about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



20 Mile Redemption Run.

I can’t even begin to tell you how tired I am of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before my long runs.  Seriously, my stomach turns at the thought of them.  But since I know they are my best pre-race meal, I sucked it up and ate one anyways.

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Sunday morning was my very LAST long run of my Marine Corps Marathon training plan – 20 long miles.  I woke up bright and early, excited for the run, and thinking of all my friends running 26.2 up in Chicago. 

In case you are new to my story, I actually ran the Chicago Marathon myself back in 2008.  It was my 2nd marathon, and quite possibly the worst run of my life, as temps soared near 90 degrees and I was violently ill for days after running in such harsh conditions.  While I know it is a great marathon, I still cringe a little at the mere mention of that race.  Even so, I was really excited (and a little nervous) for all my blogging friends who were up there running.  I pulled out my 2008 shirt, and hoped that my 20 miler would be a much bigger success than my Chicago race. 

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Coming off of last week’s great 18 mile run, I wanted to make sure I was adequately fueled going into this week’s long mileage.  We were out of all our running fuel and hydration at home, so I had to make an emergency gas station stop.

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Since I was out of Gus and gels, I had to improvise with candy.  I ended up grabbing some Starburst, which turned out to be awesome! I loved that they were individually wrapped so that I could just put a few loose ones in my change pocket.  Definitely considering carrying a few with me on marathon day.

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Instead of just running straight out my front door, I had Casey drive me up to Gravelly Point so that I could meet my fannetastic running partner!

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Anne was in town this weekend for her high school reunion, and she was nice enough to offer to join me for the first 6 miles of my run.  I had a mini-breakdown in the car ride up to the trail when I realized that I had left my Garmin watch at home.  Normally this wouldn’t be a huge deal, but I was really hoping for one last confidence-boosting run going into my marathon, and now I wouldn’t have any idea of my pace or time.  But with my partner waiting for me, I knew I needed to suck it up and run unplugged – life goes on, and people run without Garmins all the time.

I met up with Anne and we headed north on the trail along the beautiful water across from the city…

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Being able to break my run into small milestones made it so much easier.  I never thought of it as 20 miles – instead I just focused on each leg individually.  This first leg with Anne flew by, and we covered 6 miles in an average of 9:06 pace.  (Thankfully Anne had her Garmin so I knew how far and fast I had gone so far.)

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It was absolutely gorgeous weather – sunny with a cool breeze, and just like last week, I could tell it was going to be a great run.  (Thanks to Anne for the pictures!)

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Our 6 miles went by way too fast, and before I knew it we were saying goodbye and I was heading south to cover the 5.5 miles back to my house.  No Garmin, no pace predictions – just me and my two legs, and a few Starburst in my pocket.  The first mile or two felt sluggish and off.  I hated not knowing my pace, and it was hard to get going running alone after having a partner for the first 6 miles.  But I got into a groove, and before I knew it I was back at my house with 12 miles under my belt.

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I grabbed my phone and checked for text updates on my Chicago girls, who all looked to be doing well.  I grabbed my Garmin and another Gatorade, and headed back out the door for 8 more miles.

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For this run I was lucky enough to have not one, but TWO amazing running partners.  Lisa and I had dinner on Friday night, and when I mentioned I was running 20 miles on Sunday morning, she graciously offered to join me and help me get through the last few miles.  Knowing she was waiting for me was awesome, because it motivated me to get out the door quickly and not take too long of a break.

I headed south on the trail, still feeling great, and found her 2 miles later.  The two of us ran together for 2 more miles, before we stopped because Lisa had only planned to run four.  I knew that if I turned back with her, my mileage home would be short and I would have to make it up in my neighborhood.  I was trying to avoid that because I knew if I ran back towards my house it would be soooo tempting to cut it short and head home.  Wonderful Lisa offered to take a break and stop and stretch, so that I could run one more mile out and back, and then rejoin her for the last few. 

I took off for mile 16 by myself, and discovered that my next mile was almost straight up hill.  There was a little more walking than I am proud of, but sometimes it just has to happen.  At mile 17, I rejoined Lisa and we ran to mile 18.5 together.  At that point we said our goodbyes, and I headed home a little over one short mile on my own.  That last mile was paaaaainful – my legs felt SO heavy and I had horrible chafing and bleeding on my thighs.  But the physical pain couldn’t possibly outweigh how great I felt inside.  TWENTY miles later, I arrived on my doorstep beaming with pride, and bursting with excitement.

