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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    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Racing Forward.

Sorry for the lack of updates yesterday – that wasn’t very “daily” of me now was it?  Honestly, I have spent the past six weeks working literally non-stop in order to make the blog transition happen smoothly and within my legal time limit.  And now that it’s all said and done (and successful!), I needed a day to regroup.  Feels so good to finally move forward. 

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since I have finally made my return to the gym.  I can already tell I am getting stronger, and I am bumping my weights up bit by bit each week.  I’ve been rocking out on the elliptical and stair stepper, catching up on all sorts of celebrity gossip and reading months worth of trashy magazines (when did Hillary Duff get married?  And who knew Mariah Carey was pregnant?). 

But there has been something pretty significant missing from my workouts – RUNNING.  Ever since my 3 mile return to running a few weeks ago, it has been too cold and too icy here to do any real running outside.  So I’ve been trying to make it happen on the treadmill, but for some reason I just can’t get my mind to make my legs want to do it.  I am just going to say it – I am SO sick of being injured.

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I actually heard about a fatal pedestrian accident here in Old Town just a few days ago – a girl almost my age – and it made me literally sick to my stomach to think about how differently things could have turned out for me.  I realize I am incredibly lucky to be returning to the gym after just two short months of healing.  And while of course I feel very blessed to simply be alive, there is another part of me that is just so unbelievably frustrated.  I kind of feel like I’m stuck inside someone else’s body. 

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I was looking at spring races yesterday, and decided to bite the bullet and sign up for one.  This particular race required a qualifying time, so of course I went and looked up the stats for my fastest marathon (to get in the best start corral).  Even though I knew what my finish time was, I couldn’t help but just sit and stare at the stats from just one year ago, and wonder where that runner disappeared to…

Capture

Knowing how I feel on the treadmill these days, it’s truly unbelievably to me that I ever ran a 1:52 half-marathon, and that I was once in the top 11% of all female marathon finishers.  I am always trying to encourage the message that running is an individual sport, and that you should never feel bad or compare your distances or speeds to other runners.  But running is just that – individual – so how do you stop comparing yourself to…yourself?

After looking at these stats and feeling down about it all afternoon, I headed to the gym last night to prove to myself that there is still a hardcore runner buried somewhere deep within me.  I know my physical shape is waaay off from last year, but running is 90% mental.  If I can get my mindset back on track, I know I’ll be back before I know it. 

I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, and stopped to walk 0.25 miles of each one.  Obviously a slow start, but I am willing to accept that I’m essentially starting over from scratch.  The good news was that mentally, I pushed myself to do things I really didn’t want to do.  The first mile was around a 9:40 pace, and (after a walking break) the second mile was just over an 8:30 pace.  One more short walking break, and I was determined to give it my all for mile three.  I turned up the Eminem on my iPod and slowly cranked up the speed on the treadmill.  I finished the last quarter mile running at a 7:30 pace, and truly thought I was going to throw up at the end.

It was hard, it was horrible, and I am incredibly sore today.  But I did it – and I found that old mental willpower that I had been searching for deep inside.  I feel totally encouraged that my head is in the right place, and hopefully my body will follow. 

Flying high from my successful run, I came home and whipped out my credit card – turning my spring race hopes into real plans.  The first race being…

National Marathon Header 2010

Don’t worry – I’m just running the half-marathon.  It is in 13 weeks, and I think that gives me plenty of time to get in shape and get ready for 13.1 miles.  The National Marathon is the only marathon course that is entirely within the District of Columbia, and the course looks absolutely beautiful – passing monuments, the Capitol building, the White House, and all my other favorite spots.

Marathon Run DC Image

Not to mention there are a TON of other awesome runners and bloggers coming into town to run it too – Jen, Caitlin, Megan, Evan, Becky – and many, many more.  And did I mention that Casey signed up to run the FULL marathon?  Looks like we’ll be sticking around to cheer him on after we finish!

It’s definitely going to be a busy spring.  The weekend after the National Half Marathon is the famous DC Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run – and Casey and I were selected in the lottery to run! 

