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Bra Maintenance

I have a confession to make, please don’t judge me (too much), as of this morning I own approximately ten sports bras and several of them are more than three years old. Yeah, they are seriously old… I know that you are supposed to get rid of them after a significant amount of wear, but I’m the type of person who seems to hold onto clothing as long as possible. Well, in this case I’m finally realizing that I need to make a change.

Last night I was lucky enough to join some other Janes at a Moving Comfort Bra Extravaganza. I was excited as I’ve only been wearing Moving Comfort bras, namely the Fiona, for the past six years. I was ecstatic when I found a bra that fit well for my high intensity workouts. Of course, in speaking with June (the MC rep), I found out that I really should be rockin’ the Jubralee for all my workouts. Check out the website to find the perfect bra for your size and activity of choice.

At the event, one woman admitted that she always washes her sports bras after one wear which means she owns a serious number. June let us know that it is perfectly acceptable to wear a sports bra more than once before washing. To which I admitted to wearing my bra into the shower after a workout to help rinse off the sweat. I was amazed how shocked the other ladies were to this thought. June immediately agreed that it was a great idea and the other gals decided to give it a shot. This allows me to wear it more than once and avoid any sweat/smell from previous wears.

And when you do wash it, remember to fasten the hooks (something I neglected to do for too long). A lingerie bag is also a great idea (for any bra you own). Then it is best to let it hang dry. To help keep the fabric breathing properly avoid fabric softener which will clog the material.

But most importantly June let us know to look for signs of wear in our bras, this will let you know when to move on to new ones.  If you see any signs of a stretched bottom band and straps, faded tags, possible chafing spots, or a less-than-fresh scent, then you should probably invest in a new bra. After it has been worn too long the support is reduced drastically which will lead to bounce-age and, even worse, chaffage.

Thanks to June and See Jane Run I’m tossing out five of my oldest bras. No need to keep them around if they aren’t supporting me fully. And now I’m going to invest in a Jubralee or two. Sorry budget…

How many sports bras do you keep around? How do you keep them fresh?

Note: This post was not sponsored in any way by Moving Comfort. However, I won’t complain if they want to subsidize the cost for the new bras I’m about to purchase…

See Jane Run Half Recap

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of running the See Jane Run half marathon in Alameda, CA. I’d been planning to run this for a few months, but it managed to sneak up on me before I knew it. Don’t get me wrong, I did several long training runs before the day of, but somehow it didn’t sink it (this is a recurring problem for me).

So I set to bed early on Friday and  woke up at 5:45am ready for the day. Suited up into my typical race outfit, capris and a pink top, then dilly-dallyed for some time. Around 6:15am I got into the car to head up to Alameda early as I wanted to grab a bagel before the race. Well, those hopes were dashed when I saw how crazy the parking situation was.

See Jane Run with Maggie

Look how happy we were at the start! Such fools…

After claiming my spot, I rushed to the start area to find Maggie. One quick port-a-potty stop later and she agreed to search for a bagel with me. By the time we returned (with bagel in hand) it was 10 minutes from the start. We sauntered over and took a lovely photo (I actually really like it which is rare for me!). And then, as we were about to start shuffling, Maggie casually asks, “Did you remember to wear sunscreen?” Facepalm…

Packed start line. We were ready to go!

Packed start line. We were ready to go!

As we get going we were actually quite positive. We realized that, with this flat course, there was a very solid chance that we can set a new PR for Maggie. And we set out to do just that. We started jogging with the other Janes at a steady clip. Mile 1 was a bit faster than I’d have liked (because I’m oh-so-conservative), but it felt good. Then we found ourselves on a completely uncovered straight away.  Apparently Alameda is hotter than San Francisco, I had no idea that the weather forecast for the day was sweltering.

Somehow we unintentionally sped up for the next three miles. Neither of us seemed to notice as we trotted along. We chatted a bit about life and how I’m frustratingly uncertain what I’ll do after graduation. Getting into a steady rhythm.  Once we crossed the pedestrian bridge it seemed to be a touch crowded since the path only allowed for three people across. So we started to leap frog around a bit (probably not our best idea) and we were doing quite well for a while…

But then after eight miles of running in the uncovered heat, both of us became a bit disheartened. We’d been doing great, chasing the pace group right in front of us, but the heat was taking its toll. The time for our ninth mile (and every mile following) was drastically longer than the first eight. I tried to keep our spirits high, with a smile on my face and loudly cheering for everyone we were with. Unfortunately my positive attitude couldn’t get us to push much harder, that heat was killer.

Approaching the finish line we picked it up into a sprint and finished strong. Although we didn’t make our goal of PRing, we finished together and in fairly high spirits. Moments later Katie came applauding over, so proud of our effort. My lovely ultimate frisbee pal Katie had conquered the 5k and was kind enough to wait for us. We immediately grabbed some champagne and took a much needed seat to gab about the day. It wasn’t even 11am yet and I was beat. By the time we stood up again my legs were very confused, but brunch needed to be consumed!

For the majority of the race I insisted on telling people my reason for running – bacon! So I was quite pleased that we made it to a nice restaurant to monch on some. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite bacon, but at that point almost any would suffice. Overall it was a great morning spent with some lovely Janes.

