Help! I Need New Workout Clothes

Over the past year I’ve added a few pieces of fit gear here and there.  Some of it I won from giveaways while others were to review.  The majority of it has been yoga based.  As I looked through my running clothes I realized it had been awhile since I had updated.  Some items no longer fit (yep, gained some weight) while others just look sad and mangy.  Like my fashion (or lack thereof) when I get set on something I like I buy in multiples and have some favorites.  When it comes to fit gear right support and fit are deal breakers.  As I took to the stores looking to replenish and update my gear I quickly realized it may be harder than I expect.  Let me do some explaining…

I’ll start with the easier problem, shorts.  For shorter runs I’m a Nike Tempo short wearer.  Anything longer than that I wear Road Runner Sports compression shorts to reduce thigh chafing. I’m leaning towards shorter runs these days so I’m wearing my Tempos more.  These are one of the items that have gotten tighter.  I figured I’d just go up a size but going up a size made me feel like I was wearing a diaper.  I need an in-between size.  So…..I guess I need to search out a new go-to short.

As for tanks, this is where things get a bit more complicated. If the subject of bras and boobs isn’t your thing, stop here. A little TMI but I’m honestly reaching out for help….

Running Thumbs Up

Keeping it real, my boobs can cause some major issues when it comes to running.  This is actually one of the things that kept me from attempting to run for so many years.  Due to fibrosis it’s imperative that those suckers don’t move an inch. Thankfully after some researching and real-life testing I found some bras that worked.

I love Nike Pro Bras.  Unfortunately for me they don’t provide enough support when it comes to wearing looser t-shirt tops or tanks without shelf bras.  That’s where my Moving Comfort bra comes into play.  It works perfectly for t-shirts but a no go for tanks without shelf bras as I have the overflow side boob chafing action.  Not cool.

To break it down:
Tank with shelf bra = Nike Pro Bra
T-shirt = Moving Comfort Bra
Tank without shelf bra = ??

Trail RunningEver tried running and taking photo at the same time?  Not easy.

So you may think, “What’s the big deal? Just wear t-shirts or find tanks with shelf bras and avoid tanks without shelf bras.”  If it were only that easy.  It seems that the concept of tanks with functional shelf bras aren’t the thing anymore.  Sure, some have them but they don’t help one bit. The tanks that I do find seem to fit me looser in the chest and tight around the waist.  As I already stated, although I consider myself pretty busty, I have a larger cup size but am smaller around.  Add that to my curvy hips.  I’m the exact opposite fit for the tanks. Are my proportion sizes wacky compared to normal people?

I’ve scoured Dick’s Sporting Goods, TJMaxx, Target, Road Runner Sports, Old Navy, Nike, Reebok, Under Armor and haven’t walked away with anything that works.  So this is my cry for help.  Do you have any of the same problems?  If so, do you have any “favorites” that I need to check out? Or, if you’re a brand that specializes in fit gear, help a sister out.  I would LOVE to see tanks with snug chest areas with longish, looser waists.  I can picture them in my head….Trust me when I say, my working out depends on this.  That or I’ll have to keep running in my old stinky gear.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

Drink Up Me Hearties – Reusable Water Bottle Options

When it comes to drinking, I’m on top of it.   No, I’m not talking about alcohol.    I’m talking staying hydrated. That’s what happens when you have a history of kidney stones My drink of choice?  Tap water.  No fancy bottled water for me.  As for the actually bottle I use for my water.  Now that’s a deal breaker.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been a sensory person.  Sensory meaning if things don’t feel “right” then I’m not a fan.  Surprisingly enough I’ve found not 1, not 3, but 3 water bottles that work for me….all a little bit different.

Several years ago I had a Swiss Army bottle that was similar to the wide-mouth Nalgene bottles.  The biggest issues I had was that it seemed to collect slime and stink real easy, it wasn’t BPA-free, and I don’t know how many times I ended up wearing my water due to the wide-mouth.  Knowing it was time to replace my bottle I went on the hunt.

Klean Kanteen – I purchased this bottle when the whole BPA-Free craze started.  It made sense to stay away from plastic for obvious reasons.  With the smaller mouth opening I no longer found myself having problems wearing my water.  However, I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of the bottle.  I felt that it somehow changed the flavor of my water.  Years later I’ve held onto the bottle and have found that it’s one of my faves.  Looking back I’m wondering if the “different taste” was all in my head.  I’ve never had problems with slime or stink which is a definite plus. This bottle has taken so many beatings, yet although it has a few dings it’s still holding strong and has a ton o’ character.  When I hit the trails this tends to be my go-to bottle due to being so light yet sturdy.