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Fun fact – I have been selected in every race lottery I’ve ever entered.  (I actually wrote a whole post about being lucky a long time ago.)  I’m really excited to do one of the BIG DC races, and I’m hoping I get picked for the Army 10-miler in the fall too!

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Last but not least, the weekend after the Cherry Blossom (which makes that three race weekends in a row), there is the Parkway Classic 10-miler that runs straight through Old Town!  I haven’t actually signed up for this one yet, but I am 90% sure I will do it – the 9th mile is literally right AT my house!

10mcoursemap

The eventual long-term goal for all of these races is the hope of using them all for training runs for the 2011 Flying Pig Marathon in May.

It is my favorite race by far, and I have done it the past three years in a row:

We’ll see what happens with training this spring – I haven’t signed up quite yet.  I want to make sure my knee heals fully and properly, and I’m not going to push it if it turns out I need more time.  But for now, I’m racing forward and getting excited for SPRING!

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71 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Evan Thomas     at 11:18 am

Yay! I’m happy for your return to racing. I can’t wait to meet up in DC. Casey would probably lap me in the marathon if it weren’t a one-loop course, but it will all be in good fun :-)

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner)     at 11:21 am

I love your honesty Emily! :D
And I’m sure with some training you’ll do amazingly in the half marathon, so don’t worry about it! :)

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~Jessica~     at 11:29 am

I can relate to all of this so much: thanks for posting your thoughts on the subject. I just ran a pretty rough 10K yesterday after coming back from injury and was so disappointed with my time- six whole minutes off my PR. And how to stop comparing oneself to oneself is such an issue ~ the feeling of going backwards is so disheartening because I really feel like I was pushing myself to the limit.

However, you’re right to push forwards and get that mental focus back: I think that’s predominantly where I’ve ‘lost it’ too.

Can’t wait to see you do brilliantly in all of your races, because I know you will.

Love the new blog name and look by the way ~ it’s just a shame it had to come about in such stressful circumstances.

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Kate @ Spoonful of Vigor     at 11:32 am

Very exciting! Thank you for sharing your journey back from injury with us. I’ve been off running for about four weeks now because of some odd cardiac symptoms my doctors are still trying to figure out, and it’s really helpful to see someone getting back to running with such determination and grace :)

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Mariah Sim     at 11:34 am

You will do great!! You’re such an inspiration! :)

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Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 11:34 am

I think you’ll find that you regain all of your previous running prowess pretty quickly. Your body remembers what to do, just keep at your training and you’ll be dashing across the finish line with a bright smile on your face in no time.

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Lee     at 11:43 am

I’m sure you will get your running mojo back. I know it’s frustrating right now, but with time, you’ll be back to your old running self.

Do you know anything about a half marathon in Alexandria in May? I was googling races in the DC area because I’d love to do one there while I’m visiting my parents and came across it.

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Emily Malone Reply:

No I don’t know about it!! If it’s not the same weekend as the Pig, I would definitely consider it.

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Rachel     at 11:59 am

I can see how being injured would get old really fast. I don’t know if I’d be able to handle two months without a workout.
You are totally going to get back into the swing of things though. Like you said, there’s a huge mental component to running and you are so motivated and such a talented runner to begin with! I guess just try to enjoy rebuilding yourself and seeing the progress you make in weights and runs.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)     at 12:00 pm

Emily I am sooo very sorry for the recent months in your life…i cannot even imagine the horrors that you have been going thru. Accident, moving, blog legal situation, scrambling to re-do your blog….truly, this has been such a year for you. Not in a good way. 2011 can only go up!

I am sorry to hear of the pedestrian/runner fatality. I used to live in a state where this was common…it’s sad but true. Our local running club warned us, always. And then the worst happened, a member of the club…was struck and killed.

I live in CA now, probably the most pedestrian friendly place on earth but I am rambling and this in no way makes up for what you have gone thru. Major hugs.

I know you will find your groove. I have a series of physical challenges that i dont blog about but suffice to say, I can empathize with some of what you’re going thru :)

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Melissa     at 12:08 pm

Yay! I’m so glad to hear about your return to racing. Last summer I couldn’t run for about 6 weeks after a surgery, and lost so much fitness. I know how hard it is to come back but it’s worth it!

