Running with Big Tits


When I was at the gym the other day I was reminded of the importance of a good sports bra. There was a girl, going hell for leather on the treadmill, followed by her large breasts. I thought lives were going to be lost. Well, perhaps just a black eye or two.

As luck would have it – and I do consider myself very lucky, I’m a fully paid up member of the Big Tits Brigade. Fortunately, I didn’t actually have to pay for them but I do have to pay attention and look after them properly. By that I don’t mean putting them in a steel box with only a dehumidifier for comfort but wearing suitable structural support.

Sweatshop rightly says that there are two vital pieces of equipment for a female runner, good running shoes and the right sports bra. I want to concentrate on the latter piece of hardware. Choosing the wrong bra not only hurts like hell but can also give you terrible Runner’s Droop. And no one want to be part of SagNation™.

Seeing that it’s impractical – though not illegal – to employ (one or) two people to run alongside me, cupping my breast(s), I invested in some good bra action as soon as I signed up for the London Marathon. I use these ones for normal gym sessions when the bounce is minimal. For running, I wear bras without an underwire but with a double clasp. I also wear running tops with a secret shelf for extra support. The double clasp takes a bit of getting used to, especially if I go for an early morning run as my arms struggle to reach the back. I usually have to do up the first clasp at the front, twist the bra round and put my arms in. (Sexy!) I then busy myself for about 20 minutes getting ready and then attempt to join the second clasp. Very Challenge Anneka. Sometimes, it takes me several attempts before I’m successful. (Yet another reason for continuing with my weekly Yoga and pilates sessions.) Haven’t tried the front fastening ones yet.

I have three months left until the Marathon so we’ll see how I get on, especially as I’m going to be running for longer distances and time. I have been told that chaffing can occur. Eeek!  If my running shoes are anything to go by, I will need to invest in another bra (and maybe some vaseline?) in the next month as the material becomes less supportive with more running and washing machine action. On reflection, I do have several bras which I alternate wearing as opposed one pair running shoes.

But it’s not all bad news, LessBounce offer a Sports Bra Amnesty which gives you £3 discount off their bras when you post back your old one. Perky!

Running with Asthma

I’ve just come back from my monthly check up at the Asthma Clinic rather proud of myself. My no-nonsense asthma clinic nurse  Chris – who has been monitoring me during the last few years – was also chuffed.

Having expelled a short forceful break into her peak flow meter, I hit the giddy heights of 500 P.E.F. Pretty frickin’ good considering I could only muster 270 before the increased exercise and steroid medication.  Even better when the average peak flow for a non asthma sufferer of my age is 400-450.

For the uninitiated, a peak flow meter helps monitor the condition of my airways. Measuring the wind in one’s sails through this contraption is more efficient in quantifying the severity of an asthma attack than say weighing up the various symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Now that the clocks have gone back it is officially winter. Running in the mornings as I do, I am noticing the effects of the change in temperature. It basically feels as if I’m inhaling shards of glass. So it’s no surprising that, at the end of the run, my lungs often feel that soreness you encounter when you have a nasty chest infection.

Asthma UK advises to warm up indoors for 10-15 minutes before your run. As every second counts for me in the morning, I have taken to wearing a bandana or buff until the air warms up or my lungs do! I also make sure that I have two puffs of the blue ventolin (reliever) before any exercise as well as taking it with me just in case. (This is in conjunction with the preventer medicine that I take morning and evening.)  Asthma UK also suggests cooling down properly in order to reduce my respiratory rate before I go in the warmth. Of course, I could train indoors but taking in the natural surroundings is one of the things that makes running so very (almost) addictive.

Living with asthma is a strange phenomenon as breathing is meant to be involuntary yet learning how to control my breathing these last 12 weeks has been a big part of the training. I never really gave my asthma the attention it required to improve it and only now I realise how shallow my breathing has been. My training has actually been a lifesaver; the running and the strength sessions teach me how to stand tall and strong allowing me to take in as much air as possible. Pilates helps me understand how to use my diaphram whilst yoga ensures that I do.

This sunday I’m running my first 10K and yes I’m nervous. But will tackle it as I did the 5k. One foot and one breath at a time.



Photo by Crinan Campbell.