Underboob Chafing

I made a critical error in judgement during my training.

Because I was at the Hornets game this weekend, I shifted my long run to Monday during my workday, and went for it.  But because I was rushing off to work (as usual) I grabbed whatever bra I could find out of the bottom of my clean clothes, and happened to grab this bra that isn’t even manufactured anymore, a bra that may have fit me back in the summer of 2010.  So that was five years ago.

After working in running retail for some time, I have repeated to our female customers numerous times the importance of replacing your sports bras.

“Your bra should never see a birthday.”

“You should change your bra when you change your shoes.”

“Gain or lose weight?  Have a baby?  Come in for another bra fitting.”

But we never, never listen to our own advice, and I have had this bra since I was about 22 years old.  (I’m now 27, about 20-30 pounds lighter, married, and I’ve changed bra sizes and tax brackets.)

So of course, I put this old raggedy bra on, so raggedy that one of the hooks on the hook-and-eye closure has complete disappeared.

Mid-10-miler, I noticed something going on, but was a little focused on making it back in one piece – the temp was steadily dropping, and my poor hands were losing feeling, so I sort of think adrenaline took over.  It wasn’t until I took a shower that I figured out what happened.

I cranked the water and hopped in – I was meeting an old friend for dinner – and immediately starting screeching.  I investigated – I’d managed to rub the skin off the underside of both of my breasts.  I screamed throughout the rest of the shower, and located my tube of Aquaphor immediately after I dried off and slathered a layer on.

That bra is going in the trash.  Well…what if I need it later?  Can it hurt me if I shove it in the bottom of the drawer again?

Any articles of clothing you’ve let hang around for five years?  For longer?  

Reader question!!

This one is an excellent question that I got from a reader a few weeks back, via Facebook.  And after getting this question, I had to wonder a lot of the same thing.

A reader sent me a question, via Facebook, that went a little something like this.

Hey lady!! Any good recommendations for plus sized workout clothes? Do any stores carry or is it all online? Have searched for days!!

Had I not worked in specialty retail, I would have never in my life even thought about how irritating it is to find workout clothing in “odd” sizes.  And your sizes aren’t “odd” to me, but retailers often act as though anything over a size 10 is an odd and unsellable size to stock on their shelves.  For me, even with my tiny heiny, I have to shove my tush into a size medium in most tights, because the smalls and the extra smalls make me look like a sausage.  So what’s a normal-sized girl to do, especially when she’s looking for workout clothes that will wick, won’t smell, and will dry quickly?  And I totally understand the not wanting to buy online, I HATE buying online only to realize the clothes make me look like a nurse. So what’s she to do?  Head to your local specialty retail store (A Fleet Feet works) and check out these brands that carry a range of sizes.

  • Moving Comfort.  The maker of the bras also makes flattering technical gear for running.  A lot of ruching, decent colors, and flattering cuts if you have anything you’d like to hide.  Moving Comfort is available in stores, as well as online.
  • Nike.  They make a decent selection of clothing for the curvy lady.  And they make them in super cute colors and cuts.  If you’re young, curvy, and you want to look your age, Nike is the way to go.  Available in stores, technical, and also can be purchased online once you kind of get in your mind what you want.
  • Skirt Sports.  Specifically designed for women, Skirt Sports has skirts, running dresses, and a number of other flattering items for women, and hosts a decent amount of larger sizes.  Can be found in store, as well as online.
  • Finally, if you’re looking to save a little cash, both Lane Bryant and Old Navy, have a performance line available online and in-stores.  But a word of caution.  Though you may be saving some of the cash, the fabric isn’t as technical and performance oriented as you may be looking for, and you may notice it wearing out a little funny, smelling, or causing a little bit of chafing.

Ladies, as you’re on your quest to look for active wear, it whatever size, remember to look for synthetic materials that wick, breathe, and flatter that sessy figure!  Good luck!

Death of the best bra ever :(

Y’all missed me?  I bet.  I’m the friggin brightest spot in your day, right?  So I was at the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC, which I will tell you awllll about later.  Give you a little preview though, it was good!

So onto the stuff.


I pulled my laundry out, pre-race, and LOOK just LOOK, look, at what I found!  One of the hooks broke off of my Juno, the best bra ever, leaving me fairly braless for my race.  Whatever, I made it work.