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Tamicka     at 12:09 pm

I was just looking at 5k’s for the sprig debatig if I would run my first one. After reaading that post I so am. Running is 90% mental and I know I can do it. Your an inaspiration to me to push myself and that you’ll never know until you try. Thanks emily.

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Steph@stephsbitebybite     at 12:09 pm

I know how hard it is to get back in to running after an injury. I had knee surgery 2 years ago, where I was in a stif leg brace for 6 weeks. So I basically had to learn how to walk again. Before my surgery I was an avid runner, and had ran two half marathons. After the surgery I thought I would never be back to my old running self. Funny thing is that I’m not only back to running, but my half marathon in October resulted in my best PR! So I guess that time away from my running shoes really did me some good. I’m now hoping to train for and run my first marathon next year. GOOD LUCK! And just stay positive, you’ll get there!

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grocery goddess jen     at 12:24 pm

Sounds like some great and exciting plans, Emily! And wow, the story about the person being killed would make me feel the same way. You really are lucky, and not just in getting into races through the lottery draw!

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Michelle C     at 12:25 pm

I’m so happy for you. :) I am training for my first half marathon the weekend before the DC one. (NYC half!) It will be fun to virtually train along with you and all the other bloggers I read who are running!

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Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul     at 12:30 pm

Fun race plans! I’m considering the Flying Pig, but a little nervous to make it my first marathon. We’ll see!

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Amber K     at 12:45 pm

Wow, you are rocking it. That’s pretty cool that you have always won every race lottery! I didn’t even know that those existed. I don’t know why, but I just figured anyone who sent in money could be in any race.

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Taylor     at 12:48 pm

Sounds like you are off to a good start! And you have an awesome race lineup for the Spring. I am going to sign up for the GW Pky 10 miler too! I used to live in Fort Hunt and went to Mount Vernon High School so that’s my old running route! I’m running the Shamrock Half in Va Beach in March. If you didnt have so many races lined up, I would tell you to look at that one. Va Beach is an awesome venue with a great course on the ocean! Anyways, just stay strong and keep working hard! You’ll be back to your old running self in no time! :)

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Erin     at 12:49 pm

I am so happy to see you so positive in spite of adversity, it really is inspirational.

I live in the area and I REALLY REALLY want to do the Suntrust Half Marathon. I’ve only ever done a 5K (October) and an 8K (November) so I’m a little scared I won’t be ready by then. But like you said, there’s 13 weeks. I think I can really do it. I mean if you can overcome yourself, can’t I? ;)

http://www.bishella.blogspot.com

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Sarah @ Going on Goals     at 1:08 pm

Your running posts are always so motivational. Now that you are mentally there, I am sure you will be there physically in no time.

One question, are you worried about doing so many races back to back? As a fellow, DCer, I have also thought about signing up for those races but am worried that it would be too much physically. Any thoughts on managing multiple races?

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Karen     at 1:08 pm

So glad you are back to training. After finding your blog I was so inspired so entered the 2011 Virgin London Marathon. I found out last week I have a place so am busy training; but with heavy snow fall this is proving a little difficult at the moment!! Being a newbie runner I want to thank you for the inspiration and heres to marathons in 2011 and beyond :)

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Lizzy     at 1:11 pm

I signed up too! I was considering it for awhile, and I finally signed up. I hear ya on pace times. I want to break 1:50 but I’ve been running most of my mileage at 9+ pace so I kinda doubt it will happen. But it will be fun to run in DC!

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Lauren     at 1:12 pm

You are getting so much stronger each day and I just know this season is going to be your best race season yet! :) YAY!! I am so happy you were selected to run in the Cherry Blossom Race!!! I can’t wait to meet you in April. ;)

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Sarah @ Going on Goals     at 1:13 pm

I love your running posts, they are always so motivational. I am glad to hear you are making progress!

Are you worried about signing up for so many races back to back? and any advice for running multiple races in a row like that?

