Finally, A Sports Bra I Can Run In

I really like to try things on before I buy them. Historically I have bras from three places: Ross, Old Navy, or J.C. Penney.

Ross is hit or miss for good sports bras (like it is with everything, that’s the risk you take loving a place like Ross as much as I do). They do carry a wide variety of brands – Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour are all brands you can snag for a reasonable price at Ross (in more than just sports bras, too), but like I said, hit or miss.

I stopped buying sports bras at Old Navy about two years ago when they changed up their support style. I used to be able to wear their medium impact sports bra for basically everything (mind you I wasn’t an avid runner then) but now even the “high impact” style is only intended to support A-C cups (nope, not me. I’m a solid 36 or 38 D, depending on the bra).

The Xersion line at J.C. Penney is still my go-to sports bra (specifically the keyhole back sports bras). I wear them for non-running cardio (Zumba, elliptical/ARC trainer, etc.) and for lifting (currently free weights). Sidebar: I also love that whole line… great, cute, fashionable clothes for working out (or not). These bras, though, were giving me a TON of boob pain from running. They’re just not supportive enough for my ladies.

I decided to just do as much research as I could about sports bras for running. The best place to do research? Amazon reviews, of course. Remember how I said I really like to try things on before I buy them? Well that didn’t happen before I found this amazing sports bra by Syrokan (Amazon affiliate link, just FYI):

As you can see it’s a full-coverage sports bra with an actual hook-and-eye clip in the back (I leave it clipped to put it on and unclip it to take it off). The straps are thick and support super well, plus they are adjustable with super-tough Velcro on them. For me that is the best part about this bra – the adjustable straps that don’t move while you’re running. I was having a lot of actual breast pain and shoulder pain until I started wearing this sports bra. I read through pages of reviews and most of them said it runs a bit small, so knowing that I’m sometimes a 36 and sometimes a 38 I ordered the 38 and I’m glad I did – I’m currently wearing it the biggest it can be (3rd row of hooks). I was so glad it fit because even though returning things from Amazon is relatively painless, I’m terrible at following through and actually taking the things to the post office. But the best part about this bra?

It’s $24.99 with free shipping for Prime members.

Some of the bras I was looking at were $80+. For me, that’s just not realistic. I love the Xersion bras because they’re almost always on sale for $15ish. I don’t have a lot of spending money so $24.99 for a sports bra like this is fantastic for me. I’ve already bought a second and literally have a third in my Amazon cart as we speak (that and a PopSocket car vent mount… priorities, amirite?).

Ladies – what are your sports bra preferences? Have you found your perfect sports bra? Would you give something like this (having to trust reviews, not being able to try it on, having to actually go run in it to see if it works like you want it to) a try?

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Running Races…But Which Ones?!

Guys. I am having a REALLY HARD TIME picking my races for this year. I’m not in love with spontaneity. I like to know things ahead of time. Really far ahead of time. I set the goal to run more races, and here I am, only technically registered for one.

The oneย race I’ve registered for is an amazing OCR that I can’t wait to run in June with JAM. It’s called MuckFEST and it’s one of the big events that the National MS Society uses to raise money for their amazing cause. We’ll be running in the Philly event (not actually IN Philly, for the record) on Sunday, June 4th.

The other race I know I’ll be running is the third annual Chesco Half Marathon and Memorial 5k (5k for me, please and thanks… hills are for babies! ;)). The mission of the Chesco Half is to help spread awareness about, and prevent, domestic violence. I volunteer for this organization, headed up by the lovely Jess Rigo, and let me tell you–what an emotional event. I posted back in July of 2016 about my own experiences having been abused for a large part of my life, and being able to help the fight in preventing such circumstances is a big, big deal to me. I’m thankful every day that I’m able to pay forward some of the help and love that was given to me during my roughest times. As an added bonus, I’ve been running this race with my darling friend Sara G. every year, and I love getting to have that event to look forward to with her ๐Ÿ™‚

After that, I’m unsure! I’m considering the Hershey 10K after a request from a friend to run it, although I know I can’t keep up with him, so really we’ll just be in the same race, not at the same pace! I’m open to pretty much anything, even if there is travel involved (hey hey, two goals with one stone). Let me know if you’re registered for (or considering registering for) any races in 2017… I’d love to to add them to my “possibility” list!

It’s June?! Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey!

Hi, friends!