The story behind the bra?  This bra really kind of changed things for me.  So mid grad school, I was hired to teach Zumba at the best place in the whole world, a little slice of heaven, Camp Pocono Trails, a weight loss camp nestled in the Poconos.  (If you ever watched “Fat Camp” on MTV, you’ve seen where we were).  I felt so weird about my body.  I wasn’t in great shape, and my boobs (sorry boys) were the bane of my existence.  My mother, whom I swore was so wrong, convinced me not to go for a reduction, citing that “You’re reading all those magazines and Rihanna looks like a little boy.  Is that who you want to look like?!?!”  A roommate of mine who was endowed similarly told me to go to Omega, and get this bra.  It was the first bra I’d ever found for girls like me, with a large chest, that would protect, compress, and not make me feel like a big fool, flopping down the street, as I struggled to get on the health train.

The bra took me through that summer.  It traveled with me to classes, certifications, licensures.  It ran down the street with me shirtless, making sure nothing fell out of place.  I sweated.  I doubted.  I accomplished.  The bra is actually a little big, beacause I did’t by a new when I lost a few pounds.  And now, I think it’s time to let the bra go.  Bras shouldn’t see a birthday, and this guy saw three.  So RIP, Juno.  I’m not ready to throw it out yet.  Should I have it framed?




Made you look!

Now I’m not sure, how in all of my posting about running, I managed to overlook the important topic of support!  (Sorry fellows, if you’ve continued reading, you may want to bow out here.  I don’t think I can offer you anything in this post.  Sorry!)  But I received a message the other day from an old friend of mine, Sam Zelin, asking me to post a little more in-depth about the topic of support.  Thanks, Sam!  Let’s do it!

Ladies, let’s chat about boobs.  If you’re going to be active – whether it’s running, Turbokick, Yoga, or Zumba, and whether you’re small-chested, or not, you need support.  Not having adequate support is not an excuse to not get active, especially when there are options for every lady out there.  And there is absolutely nothing more painful than when you’re driving down the street.  You look to your right and there’s a girl running.  And her breasts look like they’re fully prepared to give her black eyes.  That’s not good at all.

This is a well-supported pair. This particular bra is the Vixen, which supports without creating the uniboob effect that so many of us seem to hate.

So the first step? Identify where you fall. Are you small-chested? Middle-of-the-road? Larger chested? Breastfeeding? Just had a baby? Once you identify this, get a real bra fitting to get your actual size. Not the size you think you are. About 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. Sometimes, me included, because I can’t seem to let go of some old bras. But get a real fitting for a real bra. THEN take yourself down to the local running specialty store (Fleet Feet ain’t a bad start!) and let the uber-qualified ladies meet your needs.  Whatever you do absolutely DO NOT, do not, DO NOT run down to Target, or worse, Wal-Mart, and grab one of those nasty Champion/Danskin bras off their bra table.  What will happen is your boobs will flop around everywhere as you exercise, unless you put two on.  Which is stupid.  You should not have to layer bras to get a sweet exercise situation poppin off.  At any rate, here’s a little guide to help you when you get down for your first official sports bra fitting.

Small Breasts You actually can get away with one of those Champions, but it’s not the best option.   Try Moving Comfort’s Alexis, Phoebe, Vixen, or Charity for a little bit of compression, as well as some high-impact support.
Medium Breasts You may need a little more support than some of our smaller-chested friends.  Try Moving Comfort’s Vixen, Juno, Fiona, or Jubralee.   
Large Breasts This is where I fall.  I was always convinced that there wasn’t a bra out there for me, but there is!  For us ladies, try Moving Comfort’s Fiona, Maia, or Juno.
REALLY Large Breasts Ladies, don’t fret.  There is definitely a bra out there for you.  For you ladies (bless you!) try Moving Comfort’s Maia.  Also Enell makes a great bra called the Enell Sport. It’s not pretty, by any means, but it will do the job.

Honorable mentions: Nike makes a super decent sports bra with adequate compression and shape, so that’s not a bad route to go. If you’re looking for something cute? Check out your favorite running sneaker company, and look at their apparel. Usually they’ll have a decent bra to match whatever new outfit you have.

Now this list is by no means exhaustive, however, Moving Comfort really changed my approach to working out. Instead of having to put two bras on, one Fiona got me through countless summers teaching fitness to teens at camp. In addition, spend money on your bras! If you pay $14 for a bra, what the heck do you expect your boobs to do?