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Katy (The Singing Runner)     at 1:21 pm

I am so happy to hear that you are getting stronger everyday. Injuries suck, but you have a great attitude to make it through! You are going to have an amazing race season come 2011, and I can’t wait to read all your recaps!

I want to do the DC Half SOOOO BAD but it’s the week after my spring break/ mission trip and I probably won’t be able to run at all during break. :/

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Sana     at 1:36 pm

I am doing the 1/2 relay for the National Marathon! I don’t think running long distances is in my future ( spine fracture) but I will do what I can!

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Annie@stronghealthyfit     at 2:11 pm

You have such a great attitude and I love that you’re signing up for races already!

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Maggie     at 2:14 pm

Emily, I just wanted to say that I think you’re amazing and inspiring ;) And while I know that while not comparing yourself to yourself is hard, remember that you’re constantly evolving. We’re never the same selves and sometimes we’re faster or slower or smaller or bigger or stronger or weaker, but that’s it’s all fine. And it sucks that this latest version of yourself is a result of an awful accident, but I think you’ll come out a lot faster and stronger and better for it.

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Megan     at 2:21 pm

Congrats on signing up for all the races! They’re addictive, to say the least. I’m jealous of the National Half – after being diagnosed with heart issues (I refuse to call it a condition), I’ve had to become a much slower runner, and thus, don’t meet the time qualifications. I’ve come to terms with being a slow runner (#1 – I can still run and #2 – I’m still alive and healthy), but this is one race where I’m insanely jealous.

I ran the GW Parkway Ten Miler last year – it POURED – but it is a gorgeous course. And maybe I’ll see you at Cherry Blossom (My fourth year!).

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Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef     at 2:39 pm

what a great attitude you have… and congrats on the run. running is MENTAL. that’s what 13 yrs of it has taught me. and fun fact… 08 flying pig was my first marathon too! :)

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Janene @ One Run at a Time     at 3:25 pm

I’m running the Flying Pig half marathon – my first! I’ll be moving back to Cincy soon (my hometown, too!), so I just started training, and I’m so excited. Let’s just hope this lasts until May!

Yay for race schedules!

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Meagan     at 3:57 pm

I think setting goals is good :) Yes, I am so behind on the celebrity gossip too. And I live in LA! HAH. It’s really not that important

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alison     at 4:24 pm

Good luck Emily! I’m sure you’ll be back in racing condition in no time. You have a great attitude and that should take you far.
I’m doing the National half marathon, too. My daughter (age 8) and I made it in the Cherry Blossom 5k lottery. We’re stoked to be running that race, too.

FYI–for the Army 10 Miler, don’t worry about a lottery. Sign ups start on April 1st (or somewhere around there) and you really HAVE TO sign up on that day because last year it sold out in 36 hours. The only lottery the ATM has is for military service members. It’s a fabulous race.

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Kelly     at 4:41 pm

I feel so bad for you with the injury. I can somewhat relate to what it’s like to be out-of-pocket for some medical reason and not able to workout like you want to. It sucks! But clearly your mind is ready and you’ll be kicking butt in your 1/2 marathons soon! My friend is also doing the Cherry DC one and is psyched!! Keep pressin on!! ;-)

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stephanie     at 5:09 pm

Oooh, you’re so lucky to have gotten into the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. I’ve tried to get in the past few years, but never made it in. This year, I decided not to try to enter the lottery because I’m signed up for the National Half and GW Parkway Classic and I don’t think I’m up to running all three of those in a row just yet!

It’s great to hear that you’re back to running again!

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Christin@purplebirdblog     at 5:29 pm

Your approach to running again is so healthy and sane, and despite your current frustrations, with your determination and drive you’ll improve again by leaps and bounds, I’m sure of it!

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Dee     at 5:31 pm

You go girl! I am so inspired by you and your determination. You are awesome! :)

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Liz     at 5:50 pm

Excellent! I’m a National Marathon Ambassador, so I’m glad to hear you’ll have such a crew out on race day. It’s a fantastic race. I’m also doing Cherry Blossom, but am trying to resist the Parkway race. And I have a weird lucky streak too! I won my first bike, and forget about bingo, people.