Life Factory – Like most I was drawn into these bottles with how cool they look.  I stumbled upon these at Whole Foods when I wasn’t 100% sold on my Klean Kanteen.  I loved the concept of a glass bottle, yet it being protected by a webbed silicone cover.  The mouth is a bit wider than my Klean Kanteen but not as huge as the old Swiss Army bottle.  Depending on the day I have to be careful not to spill much water, but for the most part I have no issues.  Like the Kanteen I’ve had absolutely no issues with slime or stink and it can be thrown into the dishwasher….silicone covering and all.  I love the loop on the lid and find myself using the handle to haul it places.  Although it’s thick glass and covered with rubber, I personally wouldn’t dream of taking it on the trail for fear of dropping it and/or busting it on some rocks.

HydroFlask – I was introduced to HydroFlask by Wilderness Dave.  After discussing his love of their bottles on our adventure last weekend he was gracious enough to hook me up on an extra bottle he had around.  I’m not going to go into all the specifics because Dave does a rad job doing that.   What I can say is that I dig it. The best way to explain it is that it’s a mixture of my Kleen Kanteen and Life Factory bottle together plus a bit of steroids mixed in.  I have yet to put it through a true test of resilience but this bottle is like a tank. Instead of worrying about it being crushed by the rocks it is the rocks that should be afraid of getting crushed. I’m not a coffee drinker but having the added insulation will be a definite plus come summertime when I need an icy cold beverage.  I look forward to putting the bottle through its paces out on the trail but so far it’s a winner in my book and leaves my water bottle line-up looking pretty darn good.

Are you a water-drinker like me?  What’s your go-to bottle?  Anyone a fan of Camelbak or Geigerrig-type packs?  That’s my next step….find a high capacity water carrying option for the trails.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things….

With Christmas right around the corner I wanted to share with you my  “Favorite Things”.  I’ve tried to include all of my basics that I depend on for every workout. I’m not a label whore, so name brands aren’t a must have. I’ve gone through many styles, brands, trial and error to find what works for me, and find that my favorites change as new items are produced or with new products I try….but these are my current favs.   So, without further ado….

My hat of choice is the Nike Thermal Running Skullcap. It fits my head perfectly and has the sloping design that helps fully cover my ears. It’s not bulky, but keeps the wind out. In addition, it has a small opening in the back for your ear bud wires to enter. I’ve never used this feature, but it seems pretty smart to me. Unfortunately I’ve had this for a few years and I haven’t found anything to replace it when the time comes.  Still looking….

For warmer weather runs I take to the Bondi Band.  It’s basically a hip sweatband. They have all different patterns, fabrics, and styles. It definitely helps to keep my hair and sweat out of my eyes. A must have for sure.

For rainy weather runs I absolutely love my Rev3Tri visor from HeadSweats. I never thought I’d like running in a visor, but it’s perfect when you don’t want rain falling into your eyes.  I’m surprised how much I like it and am taking to it more and more.

My running tanks are so variable that it’s hard to mark down what I absolutely love. However, I have definitely found a pullover for winter that rocks. It’s the C9 by Champion® Long-Sleeve Fleece Athletic Top at Target.  I’m telling you, Target has some awesome active wear. I have multiple items from there and they all rank VERY high on my items I wear while working out. I’d highly recommend checking out their selection. And then when you can catch them on sale, that’s even better!

Alright guys, you better skip this one, but I’m sure the ladies will appreciate it. Having a right fitting bra is number 1 when it comes to my wardrobe. That’s no different when it comes to workout gear. I searched high and low for a bra that would work and the Nike Pro Bra.  Bras are always an issue for me. Although some may be surprised, I am a larger chested girl. Not only that,  I’m also small around, which makes it that much more difficult to find bras that fit/work. In addition I have a condition where I absolutely need good support. The “experts: say I should wear an encapsulated sports bra, but one in my size doesn’t exist and doesn’t provide the support I need. This is where the Nike bra comes in. I went with the XS, which personally I think is crazy. Looking at it off of my body, it looks like it should be a kids bra. It’s an interesting feat to get into and out of. I’m now used to it, but the first few times I put it on it literally took the wind out of me. Those suckers aren’t moving. The bottom line, and I’m not joking, if it weren’t for this bra I wouldn’t be able run. When deciding what to where for triathlons I’ve also decided to go with this as my “swimsuit” too. 