Happy again after a tasty meal

Happy again after a tasty meal

So, would I run this race again? Only if someone tells mother nature to take it easy. I’m not a fan of being active in that type of heat, and most certainly not if I’m in direct sunlight for several hours.  But this is definitely a course I’d run again (in the winter), completely flat and scenic. The field is fairly small but incredibly supportive, which was incredibly helpful as my energy decreased. And the shwag? Awesome. Check out the new medal I’ll be rocking!

Just so everyone knows the truth about why I run

Just so everyone knows the truth about why I run

Now to decide if I’ll enter the See Jane Run Triathlon in October…

What do you run for? Chocolate, champagne, beer, cupcakes?

The Importance of Sleep

You know, some days I forget how important sleep is. And then I have a dreadful night of sleep and remember quite a bit. Waking up in a ball of sweat this morning I realized it was going to be a long day…

See, yesterday I returned to my apartment after a week of vacation to find that my air conditioning was completely bonkers. My apartment was over 90° and wouldn’t cool. Fortunately I was able to escape to a friend’s (with functioning AC) for the evening, but I returned to get to bed. Boy was that a mistake.

My friend lent me a box fan, which I set up next to my side of the bed, and I opened my windows. Splayed on top of the covers, I found myself tossing and turning. About one in the morning I realized that just wasn’t going to work. I plopped onto the floor in front of the fan and tried again. I may have accumulated four hours of sleep all night.

On the plus side? I’m sure I sweat off a pound or two. (That is what I get for sleeping in a sauna.) I’m praying that maintenance will fix this little issue for me by the time I return home, if not, I’ll be setting up camp on a friend’s couch.

Overall this experience emphasized how necessary it is to get a good nights sleep every day. Not just sleeping in on the weekends, but actually making sure to get a solid amount each night. Typically I am lucky to get seven hours, although I feel I might need eight hours these next few weeks to make up for my sleep deficit.

How many hours a night do you sleep? How do you recover after a night of insomnia?

In other news, I just gave my two one-and-a-half weeks notice to work. As of July 20th I’ll be an unemployed bum. I. Cannot. Wait!

Do the Dew (Point)

You know those days when you walk outside, prepared to run, and you start sweating immediately? Don’t blame the temperature, it is all in the dew point. Now I’d never heard of this measurement until speed work one miserable day; I started kvetching almost immediately when I entered the track and coach explained that it was the dew point, not the humidity, that was killing me. According to coach (and science) the dew point is the temperature where water vapor will condense into water. To put it a bit more plainly, the higher the dew point, the harder it is for your sweat to evaporate. Sounds pleasant, huh?

Now before I go out for a run, I check the temperature and dew point. It helps to prepare mentally. If the dew point is above 65° then I know not to push myself too hard. The last thing anyone needs is to faint or become horribly dehydrated in this weather. If you notice that the dew point will be lower later in the day, consider changing your routine for the day. Remember to have water and a towel (or absorbent top) easily accessible if you are heading out in less than ideal conditions!

Check out this quick article (courtesy of coach) that gives a slight break down of the different ways to handle the varying dew points – Dew Point Information  If you want a more detailed explanation, well then go to Wikipedia (obviously).

Is this a measurement you’ve ever heard of? Do you take dew point into consideration before going outdoors? 

ViewSPORT Tank Top {Product Review}

I was recently introduced to ViewSPORT, a company that produces workout tops with sweat activated technology, and was intrigued by the idea.  Last week I purchased their army tank top and decided to take it out for a spin for my own little experiment.  Here is the image from the website (if only I could look that bad ass).  You’ll notice that before the workout the shirt reads “I am” and afterward it declares, “I am the competition.”  I was looking forward to seeing how well this shirt would perform during my own workout.

Fit and Material: I’m not a small girl, so I went with a Large (the largest size they offer). When I tried the shirt on for the first time, I noticed it was very tight around my chest, which is not difficult.  It fit well around my midsection and was tight again around my hips. The fabric is a very thin, light weight cotton.  The material would be great while exercising on a hot day, but due to my curvature, I found it would roll up whenever there was too much movement (this can be seen in the after photo).

Effectiveness:  Not long into my workout the shirt began to roll up toward my midsection.  This isn’t unusual for me as I have a small waist and larger hips, but I was hoping I could get it to lay properly for longer. As for my perspiration, I tend to shvitz on my upper chest and much less so below my chest. During the workout I mopped up whatever sweat I could find with the “active” area to try to see a change. After an hour long workout I had not amassed enough sweat to reveal the entire phrase. Unfortunately my camera is mediocre, so it does not display the few letters that were visible after my workout.  I tried throwing water onto the shirt to display the full phrase, this had better results (but isn’t that realistic).

The Verdict:  This shirt would be great to wear for a run on a hot day as it is light weight and has a flattering shape. Sadly the sizing was incorrect for my body, I’d need one size larger to fit more comfortably without riding up on my hips. As for the technology, it is quite creative but requires more sweat than I was able to produce in my hour long session. Next time I wear it I’ll make sure to do a more cardiovascular exercise for a longer duration, maybe then I can declare that “I am the competition”!

Note: I purchased the top as part of their mother’s day promotion.  Another promotion will be rolling out for father’s day, so if you want to check it out I’d suggest following ViewSPORT to get a great deal.