[Reply]

Jen     at 5:53 pm

Thanks for the inspirational post! I can relate to feeling stuck in someone else’s body recovering from an injury. Mentally, you know what you want to do, but your body isn’t on the same page. But way to go on pushing yourself to run. And it looks like you’ve got yourself a full plate in terms of running! A great way to motivate yourself!

I usually tell people that ask about my recovery that I don’t know what “normal” feels like. But like Maggie said, we’re constantly evolving, and I feel like the shape that I am now is better than my pre-injury shape. I’m sure you’ll be stronger for these races as well!

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Victoria (District Chocoholic)     at 5:54 pm

So glad to hear you are running again – I’m sure it is hard, but you can do it. Go Emily!

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Jaclyn     at 6:11 pm

Yay! What an awesome attitude. =) I’m running the Cherry Blossom too. Mabye I’ll see you at the starting line!

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Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks     at 7:19 pm

Your attitude in this post is wonderful. Good luck with all of your running plans!!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 8:47 pm

Your writing ab out the girl who died getting hit by a car really must have hit home. Wow – I am so glad you are doing well and are healing. Makes you think, huh?

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Kamaile     at 8:47 pm

Looking forward to following your journey back to racing!

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SaraRM     at 8:50 pm

Congrats on breaking through your mental block and hope it continues. I think that its great youre getting back into it. I wish you the best of luck and the speed that you had before the accident, but one day at a time!

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Sparkles365     at 9:44 pm

I am planning on doing the Flying Pig too! It will be my first time! Any advice on preparing for this particular race?

P.S. Love your Blog!

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Kath     at 9:57 pm

I’d love to run that too, but I don’t know if I can train without you!

Is there any space left unclaimed in that house of yours?

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Harley     at 11:31 pm

Hope everything continues to heal well! I was selected for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler, too!!! Super excited :)

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Jennifer     at 2:17 am

You rock. Your story is so inspirational. I’ll def be thinking positive thoughts for you to continue on your journey of healing.

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laura (starloz)     at 3:18 am

Glad your back into running

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Jen     at 6:31 am

You are an inspiration and I love your attitude!!! Good luck with the upcoming races, you will rock them!

Jen

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allie     at 8:29 am

lovelove the new site!!
i totally relate to your feelings of being stuck in someone else’s body. when i fractured my hip (stress fracture, surgery), i went from training for MCM to hardly being able to walk. when i first got back to running my body just would not do what i wanted it to. i tried to be grateful for the simple act of walking, thenn running and even though i never ever thought i would be speedy again, after a veeeeery long time it started to happen (altho 2 years later my hip still sometimes wonders whose body its in! haha). you’ll get there. great attitude!!

[Reply]

Lacy     at 9:37 am

Emily,
First things first, I look forward to reading your blog everyday. I really enjoyed your “weight room” post and this “racing forward” post. This past year, I took up running and definitely find inspiration in your blog. I’m thinking about signing up for the national half (it’d be my first!). It seems like just the challenge that I’m craving. Oh and I live in DC, so let me know if you have another meet-up sometime soon!
Lacy

[Reply]

Liz     at 10:47 am

So happy for you that you are back to running. For me it has always been frustrating to get back in shape post-injury, but you will get back there some day.
I’m also running the half! I ran it a few years ago and it is an awesome course.

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Rachel     at 11:02 am

I’m running the half and the cherry blossom as well! The cherry blossom is a great race. I’ve heard good things about the Parkway 10 miler, but I’m not sure if I’m ambitious enough to sign up for all three in a row just yet.

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Julie     at 11:31 am

Thank you for this post. I ran my first half marathon in September, after doing the Couch to 5K program. I started at a point when I was both physically and mentally weak and drained. On Thanksgiving, I strained my foot in a 5k, and I haven’t been able to run (or even walk for long distances) since then. I’ve tried running and its not for me. I feel like I just keep falling further and further behind where I was. Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay to have set backs. I want to be healthy for the long haul, and I will get back to it again!

