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.



2014 Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon Recap.

Whew!  Where do I begin?  My big race was this weekend, and after trying to mentally and physically prepare for it these past few months, it feels weird that it’s over!  Race-mode officially started Friday morning, when the boys and I headed down to the expo to pick out my packet and check out all the local race excitement.  It was super crowded and loud, and Graham’s diaper leaked all over me the minute we walked through the door, so we were in and out quickly! 

Casey traveled for work the second half of the week, and made it back just in time for bedtime on Friday night.  I was so glad he was able to get back in time to come cheer!  I tried to go to bed early in order to feel as rested as possible going into race morning.  Graham was up twice during the night, and before I knew it my alarm was going off!

I snuck downstairs and ate a pb&j and had a large cup of coffee.  I also dug out my old dinosaur Garmin that I haven’t run with in years.  It still worked! 

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I waited until the last possible minute to sneak upstairs and feed Graham before leaving, and then I headed downtown.  I texted back and forth with Meghann a bit so that we could meet up and say hi before the race.  There were almost 18,000 runners on Saturday – a giant sea of people milling around getting ready to run!

With about five minutes to go before the start, I finally found Meghann, Anne, and Janae in the starting corrals.  They offered to run with me, but I knew that they were doing more of a casual fun run, and this race was serious business for me!  I thought I’d do best if I just turned up my music, focused on myself, and took it mile by mile. 

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And just like that – we were off!  I didn’t do any of my training with a Garmin (I used the Map My Run app instead, which proved to be pretty inaccurate!), and I wasn’t sure if it would end up being a good or a bad idea to bust it out on race day.  I settled into a comfortable starting pace, which looked to be around 8:45/minute miles.

I spent the first few miles trying to loosen up, looking into the crowds for a few familiar faces I was trying to spot, and generally feeling really good.  Having run this race two years ago, I knew the course, and I knew that the first half of the course was relatively easy compared to what was coming in the back half.

The miles ticked by and my pace was hovering anywhere from 8:30 to 8:50, and I worked hard to just think about individual miles and to not think too far ahead.  Right around mile six, the course made a U-turn where runners passed each other.  As I approached the turn, I saw that Meghann and Anne were only about 100 feet in front of me.  We all waved and cheered, and I continued on – feeling comfortable and confident as I neared the halfway point.

At one of the next few water stops, I saw the girls ahead stopping to take a picture, and I ended up catching up to them.  They were a breath of fresh air – very motivating and encouraging.  I felt like I was running well, but I also knew that deep down I was trying to bank some cushion.  I knew that some major hills were up ahead, and I also know that hills in those later miles tend to be my downfall. 

We turned into Seward Park and I surged ahead, still feeling really strong and full of energy.  I forced myself to run the hills, and I ended up ahead of the other girls for a bit.  I wasn’t trying to pull away from them, but rather I knew that they would eventually catch up to me.  I figured that at that point, I’d probably be starting to slow down (or even walk, which I swore I wouldn’t do!), and from there on I’d run with them in order to try to keep up my pace.

Somewhere around mile eight, I slowed down to eat a Shot Blok, and I saw two familiar shadows come jogging up to me on either side.  Meghann and Anne grabbed me a pulled me along and got me moving again.  They assured me that they were going to finish under 2:00 hours (my goal!), so I decided to just try to stick with them.  They chatted and marveled at Seattle’s gorgeous scenery, and I did my best to point out local landmarks and be a tour guide, and huff and puff along with my headphones still blasting. 

I warned them that I knew the course was going to get really hilly and hard toward the end.  Mentally, I was starting to struggle.  And it was no surprise, because that’s how most of my training runs went.  I did really well up until around seven or eight miles, and then I’d hear the nonstop chatter of that little voice in my head who was willing me to walk. 

And then just as I remembered, the hills rolled in.

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I tried so hard to dig deep and I willed myself to hold my pace, but I just couldn’t find the energy to get it done.  We went through a sickly hot and humid tunnel (that felt like it would never end), and my Garmin signal dropped.  From that point forward, my average pace and total running time were way off, so I’d also lost sight of where I was in relation to my goal.  It turned out that I really liked running with the Garmin again afterall, so this was sort of a blow.  I hated not knowing my pace and overall time anymore!

