about me

    Emily Malone

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

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    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.



The 2012 Flying Pig Marathon.

It was a full weekend of racing for our family.  We flew overnight from Seattle to Indianapolis on Thursday night.  Friday afternoon we went to a race expo and prepped for the rest of the weekend.  Saturday morning we were up early (VERY early for us west coasters!) so that I could run the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon.  Pretty much as soon as that ended, we hit the road to Cincinnati to get ready for Casey’s race.

We spent Saturday afternoon at the Flying Pig expo, and then fueling and getting ready for race #2.  Casey and I have each run the Flying Pig Marathon three times (in 2008, 2009, and 2010), but this was my first time ever watching it!  My family and best friend have always cheered when we were running, so I took their advice on the best spectating spots.

We started in Hyde Park – where I grew up, and where my mom still lives today.  Cullen was excited to cheer on his dad!

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He was not quite as excited about the band that set up right next to us…

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We set up camp right around the 11.5 mile marker, and right as we got there the runners started to come through.  I don’t know if I get more nervous running races or watching races, but my adrenaline was out of control.  Just as it had been the day before for my race, it was already HOT out, and I was worried about Casey running in the heat.

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His original goal was to run somewhere between 3:15 and 3:20 (his PR is 3:11), and I was thrilled when I saw him headed toward us right behind the 3:15 pace group.

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He looked very sweaty and hot, but he also looked strong, so I was surprised when he ran straight toward me and said, “I’m done.”  He said he was really struggling in the heat, and he wasn’t going to finish.  He had made up his mind, and he was okay with it. 

He’s my husband, and obviously I know him well.  I know that even though he claimed to be okay with quitting, he was going to struggle with that decision once he cooled down.  I gave him some space and some water, and let him rest for a few minutes while we continued to cheer for the runners.

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I had a few other friends running, so I kept my eye out for them as the runners continued to pass.  The next thing I knew, Casey was back next to me pinning his bib number back on.  He said he couldn’t bear to stand there and watch other people finish the race.  He lost about 25 minute of running time, but by then his finish time had become irrelevant.  It was about finishing what he started.

He headed back out onto the course right after the 3:40 pace group, and we all packed up and headed to the next cheering spot.  At this point I was really nervous about him.  The heat continued to rise, and I knew that he was headed to a portion of the course with little shade and several hills.  He would have to make it from mile 11 to mile 18 before he would get the chance to stop again.  We watched the runners come through in Mariemont.

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Knowing Casey, I knew that if he could make it to mile 18 there was very little chance he would quit at that point.  I took Cullen out of the stroller and got him ready to give his dad and extra boot of motivation.

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We waited and waited with no text message updates – I was worried that I had no update from the half-marathon point.  But then right around the 3:45 pacers, I saw his familiar stride.

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I held Cullen up as high as I could, and Casey smiled and ran right toward him.

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He still seemed tired and very hot, but in much better spirits this time.  He gave Cullen a big sweaty kiss.  His legs were cramping badly, and he told us it was going to take a long time to finish.  I assured him we had nowhere else to be. 

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And with his family cheering loud and proud, he headed back out to finish what he started.  We headed to mile 21, and cheered for him once again.  Despite how I know he felt, he looked strong.

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Since I knew he was going to be slowing down and we had plenty of time to get to the finish, we decided to hang out a little longer at mile 21, in order to cheer for a few other friends we had running the race.  I jumped and screamed for Meghann when I saw her zoom by right on pace!

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And not far behind – her sister, Kelly!  They traveled all the way from Florida to run, so they didn’t have any family in town cheering or supporting them.  Hopefully my family helped fill that role – we all yelled and screamed as loud as we could!

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We finally made our way down to the finish line to try to find Casey.  After wandering aimlessly for what felt like forever, we finally found him relaxing in the grass after a long, hard run.  It was his worst marathon ever (okay other than the one he ran with me) – a finish time of 4:02.

More than anything, I was most proud of him for finding a way to just be okay with finishing a bad race.  He tends to put a lot of pressure on himself, and I know he was really disappointed in his run.  But he found a way to be happy that he finished, and to see it as a training run to get ready for his next marathon in June.   