The very first thing I did when I walked in the door was grab my phone to check for my Chicago Marathon updates – everyone seemed to still be doing really well!  It’s funny how much nervous energy I had for them, even though I wasn’t the one running a marathon!

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After twenty long, but – dare I say it? – FUN miles, I was ready to celebrate my victory. 

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Running with partners and focusing on small mileage goals made this run SO much easier.  Here’s how it all broke down…

  • Miles 1-6:  north end of the trail with Anne
  • Miles 6 – 12:  by myself heading back to my house
  • Miles 12 – 14:  south on the trail to meet Lisa
  • Mile 14 – 15:  ran and chatted with Lisa
  • Miles 15 – 17:  by myself up a huge hill
  • Miles 17 – 18.5:  back with Lisa who did a great job distracting me
  • Miles 18.5 – 20:  final glorious miles heading home!

Having done my fair share of long training runs though the years, I knew that the best way to recover after a lot of miles is, believe it or not, to keep your legs moving.  I leashed up the dogs and we walked them for about a mile, stopping at a gas station on our way home to grab two big bags of ICE.

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It took training for marathon number SIX to do it, but I finally braved my first ice bath.  I took Jen’s advice, and started IN the water – allowing my body to at least get used to cold faucet water while the tub filled up. 

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Once it was full, Casey dumped both the bags of ice in and WOW – it was cold.  But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.  I think it really helped to start in the water, instead if plunging straight into the ice.  I moved my legs around to keep the water flowing and keep my blood moving through my veins.  I stayed in for about 10 minutes and then jumped out into the hot shower.

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After last week’s great 18 mile run on my own, and this week’s solid 20 miles with friends, I am feeling totally confident and ready to run a marathon in three weeks.  It’s funny, having run two back-to-back marathons with poor training, I am finally remembering what it feels like to train properly and feel prepared. 

I am so totally in love with distance running again.  I’ve heard people brag about running marathons without training for them, and honestly, I think the folks who do that are 1. insane, and 2. really missing out on what marathoning is all about.  So much of running marathons is the training:  planning the runs, learning to fuel, finding your limits, and reaching new mileage goals week by week.  To me, the marathon itself is really more like an after-party – a celebration of months and months of hard work and dedication.

Can’t wait to celebrate on Halloween Day!  For now, I’m celebrating a successful 20 mile run, and planning to go face down in some leftover harvest root vegetable pie for dinner.

P.S.  Voting for Project Food Blog Challenge #4 is now OPEN!  :)

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71 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat     at 3:24 pm

Awesome run!! I am glad the long runs are becoming easier (and more fun) for you. It’s amazing what our bodies will let us do (for fun)!!

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Kristina @ spabettie     at 3:26 pm

that is a GREAT way to take an ice bath… I always wear a hoodie, but getting in before I need to try!! :D

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Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers     at 3:29 pm

i loved reading your recap & your thoughts about training. i felt the same way after my second half marathon… the race really did feel like the super-fun celebratory after party!

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Freya     at 3:32 pm

ooh SO good to hear such an ace recap!! We both had brilliant 20milers :) How long did you take? I was 2hr20 – do you think our paces would match?
That ice bath looks horrific :p rather you than me!!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

So glad you had a good run too! You did yours in TWO hours? How is that possible!?! I would love to run together if our paces match!

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Freya Reply:

Oh gosh no – I meant three!! Haha, I WISH I could do it in 2hrs!! I’m so used to writing 2hrs, 3 just seems mad :P

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Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 3:32 pm

Congrats on the run! That is awesome! I am sure having friends along the way made it more enjoyable! Have a great afternoon and enjoy your leftovers!

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Jaime     at 3:34 pm

First of all, CONGRATS!

Secondly, I voted and you definitely earned it. That was an excellent post.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks for the vote!

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Babs     at 3:34 pm

I love the “I’m freeeeeeeezing” look you’re giving in the ice bath. Congrats on another awesome run!!!

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Ash Bear     at 3:38 pm

I used to take ice baths, hoodie and all, but now I love Epsom Salt baths. They aren’t as painful and seem to be equally effective.

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Jocelyn @ EnthusiasticRunner     at 3:39 pm

I completely agree! I think I am going to miss training after the marathon!