At mile 10, I felt a bit of a surge – knowing it was the farthest I’d run in my training.  I also knew that Casey and the boys were going to be somewhere up ahead along the course.  I spent the next two miles willing my feet to keep moving, and desperately trying to ignore the itch to take walking breaks.

A handful of times, I felt myself slowing down to a walk, and every time Anne would grab my arm and encourage me to keep going.  She had all sorts of motivating energy, and I was so grateful that she and Meghann stuck with me even though I knew they could have been running faster. 

With somewhere around a mile to go, I finally saw a few familiar faces up ahead…

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This is the face of a crazed running mama who has just spotted the three loves of her life. 

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I veered off the course and over to the sidelines for some quick kisses and smiles.  It was totally energizing, and I was so happy they were there!

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And then the three of us made our way to the finish!

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The last mile was horrible.  Would you believe that I stopped and walked that close to the finish line?  It was such a mental struggle, and I just couldn’t seem to break through it.  We turned the corner toward the finish line and I saw yet another big hill, and I was just…done.  At that point I knew I was probably not going to make the two-hour mark, and my confidence just sort of crumbled.

Of course, days later sitting on my couch, it’s easy to say that I should have dug deeper and fought harder to push through.  But at the time, I really felt like I was leaving it all out there.  I crossed the finish line in 2:01:15 – one minute behind my goal, but eighteen minutes faster than I ran the same race after Cullen was born.  Certainly still something to smile about!

I crossed the finish line and stumbled my way to the family reunion area.  Casey gave me a huge hug and told me he was proud of me.  Cullen immediately asked for a snack.  And Graham was clearly ready for his next meal too.

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A million thank you’s to Meghann and Anne for slowing down and dragging me into the finish line.  I know that without their encouragement I would have ended up slowing down and walking much more.  And many thanks to Casey for getting up at the crack of down, managing two kids who were both awake before 6am, and for hauling everyone downtown to come cheer for me. 

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Despite the ugly hills in the second half, Rock N Roll is such a fun race, and it’s one I hope to continue to work into my race calendar in the years to come.  It was the perfect day to run through some of Seattle’s most beautiful spots, and I felt proud to show off my gorgeous home city!

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I left the race feeling really good about my overall effort and pace, but I’ll admit that missing my goal by one pesky minute was a bit of a blow.  I still feel really proud that I gave it my best effort, and while it wasn’t my fastest half-marathon ever, it was my fastest 13.1 since becoming a mom.  And that is definitely something to celebrate!

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Even though my legs and hips are still a bit sore and achy here three days later, I’m already thinking about my next trip to the starting line.  I’m actually registered for another half-marathon just three weeks from now!  It’s one I had planned to do much more casually, but looking at the nearly-flat course, I’m somewhat tempted to give my goal a second-go.  We’ll see how the next few weeks of running go in between!

It’s fun to be getting back into racing, and I’m excited to see what the rest of this season holds!

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57 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Maya     at 12:02 am

Good for you!! It sounds like you ran a gutsy race. I just found out that I’m pregnant with my second child… interesting to contemplate how running will be different the second time around. I’m also very impressed you have tackled half marathons the first year post-partum– after my daughter was born I couldn’t contemplate half-marathons until she was about a year and a half old, though I got a lot faster in the meantime by focusing on 5Ks! I bet you’ll blast your time goal out of the water in your next half!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Congrats!!! Two is ten times more fun. :)

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Nadine     at 1:18 am

I’ve been chasing a sub-2 1/2 for as long as I have been a runner…and I have never come as close as you. You did great — so glad you had friends around to keep you going! Getting into your own head is so hard during a long race!

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Emily @ Life on Food     at 3:38 am

I think it is amazing that you ran a 1/2 marathon. Great that friends can help you along…that is what they are for right?

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Nan     at 3:49 am

Congratulations on your race!!! I am seriously inspired by your run. You did so awesome and you did all of that on top of taking care of two little ones, waking up during the night beforehand, still breastfeeding, etc…. seriously awesome. I love that picture of you when you notice that your family is up ahead. I have a few pics like that of some races that I have done recently when I saw my husband and my son. Nothing better than seeing them for a little surge of energy. Well done, Emily!!!

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Lynne in NC     at 3:50 am

Way to go Emily! You did a fantastic job. So happy your friends were there to encourage you and that you stuck with them, too. You look fabulous and well-toned.
Cheering you from afar for the next race in three weeks. Go, Emily, go!!!