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I think we learned a lot this weekend about what we need to do to be successful with running going forward.  The heat really hurt us both, as we’re used to the cool climate of the Pacific Northwest.  We also went into our races sleep deprived from a red-eye flight, and with even less sleep from changing time zones.  While my training was subpar, Casey actually trained really well for this race, so there were definitely some outside factors working against him.  Going forward, we’ll plan better for races we want to take seriously!

We both feel really motivated now with a few (bad) races under our belt.  Sometimes it takes a bit of a reality check and a long afternoon on the pavement to really light the fire to get going again.  We’re excited to train hard and support each other as we get ready for Rock N Roll Seattle at the end of June. 

Another year, another Flying Pig.  While I’ve pretty much decided to count marathons out until I’m done having kids, I’d be lying if I told you it was an easy race to watch (and not run).  We’ll see what the next year brings, but I’d love to be lining up at the starting line in 2013.  Until then, we both have some work to do.

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41 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Catherine     at 10:26 am

Any race you finish is a good race. Any marathon/mini marathon…well, just having the guts to sign up means Casey and you are champs to me!

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Krissie     at 10:30 am

That race was brutal. And hearing that Casey struggled so early makes me feel better.

It was my first full, same for my training buddy. And very frustrating. We cruised up the climb. We cruised through Mariemont. But the heat on the parkway tried to kill us. And dehydration forced us to walk the last 6 miles. It was so hard, especially since I felt so strong and prepared, but the weather just didn’t agree with me. Even though we finished an hour after we’d hoped to finish, I am so proud that I stuck it out. I am so proud that my running buddy and I looked out for each other. Just like you and Casey, we wanted to quit and didn’t. I’m glad I’m in such good company :)

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Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 10:31 am

Kudos to both of you for finishing your races. I had tears in my eyes as I read about your race, persevering despite all the obstacles.

I have a 10-month old, and while I’m not much of a competitive runner, I understand how hard it is to find time to work out while being a breastfeeding, chronically sleep-deprived mom. You’re doing a great job, and you may have motivated me to find a 5k or something so I have a goal to work toward.

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 10:37 am

Congrats for both of you in finishing what you started. Not every race is good. It’s very difficult to train for races with little ones. I’m just about to begin training for my first full marathon and I’ve got almost 2 year old twins. It’s going to be tough even with them being a little older. I couldn’t imagine training when they were Cullen’s age!

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madison @ toldinvain     at 10:38 am

I am just so impressed with you two! Literally the furthest I have ever run at once is 4 miles. I’m super into fitness but just can’t seem to conquer running as much as I have yoga, lifting and spinning. Congrats on your weekend!!

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Julie (A Case of the Runs)     at 10:46 am

Reading both of your race recaps was awesome! Totally fit couple! I hope to do this same system with my SO when we have kids… and luckily there are many races out here. Great that you encouraged your husband in his dark moments the same way he did for you — running these races (especially in heat like that) is rough for anyone!

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Joanna @ Midwestern Bite     at 10:55 am

Congrats to Casey . . . just finishing is something most people never accomplish! And with a three hour time change to boot! And Cincinnati heat is no joke. Maybe the fabulous ice cream makes up for that?? So glad to hear you both had a chance to visit home.

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Alex @ therunwithin     at 11:02 am

I love your shirt! from a girl living in VA currently, couldn’t agree with it more!

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Madison @ Espresso and Cream     at 11:04 am

Congrats to you both! When conditions are less-than-ideal (both weather-wise and outside factors) it’s a feat to just finish.

On another note… Emily, where did you get the crop pants you’re wearing in those photos? They’re adorable!

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Emily N     at 11:11 am

It was BRUTAL out there. I was with Casey for sure and feeling DONE by mile 11. And like him as well, I had stuck with my pace group up till then, and slowed it WAY down after that. Good news is, my legs are fresh already, so I am back at it!

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Becky     at 11:14 am

I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now, and have to say that I am constantly impressed by the way(s!) that you and Casey support each other and by the wonderful and positive way that you write about your relationships – family, friends, and otherwise, even when the going gets tough. And major congratulations to you and Casey on finishing your races – heat is no joke, especially when you’re not acclimated to it. I’d rather race in 32 degrees with sideways rain than heat and humidity.