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Lisa     at 3:41 pm

Emily, you are seriously a rockstar!! Glad I could help and get a good run in too–thanks for pushing me to run faster!

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Ashley     at 3:48 pm

Yaaay, congrats. You are just so cute…you look WAY too good after 20 miles! I haven’t braved an ice bath yet. I wonder if you ice baths are good after long bike rides? I can’t imagine running 20 miles because I just rode a tough 23 on the bike! <3 you!

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cara     at 3:53 pm

this post is getting me excited for my first half marathon that I am going to start training for in the next 2 weeks. yay!

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Beth     at 3:54 pm

Congrats on your successful 20 miler! Taper begins today :)

Next time you run a marathon (or any long distance race) look up the running groups in the area. I’ve been a member of CAR (www.capitalarearunners.com) for two marathon training seasons and I can’t imagine doing it any other way!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome – thank you!

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Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul     at 4:08 pm

Sometimes I find myself getting way too attached to my watch (and my iPod) and think it’s actually a good thing when I forget one or both of them. It really forces you to focus on feel. Though I’m sure that’s anxiety-inducing a few weeks before your big race! Great job and best of luck!

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Lee     at 4:12 pm

Great job.

Like Chicago for you, I ran my first (and only) marathon in 90 degree temps and got really sick afterward. How long did it take you before you were ready to run another? That happened to me 3 years ago and I’ve stuck with half-marathons ever since. Sometimes I think about another full though…

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I took a few months off and started training for the Pig in January. I took all the frustration of Chicago and channeled it into training for Cincinnati, and beat my PR by 45 minutes! But my best friend who ran Chicago with me quit running all together after that race. It was definitely a crushing experience. But you have to get up and go again eventually, right? You can do it!

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Megan (The Runner's Kitchen)     at 4:27 pm

ice baths are not exactly pleasant, but i think they help SO much. great job on the 20-miler!!

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Therese     at 4:40 pm

I know it’s late in the game with your last long run behind you (congrats!) but I have been eating Kodiak cake pancakes (1/3 cup mix to 1/3 cup water) with a banana mashed into the batter and coconut butter on top before my long runs, and it works great!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I have two boxes of Kodiak in my pantry – might have to give that a try!

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Cindy     at 4:43 pm

Great job Emily! You have encouraged me to take up running. And just yesterday I ran my first 5 Miler. It felt great! Keep on rockin’ :)

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Katie @ Healthy Heddleston     at 4:57 pm

Great Job Emily!!

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Kamaile     at 5:12 pm

You are sooo ready! I’ll be there with you in the sea of people on Halloween! I do the same thing and where clothes in the ice bath and drink hot coffee and try to read something to keep my mind off my numb legs. At least you had that awesome looking pie to eat after!

It’s taper time!

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Kamaile     at 5:13 pm

You are sooo ready! I’ll be there with you in the sea of people on Halloween! I do the same thing and wear clothes in the ice bath and drink hot coffee and try to read something to keep my mind off my numb legs. At least you had that awesome looking pie to eat after!

It’s taper time!

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 5:24 pm

Congrats on your 20-miler! You are so ready for this!

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Dorry     at 5:33 pm

I love reading your training posts! Billy and I start an 8-week training program for a December 5th half marathon- the 1st for both of us. I am really excited and feel like I’m going to be able to refer to many of my favorite bloggers for training tips. So glad you are loving the long distances again – now that the hellish heat of summer is behind us. :)

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jamie     at 5:41 pm

way to go! congrats!
i always found ice baths too scary and too cold in my under-heated apartment in nyc, so if you want to try something different while you taper, i have two words for you: EPSOM SALTS.
after my first marathon, i was in so. much. pain. after suffering for 24 hours and refusing to ice, i dipped into a lukewarm bath with epsom salts and holy wow! after 15 minutes i was pain-free. no lie, it was amazing. i don’t know how they compare to ice baths, but epsom salts work to take the pain away.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I have heard good things about Epsom Salts! I’ll have to give that a try too. Thanks!

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Jen     at 5:45 pm

I am so happy that you had another great long run! And more importantly that you’re in love with distance running again. It’s such a hot and cold relationship.