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liz     at 11:55 am

I was struck by a van during a training ride a few years ago. Both my kneecaps were displaced and my left knee was completely shattered. It took months of physical therapy and mental resilience to get through the anger and pain that I felt, but things did eventually get better. I’ve since completed many races and my knees hardly bother me anymore. I think the important thing is to make sure you don’t try to rush things. I mostly biked through my recovery and didn’t run for at least 5 months. Everyone is different though so you just need to be honest with yourself during every recovery workout. Best of luck to you ! You’re doing so well !

[Reply]

Maryann     at 11:56 am

Emily,
Slow and easy. You were really injured but frustration and disappointment can be understood. Have a goal and just go one day at a time. You are so young but ones body takes time to recover.
Everyone knows you can do this. I am greatful everyday I can exercise peroid. I didn’t today Had my 25 people party and couldn’t get up at 5 but I will the rest of the week but Christmas maybe a good walk depending on the temps.

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)     at 12:55 pm

I love your honesty! I can relate, as I was 12 miles into training for my first half-marathon last spring when I ended up with plantar fasciitis *and* runners knee. I went months without running, and now I’m up to 3-5 miles. It can be frustrating to look back and compare. It really can!

One thing that helped me was when someone told me, “Sarah, you’re doing all of these things…resting, working out on ellipticals, weight lifting, et cetera…because you are a runner. Not in spite of it.”

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Dan     at 1:38 pm

If you’re looking for another just-for-fun half-marathon, take a look at the Newport-Liberty Half Marathon. It’s up in Jersey, and you run by Liberty state park and see some great views of the Lady herself. Plus, it’ll be a 30th birthday gift to myself…

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Sarah     at 2:13 pm

Yea! I’m running Flying Pig in the spring :) My first Pig, but my second marathon… one month before my wedding :) Hope the healing continues to go well so you can do great at your races!

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Gabrielle @ Weightless     at 2:53 pm

Love the new look/name! Very nice. Best of luck with your return to running. I’m doing the full Pig again for the 3rd year in a row (can’t quit it), so I hope you are able to run it too!

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Raewyn     at 3:01 pm

You are definitely still a runner! After all the thousands of miles you’ve probably ran, you more then deserve a little “rest” from it. It’s ok to be starting over again! :)I’m so glad you found your deep-down strength.. I’m 17 and I love running, but definitely haven’t made it past the 3-4 mile point yet, so I completely sympathize!

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Shannon @ A Better Me     at 4:28 pm

You will be back up to speed in no time! I can only imagine how frustrated you are but you are handling it like a champion! :)

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kelli @ marathonmamma     at 7:16 pm

wow! your weekends are filling up fast! I’m thinking of signing up for the National Half myself. My sister in law lives in DC and I’m thinking that would keep my running honest during the cold Chicago winter.

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Alana     at 7:52 pm

Good for you for getting back into it! It’s definitely hard, but you have so much to look forward to in the future :) You go girl!

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Amy     at 9:51 pm

Thanks for posting this. I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like you’re trapped in someone else’s body. I had a miscarriage 3 months ago and my body has really struggled to right itself – I’ve felt like a stranger in my own body. I think getting back into running will do so much good for you, as it did for me. I trained for and ran my first 10k as a way to help myself heal! (Now I am pregnant again, so no more distance records – I’m happy to be expecting, but man, I was just getting started with running!)

Anyway, I really appreciate your honesty and I hope your winter and spring training is a joyful time!

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Spring Marathon Training Plan and FAQ’s. | Daily Garnish     at 11:42 am

[...] few weeks ago, I told you guys about my tentative spring race plans.  Yesterday, I sat down and made it all official – typing out one of my favorite color-coded [...]

Jessica     at 10:44 am

Hi Emily-

I know this is a random question, but I have been running for a couple years and I am currently training for my first 1/2 marathon in January. Up until now I have always tied a bandanna around hairline to stop sweat from dripping into my eyes and keep my little frizzy flyaways down. But sometimes a rolled-up bandanna can be cumbersome, come unrolled, etc- where do you get your little headbands? Are they FOR running or are they just accessories? Thanks for your input! -Jess

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Emailed you! :)

[Reply]

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