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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    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.

Magnuson Spring Into Action 5K (& Kids’ Race!).

I mentioned in Monday’s weekly wrap-up that I ran a 5K this past weekend – my first postpartum race this time around!  I think I’ve probably run a total of eight or nine times since Graham was born – not a huge amount, but enough to at least feel like I’m back on my feet again.

I recently plotted out my training calendar for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon coming up in June, which motivated me to start thinking about some smaller races I can do leading up to the bigger distance.  And as I was searching around for local races, I thought – why not this weekend?  I found the Magnuson Spring Into Action 5k – since the weather looked nice and I knew the course, I found myself digging out my running gear on Saturday morning.

One of the other reasons I wanted to do this particular race was that it was super family friendly.  The start time was at 10am – much easier (and warmer!) for bringing young kids along!  There was also a kids’ race before the main event, that I remember watching two years ago when Casey ran a half marathon as part of the same race series. 

We signed Cullen up since it was only $3, not knowing if he’d be really into or absolutely refuse to participate.  He was surprisingly really excited, and kept saying, “I want to do my race!”


When the kids all lined up, I stood off to the side with Graham and tried not to pass out from all the cuteness.  It was obvious he was the youngest kid of the bunch, and I hoped he wouldn’t flip out when all the other bigger kids started running.  But it looked like dad was giving him a pretty good pep talk. 


The official yelled “GO!” and the runners were off.  Cullen was all business and looked totally into it!


While he was obviously waaaay behind all of the four and five year olds, he was also keeping a pretty good stride.  I could not handle how adorable it was to watch him running a race, and I loved it even more because he was having so much fun. 


And then he totally bit it.


And I watched from afar while he spent the next several minutes like this…


Graham and I did our best to cheer him on!


Eventually Casey convinced Cullen to get down and finish the race.  Tears were wiped and hands dusted off, and my brave little guy got down and slowly jogged the rest of the 400 meters (pretty far for a two year old!).  We also discovered a bruised and bloody knee later – poor guy!


You have to love a running crowd.  He was dead last by at least several minutes, and still everyone waited and cheered him in as he made his way to the finish line.  Cutest thing ever. 


He was super pumped about his blue ribbon, and I was really glad Casey made him get down and finish because he left with a good memory.  He has already said he wants to do it again next time!  Now I’m worried that I need to find more 5K’s with kids’ races…


My race was next, and it was just about as successful.  I was all caught up in getting the kids into the stroller/Ergo and I didn’t realize the main race was about to start.  I was over on the side with my family when the starting gun went off – oops!  Despite my carefully planned playlist, the Bluetooth headphones I was borrowing from Casey weren’t synched, so I was starting late with no music, no watch, and absolutely dead last.

I started out kind of in shock.  I just felt so unprepared, and I was kicking myself for not having it more together.  I was also really pissed.  I wanted a good race, I wanted music, and I didn’t want to weave through all of the walkers to find my groove.

I just felt really off and spent most of the race feeling horrible and in a big funk.  Running felt impossibly hard and my body felt very out of shape.  I thought I had run at LEAST two miles when I finally saw the first mile marker.  It was definitely not my day.

I promised myself the next one would be better.  With no clocks and no watch I had no idea what to expect, but I felt so slow and sluggish.  I was surprised to see 29 minutes on the clock when I approached the finish line.  My official finish time was 29:30, but it was probably closer to a 28 minute run since I started late (there were no timing chips).  Much better than I had anticipated, so that part was good.

I ran to the finish with nothing left in my tank, and my only motivation being that I knew Casey and the boys were there, and I wanted Cullen to see me finish my race just as proudly as he finished his.  It wasn’t a good race, but it felt good to do something that’s important to me with my family, and I appreciated them cheering for me!  Next time I will work on adjusting my attitude to be more positive from start to finish, no matter what. 


I have a few more small races in mind as I start training for my summer half marathon (eeep!).  I love being part of a local running community, and I’m excited that Cullen is finally old enough to understand and maybe even enjoy it a bit this year.  And Graham will be running in the kids’ races before we know it!


In other running-related news, I actually registered for another half marathon yesterday morning!   Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal cartoons is hosting his own race here in Washington called Beat the Blerch.  I set an alarm to remind me to register right when it opened, as I had a feeling it would sell out quickly.  I ended up getting one of the coveted 2,000 spots, and it sold out in just 29 minutes!

I am so excited to be part of such a fun event (birthday cake and Nutella all along the course – seriously!), and also totally freaked out by the idea of actually running another half marathon.  Plenty of time to worry about that later though (my mantra these days). 

Hoping to get in one or two more stroller runs this week!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Double Stroller Edition.

Another good week, and I did a better job getting out and moving a bit more.  Casey was out of town at the beginning of the week, so I got my activity in chasing after two crazy kids from sun up to sun down. 

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At the five month mark, I feel like I can say that we’re finally getting into a decent groove.  I’m planning to write an updated “day in the life” type of post showing our daily routine now with two – hopefully later this week!