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Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats     at 11:14 am

Congrats to Casey for finishing! That is no small feat in itself.

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Kate     at 11:19 am

It was so hot out there! It was my first half, and by mile 9 it felt like the sun was attacking me. I learned a hard lesson from this one — don’t short the training runs. I injured a tendon in my foot. I want to run the Columbus Half-Marathon in the fall and I plan to be much more dedicated to my training this time! All it should take is remembering those last 3 miles when I wanted to be running but had to walk because of how much my foot hurt. Also, I totally hear you about training conditions — I run in Columbus most of the time, where there are no hills. Those hills on the course really killed me!

Good job to you and Casey! :)

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Sameera     at 11:21 am

Aww, that’s such an inspiring post. Congrats to u and ur husband for finishing. It’s a big achievement. U both look great in the pictures. Sweet, smiling happy family.
U are in kirkland now I wanted to meet u personally if it’s ok with u. If at all u go for walks in some park near ur place I can come there. Let me know Emily. I m a big fan of hrs and Cullen’s . Take care.

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Meagan     at 11:23 am

What a great attitude! You look great Emily! It was so funny – I went to Seattle this weekend and was in the Kenmore/Juanita/Kirkland area RIGHT near where you are and you weren’t there! How ironic!

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Rachel     at 11:35 am

It was such an honor to meet you and Casey on Sunday following the race! It sounds like Casey had a similar race as my husband, super strong at the beginning but conditions got the best of them. I was so excited to meet you that I forgot to mention to you how much I appreciate reading your blog every week. Your honesty about becoming/being a mother has been and continues to be an inspiration to me. And both of you showed great strength this weekend when you let yourself keep to a goal without worrying about perfection. Such an important mantra to remember as I round the last few months of pregnancy and enter your world of motherhood. Thanks and congrats to you both!

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Belinda     at 11:35 am

This post made me tear up. I could see in the pics how much you love Casey, and I love that he didn’t give up.

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Kaci Blake     at 11:42 am

I looked and looked for you on Sunday but after Jon’s predicted time passed I started to panic. He was on pace to come in at 2:55 but he too had a bad race and after mile 18 his IT band swelled and he was forced to walk. He came in at 3:44, still great to me but he was bummed.

Hope Casey does great in June! XOXO

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Katrina     at 11:48 am

I found a lot of inspiration in both you and Casey’s race recaps. I always felt like if I signed up for a race, I had to be able to run the whole thing. I appreciate the honestly you brought to your stories and I want you to know I am inspired to sign up for a race knowing that I probably can’t run the whole thing but knowing that I tried my hardest. Thanks Emily!

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deva at deva by definition     at 11:50 am

I’m sorry to hear that the heat affected Casey’s run, too, but I’m really impressed with his finish regardless – he ran an awesome race in trying circumstances!

The heat was brutal – the Flying Pig on Sunday was my first Half Marathon. I finished the half in 2:52:12 – I walked most of the 9th mile because I knew if I didn’t, I would DNF and I worked so hard to finish that race.

I told my friend Erica at mile 11 that I was done with half marathons.. and three hours later was looking for anothrr one to sign up for.

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Jennifer (The Gourmetour)     at 11:53 am

You know what, you’ll get it next time! Great job keeping your spirits up. It’s not the last race you’ll ever run, so you can only go up from here! xo

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Cherbear     at 11:58 am

Even if it was his worst marathon, 4:02 is still a very respectable finishing time! Tell Casey not to be too hard on himself. :)

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Sana     at 12:26 pm

You and your husband have had some major life changes: move,job and a sweet baby and despite all of that you guys did a lovely job!

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Jillian     at 12:34 pm

I agree with Cherbear above – 4 hours is something most people work towards for a long time, years in fact – my husband being one of those people! A 3:15 marathon is CRAZY FAST! Casey should be proud of himself that pace is his “normal” – no matter what happened on one brutal hot day.