I can’t believe tomorrow is June. I’m feeling a bit like I must’ve been traveling in a blue box! May just flew right by… probably because it was filled with so much awesomeness, like giving away a LoseIt Premium Subscription and running the ChesC0 5K!

June is shaping up to be just as great, and I’m ready to set my goals for the month.

Monthly Goals: June Edition

1. Back to Keto

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I’ve been eating like crap the last few days… er, weeks? I’ve been slightly more than emotionally trainwreck-y, and all of that has been manifesting itself in my B.E.D. Which is stupid, and I know I’m stronger than that, so I’m cutting that shit out. Starting now. My goal for June is to get back to 50net carbs/day (and by “back to” I mean, right now, damnit) and make sure that 90% of that is super-clean food choices.

2. Lift 2X/Week

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One of the biggest problems with eating like crap is that you no longer feel compelled to carry on with the other great parts of your life, like lifting heavy. We’ve kept up with our cardio because most of that is what we do for fun (volleyball, disc golf, running), but our lifting has suffered. So, back to lifting regularly (which is only going to be twice/week because of the next goal…)

3. Plan Our Race Training (Including Our First Half Marathon!)

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Bird is totally on board with long-distance running, so we’ve made our commitments for basically the rest of the year (including our first half Marathon!), and we need to make sure we’re appropriately training for them. We’ll have to edit our lifting schedule a little on-the-fly to make sure we’re not overdoing it or making ourselves injury prone, so training will take precedence here.

4. Get Better at Volleyball

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I freaking love volleyball. Normally our club ends when school lets out, but one of the members has a court at her house, so she’s invited us all to continue playing throughout the summer! Normally summer is when I barely play, but this year it’s going to be about getting better. We got a small put-it-up-take-it-down-easily volleyball/badminton net at our local sports store that was closing (75% of, so we paid $25 dollars for two nets, poles, four badminton rackets, a volleyball, and a pump) and played for an hour or so last Friday. It’s definitely “cheap”, but it’ll work just fine for our needs (and for our July 4th party that will be here before we know it)!

You may have noticed that I don’t have any weight loss-specific goals this month. That’s entirely intentional… after eating like crap for awhile, I’m definitely up a few pounds. I’m also travelling for work this month, so I won’t be able to weigh-in for one week, and counting calories during that week will be impossible-enough that I don’t intend to do it, so I need to be “OK” with not being a perfectionist for a smidge. Instead, I’m going to focus on doing what I know is the right thing for my body, regardless of the data that I’m usually so obsessed with.

Here’s to a great June–let’s kick off summer with some ass-kicking!

I Am a Runner.

I’ve always wanted to be a runner. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be able to move… Fast.

Third Time’s a Charm
When I first started actively trying to lose weight, I was over 300 lbs and was advised that running at that high of a weight wouldn’tย be good for me. When I got down to 250-ish, I tried to run a few times but always got discouraged when I didn’t make it very far, and I quit trying.

Then when I went keto and lost 50 pounds rather quickly, my at-the-time-doctor said running was a great idea. So I did C25k at my marathon-running-cousin’s suggestion… And loved it. I got way-super-interested in the science of weight loss and fitness, and I got smarter about how to get better at running. That year I ran several races, including obstacle races. I loved the added challenge of obstacles and mud… I was in love with running and ready to start long-distance training.

Boom, crash, the sound of my car…
In January of 2014 I had a life-altering car accident, the result of which was losing a lot of mobility and use of my right hand (surgery the day of, surgery a week later ((got me a wrist screw!!)) casted to my shoulder for 8 weeks, half-casted for another six, several months of occupational therapy, and only now am I getting strong enough to turn my hand over). I put back on 50+ lbs and didn’t run again until March of 2015 (although against doctor’s orders at the time), which was when I started training for the First Annual Chesco Half and 5k. I did six weeks of C25k before the 5k,ย and definitely didn’t train for the hills. The race took me 43:29 to run/walk with my love Sara, pictured below.

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I also had a lot of self-loathing then. I hated how I looked and I was really struggling with losing weight.

This year, I was determined to do better.

I am down more than 30 lbs since then, I trained more, and I am much more disciplined than I was last year. Well, those things did the trick: ย This year I finished the 5kย 35:53 (without any walking), and placed 21st out of 34 in my age group.

Here are Bird and I after finishing the 5k (he finished in 28 mins!)

