I have written this post in my head a hundred times while running. It seems every run starts this way as I work to find my rhythm…
I started running when I was 40 years old (in April I celebrated 43 years around the sun). Forty. How did this happen? How does this happen? Why did this happen? How can you make it happen? Touching on all those items is too much for a single post so I hope to spread some of this out over time. In the mean time here are my five simple steps to becoming a runner*:
Step 1. Read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
I distinctly remember having a conversation with my husband when he was reading this book. In talking about running my response was “I hate running. It makes every part of my body hurt. Even my boobs.” To which he replied, “You’re doing it wrong. Run through the house, right now.” And so as to not sound like a Clydesdale I ran (barefooted) on the ball of my feet. And there it was. He said, “See. You naturally ran on your forefoot, just like you are supposed to. I think you should read this book.” And so I did. And I thought, “YES! I am born to run. I can do this.” And shortly thereafter I started.
Step 2. Deal with the “Girls”
Critical to my running success, and of utmost importance in my opinion is getting a good sports bra. I am “well-endowed.” Sometimes it sucks; it’s always expensive, and it makes your back and shoulders hurt, but it is what it is. I had a lame, too small sports bra. Very soon into my running journey I knew I would need a better bra. As most of us do I went straight to the internet, and Googled “big boobs running bra.” Bwahahahahaha.
The internet is full of lies.
Don’t for a minute believe the articles you read from the likes of Ms. Magazine or Runner’s World about bras for “large breasts.” A size C is not big in the big boob scheme of things (and that girl in the photo above doesn’t have big boobs, but whatever). And in most cases you are out of luck if you have a relatively small ribcage, plus big boobs. Just do yourself a favor and get the best sportsbra I have ever owned—The Shock Absorber. This bra has the best stability I have ever experienced. It uses a “figure 8” technology in the front combined with eye/hook band as well as a racerback clip in the rear. It is solid and I experience no bounce. I have found the cups to be cut a teeny bit low and I get a little “spillover” (especially if I haven’t been running. Ahem.) but I overlook that for the never-ending support. I would love it if they made it so it came up a little higher. I order up one size in the cup (seems like it shrinks a little in the wash) and I buy mine at Her Room. They have great customer service, selection, and return policy.
Step 3. Tackle the Chub Rub
It’s not pretty, but it’s a fact for many of us, men and women alike. I am not a “skinny” girl (I’m “average” by US standards, which to some means “fat” (whatever), and I’m certainly not a gap-legged girl like that skinny bitch in the picture. I’ve got curves, and frankly sometimes those curves rub. I have had good success wearing either running capris or compression shorts. I use an REI pair that are discontinued, but still. Find something that covers your bum comfortably (who the hell designs low-rise running/yoga/exercise shorts anyway? They should be shot. Same goes for low-rise snowboarding pants. COMEON.) A gusseted crotch with strategic seams is also helpful to prevent chafing, which, afterall is the whole point. I can comfortably run with my chubby thighs rubbing together but it is so slick because of the spandex that I don’t get the chub rub (and neither will you ;)). Happy thighs makes for a happy runner.
When the summer heat really sets in, I like to wear compression shorts (I like these Under Armour Compression Shorts as shown above) and combine them with a sparkle skirt (see #4).
Step 4: Get Your Sparkle On
Not required by any stretch of the imagination, but a sparkle skirt from Sparkle Athletic is a great way to cover-up shortie run shorts. Plus, they are so fun. They make me feel like a superheroprincesssparkleathletethatcanrunfarandfastandstrong.
In short, I really like them.
Step5: Just Start
Sure #2-4 are awesome and/or helpful, but certainly not required. #1 is also not required but, man, it is such an empowering read that even if you aren’t athletic (and I am not particularly) you think–yes, I can do this. I can be a runner. Start slow. But just start. Put one foot in front of the other. And do it again. And then do it a couple days later. And before you know it you will be a runner.
So who’s with me?
*Note: none of these people or companies or product manufacturers knows who I am. These are just things I like or have had success with.