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I spent a lot of this past week trying to get Graham to nap in his crib.  He loves to sleep peacefully here for about 20 minutes…

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But he will sleep peacefully here for at least two hours.  Adorable, and also frustrating.  The snuggles are pretty amazing though.  Hard to wish for anything else, despite not really ever getting anything done.  Someday, right?

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Other big news of the week – I finally bit the bullet and ponied up for a BOB Duallie!  I cashed in some credit cards points for Amazon giftcards to lessen the sting, and I couldn’t wait to go for a stroll as soon as it arrived.  Other members of the family thought it would be best to wait until after nap time though…

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I went for my first double stroller run on Thursday afternoon, and HOLY COW – running with a double stroller is 10x harder than running with a single.  Or maybe I’m just 10x more out of shape than I was last time – very possible.  There is also double the need to soothe, listen for cries, provide snacks (or make sure bellies are full), cover with blankets, etc.  It is a circus, but it is well worth it. 

Plus, I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty hardcore pushing what felt like a school bus around my favorite lake loop.  But I also kind of felt like dying afterward.  Here’s hoping pushing this tank will get me into great shape when I’m ready to go out and run on my own!

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So with that said, here’s the weekly breakdown of activity and workouts:

Sunday – Rained all day and stayed at home most of the day with the family.  Took a very rainy afternoon walk with the dogs in order to get them (and me!) some fresh air and exercise.  (11,183 steps // 4.67 miles)

Monday – Rain all day and Casey out of town.  My babysitter came in the afternoon, so I was glued to my desk for most of it.  Took the dogs for a short 35 minute walk in the rain before she left.  (9,819 steps // 4.21 miles)

Tuesday – Casey still out of town.  Did a 60 minute Barre3 class in the morning, and took both kids and both dogs for a 45 minute walk in the afternoon. (13,063 steps // 5.46 miles)

Wednesday – Spent the morning chasing Cullen around an indoor sandbox and was on my feet the whole time.  Walking in sand for two hours + bouncing a baby to sleep = workout.  (13,268 steps // 5.93 miles)

Thursday – Mom’s group in the morning chasing kids, and my first double stroller run in the afternoon – 2.8 mile loop around Greenlake. (12,897 steps // 5.62 miles)

Friday – School with Cullen and two hours of running errands on foot in Fremont (carrying both kids because I forgot my stroller – ouch!).  (13,227 steps // 5.67 miles)

Saturday – First postpartum race – a 5K that I will tell you all about tomorrow!  Fitbit was charging so no steps – boo. 

A few comments and thoughts on the Fitbit, since many of you have chimed in with your own experiences and advice.  A few people worried that perhaps my device wasn’t calibrated correctly, or that it was measuring arm movements that aren’t really steps.  I don’t think that is the case, but here are a few things I’ve noticed now that I’ve had it a few weeks:

– After the first few days of wearing it, I noticed that it was logging steps when I was in the rocking chair feeding Graham or rocking him to sleep.  Now I always make sure I take it off when I sit down in his room!

– Others commented that it might count “steps” when I’m bouncing or swaying with Graham trying to get him to sleep.  Am I crazy, or does that not totally count?  Have you ever bounced a baby for an hour?  It is an athletic endeavor for sure. 

– On that note, I actually noticed (and then googled, and confirmed!) that the tracker does not count steps as accurately when pushing a stroller since my arm isn’t actually swinging.  Almost all my walks are with a stroller, so I figure this probably balances out any incidental mis-steps that might be counted otherwise.

– I also wore it to Barre3 class for the first time and it barely logged anything, which I expected since it’s mostly strength holds and less aerobic movement.  This didn’t bother me because I’m just using it as a general activity tracker, but for those who are more regimented you can manually add activity afterward that isn’t picked up by the device. 

– On mornings when we are out at places like beaches, playgrounds, or parks my steps tend to be much higher because I am generally standing and moving around for 2-3 hours (chasing after Cullen, and keeping Graham moving/rocking).  If we do something like a playgroup, they will be lower because I’ll probably get a chance to sit down for a while.  But out in public there is rarely a chance to sit, which means a lot of activity before the end of the morning!  I’m going to do that “day in the life” post soon, and I’ll make sure to include my steps for that day too since many people have asked how they breakdown over the course of a day.

– And lastly, I’m really mostly interested in using the Fitbit to compare my own steps and activity from day to day.  I never even look at the social component, so I’m not trying to compete with friends or other users.  If my Fitbit is over-estimating in some areas and under-estimating in others, it doesn’t really matter as long as I’m just looking at my own numbers over time. 

I love having it as a basis for looking at my daily activity, and I find it really motivating.  If I see my numbers are still low as we go into the afternoon, I know it’s time for some fresh air and a walk!  Casey just ordered the Fitbit One, so I’ll be interested to see what he thinks of it once he gets started (particularly as someone with a desk job!). 

Up next – a recap of this weekend’s 5K and Cullen’s first kids’ race (SO cute!).  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

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