I can remember as a little girl, adults yelling, “You think the rules don’t apply to you?!” It was usually after someone got caught doing something rather dumb. Well, very recently I had one of these moments myself.
For the last 8 years, I’ve prided myself as a bravangelist and guru of all things bra. I’ve spent time learning about sports bras, their features and benefits and why some work better for one cup and another a different cup. I’ve learned how to size and spent time giving women advice about which sports bras they should try. So after 8 years of perfecting my bra knowledge, why was I suffering from a chafed under-boob after a half marathon?
After completing a very successful team relay challenge back in September 2011, I found myself searching for the next challenge. I had worked so hard over the last year and was more proud of my mental and physical strides than I had been in a long time. It seemed like the perfect time for a new PR (personal record). So I set my sites on a sub 2-hour half marathon. A goal that had eluded me for many years. I had run the Kaiser Half Marathon on Super Bowl Sunday every year for the last 4 years in San Francisco and so naturally it seemed like the ideal race to make my mark.
Day of the race came and everything was in motion! I had my food plan, my hydration plan, I had done all the training, now I just needed to execute. The gun went off and I embarked on my journey. Everything was falling into place and I was having the best race of my life. Like in all half marathons, my body began to break down after mile 10 and getting from mile 11-12 was torture. Finally, I was on my last mile. While I couldn’t see the finish line because it was at the end of a hill, I could feel the adrenaline kick in as I realized I was going to make my goal time. As I crossed the finish line I stopped my clock. Final time 1:59:43, I had done what I set out to do. I could feel the tears welling up about the same time I could feel the burning sensation under my bra, but at that moment I didn’t care. I had accomplished something that I had my heart set on a long time and there was time for healing later.
Later that day, as I was applying Neosporin to my wounds, I was thinking about how stupid I was for running out the door in an old bra without Body Glide! I was so focused on my goal that I broke two of my cardinal bra rules. When running long distances, always use Body Glide under my bra strap. Even when you’re in a good bra, sometimes hours of repetitive motion can cause irritation and so always better to be safe than sorry. The second and most important rule is make sure that your bra hasn’t run too many miles. Over time bras naturally stretch out creating a loose band which reduces your support and allows for too much rubbing. You should always hang up old bras after a year and buy new ones. I clean in my old bras.
So while I wouldn’t change the outcome of my race, I have since been through my drawers and updated my bra wardrobe. I ordered two of my favorite sports bras, the Shape Up, and I found my Body Glide and put it in my gym bag. For me, being a bra-vangelist is not just about helping others out, but making sure that I’m also supported in all my athletic endeavors. Because after all, the rules do indeed apply to me too!