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Let's Talk About Sports Bras...

Posted Aug 09 2010 3:00am
That title should have scared all the men away, lol. OK, so this is a little embarrassing to talk about, because as you might have noticed, I tend to stay away from subjects of the more intimate nature. But, I always appreciate it when someone mentions a great find (or warns of a not-so-great item), so I thought I'd go ahead and mention the unmentionables.

Being of the more-endowed-than-I'd-like person for most ALL of my adult life, I've had to deal with the discomfort that comes with um...the bounce factor when I exercise. And most traditional sports bras just have not worked for me - for the longest time, I resorted to wearing two - the Moving Comfort Fiona , with a Champion 360 Max layered over it. That worked ok - not perfect, but it was the best I could come up with. Of course, it was not fun to try and wrestle out of them after a sweaty workout, but ya do what ya gotta do...ya know? Sweet Fran even sent me a Dutch sports bra, which worked in my layering system, but everything has become too big.
Enell Sports Bra

So I read some reviews from other bloggers, and several months ago finally took Shauna's advice and invested in the oh-so-ugly-yet-it-works- Enell ...the Mother Superior of all sports bras - this is one stern,unyielding mofo. I like it well enough, but some mornings, getting all of the gazillion hooks hooked correctly is a challenge to my sleepy brain, and I'm sure that my "son of a b*tch" cursing when I get to the top of the hooks and find I'm off isn't exactly conducive to a stress-free start to my workout. Plus it's expensive - about $60. And, as I've discovered this summer, it's H-O-T hot, and not in a sexy way (I think we established that with the nun reference) - this bra covers your entire upper back, which makes for a lot of sweaty discomfort. And also it gives the wearer a lovely case of uniboob - not a pretty sight.
Kalyx Uplift Max

Still searching for the perfect sports bra, I began looking at the Kalyx models - I like this company because it was started by a woman who was frustrated in the lack of attractive, comfortable and supportive sports bras in the market. And I was thrilled when I won a bra of my choice in a giveaway that Happy Runner sponsored - I chose one - the DD Diva , and soon I was happily tearing into the package that arrived in my mailbox. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me - the bounce factor was off the charts. So I emailed Kalyx, and their rep worked with me to exchange it for a different bra, which I thought was really nice considering that this was a freebie in the first place. She suggested the Uplift Max, so I went with that. Sigh. I really, really wanted it to work, but no. Again, the fabric was just too soft and allowed way too much, erm, movement. It is a really good-looking sports bra, I will say that. But it just wasn't THE one for me.
Moving Comfort Maia

In the meantime, Barbara had mentioned to me that she found a great sports bra at her local running store, so I was looking forward to checking it out with her during our "whenever we are together" traditional bra shop expedition. And I was not disappointed - this is IT, ladies - to me, it's the perfect sports bra. The Moving Comfort Maia . It's kind of two bras in one - a traditional bra on the inside (with molded cups and underwire) and a pullover layer on the top. Y'all - there was no bounce with this bra. I was shocked and so, so happy! It hooks in the back but doesn't cover your entire back like the Enell; it's easy to get on and off; and hello - no uniboob! (Compare Wharf to Wharf race pictures for the difference from my other races in the Enell if you're so inclined...not that I'm encouraging you to look closely at my rack or anything, lol). It's also priced a little easier on the wallet - $46. I bought one and wore it for the Wharf to Wharf race and I have to tell you, it felt great. I've worn in since coming home to work out in and also on several runs and have had no complaints - it really works great at controlling the bounce and I feel like I look better in it, too. Win-win!

One thing that I discovered while getting measured for new bras was that I had dropped another size in the band width - but in doing so, I went up in cup size. Since I didn't believe the saleswoman that this would work, I tried on bras in what she recommended (32DD) and what I thought would fit me (34D) and you know what? She was right. So there's something to think about - I never knew that cup size could change based on band size. It was this way for both normal and the sports bras. You'd think that by age 47 I would have this whole bra thing figured out, but apparently not.

OK, I made it through this post. I was a little uncomfortable writing it, and had to stop several times and go do something else for a while until I could bring myself to come back to it. Hopefully my embarrassment was worth it and those of you who fall into the more-endowed category can find something useful from this.
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