Glad you survived the ice bath :)

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Kelli     at 6:13 pm

Great run Emily, you are totally going to ROCK this marathon! I agree with you about the training being a part of the whole marathon experience. I ran the Chicago yesterday, my first marathon – I finished, but I was so disappointed. It was in the mid 80′s and horrible. I let my attitude and my anger take over the last part of my race. Funny enough it was b/c of all of the training I did, I put my miles and time in and I was so mad that it resulted in a breakdown around mile 20. But when I finished I was so proud of those miles and that time. I started running a year ago with the couch to 5k program and finished my first marathon a year later. Reading about your training really helped me get through some tough runs, thanks so much!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

CONGRATS on running Chicago! Trust me, I know how you felt in the heat, and also about letting your bad attitude bring you down. I’ve been there. I was so depressed after Chicago because I had trained so hard. But I put all that emotion into training for my next marathon and beat my PR by 45 minutes! :)

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Stacey     at 6:19 pm

I think running with others is really helpful! How nice of those ladies to join you to get you through :) I’m feelin 100% confident that you will be awesome on your next marathon! You truly are an inspiration, can’t wait to start training for my first marathon now ;) Now go stuff your face with veggie pie!

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Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun     at 6:22 pm

You look so cold in that ice bath, but if it helps the legs it must be done, huh?

Great job on the run! I can imagine that feeling like such an accomplishment. That’s so great you had so many people to help you through it at different points too.

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Annie@stronghealthyfit     at 7:11 pm

Congrats! 20 miles is such an achievement :-)

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Caitlin     at 7:20 pm

Congrats! I had a similar 20 miles yesterday, and I know how tough those last few miles get! My marathon is the week after yours, so I can’t wait to hear about your experience. Thanks again for the ice bath tips – I will definitely be trying your way next week!

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sassy molassy     at 7:39 pm

Congrats on a successful 20, Emily! Those are always the hardest runs, but made easier with a few friends. Ice baths have made a world of distance this training cycle. I just finished the Portland Marathon yesterday! Sooo happy it’s over and ready to move on with life that doesn’t always consist of thinking non stop about marathon training.

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Congrats on running Portland – that is awesome!

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Heather     at 7:39 pm

great job! I so wish other bloggers lived by me to break up the miles!! You will rock the marathon!!!

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Lisa (bakebikeblog)     at 7:54 pm

What an awesome effort! Well done!!!

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Lauren     at 7:57 pm

This 20 mile run actually does sound fun. :) It’s great that you were able to break it up with so many different places and people. I am sure that makes running 20 miles seem MUCH more enjoyable! :)

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Emilie     at 8:00 pm

Hi Emily! I just started following your blog, and I can’t even tell you how much I related to this post! I did my 18-miler yesterday and started off with a pb&j beforehand, I’m so tired of them too!

Good luck running the MCM! I was going to do it this year but decided to defer to next year instead. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Welcome to the blog! :)

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Amanda @ BakingWithoutABox     at 8:17 pm

Great job on the long run! Ugh as to the hill on mile 16. Why can’t all hills be within first 5 miles??? Should be a rule. That way we can just coast home. Aaack ice bath. I’m still a short-distance runner so I haven’t had the pleasure yet.
Best of luck on the marathon!

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Cati @ crave and create     at 8:23 pm

Congratulations, Emily! I am elated for you!

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katie     at 9:28 pm

congrats on the 20 miler! my first is this upcoming weekend and i’m quite interested to see how it goes, since many of my long runs have not gone well for this [first] marathon.

and i hear you on being sick of standard pre-run foods – i’ve been eating pb + banana sandwiches for what seems like forever now, and i’m beyond sick of them. however, i know they work, so i’m hesitant to switch it up.

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Janene     at 9:40 pm

I love the idea of the marathon as the after-party!!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 9:46 pm

Awesome run Em! I am really proud of you! The weather was beautiful in Chicago today – I remember the year you said you ran it. I had a really good friend run that year and she ws SO mad they made her stop running at 23 miles. However, it was also a tragedy that a few people actually passed away from overheating!

Go eat an ENTIRE harvest root pie… you deserve it! :)

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steph @ goeatapeach     at 10:18 pm

two successful long rungs in a row, right before MCM! such a great sign.

chafing is the worst. its especially frustrating because it’s not serious as an injury, but its one of the quickest, most painful ways for a run to become hellish. same with blisters. ugh.

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claire     at 11:36 pm

Great Run! I love re-falling in love with running! Just voted for you! And can’t wait to meet you @ foodbuzz!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yesssss me too!

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Amber K     at 12:03 am

Off to vote! I really loved your post.

