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

    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    Looking forward to chatting with you!

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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.



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

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!!

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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

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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 !

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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!

[Reply]

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! :)

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