Category Archives: Running

The Great Sports Bra Debate

The great sports bra debate Should you go shirtless on a run happyfitmama.com

The past couple of weeks in New Hampshire have been quite hot and humid. Even running in the early morning hours before the full blast of the sun hits, it’s still a major sweatfest. My hair is soaked when it’s 50 degrees out so imagine what I look like when it’s above 70 with 100% humidity?

Yesterday morning while I was out on my run, I started to think about a recent conversation I had with my friend Robin. She was telling me about her run over the weekend. It was another wicked hot and humid day when she set out. Midway through the run, she was dying from the heat. She spontaneously decided to run sans tank top and run with only her sports bra on.

To back track a bit, Robin started running a few years ago. She’s done numerous races of varying distance including 2 half marathons and Mt. Washington this year. She’s in her late 50’s and a grandma.

Running is a sports bra alone had never crossed her mind until that day. And when she did strip down? She felt self conscious for a minute but then she thought – If guys can do it, so can I!  She continued on her way and enjoyed the rest of her run feeling less overheated.

I’m 20 years younger than Robin and can only think of one time I’ve run sans shirt.

Why?

That’s a good question and one that I was pondering on my run.

Sports Bras

For me, it comes down to vulnerability. I know what it’s like to get cat calls, whistles, stares and plain ol’ creepers following me even when I’m fully clothed wearing running tights and a jacket. With more exposed skin, I feel it attracts more attention. And truthfully, I’d rather blend in. Especially when it’s an early morning run. Ever since my creeper incident a couple of years ago, I’ve been jumpy on solo runs. If a car even slows down after passing me, I have my phone out ready to take a pic of the license plate.

It pisses me off that I have to even think about that. Does a man think about stuff like that? Hell no. A man will whip his shirt off no matter what the temperature is or the scenario.

The one time I did run with only a sports bra was on a group run. I guess I feel there’s safety in numbers. It’s been years since that run, would I do it again? Maybe. It depends on the situation. If it was crazy hot and humid and my shirt was so soaked with sweat that it was weighing me down, then yes. I do know that I would never leave my house wearing only a sports bra and intending on running. I think it would be more of a spur of the moment thing.

Saucony 26 Strong Competitor Photo Shoot | happyfitmama.comPhoto by Nils Nilsen from the Saucony 26 Strong Competitor Magazine photo shoot.

As far as body confidence goes, I think that is a big obstacle for a lot of women. It’s something that would definitely pop into my head if I thought about shedding my shirt. When we did the photo shoot for Competitor Magazine last year, I remember Allison asking who would run in their sports bra for some photos. I was a definite NO. I don’t have six pack abs. Things shake quite a bit while running no matter what shape your abs are in. It’s one thing to run shirtless but to have it appear in print, no thanks.

But like everything when it comes to body perception, I’m 99% sure no one else would even bat an eye at my bare midriff (in print or real life). And just like Robin, I wouldn’t even think about it after 5 minutes of running and feeling heat relief.

Maybe if I lived in an area where it’s common to see women running in sports bras, I’d feel differently. I can only recall a handful of times seeing other women running in sports bras in my area. Unless it’s a race, then I’ve seen more. I know many friends who never run in anything but a sports bra all summer long. They live in the South. It’s a matter of summer running survival for them!

Bottom line – There really is no debate about running shirtless. If you like to, do it. If you want to, do it. If you don’t, no one is saying that you do. It’s that simple.  I don’t judge women who wear a top over their sports bra and I don’t judge those who feel more comfortable wearing a sports bra only. And you shouldn’t either.

Do what works for you!

Linking up with Coaches Corner, Wild Workout Wednesday and Thinking Out Loud.

Sports bra only – yay or nay? Why?

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How to Find the Right Running Buddy for You

Tired of running solo Follow these tips to find the right running buddy for you. happyfitmama.com

Almost three years ago, I put out a plea for a running buddy.

At that time, I had been running most of my runs solo but was feeling like I needed some company to push my pace a bit but for also safety reasons on my zero dark thirty runs.

As luck would have it, since then I have been blessed with multiple running buddies. We’ve laughed, sweated and had a great time getting to know each other. It’s amazing how much you can learn about someone while out on a run. I not only found new running buddies, I found genuine friends.

I was running the best of both worlds – a mix of solo and partner runs each week was just what I needed

But then one friend moved away. And another one got pregnant. And then I got injured and couldn’t run for months. And then another one moved away.

Gah!

I lost all of my reliable running friends!

So I’m making the plea again. I’m back on the market.

I am currently looking for a new running buddy.