After signing up for my first triathlon my next purchase was a wetsuit.  Unsure if doing a triathlon was a one-time deal I didn’t want to break the bank.  An Xterra Vortex Wetsuit  fit the bill.  It was affordable and worked perfectly for what I needed. 

No big surprise here, but the Garmin Forerunner 205 ranks high on my list. D calls it my crutch. Unfortunately it does tend to be. At the same time though, it helps me keep my pace and know how I’m doing in my run/ride and how far I’ve gone. It keeps everything organized, which is perfect for my OCD. In the future I hope to upgrade to something that also provides a heart monitor.

If you run outside, especially by yourself, then you need the identification. Currently I use a Road ID however, I just ordered a 1BandID. It will fit onto my Garmin band and is one less thing to worry about putting on.  (Review coming later).  Having identification is kind of like insurance, it seems pointless until you need it. I hope that it never has to be used, but it’s there and gives me peace of mind.

On short runs I often don’t use hydration, but when I go out for the long haul I make sure I take something along. When I started training for the half marathon I kept my options open. I finally decided on the Nathan Quickdraw Plus. It holds just the right amount of water I need and has a pouch that I often use for my iPod on long training runs.

For all of my other crap that I take out on long runs/rides (cell phone, keys, etc.) I use the SPIBelt.  Just like the Bondi Band is a hip sweatband, the SPIBelt is a hip fanny pack. It’s so tiny, but being made out of spandex allows it to stretch to your needs, which doesn’t feel bulky. In addition, it stays put instead of bouncing up and down like a typically fanny pack. It’s crazy how much stuff you can put in it.

I absolutely love Nike’s Tempo Track Running Short I love them so much that I have 5+ pair. After many tries with different brands and styles this is what I have settled on. They have the typically running brief inside, but don’t ride up your crack. And they come in a ton of colors. It’s as though they are constantly introducing new colors. I’m still experimenting with tri/bike shorts, so I’ll let you know when I find my match.

The Adidas Astro Pant are my pant of choice. They’re not as tight as tights, which I also have. Not being too tight allows me to use these to wear over my shorts when heading to the gym. Or I can put on another layer under them during cold weather. At the same time, they aren’t super loose either. The legs taper but have the back zippers allowing for a slight flair when you’re not running. Out of all my pants I find myself wearing these most and grabbing for them first.

Some individuals may not understand the need for Body Glide.  Body Glide is an anti-chafing product. You place it in any place where you chafe and you’re good to go. Originally I did not like the first time I used it. It made me sticky, which was totally the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Needless to say it found itself in the junk drawer. However, I have found that it is a must-have when I’m running in the gym. I’ve tried to explain the use of this product to several women and they kind of look at me like I’m crazy. Having my target area for Body Glide be my inner thighs, they look at me and say, “I don’t have that problem.” I have some pretty big thighs, something I absolutely hate, and attribute to being a bigger kid and riding horses. At the same time I never thought I’d be in the minority for having this “problem.” Heck, maybe I’m not but everyone I talk to about rubbing thighs doesn’t seem to have the problem. That aside, this product rocks and not so wet as Vaseline. But it all honesty, when you’re chafing you’ll take anything that relieves it, including straight up Vaseline.  

On to socks! After Asics recently changed the design of their sock I loved I had to search for something new.  By process of elimination, my new favorite running sock is Under Armour Grippy II.  I think they are so awesome. Just the right thickness, enough heel coverage to prevent chafing but still considered no-show. I was a bit worried about the grippy part on the bottom of the sock, thinking it might irritate my feet, but this wasn’t found to be the case.  I’ve tried other brands and they just don’t do it for me. They keep my feet too hot. Some are too thin. Some too thick. I dig these Under Armour socks.I’ll end with my shoes, Mizuno Wave Riders.  I started out running in trail shoes. Looking back I have no idea how I did it. They were flat, hard, and heavy. I remember walking in and getting fit for my first official pair of running shoes. They looked at me like I was crazy for previously using trail shoes to run in. They were surprised to see that I hadn’t killed myself yet in them. Heck, I didn’t know any different. And as with everything else, shoes aren’t the easiest for me to buy. My feet are long but narrow. Nothing seems to fit just right. But when I slid my first pair of Mizunos on I knew they were the shoe. They fit like a glove. Every time I place my feet in those shoes I find why I love them all over again. I’m on my fifth paid of Mizunos and love them just as much as my first.

Do you have any favorites that I should try??

Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)