This brings me to a question… maybe you could do a post on it someday. I started running in January of last year and I’ve found that getting faster has been a SLOW difficult progression. The furthest I’ve ever ran is a 10k and it’s taken me almost a year and a half to get down to around 10:30 pace. I haven’t read your blog for that long, but it seems like one minute you and Casey both were out-of-shape and beginning runners and the next minute you were 7, 8, and 9 min / mi pace runners. How the heck did you do that? Everything I read is either about couch-to-5k runners (I’m way beyond that now) or seriously competitive good runners. How do you bridge from one to the other?

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Jen E.     at 12:41 pm

Hey Emily! Great posts! I’ve been there, I ran Chicago a few years ago and it was 90 some degrees out. Very unfortunate – I swear I saw people drinking out of a decorative fountain they were so thirsty!

What brand of shoe does Casey run in? They look super fly!

Also, I ran the Seattle RNR last year and had a great race. I was a little worried I would end up with 26.2 in the rain but it turned out to be an awesome day!

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Elisabeth Reply:

I was wondering about his super cool looking shoes, too!

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Julie @ runningandriley     at 12:42 pm

Aww! Good job, Casey! I’m from the Midwest (St. Louis), so I was definitely feeling the heat as well this past weekend! Congrats for sticking to your guns and pushing through! :D

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Erica     at 1:30 pm

Great job to you and Casey for getting through these tough races this weekend! The two of you are quite inspirational. Keep the running posts coming!

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jen     at 1:39 pm

congrats to both you and casey for finishing some very hard races.

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Karina     at 3:09 pm

I am so proud of you both :)!

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Abby @ Change of Pace     at 3:42 pm

Sounds like you guys both endured a lot to finish your respective races. The finishes are something to be proud of for sure! Congratulations to you both!

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Sara Nickel     at 4:03 pm

You and Casey are such an inspiration! It is very inspiring to see two parents who put so much effort and joy into their health. You both are setting a wonderful example for your son! Regardless of the crappy times, you both finished strong! Congrats!

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Meghann     at 6:11 pm

It was so great seeing you on the course! You guys were seriously right where i needed to see you and gave me the push I needed to get through the last few miles. Thank you, thank you for the pictures. Come to Florida and I’ll cheer you on. K? ;)

Congrats to you and Casey for both sticking with and rocking your races. <3 you guys!

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Stacey     at 6:13 pm

I looked for you and Cullen in Hyde Park but didn’t see you :( I think I saw Casey though. I ran by him around mile 9. Does he have a tattoo on his right shoulder? I didn’t want to stare him down and freak him out, he looked like he was in the zone, so I kept on going. I was really hoping to see you! It was such a great race though. Well, until my quads started to scream around mile 18… but even then it was a great race and I would totally do it again! Glad to hear that you finished your race (like a champ!) despite the heat. And that Casey did as well. Cullen has some pretty inspirational parents :)

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 8:17 pm

Heat is so hard to run in when you haven’t been training in it. Even though I have only been away from the Midwest for a couple years now, the humidity and heat are so oppressive when I go back. Makes me what to get back to the PNW quickly!

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Coco     at 5:56 am

Way to stay strong Casey!

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elise     at 7:06 am

awwww…youre such an awesome wife. i can relate to caseys competitive nature, and its great that you know him and gave him space and support. i bet seeing cutie cullen in the crowd didnt hurt in inspiring him either :) congrats to him!

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Amber K     at 10:48 am

Aw, good for him for finishing!

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Kimberly     at 1:25 pm

Congrats to both you and your husband for finishing!! It was crazy hot out there that weekend! I did the half pig and was exhausted by the end!!

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Adri @FoodieBeFit.com     at 4:24 pm

Congrats to hubs on finishing strong. Running in the heat does make a huge difference. I live in mostly permanent heat and still do soooo much better when running in lower temps. You and Cullen are the best cheerleaders!

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Erin     at 9:50 am

Great for him for finishing. I am from cincy and ran the 1/2 with my dad (who is 59, amazing and pushes me to run faster and work harder). It was hot and we were 5 minutes slower than our PR. I can’t imagine pushing through another 13.1 that day so anyone who did should be proud.

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