As my half marathon training continues, my training runs are getting longer and longer. Ever run 8 miles on a treadmill? It’s a special kind of boring. And it takes so long that I’m able to watch a couple of episodes of Scandal, which I started watching just to keep my sanity during the treadmill torture. But I do the treadmill because with three kids, running at the gym on a treadmill is my best option because I have support: The support of the gym daycare staff.
I’m so glad my husband is doing the half marathon too. We work as a team to get our runs in when we need to, which means that after a long day of work for him, I’ll do bedtime duty solo if needed because he’s got to do his own hour-long workout. He also understands if I need to head out for a quick run on a Friday night — or head up to the gym at 8 p.m. on a Saturday. Getting in training miles is hard, particularly if you have kids because you have to be super flexible with your schedule. You never know when someone will take an extra long nap that cuts right into your planned run so then you have to get creative later in the week. Again, support.
I also learned that I have a chafing threshold — the mileage at which an annoying rub turns into all-out bump-inducing chafing injury. I’d done a 7-mile run with no problems. But on my 8-miler, the entire last mile meant that my inner arm was rubbing on my shirt and was rubbed raw. I had to do a weird arms-flapping-like-a-chicken move to prevent myself from rubbing down to the bone. I’m now getting the support of anti-chafing cream and am careful to wear the right shirt because now it matters.
It’s got contoured cups, so it looks prettier than your average sports bra while also giving you enhanced support. It’s also super soft and comfortable — I didn’t feel like I was being smashed yet felt super supported. And chafing? Not a bit. But my favorite part is that the pads are sewn in, so you don’t have to worry about them shifting around or falling out in the wash and never being able to get them back in right. (That’s not just me, right?)
I also tested the Fineform A/B Sports Bra, which may be the cutest sports bra I own. No, it’s definitely the cutest.
It’s super flattering, really soft and extremely comfortable. The straps are adjustable and can go racerback or open back style. The hook-and-eye closure lets you adjust to your comfort, and again, super comfy. You also don’t have to worry about showing through because there’s just enough padding which is amazing because of how light and thin it feels.
My hubby? Not so interested in my excitement over my new sports bras because as my support and partner in running crime, he got outfitted with a Brooks Running outfit too. He’s more of a T-shirt and baggy shorts type of guy, so I was pumped to get him a real running outfit. He got the Steady Short Sleeve running shirt and the Rush 7″ running shorts.
He loved the feel of the running shirt, and it fits him really well. He’s not used to the slimmer fit of running shirts, but I’ll say it’s super flattering on him and makes him look like a runner. The shorts, though, have made him a Brooks-liever. (Like a Brooks Believer, obvs.) Although they were shorter than his usual knee-length shorts, they looked great on him and really performed. It kinds blew his mind that they were lined and he could go without his boxers — again, chafe prevention is key for our long runs and that helped considerably. I need to buy him several more pairs because every night he has to work out he asks if his running outfit is clean — a testament both to the performance of his gear and the fact that I can’t keep up with laundry.
His Transcend 3 shoes are also awesome. He needed a shoe update in a major way, and he’s been really happy with the support they give him. Plus, now we’re kind of twins as I have the Transcend 3 as well. Mine are pink, so not exactly twins.
The Brooks Shoe Finder, by the way, is super helpful when looking for a new running shoe. The questions really narrow down your options by putting you through simple physical tests that determine which shoe will work best for you. No complaints here as it seemed to do the trick for both of us.
Now here’s where Brooks gets to support YOU: One lucky reader will get a Brooks Running bra of her choice. If you’re new to Brooks, clearly I’m all for the ones above. BUT. The two other new-for-fall-2016 are awesome. The Anyday bra is built to resemble your normal lingerie but offer enough support to get you through your workout. A bra that can take you from everyday activities to high impact activity? Yes, please. And for the bustier woman, the Embody goes up to a G cup! I wish the winner luck trying to narrow her options down.
To enter, just tell us in the comments below which of the Brooks bras you’d like. Winners will be chosen in about a week. U.S. residents only, please!
What’s it gonna be? —Erin