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Jim Little     at 4:12 am

Awesome job! The fact that you get out and keep your legs moving for 13.1 miles is incredible especially with the schedule you keep and with the boys. Keep it up and keep up with the posts, my whole family loves reading!!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks, Jim! :)

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Maryea {happy healthy mama}     at 4:17 am

For some reason this recap has me all teary. It must be a mama thing! :) Congrats on a great race and you inspire me to get back into the racing scene.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha thank you!!

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Shel@PeachyPalate     at 4:58 am

A whole 18 minutes faster is epic!!! Well done!!! You finished and that’s what really counts and you did the best you could on the day!!! Seriously awesome achievement!

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Sarah     at 5:27 am

Wonderful job! Your time is aaamazing!!!!

Question – what sports bra do you wear? I am also a nursing mama and I do not think I could feed my son right after a race with the kind of bra I have. It’s basically sucked to my body (but my boobs might be a tad larger than yours – jealous) so I don’t think I could pull it away to nurse him!

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Emily Malone Reply:

My boobs aren’t all that big (pretty average), so I just wear two target sports bras layered on top of each other. It’s not ideal, but I haven’t invested in anything better yet. They are pretty tight since they are layered, and pulling it up to feed him is not super comfortable, but it’s definitely possible! I need to get something better.

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Caroline     at 5:29 am

Congrats on your fastest post-pregnancy race yet! Hills make me shudder in races- these look like no fun!

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Ashlyn Bergman     at 5:36 am

You’re so inspiring! Congrats on your awesome finish!

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Kelly Mitchem     at 5:36 am

congrats on finishing! you are doing way better than me!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Well we are all just competing against ourselves, right? I was proud to have beat my old time!

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Ali @ Peaches & Football     at 5:49 am

Kudos Emily!!

I’ve been excited to read the recap. I was getting antsy to see if you were able to finish and checked the results online earlier… you did AWESOME!

It’s great that you had friends running too – I think that makes a race even more fabulous then doing it all alone.

Way to run!

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Emily Malone Reply:

You are sweet – thank you!!

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Anne @fANNEtasticfood     at 6:39 am

I am so, so proud of you for rocking this race! I had a blast running with you and Meghann and am so happy we were able to provide some support to you in the rough spots. <3 Remember what I said: don't underestimate yourself! You are much stronger than you think. Can't wait to hear about your sub 2 in 3 weeks! xoxo

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks, lady!! I will carry all your pep talks and motivating mantras with me into the next race. :)

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Jackie     at 6:56 am

You killed it, that’s so awesome!!!!

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Leah     at 7:07 am

Congrats, Emily! Friends pushing you further than you thought you could go makes all the difference (I had that same motivation to conquer a 6 hour hike in the White Mountains this past weekend–my own version of a marathon). :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Wohooo, congrats to you too! Sounds intense!

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Leah Reply:

Aww, thanks! We even wore out my friend’s dog Lu Lu. The pup passed out in the back of the Jeep even before we left the parking lot. There were so many nice people on the trails–made for good company on the way up and back down. :)

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Julie     at 7:24 am

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this recap. Great job! I just know you’re going to crush your goal on that flat course next time! You were SO close this time – even w/ all those hills at the end. I can’t even imagine… Way to go!

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Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 8:06 am

Congrats on an amazing job! While it sucks to miss your goal by one minute that is still an awesome time! And how fun to get to run with friends!

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Stephanie @ My Freckled Life     at 8:13 am

You killed it! I know how disappointing it is to miss your goal by THAT much (my last half was also a 2:01 – SO CLOSE!) but it really is something to be proud of. Especially if you felt like you were leaving it all out there on the asphalt! Way to go!

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Dad     at 8:34 am

Well done, Emily! And how great to have such awesome running friends!

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Alex @ Kenzie Life     at 8:46 am

I hope you are super proud of yourself and not too upset that you missed your goal by a minute, because I’m seriously impressed. So congratulations, Emily! I think you ran a fantastic race and it’s really impressive to me that you did so well even though you just had your second child less than a year ago. Best of luck with your next race!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Alex!!

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Jessica     at 9:49 am

So proud of you. I didn’t start running until I was a mom of 3 and I have never run a sub 2 half. I am in awe of you. The breastfeeding shot shows just what a warrior you are. Go Girl!

