Goals for the Napa Valley Marathon

My goals for running the Napa Valley Marathon

By the time you're reading this, I will be high in the sky making my way to Napa for Sunday's marathon. Or rather, for a fantastic long weekend with friends with a marathon thrown in for good measure. All along I've told you that my goal for Napa is to simply finish feeling good, and that is still the case. But let me define what … [Read more...]

How to know if you’re race ready

Running a race? How to determine if your fitness is  there to reach your goal time.

With Napa on Sunday, and no big race goals other than to finish happy (more on this Friday), I don't have much to go over mentally before race day. But if I were going into this race with a specific goal pace in mind, I'd want to revisit what went right and what went wrong in this training cycle in order to gain an honest assessment of my … [Read more...]

How to go from base to speed

Build your running fitness as you transition from base building to speed work.

T-minus six days until the Napa Valley Marathon, but T-minus seven weeks (?) until the Cherry Blossom 10-miler for me. As you know, I've spent many months base building this year, but am only just adding in the smallest bit of speed work with my eye on Cherry Blossom. Because it's been such a long time since I've done any speed work, I … [Read more...]

A week of snowy runs

Running in the snow

This week has been our coldest, snowiest yet. Not by New England standards, I know, but by Maryland standards. Still, after attempting a treadmill run last Sunday and making it all of 3.5 miles, I knew I was getting out no matter what. A little creativity can go a long way in this weather--I switched things around multiple times to ensure … [Read more...]

Crawling to the finish line: heroic or stupid?

Video thumbnail for youtube video Heroic or stupid? - Miss Zippy

By now most of you have probably seen the video of Kenyan runner Hyvon Ngetvich crawling across the finish line of last weekend's Austin Marathon. The adjectives I've read to describe the feat have included "heroic," "inspirational," and "courageous." I get it: we Americans, in particular, love to watch a good fight for survival in … [Read more...]

Maximize the marathon taper

marathon taper

I got in my last 20-miler this past Saturday for the Napa Valley Marathon. I pushed it to two weeks out from race day, instead of the normal three, because I haven't had mega miles or speed work during this build up. I wanted to maximize the training time that I had. Now, however, it is time to focus on the taper! I know many people … [Read more...]

Five for Friday

Downhill will never be my number one choice!

Happy Friday! It's been a busy blogging week for me (4 posts!) so I wanted to fire off a quickie today, Five for Friday style. Here's what's up in Zippyland: 1. Tomorrow I do my last 20 (of three) for this marathon training cycle. And like all the others, it's looking to be a frigid start to the day, although the latest forecast is … [Read more...]

#TeamShorts vs. #TeamSkirt


While the short-term Mid-Atlantic forecast precludes my friend (MCM Mama Runs) Erika and I from running in shorts or skirts any time soon, we are both passionate about one or the other, so our posts today are going to bat for our choices. In my corner, it's praise for shorts; in her corner, it's all about the skirt. It's not that I … [Read more...]

Treadmill review and interval workout

treadmill workout

What? Me and a treadmill review?! I know. I really, really don't like the treadmill, and have not stepped on mine for a few years. Yet, I keep my lonely treadmill in the basement. I'm not sure if it's for sentimental value--I DID use it quite a bit when the kids were young and Mr. Zippy was traveling--or for those "just in case" … [Read more...]

Inflammation 101

inflammation 101

As runners, we do all we can to reduce inflammation. At the first sign of soreness or injury, we run for the ice bag, the bottle of ibuprofen, or anti-inflammatory foods. After all, for years we've been fed a steady diet of "inflammation is the enemy." But what if it isn't? What if inflammation actually plays a beneficial role if given … [Read more...]

Running plans were made to be flexible

running plan changes

I am nearing the end of my big(ish) mileage for this marathon training cycle and in addition to being tired, I am incredibly tired of running in the cold and wind. It seems that every long run and mid-week mid-distance run falls on the coldest days of the forecast. In an effort to avoid some of the most brutal conditions this week, I have … [Read more...]

What I’m loving lately

Products I'm loving lately

Did I tell you I ran 22 miles on Saturday? And that the temperatures were in the teens when we started? While I certainly don't relish these conditions, I am getting it done. A few products have been helping me along the way, too. Here's what I'm loving lately: A warm hat with a brim--this one by Nike. This is a genius idea--I used to … [Read more...]

The basic runner’s wardrobe

runners wardrobe

I'm of the mindset that running doesn't have to be expensive. These days, though, with all the technology, great fashions, and increasingly expensive shoe options, it doesn't take much for it to escalate. If you prefer to keep things simple--and on the cheap--when it comes to your runner's wardrobe, it can be done. You might need to do … [Read more...]