What Would Another Mother Runner Do?

Christy debating how to support the "sisters" on her midday run (wearing the headband she mentions, below).

The last time you tuned in to What Would Another Mother Runner Do (WWAMRD), we contemplated what we'd do if we were first-time marathoner Kelin, who dislocated her hip--and popped it back in herself--when she slipped on banana peels in the Chicago Marathon. Today we're here with mother of two Christy, who had a less daunting problem but it got us thinking all the same.

Christy is a dedicated runner, who just ran her second marathon last month. Yesterday, while getting changed for her 45-minute lunch break run, this business systems analyst realized she'd neglected to pack a sports bra with the rest of her workout wear. She tells us, "#$%&!" ran through her mind. This 34B-chested gal considered three options:

1. run later after the kids went to bed. She's done this before and been okay, but it's getting, um, nippy in the Boston area, where she resides (and runs);

2. go to her car and get the sweaty sports bra she'd forgotten to take out of a wet bag in there. "But this would require toughing it out with yesterday's stank as well as abbreviating my already seemingly short run," she said. Or;

3. run in her everyday bra.

What would you do?

Sarah answers: Given that once I sweat in something, it reeks forever, I would not have wanted to stink up my regular brassiere. I would have finished getting dressed--minus a bra. Then I would have dashed to my car (wrapping my arms around my torso to hide my headlights and minimize whatever bounce my 36As have) and put on my used sports bra as I crouched in the backseat. To make the most of my now-condensed workout, I'd have sprinted off to do intervals or a tempo run.

Dimity answers: Tighten up the straps on my regular bra, notch it one tighter than usual, and head out. And then keep my cardigan or jacket on for the rest of the day, lest the sweat leaks through my shirt. (And yes, I may have done this once or three times in the past: lace is not the wicking material I'd hoped it would be.)

What Christy did: Despite thinking Option 2 might have been more comfortable, she chose Option 3--wearing the Hanes underwire bra she'd worn to work--so that she could go just a little farther, rather than taking up time trotting to her car.

Christy's sweat-stained, underwire boulder holder

What happened: Given she didn't run too many miles (remember, she's coming off marathon training, so it's all relative) and her "girlies are on the smaller side" (her words, not ours since we're in the same small-breasted boat!), the bouncing didn't bother her too much. Plus, she admits she was too busy noticing her "curvy shadow" that she doesn't normally see when her chesticles are plastered to her torso. "And," as she told us, "it beat the one time I used my headband as a bra instead. True story."

What would you, another mother runner, do?

And if you’ve got a running-related moment you’d like some clarity on, via WWAMRD, feel free to email us at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!


33 responses to “What Would Another Mother Runner Do?

  1. Being a C-cup, I wouldn’t run without a supportive sports bra. I personally don’t like to see women running without or less than supportive sports bra. Anyway, I would have gotten dressed in my running gear with my bra, go to the car and changed to my sweaty sports bra in the backseat of the car (have done that before), run a short tempo run or a slow/easy run since you just ran a marathon. And run another short run after work. Why not make it a double run day. Any type of run is better than no run IF you HAVE to run.

  2. Happened to me once. My solution was telling my boss that I forgot my socks at home (didn’t really want to talk about sport bras with him) and that I really, really need that run. So he allowed me to go home, go for a run and then work from home for the rest of the day

  3. I had this happen to me a few weeks ago. Only difference is that I didn’t have a sweaty one in the car. Can’t run without one and I work in a cube farm, I couldn’t do that to my co-workers. I ended up skipping my run and was very grumpy about it for the remainder of the day.

  4. Don’t do what an eBay vendor did to me! I won her auction of a brand-new sports bra, but before she mailed it, she wore it because she had forgotten hers and mine was in her car to go to the post office. Then she was offended when I said I didn’t want it anymore! Hmmmm….brand new with tags or profusely sweated in, but just that once, I swear!

  5. I am small chested too and I forgot to pack my sports bra…for a half-marathon race! Of course I didn’t notice this until I was setting out all my clothes the night before – at 10:30pm. My husband suggested going bra-less (I didn’t even consider that an option) or using my regular bra. I opted to make a quick trip to Walmart and buy another one. I didn’t get to go to bed until close to midnight and didn’t sleep well but that pink sports bra helped me get a PR 🙂

  6. I did this once, too!! I ran in my regular underwire bra (even though I don’t really need one, my boobs are different sizes in addition to being flat pancakes, so it looks really odd when I don’t wear a bra). It was a short run, but even so I got a rash under my boobs where I sweat and the underwire rubbed. Never again.

  7. I too am a 34B, however, I am a 43 year old mother of 2, that still bounces, and I could not have run in my regular bra. My girlies are sensitive and I just cannot stand the bouncing that even my smallies do. I would have had to do the stinky bra.

  8. From reading the above responses it seems like they agree with my theory that the answer to this question is mostly based on bra size 🙂 As a 36DD I would have no choice but to retrieve the stinky bra in the car. (And yes, any previously worn item of mine would stink!) Shorter run is better than no run!

