that training in the heat for a few months is almost like training at altitude? You increase your blood volume during the summer months. Come fall, it’s still there–but your body no longer has to work as hard to cool itself down. See where I’m going with this? Fast running.

September will come and if you’ve put in the time outdoors throughout the summer, you’ll reap the benefits. Stick it out!


Hot summer runs = summer PRs via @misszippy1 #runchat #fitfluential…
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Are you ready for summer to end or are you like me–why can’t it be endless? 

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/08/fast-running.html/feed 29 Timberlock on Indian Lake My family's favorite place on earth Stand up paddle boarding Snowy Mountain
Jersey shore weekend by the numbershttp://misszippy1.com/2015/07/jerseyshore.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/jerseyshore.html#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 04:29:40 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6330 We spent a fantastic four days at the Jersey shore this past weekend as part of an annual pilgrimage there to meet with friends from Philadelphia. I always love my time there, the mixture of activity, downtime, indulgence, and time with my family and friends. Here’s a rundown, numbers style, of this year’s trip: Number […]

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Avalon, New JerseyWe spent a fantastic four days at the Jersey shore this past weekend as part of an annual pilgrimage there to meet with friends from Philadelphia. I always love my time there, the mixture of activity, downtime, indulgence, and time with my family and friends. Here’s a rundown, numbers style, of this year’s trip:

Number of:

  • Long runs completed on day we left: One–18 miles long. So glad I did this at home before leaving instead of doing it on flat terrain, out-and-back style. My body did protest a bit, though, when I had to fold it into a car for the three-hour drive.
  • Friends we met there: Four adults, three kids. These are friends of mine from my very first writing job, which goes waaaay back 20-SOME years. Always fun to catch up.
  • Outdoor bootcamps I attended: Two–I always look forward to these hour-long classes next to the ocean.
  • 5ks intended to run/did run: One/zero. We had planned on making this a family affair and running a local 5k while there but my son’s foot was a bit sore from lots of soccer and running of late, so I shut that idea down and made him rest to the extent you can make a 14-yr. old boy rest.
  • Trips to Springer’s Ice Cream: Two? Or was it three? This is seriously the best ice cream shop on the planet. My favorite flavor each and every time: Vanilla peanut butter brownie. Heaven.
  • Times I body surfed with my daughter: More than normal. I looked like an idiot but laughed all the way to the shore.
  • Runner’s tan I tried to make disappear: One. Those lines are stubborn!
  • Times I said money can’t buy happiness but I’d take one of these mansions? Once. I try not to covet anything, but man…

Jersey ShoreThis was one of those trips where you don’t realize how much you need it until you are there. We had a fabulous few days and I can’t imagine my summer without a little shore time. I’m missing it already but my homebody, introverted self is also always happy to come home. Four very short weeks left until the kids head back to school, which makes me so sad.


Running and relaxing at the #jerseyshore via @misszippy1 #runchat #fitfluential…
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Who else is a Jersey shore fan? Vacation–already over or still to come this summer?

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/jerseyshore.html/feed 29 Avalon, New Jersey Jersey Shore
Black bean salad recipehttp://misszippy1.com/2015/07/black-bean-salad-recipe.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/black-bean-salad-recipe.html#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 04:44:28 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6321 I had my brother, his family, and my parents all out to visit over the July 4th weekend, which I loved. I always say I like when family comes to visit rather than the other way around, because we can get more quality time out of the trip. When we go to Ohio to see […]

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My favorite black bean salad recipe--great for summer BBQs!I had my brother, his family, and my parents all out to visit over the July 4th weekend, which I loved. I always say I like when family comes to visit rather than the other way around, because we can get more quality time out of the trip. When we go to Ohio to see family, it’s two families an hour apart, plus occasionally extended family and/or friends in the area.

We spent plenty of time hanging out on the back deck, which gave me a chance to make some of my favorite summer dishes. One of those happens to be a recipe my sister-in-law gave me a few years back–she and I both make it enough that we can go off memory anymore. It’s a staple around here once many of the ingredients are seasonal, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

Black Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked (or 1 can) black beans
  • 1.5 cups kernels of corn
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped avocado
  • 1 cup chopped seeded cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for one hour (or more).

Isn’t it pretty? I had forgotten about the cumin the last few times I made this until my SIL was here. It really adds a great flavor to the dish, so make sure you include it. Let me know if you make it and what you think!


Try this black bean salad recipe from @misszippy1 #runchat #fitfluential #recipe #nutrition
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What’s your favorite summer salad recipe? 

I’m linking up with Tina Muir today for Meatless Monday.