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Suzanne     at 9:10 am

Congrats! I had to do my 20 miler on Sunday, too. Of course, my Garmin wouldn’t turn on when I went out the door to start. I had to run based on time, since I hadn’t mapped out a route. That was rough! I know what you mean about running without knowing your pace… it’s a bit uncomfortable!

Try drinking hot coffee while you take your ice baths. It really helps!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Ooooooh coffee would have been a nice addition to my bath. Good idea!

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Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef     at 9:46 am

i love long runs! and you’re so right- the training is one of the best parts, and walking after a long run is so necessary. :) i’m running my 2nd marathon in may so i might have to brave an ice bath!

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Brittney     at 10:09 am

Another impressive run! You’re going to do awesome at the MC Marathon! Can’t wait for your recap!

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katie     at 10:33 am

I LOOOOVE ice baths. I used to climb in the tub after practice in hs and college. After like 2 mins everything goes numb and just feels so relaxed.
What about trying pb (or almond butter) and bananas. That is what I have done for years…is that too much for your tummy??
Good work on the long run. See you Thurs.!!!

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Kelly     at 11:49 am

Congratulations on your 20 miles! My first 20 mile run is scheduled in seven weeks. It has really helped me to read about your long runs, the good and the bad, so I don’t beat myself up when I’ve had a bad long run and I look forward to feeling the accomplishment when they’re great. :)

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

You can do it, Kelly! :) You are always going to have a few bad runs, but they make the good runs that much better.

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Nichole @ Flirting with Food, Fitness & Fashion     at 1:00 pm

Awesome job! You are very inspiring!

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Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales)     at 1:14 pm

I’m so proud of you Emily. I can’t wait to be build up to do those long runs. is there anything that you normally use to prevent chaffing? my underarms chaf sometimes which is weird b/c I don’t have big arms. ha!

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you! You can use Body Glide, but I always find it kind of sticky. A lot of people really like it though.

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Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker     at 3:52 pm

Aww! Your face says it all. Ice baths are SUCH a necessary evil. We love ‘em, but they HURT. Ouch. I’m running 20 this Sunday and definitely plan to bring some Starbursts. I love them! And I hate Gel. Hmm.

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Maria     at 7:47 pm

I just started reading your blog and I’m pretty sure you’re a vegetarian, do you realize that starbursts are made with gelatin? do you realize gelatin is boiled bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin

Gelatin is in like every zero fat candy like gummy bears, pudding, skittles, etc.

I’ve been a pescatarian for 16 years now and boy do I miss me some twizzlers.

Come to think of it I wonder if the shotbloks and gu gels have gelatin in them too….

I’ve had a complicated relationship with running and your blog inspires me.
Cheers

PS-Dont eat those starbursts again! :)

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Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Uuuuuuuuugh barf. I usually stay away from gummy things for that very reason. Didn’t catch it on the Starbucks – thanks for the warning! It does make me wonder about the other shotblocks and such…

Thanks again for the heads up. Glad you found the blog! :)

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Julie     at 9:35 am

I got one word for you: Body Glide. If you don’t own it, get some and start using it for the chafing. Best thing ever invented. I use it for every long run.
By the way, I did Chicago and I feel your pain as it got hot and not nearly as hot as you had it but still hot enough to slow me down. Congrats on making it through!

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Leanne @ Simplicitlee     at 11:50 am

I agree that although they are crazy amounts of cold, ice baths do help. I’ve done two ice baths and both times I try to sit there reading a magazine and I tell myself “you know your crazy right?” hehehe.

I can’t wait to see how you do on your marathon!

Good luck Emily!

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Amykinz (Foodie4Healing)     at 7:02 pm

1) You are so stinkin adorable! After 1.5 runs I look like I’m about to die, but after 20 you look cool as a cat. So, not fair. ;)
2) I don’t own a Garmin, as I’m just starting to run again. I’ve found a cool website where you can manually track your route to get your avg distance. Then divide your time by that to get an approx avg pace. Obviously, it’s not totally accurate, but it’s something. Here’s the website: http://www.usatf.org/routes/map/
3) I LOVE your house… cute quaint kitchen, beautiful tiled jet tubbed bathroom, etc!

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Eva     at 10:20 am

In order to enhance my endurance when running I did regular trainings accompanied by dietary supplements – military grade nutritionals. These supplements helped me to double my distances. Natural compounds, which deliver pure energy and bring you up very quick.

[Reply]

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