  9. I usually sleep in a sports bra so I can wake up and go, but last week I slept in my regular bra and realized that I was still wearing it about a block into my run. I kept going and ran all 7 miles in my regular bra. It felt kind of weird. I usually wear 2 sports bras because I’m well endowed.

  10. As a 36 DD, it’s wear the stinky sports bra, or don’t run. There simply cannot be an in-between. I am a bit jealous of the smaller ladies who can actually contemplate this decision.

  11. I once wore 2 running tanks bc I didn’t have a clean sports bra. But it was on my treadmill, so no one saw me.
    I would probably wear the stinky sports bra. But if I had an extra shirt, I might just go with an extra (tight) layer instead. Especially now that it’s chilly out, no one would see through the layers.
    I know this wouldn’t work for most, but at a 32C, I have lots of options! (And I love the headband idea!)

  12. I would have attempted a run in my regular bra. If things got too bouncy, I guess I would have power walked the rest of the time.

  13. I was just happy to read that there is someone else out there that once they, “sweat in something, it reeks forever.” Thanks Sarah; I feel better already!

  14. In this cooler weather, I probably would have run in my normal bra too. I hate missing a run when I am looking forward to it! If it were summer, I would have had to pick another option. I try to keep at least 2 sets of workout clothes in my gym bag for just that reason.

  15. Absolutely could not run in my regular bra. 34D and tissue damage is forever. I would have gone to the car for my stinky bra. However, I am a regular runcher and keep a complete extra set of workout clothes in my locker for just such an occasion.

  16. Ditto Sarah.

    I had to have a stress echo a few years ago, and no one told me you had to run on a treadmill with no bra! 14 min of incline and speed while trying to wrap an arm across…and I am only a “nearly B”.

  17. I have ran on my normal bra several times. Sometimes I forget to change into my running bra and as Dimity says…Don’t think, just go…so I do. When I come home and peel off my sweaty clothes, that is why I realize I felt a bit jiggly on my run. I am a 36A so not much to jiggle anyway 🙂

  18. I had the same thing happen this week. This was one time I was quite thankful for my small chest! I had extra shirts in my bag, and layered a tank, a T, and a long-sleeved shirt, and then put a running jacket on top. No bra. My 34As did just fine. I have tried a regular bra in the past, and the straps kept falling down and drove me bonkers!

  19. Like Sarah I would have jogged to the car for the sweaty (stinky) one. Or if I had my whole big gym bag there I might have also thought about wearing the top of my swim tankini since I’m sure triathletes run in their swim suit all of the time.

  20. Been there! I actually now keep an entire running outfit in the cabinet in my office at work for just such occasions. I’d totally wear the wet sports bra — I’d say that was lucky! (I have even been desperate enough to run in my regular bra. Oh well!)

  21. See, option 3 wouldn’t have made my radar with the aliens that took up residence on my chest at age 16 and have not increased or decreased since.

    I’d have stuck with option 1. Granted, that’s my usual time for running (there’s no such thing in my world as too cold. There’s inappropriately dressed, but not too cold. What can I say, I HATE the dreadmill) and a 45 minute lunchbreak run? Yeah, most lunches get worked through because contractors don’t respect the whole lunchtime thing when they publish their bid times (usually 1 or 2 p.m., meaning by noon, its crunchtime as a late bid means it isn’t read)

  22. As a 36c and currently breast feeding I usually use a Nike bra and an Enell. My daily bra would not be an option, therefore I would have to elect to trade my run day for a lifting day or consider getting my sweaty bra… However, in my life it would take the full time to get to my car from the work place gym, and nights at this time of year are unfortunately not an option for running either!!

  23. I have yet to have this happen but I’m practically flat-chested (damn weight loss + BF). I probably would have gone sans bra entirely if my shirt was tight enough. Otherwise, I’d run in my regular bra for fear the stanky one would still be slightly wet.

  24. This just happened to me a few weeks ago. I decided to use my underwire bra, and because I’m a DD cup I cycled in the gym instead of the treadmill. I thougth I could get the bra blow dried quickly afterwards but I didn’t succeed, so I had to keep using it the rest of the afternoon all very wet from sweat under my normal clothes. Thankfully I had a jumper as a second layer and nobody noticed it 🙂
    Better that than missing a workout right?

  25. This literally just happened to me last Sunday. I took all my running gear with me to church, and planned to run home after changing and sending all my nice clothes home with my hubby. Forgot the sports bra, and opted to run in the underwire bra I had on. I was planning on a 5 miler, cut it short to 3 ish, due to the chaffing and the heat! It was a warmish day, but the padded bra was like a heating pad on my chest! And the chaffing was horrible.

  26. Um…that would not work for me. I would have to go to the car to get the old stinky bra because I can’t run in an everyday bra with my 34F boobs. If I were a B I would do it differently.

  27. As a 34D, I’m jealous of the possibility of cinching up a regular bra! I’d have to wait until I got home to get my Moving Comfort! No other choice!

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