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/black-bean-salad-recipe.html/feed 22 My favorite black bean salad recipe–great for summer BBQs!
Running, life, and a great speed workouthttp://misszippy1.com/2015/07/speed-workout.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/speed-workout.html#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 04:59:46 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6309 I know I’ve been a stranger of late, and that’s by design. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing with this blog. Since I’m not 100 percent sure I’m ready to put it in the trash heap, I thought I’d pop in. Plus, I DO have some product reviews coming up soon to […]

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Running around these parts

I know I’ve been a stranger of late, and that’s by design. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing with this blog. Since I’m not 100 percent sure I’m ready to put it in the trash heap, I thought I’d pop in. Plus, I DO have some product reviews coming up soon to share, so I guess I’ll keep this thing going now and again until I make up my mind. How’s that for commitment?

Moving on…since returning from Appalachia I’ve been getting back into a running routine and am right on track for my October marathon. Just as I said in this post, I am still questioning the sanity of a very early fall marathon. Has it not been extremely humid here on the E. Coast this summer? I mean…I love summer, I will take it over winter any day, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been as hot or drenched as I have this summer.

My long run is at about 16 miles right now, and I’ll be jumping up to 18 soon. I’ve been doing my share of long run schedule juggling thanks to trips, swim meets, etc., but it’s all working out just fine. Speedwork is in the picture, too: we did a great workout this week that looked a little something like this:

upanotch

  • Two mile warm up
  • 4 x 1,200 with 400 rest–run the first 800 uptempo and then run the final 400 HARD
  • Cooldown two miles

Again, given the heat and humidity, this one was a bear. Notice how we didn’t assign paces to it? Summer (and old lady) strategy. We’re still getting a great workout in, but not trying to hit any specific paces. I love letting my legs dictate the pace I should choose. If you’re struggling at all in the summer heat, I recommend giving it a go.

Other than that–I’ve continued my runs with my son. He’s now doing three days/week of running as high school tryouts approach in mid-August. My daughter is also running a couple of days per week and we plan to get in at least one 5k together before school is back in session.


Check out this great speed workout from @misszippy1 #runchat #fitfluential #speed…
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So that’s the rundown around here. I’m getting in some blog reading when and where I can, so I have the 411 on some of you. For others, tell me, how is your summer running going? 

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/speed-workout.html/feed 37 My life and running lately Running around these parts upanotch
My time in Appalachiahttp://misszippy1.com/2015/07/appalachia.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/appalachia.html#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:03:18 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6299 I’ve survived reentry into the fast-paced, material-laden world, but my trip last week to Appalachia is still very much at the front of my mind. It’s tough to put an experience like it into words, but I’ll try. Every little aspect of this trip far surpassed my expectations. My drive down was a pleasure with six […]

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The crew in front of some of our handy work

A wall under way

I’ve survived reentry into the fast-paced, material-laden world, but my trip last week to Appalachia is still very much at the front of my mind. It’s tough to put an experience like it into words, but I’ll try.

Every little aspect of this trip far surpassed my expectations. My drive down was a pleasure with six teenage boys as my passengers. Who’d have thought? The group of 75 people that I was part of was supportive, upbeat and dedicated. The work I did was satisfying and yet left me wanting to do so much more. The family with whom my crew worked all week to make improvements stole my heart. And having the opportunity to watch my son and so many other young people grow throughout the week was a huge privilege.

My crew was amazing. We had the ever patient, wise, and experienced Dale leading the show. Then me, my son, and four college students. We gelled so well and made an amazing, cohesive team that was willing to dig in, literally get very, very dirty, and make a home better. Our project ended up being the demolition and then rebuilding of a kitchen floor and wall. I learned how to use a circular saw, hang drywall, install insulation and so many other skills.

There were so many lessons throughout the week and how cool is it that at 49 I got to learn and grow? One of the biggest, which I already knew but yet had really driven home is that it’s not “stuff” that makes us happy. We worked with a family with so little by our Howard County, Maryland standards and yet they were joyful and welcoming to us. It was my honor to be a small part of a team that hopefully made them “drier, safer, warmer,” as our group’s leader would put it.

That’s just scraping the surface of the week we had there. On much, much lighter notes, I managed a week of two very long (9-plus hours) drives, food very off my norm, and a schedule that doesn’t come anywhere close to resembling my usual. When you are in the thick of a project like this, however, you really don’t notice these things.

The entire group of 75

The entire group of 75

As for running: I did manage three, 30-minute-ish long runs on the teeny tiny track next to the high school. Nothing to enhance my training but something to help me feel better on a  physical level while there. I got back Saturday night, though, was up by 5 on Sunday morning and knocked out a 14.5-miler, just to jump start the “normalization” process. It felt pretty awesome!