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Bethany @ Accidental Intentions     at 10:08 am

Congrats on your race, Emily! Personally I’m in awe of anyone who runs in Seattle, period, never mind knocks out a really solid half marathon in Seattle. Your hills are INSANE. I don’t know how you guys run on them! I think missing a goal time by just a little bit can be way more frustrating than missing it by a long shot — but if you were that close to hitting your goal on a hilly course, I bet you can definitely get it on a flat course :) Congrats again! You’re an inspiration!

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Emily Malone Reply:

You are sweet — thank you!!

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B     at 10:42 am

Congrats Emily! You did awesome and have so much to be proud of.. PS this is my first comment and I’ve been reading your blog for the last 5 years.. i just wanted to let you know that I think you are the bomb and kicked some booty!

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Amy Ramos     at 11:03 am

Way to go mama! Love the RnR series. Hope you can make it to the one in San Jose in October!!

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Sarah W     at 11:41 am

I walked this course (my lack of training while running would have injured me) and there were some TOUGH sections. The camber from running on the highways made my IT hate me. But man! Best RocknRoll race I’ve done so far. Their organization and the whole finishers shoot was fantastic. AND! HOLY SCENIC PERFECT DAY!! I kept an eye out to see if I could see you to snap a pic, but alas, you’re speedy as anything! Congrats on the awesome time :) @sarahtude

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Emily Malone Reply:

This makes me feel better, haha. Some people have said they didn’t think the hills were all that bad, but man – I sure did! And yes, weather was amazing. Wish we’d gotten a picture!!

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Emily from Quorn     at 11:41 am

Congrats on the half! I’m actually running my first one this fall so it’s nice to know that it can be fun and not crazy serious and competitive like it sometimes seems. Hope you can make it out to our event in August. We’d love to meet you and see what you think of our products.

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Alexis     at 12:50 pm

Congratulations on a great race!! Do you mind sharing what brand your headphones are? Are they wireless?? Do you like them/do they stay in okay? On the hunt for new earbuds and yours caught my eye :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

They are Motorola Flex HD. They are…okay. I don’t love the way they fit in my ears, but the functionality is good. They are wireless!!

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Alexis Reply:

Awesome thank you for the response! I think I may continue my search for comfortable wireless ones:)

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Laura @ She Eats Well     at 1:36 pm

Congratulations! What an amazing race you had. The best part is the runners high after. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your day and celebrated!

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Shannan     at 1:50 pm

YAY, Emily!! This is so awesome! I love hearing about your running and what you have done after having kids. You’re awesome!

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Amanda     at 1:55 pm

I absolutely love the photo of you running towards your boys. Congrats on completing. Since having my first 10 months ago, I’m not really feeling the motivation to work out but hoping to get back in the swing of things soon. Btw, where is your tank from?

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Emily Malone Reply:

Target tank! Obsessed — want every color! :)

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Lee     at 1:58 pm

You did awesome! That elevation chart looks scary!

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Rebecca     at 2:44 pm

Awesome job! And let me say it was motivating to see you out running Greenlake this morning with the monster dualie!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Aw yay! Fun to see you too! That thing is way too heavy. :)

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Sarah     at 2:53 pm

yay Emily! Your face when you see your family is so great! I really loved this post, so well written I felt like I could feel your struggle and then energy:)

I did that race two years ago and I remember those hills:0

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you, Sarah!!

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Luv What You Do     at 5:51 pm

Congrats on an awesome race! How fun to have such good running friends!

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Reenie     at 8:43 am

Woot!! Congrats!!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thank you!! :)

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christine     at 12:35 pm

SUPER impressive with two little ones! Even before I had a child I couldn’t imagine a sub-9 pace!

I’m 28 weeks pregnant with #2 and all I can dream about it getting back into running – I know I’ll find a new schedule and make my way back eventually : )

Congrats – you should be SO PROUD!

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Carolyn@Small Things Trilogy     at 4:51 am

Hi Emily,Im a long time reader here, loved reading about your family and fitness. I recently started running, wanted to ask you whats the best way to carry your phone on you while you run. I have been using my ipod nano clip on for music, but really wanted to get into using the map my run app!

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » That Other Half Marathon I Ran (See Jane Run 13.1).     at 8:48 pm

[...] spent the first few months of summer training for, talking about, and eventually running the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon.  It was my big postpartum goal, and something I’d worked hard for through the spring and [...]

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