Happy #SportsBraSquad Day!

So confession - I have never done a run just in a sports bra... until today. :)

Today I was inspired to get out of my comfort zone thanks to the work of Kelly Roberts and the women's running community and run in just a sports bra.

This morning while prepping for my tempo/speedwork (I ran a warm-up, 2 2-mile segments at marathon pace, and a cool down, I never know if a 2-mile segment though counts as a speed session or is tempo... but I digress) my thought process was as follows:

  • I want to run and be a part of #SportsBraSquad day
  • Oooo.... it's actually only 57 degrees out.
  • I should wear a shirt
  • How much warmth is a tee going to give you on a 57 degree morning?
  • Hmmm... enough to make a difference?
  • No Katherine - stop it - get yourself together and join this inspirational moment
  • You're right Katherine. Let's do this!
  • *Tosses shirt off and leaves apartment*

I almost didn't join today, it was so close. Was I scared to run in my sports bra? On a subconscious level? Yes. 100%. I have a very big part of my psyche that is based in the idea that modest dress = respect. Logically I know it's f-ed up and I don't judge others for what they wear but on a subconscious level I can't shake it. I studied engineering and wanted to make sure I was taken seriously. I've worked in large companies with dress codes. I had a woman leading a meeting that was suppose to empower the female interns that stated even a slight such as showing up with wet hair was unacceptable if we want to be taken seriously. I have even had a manager (male) say to me that I should watch what I wear and how I act to make sure no one questions my career progress (really truly this happened as I finished an internship). These are the things that have shaped me.

So logically I know my clothes shouldn't/don't equal me being less serious or less respectful but years of this type of message are ingrained in me. On some level these feelings also have prevented me from ever thinking to run a sports bra.

This is what I was fighting today when I stepped out on the street in my sports bra.

Logically I know my healthy weight bearing 5' 8" frame isn't (or I guess shouldn't, I can't control what people think) offend anyone but still no body is perfect and isn't that what's beautiful? Especially about runners???

I love going to races and seeing people of ever shape and size toe the start line to prove something to themselves. We all run not to impress others but instead to test ourselves.

In my life running is the thing that finally put my body image demons to rest. Through running I was finally able to shake the grip of *most* of these issues and find some peace. I had struggled with various forms of eating disorders, generally abusing and hating my body for all my teen years. Finally, through running, I made friends with the legs that I thought were too big and the food that all of a sudden was there to fuel my fun instead of being the thing I warred against!

So was running in just a sports bra freeing?

I think so. No one stared or looked horrified. I smiled and said hi to people I passed like normal. Nothing was different... and that was great! I could feel my back fat creasing and I wanted to rip of my HR monitor to give my skin more room to move to prevent it but I didn't. Damnit I wanted that HR data and you know what, everyone has back fat that folds when you twist and bend, why should I be self-conscious? Deal with it.

But Katherine your running belt with your phone is also pulling in on your love handles and your shorts aren't helping that situation either?! Oh well - deal with it.

I can 100% say I was able to channel this "deal with it" attitude thanks to the knowledge that 100's or 1,000's of other women were rocking their sports bras today too. Many like me for the first time. Seriously, that knowledge of sisterhood is power.

Will I run in my sports bra in the future? Maybe. Probably. One of the reasons I like running a tshirt or tank is that I have to put on less sunscreen. Clothing is still the best defense against skin cancer and UV rays. #gingerproblems 

But Katherine is that just an excuse? I still need to do some soul searching to really get to the bottom of that question. Part of it is definitely based in the comfort from covering up. At the end of the day though...

Run in a sports bra, don't run in just a sports bra, who cares? 

You do you and keep rocking the run!

Today was unequivocally awesome though. A quick search of Instagram shows so many women unapologetically rocking their sports bras and that is freaking amazing!

Love yourself, love your body, and love the run friends!