This week I am playing catch up and prepping for family visitors for the fourth. No matter what, I’ll be taking a piece of last week’s experience with me into everything I do. And trust me, if you ever get a chance to do a service trip like this, jump on the opportunity. It’s cliche to say it, but you get back so much more than you give.


My amazing mission trip experience via @misszippy1 #runchat #fitfluential…
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What’s new in your world? 

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/07/appalachia.html/feed 21 My crew in front of the wall we built in Appalachia A wall under way Hurley group The entire group of 75
On a mission (trip)http://misszippy1.com/2015/06/mission-trip.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/06/mission-trip.html#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 05:04:27 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6288 I’m leaving in two days for my week-long mission trip. Commence the freak out. Actually, that has already happened. As I’ve told you before, I am nervous along with excited for this trip to Appalachia. It will all work out and be an amazing experience, I am sure, but that doesn’t mean I feel confident […]

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The bike and run paths of ColumbiaI’m leaving in two days for my week-long mission trip. Commence the freak out. Actually, that has already happened. As I’ve told you before, I am nervous along with excited for this trip to Appalachia. It will all work out and be an amazing experience, I am sure, but that doesn’t mean I feel confident going in.

Since the area in Virginia where we are headed is extremely remote, there’s no connectivity. Honestly, I like this aspect. I like being forced into unplugging because I don’t do it enough, yet I’m a big believer in its benefits.

Speaking of unplugging–I’ll be honest with you: Blogging is going to get more infrequent over the summer and in fact, I am debating closing up shop on this site. Blogging has met and exceeded all of my expectations but I’m finding my enthusiasm to be lacking of late. As my kids get older and their time left here at home gets shorter, I’m reevaluating how I want to spend that time and I’m not sure it’s as plugged into social media as blogging requires these days.

I’m not making any firm decisions right now, but I’m definitely weighing options. Whatever the case, I will post about my mission trip experience when I get back.

Have a great week, everyone!

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/06/mission-trip.html/feed 29 The bike and run paths of Columbia
I make poor marathon choiceshttp://misszippy1.com/2015/06/marathon-choices.html http://misszippy1.com/2015/06/marathon-choices.html#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 04:06:02 +0000 http://misszippy1.com/?p=6279 This weekend I cut my long run back to a 10-miler. I’m sitting comfortably at the 14-mile long run range and I don’t need to increase that to 16 until the beginning of July, so I decided to give my body a little break before starting to build up again. The thing was, that 10-miler […]

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From one extreme to the other

From one extreme to the other

This weekend I cut my long run back to a 10-miler. I’m sitting comfortably at the 14-mile long run range and I don’t need to increase that to 16 until the beginning of July, so I decided to give my body a little break before starting to build up again.

The thing was, that 10-miler felt long because this was the most incredibly humid weekend we’ve had this summer. And I know it’s just the start of those conditions–I’m already questioning how I am going to do 20-milers in this steam. Which made me realize: I’ve made really poor marathon choices this year!

First there was Napa, which was March 1, the earliest spring marathon I’ve ever done. If you’re like me, the trauma of this past winter is still fresh in your mind. Each and every one of those 20s was in extremely cold temperatures. I was pretty happy to have that training behind me and the reward of wine country at the end. And with the exception of Boston 2017, I am done with spring marathons.

Now I’m training for Wineglass, slated for October 4, which turns out to be the earliest fall marathon I’ve ever done. (Sensing a theme here?). Early October means lots of hot, humid long runs. Clearly I wasn’t thinking things through this year when I made my marathon selections.

Given a choice, I’ll take warm weather over cold any day of the year. But extremes of either sort is less than preferable when you’re marathon training, wouldn’t you say? Maybe I’ll think things through next time. Or maybe I’ll just finish off this whole marathon thing with Boston in 2017. In fact, I’m pretty sure I will.

Regardless, I always remember that I GET to run and that these are choices I am fortunate to make. A little cold and a little heat are part of the game and it’s a game I like playing!

Speaking of running in the heat, head on over to Run Haven, where I’m talking about running in just a sports bra and shorts. Personally, I say anyone who is comfortable doing it should be comfortable doing it, but there are still naysayers on this one, even in 2015. Let me know what you think.


Marathon training in the extreme seasons via @misszippy1 #runchat #fitfluential…
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What’s your ideal time of the year for marathon training? 

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http://misszippy1.com/2015/06/marathon-choices.html/feed 49 Marathon training through heat and cold From one extreme to the other