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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    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.



Weekly Wrap-Up: Bringing It Back!

Hi guys!  Happy FRIDAY – we made it!  Last year I did a weekly wrap-up post for a while – detailing the week’s fitness and highlights.  Eventually I stopped writing it and hibernated for a while, but I thought it would be a fun thing to bring back semi-regularly now that I’m training for another race.  So here goes!

We had a really good week here.  Cullen is at a new school now and he absolutely loves it, which feels really good after agonizing about the decision for so long (seriously – can you even imagine how crazy I’ll be when he reaches the 5th grade?).  And while he is having fun discovering things with his preschool buddies, Graham and I are really enjoying some time for just the two of us.  So far it feels like the perfect mix!

I spent a lot of this week working on house stuff, catching up on blog stuff, and getting ready for our upcoming vacation.  Casey’s whole family is headed out our way for a week in the Northwest, and we are SO excited!  It has been way too long since we were all together (last November!).  And because of that, I’m trying to get “ahead” on fitness too.  I know that when we’re at the lake my workouts will be minimal and s’mores will be plentiful.  So I’m trying to push it now in order to prepare for a bit of a step back week coming up. 

Here’s what I was up to this past week:

Monday – 3.5 mile stroller walk with kids, followed by a 5 mile with a friend and the dogs in the evening.  Hips were on fire that night!

Tuesday – Flybarre Sport class – holy cow!  This was by far the hardest class I’ve taken to date. 

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Wednesday – CorePower Yoga sculpt class – one of my favorites!

Thursday – 3.75 mile run with the double stroller – oooooouch.

Friday – planning on a rest day other than a long walk with the pups!

A few things to note from this week…

The Flybarre class was ridiculous – I didn’t realize the “sport” class would be so much harder.  Picture doing burpees and jump squats with 5lb weights in your hands.  I left shaking so badly that I was struggling to drive home.  The only thing that powered me through was knowing there was a Chipotle next door, and I was planning to pick up dinner.  Truths. 

Also, I’ve been doing all of my running recently either solo in the evenings (or weekend mornings), or with just Graham when Cullen is at school.  This was the first double stroller run I’ve done in a while and it was SO HARD.  I know the boys have obviously gotten bigger, but I cannot believe how heavy it is to push – even just for walking!  The combined total with kids, stroller, and gear is just about 100lbs, and I felt every one of those.  My arms hurt as badly as my legs by the end!

One thing I learned from this week is that I need to adjust the schedule and order of my workouts a bit.  Doing two tough strength classes back to back followed by a hard run was really difficult.  I don’t think I had enough recovery time in between, and I want to make sure my runs are prioritized during the bulk of my training. 

I’m planning to run six miles this weekend as my long run, and my goal is to work on holding a consistently faster pace than I’m used to.  We’ll see how it goes!  I’m feeling really good about the balance I’m getting between running and taking classes, and I’m confident the cross-training is making me significantly stronger. 

Onto some fun workout gear!  As part of the Brooks Blog Ambassador team, we get to test out seasonal apparel and products here and there.  This month, we got to check out some of the new line of Moving Comfort sports bras!

I have never been particularly large-chested (just typing that makes me laugh), but having breastfed two kids for a combined total of 30 months has left me looking – well, flatter than ever.  It is sad times, and I joke about boob jobs often.  Nothing ridiculous – just a healthy looking C would be reasonable, right?

But seriously – if you are busty and looking for highly structured, supportive bras then I am probably not the girl to be recommending those (although there are a ton of Moving Comfort bras designed specifically for larger-chested runners!).  But if you are flat-chested and looking for something comfortable and well-made to run in – then pull up a chair.

The JustRight Racer is a bra that I’ve been running in all year long, and bought these two myself long before I joined the Brooks program.  It is the closest thing Brooks has to your “typical” sports bra.  I like it because it’s slightly padded (with removable cups), but gives plenty of compression without flattening me like a pancake. 

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This is my go-to sports bra for running, and the one I typically wear during races. 

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I got to choose two other bras to test out (courtesy of Brooks), and my first choice was the Vixen A/B (they also made a separate version for C/D cups). 

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This is definitely a contender for new favorite bra!  The cups are sewn in, which means that they don’t come out or get all folded and weird in the wash, which is a game changer.  I really like the cut and shape too, and the skinnier straps look good under strappy tanks for barre and yoga classes. 

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The other bra I tried was the Uprise Crossback.  Again, this bra is specifically made for A/B cups (they have an Uplift version for those with C/D cups), and I love that Moving Comfort has designed bras differently for smaller and larger sizes, as the needs of different women vary greatly in this department.  It’s a super flattering neckline and it’s my favorite to wear to classes, although it’s also plenty supportive for running.  Also loving this gorgeous light grey color! 

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It’s nice to finally be running in well-made sports bras that actually fit me.  I do think that the Moving Comfort line runs small, so if you are thinking about trying out some bras, I’d recommend sizing up.  Like I said, I am pretty small up top – but I wear a medium in all of these and they are still snug. 

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I hope all of you had a great week and are looking forward to a relaxing and sunny weekend.  We have zero plans and I am really excited about it!