Wanted Running Buddy - happyfitmama.com

Other qualifications must be that I don’t have to drive more than 10 minutes to meet up during the week. Longer distances are ok for weekend runs. Ideally, the qualified candidate will be within a short running distance from my house (makes meeting up even easier if I don’t have to get in the car beforehand).

Finding the right running buddy is tough. Based on what I wrote above it’s like applying for a new job or going on a blind date. Two very scary things!

There is a way to find a running buddy that is just right for you. For me, there are three main factors I look at to see if the relationship will work: pace, time and consistency.

Know your pace. You don’t want to partner with someone who’ll slow you down or make every workout seem like a speed workout. And don’t try to fake your pace either. The truth will come out sooner or later. Especially if you get injured because of it.

Know when you can run. If you put out what time works best for you, you’re more likely to find a match. Don’t say that you may be able to run in the mornings when you have never run before 5 p.m. in your life. Now is not the time to test the early morning running waters. Do that BEFORE you make a date!

Know you will stick with it. I’m committed to running. I’m going to do it no matter what. I don’t want someone who will be inconsistent. I’m not saying we have to meet every single week (although that would be ideal). I just want someone who is reliable and is just as committed to running as I am. It’s not cool to leave me hanging when we’ve got a run date planned.

Where should you look for a running buddy?

Group runs put on by your local running store or running groups are a fantastic place to start. In fact, that’s where I’ve found the majority of my running buddies. There’s always someone (for the most part) there who will be a good pace for you. Most stores and groups also have social media sites where you can post about looking for a buddy.

If you are training for a certain race or distance, it’s a great way to find like minded runners. I signed up for my first marathon because my running buddy at the time was training for it. If I was going to be running more miles with her, why not? I also found a buddy who was training for Boston at the same time as me. Our paces and schedules matched so we did the majority of our long runs together which worked out perfectly during the winter from hell!

So the search is on! Hopefully I’ll have runner’s luck again in finding the right running buddy for me.

Linking up with the Coaches Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

Do you run solo, partner or a pack?

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When Your Running Motivation Gets Low

Every runner goes through a running slump at some point. Jump Start your running motivation with these 7 tips that will have you loving the run once again. happyfitmama.com

It may be the post race blues or it may be that I just am in a funk. But lately, my running motivation has been on the low side. I want to run but I’m just not feeling it.

After Mt. Washington, I was riding the post race high. I wanted to run more mountains, more trails, more of everything!

But then I knew I should rest my foot a bit before I jumped into training for something else. So I have been and with every easy run, my motivation sinks a little lower.

I’ve lost that running feeling. Whoa, that running feeling. Sorry…I couldn’t resist.

I’ve had it happen to me while in the middle of marathon or half marathon training period. I’m out there killing it, going after every single pace or mileage goal that I have, and then POOF! my motivation gets zapped.

Sometimes it’s a little. I may not jump right out of bed when my alarm goes off in the morning.

Sometimes it’s a lot. I punch my ticket for the struggle bus with every single run because I can’t get my head into it.

I still run and get it done but it’s not that carefree I LOVE RUNNING type of run.

It happens to every single runner at some point in their running lives. The love for running is still there but it’s not as strong.

Here’s what I’m doing to get my running mojo back.

Read up on running magazines. When the latest Women’s Running and Runner’s World arrive in my mailbox, I read it cover to cover and always feel amped up about running afterwards. It’s like a mini kick in the pants to step it up!

Recruit friends to run with you. I’m seriously missing out on running with friends. After my run with Sue last week, it made me realize that yes I like solo runs but running with a friend makes it even more marvelous and enjoyable. My problem is that all my regular running friends have been moving away from me. Was it something I said on a run?!?!

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Check out social media. I’ve been scrolling through my favorite runners on Instagram to give me some motivation to get out there and run.

Find a race to train for. Part of my lack of motivation is that I don’t have a goal race. I do, but September seems so far off. I’ve got a couple of races that I’m looking at and will register once I feel out my foot this week. If it’s good, I’m registering.

Try something new. Rather than making the main focus running, I’m going to try something new to compliment it. I’m signing up for 4 weeks of bootcamp at the beach. Because everything is better at the beach. And I can run after class!

Remember that running is not something you HAVE to do. When I start saying that I HAVE to run, then it becomes a chore. Running shouldn’t be like that. I’m lucky that I can run. Remember why you run and why you love it so much.

Track Workout Jump | happyfitmama.com

Accept it and move on. Bad runs and lack of motivation happen to every runner. Rather than stewing about it and nit picking every single thing, accept it and move on. Anyways, a good week of running always follows a bad week. Right? At least that’s the story runners tell themselves.

What do you do when you motivation tanks?

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