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This, friends, is only the beginning. We’ve both found a love in running, and in running/training together. We’re signed up for an obstacle course 5k on June 4th, another 5k on June 18, another 5k in August, and a 10k in September. Like I said, I’ve always wanted to be a runner, and now I am. It’s a fantastic feeling.

Also, look at those pants–who doesn’t want to run in purple/pink ombre pants?!

It’s Been Awhile (But So Good!)

Hi, friends!

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged–mostly because I’ve been busy kicking my own butt! I ran through Week 7 of Couch to 5K at the gym, then wheeled back to Week 4 on Monday and started running outside. I’m moving reallllly slowly but for the most part it feels good. I’ve also been lifting regularly, which I’m sure I can attribute my two-sizes-down jeans to.

In weight-related news, I’m down to 216.7 for a grand total loss of 21.2 lbs for the year ๐Ÿ™‚ While I sometimes wish the losses were a little faster, I try to remember that 20+ lbs is no joke. As the lovelyย +Mallory Quaintanceย pointed out, I’ve lost “almost half of what I put back on post-accident in 1/4 of the time”. As always, positivity is key (thanks for the encouragement, Woo!)! Keto is treating me extremely well. As of last week, I’ve started counting calories 6/7 days of the week. So far, so good–I have a tendency to turn into a crazy loon when I count calories. I’m working to not let that happen this time around.

If you haven’t already, check out my Instagram–I post there more often than anywhere else and as an added bonus, most of it is food porn ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope the first quarter of 2015 treated you well–feel free to leave a comment below letting me know how you’ve been!

Weigh-In Day: Okay, Okay… We’re Getting Somewhere!

Hi!

I totes didn’t blog last week. I was edging on three weeks of being the same weight and I was getting a little cray cray about it, so I left my negative energy out of my blog. I’m feeling better now, for multiple reasons, which luckily includes a loss!

Total Loss: 16.8 LBS! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last week was incredibly stressful. The weather was atrocious and my trauma from my accident was in full-swing. This week, the sunshine and rain have helped my mood improve tremendously, and I’m attributing some of my success not only to keeping calming and ketoing/working out on, but also to my overall stress level being much, much lower than it was. I am officially two-thirds of the way finished with C25k, and I’m feeling really great about my running progress. I’m really looking forward to all of the wonderfulness that comes with spring/summer, like:

  • Hiking and geocaching in the great outdoors
  • Finishing C25k on the treadmill and starting it over again outside
  • Driving with the windows down
  • My awesome landlords throwing parties at their outdoor bar that include reallllly yummy grilled food ๐Ÿ™‚

How has the first half of March treated you? Share in the comments below!

Weigh-In Day: A Week Full of Whoosh and Other Great Things!

Hi, friends!

So, uh. I lost 3.3 lbs this week.

WAT.

Fucking awesome, mang.

This week brings my total loss to 12.8 lbs ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, here’s a super-sweet 7-day graph from MFP (uh, if we aren’t MFP friends, we should be!):

Pretty sweet for only a seven day graph!

I’ve made a few modifications to my diet/fitness, including:

  1. Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast every morning. It ends up being a sort of modified IF, since I don’t eat after 10:00 PM, then I have BPC for breakfast and don’t eat lunch til 1:00 PM. IF is such a great life.ย 
  2. Less dairy. Because I can’t reasonably count calories without turning into a crazy psycho-bitch that no-one wants to be around (myself included) I easily overconsume dairy. We’ve started measuring the cream that goes into our coffee and just being conscious of our dairy consumption, and as a result, saving a lot of money (organic/grassfed cheese is no joke when it comes to cost!)
  3. Werkin’ awn my fitness. I started C25k (Couch to 5k) two weeks ago, and on my off days from that I strength train (I attemped Starting Strength by my wrist wouldn’t have it, so I moved to a dumbbell version, but in order not to move through the weights too quickly, I’m doing 3×12 instead of 5×5). I take off one day a week, which is sort of random right now because sometimes it snows and I’m trapped in the house for however long.ย 
I mentioned last week that I feel really good, and it’s no joke–I’m not known for sleeping well, but I have so much more energy when I’m not consuming garbage instead of food. A lot of great things have been happening, like feeling great about my new job, reconnecting with an old friend, and making strides where my finances are concerned (yay, school loans, said no-one, ever). It might be slight coincidence, but I feel like when I’m eating well, it’s so much easier for everything else to go well, too.ย 

How’s it going for you? Give me a status update in the comments!