Thanks to all who entered the ClassPass giveaway, and congrats to Jane who commented, “So cool! Good luck in your training! I’ve been inspired by your ability to balance two kids and your fitness goals, and would love to try ClassPass here in Chicago.”  I hope you enjoy your month of classes!



Sleeping for Success.

Over the last four years, so much of my life has felt like it’s been swinging on a pendulum.  Physically, I’ve gone from pregnant to postpartum to breastfeeding, and then almost immediately started the cycle all over again.  Emotionally, I went from not-a-mom, to a new mom, to a sort-of-together mom, to a mom of two, and now I feel like a sort-of-together mom of two! 

One thing I’ve tried really hard to focus on this second time around has been taking care of myself.  I put my own needs and health on the back burner for way too long when Cullen was born, and – with Casey’s help – I worked hard to make sure that didn’t happen after Graham’s arrival.  I was much quicker to get back to balanced, healthy eating, semi-regular physical activity and exercise, getting some alone time – and whatever else it is that makes new parents actually feel like PEOPLE again.

But the one thing I found I really couldn’t control was…SLEEP. 

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This is not what I look like when I wake up in the morning.  

Both my babies were breastfed and refused to take bottles, so at night it was all me to take care of feedings (although Casey was great about getting up for diapers, bad dreams, etc.).  And during the day, well – neither one of them were great sleepers for that first year.  And while as a seasoned mom (ha!) I now know that the first year goes by in a blink, it also feels like an eternity when you are in the thick of it and only sleeping in 2-3 hour chunks for many months on end. 

It is easy for me to sit here now – after a full night of uninterrupted sleep – and tell you that sleep deprivation was never that bad, and of course it doesn’t last forever.  But the truth is, when I was in it – it did feel that bad, and I was quite certain it would last forever.  But it didn’t, and shortly after their first birthdays, both the boys started sleeping through the night and life got much, much better. 

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So here we are now with an almost-two year old and an almost-four year old, and both of them sleep really well.  And of course there are exceptions, like when someone is sick or has a bad dream, but most of the time we don’t hear a peep until morning. 

And now that we finally have a solid sleep situation in all the bedrooms of our house, I’m trying to be more mindful of getting good sleep myself.  It’s tempting to stay up a few hours later now, knowing the boys will stay asleep for a while.  And on the morning end, now that they aren’t up quite as early as they used to be (closer to 7am now instead of 5!), I set my alarm more often than not so that I can get up early and do some work, enjoy some coffee in peace, and shower without an audience.  It’s so great to have this time to myself, but it cuts into my overall sleep, and I often feel myself dragging at 3pm.

I have a lot of fitness and health goals right now, and I truly think that getting enough restful sleep is as important as working out and eating right.  So here are a few ways I’m trying to be mindful and improve my overall quality of sleep as I continue to work on a healthier self:

Drinking a small glass of water before bedtime.  I always feel better when I go to bed hydrated (although not so much that I have to get up and pee, obviously).  When I don’t drink enough the day before, I wake up with a headache and a really grumpy start.

Turning the TV off at least 30 minutes before bedtime.  We have a TV in our bedroom, so it’s tempting to fall asleep watching something at night, but I know it leads to less restful sleep.  We have an amazing balcony right off our room, and this time of year we hang out there a lot instead of watching TV.  I am always so much more relaxed and ready for bedtime after staring out at the night sky and twinkling lights!

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Not scrolling through my phone right before bed.  It’s so easy to just check everything that one last time, but I never actually reply to emails or comment on anything late at night.  These things can almost always wait until morning!

Getting up earlier, instead of staying up later.  Like I mentioned before, I like to set my alarm for 5:30ish these days so that I can get some things done before the kids wake up.  I am a much happier mom when I feel a bit more on top of things as I start my day.  This means going to bed a little bit earlier, but I always appreciate the time in the morning much more than I would appreciate one more episode of Silicon Valley. 

Not letting the dogs sleep in our bed.  They are wonderful and snuggly, but our queen sized bed plus two adults and two 60lb dogs leads to a lot of wakeups and adjustments.  We have dog beds on the floor of our room now, and I think everyone is sleeping much more soundly.

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Tracking sleep!  I did this for a while after Graham was born, and it was really interesting (and also slightly depressing –ha!) to see how often I was waking up, how restful my sleep was, and hour many hours I was averaging each week.  The new SleepIQ technology from Sleep Number does this too!  Although with SleepIQ there is no bracelet or wearable device – the technology is all engrained right within the Sleep Number Mattress.  All you do is SLEEP – and when you wake up all the information from the night before is ready for you.

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Did you know they even have Sleep Number beds for kids now?  In addition to the regular Sleep Number features, these beds can be outfitted with SleepIQ Kids™ technology – so you can track your kids sleep, adjust it to their best fit, and even be alerted if they are awake or out of bed (AMAZING!).  We don’t know what our kids sleeping setup will be as they get older (bunk beds? twin beds?) but I can see how this would be a great option in the future.

What are some of your tips and tricks for getting more sleep?  What time do you go to bed and wake up?  I used to be such a night owl but these days it’s lights out by 10pm. 

Coming back tomorrow with a recap of this week’s workouts, and some fun new fitness apparel!  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a month of free ClassPass – winner announced tomorrow!

Many thanks to Sleep Number for sponsoring this post, and thanks to you for your continued support of Daily Garnish!

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