A Run Without Gizmo is No Run At All

I did a nice 8 miles this morning with the running club folks; technically it wasn't exactly a group run, cause well, I was too tired to stay up with the folks I normally run with, so I was really running on my own.....a few hundred yards behind them. It was kind of a new route--I'd run the first half of it before but not the second--and though it was a little tough, I enjoyed it. We ran uphill for about 4 miles, then turned around and had the sweet downhill back. It was a beautiful morning and everything is so green and lush right now, I really wish I'd brought my camera. Must remember to do that on runs.

Though it was a nice day, my run simply didn't feel complete because unfortunately, gizmo is still ill. I had no way to keep track of my run--I had him alive temporarily, thanks to Lam and Jawsome's great tips on resetting him--as two miles in, he crashed again. So, I guess I have to call in backup support at the garmin tech center. Luckily, he is only a few months old, so I think the warranty will cover the deductible to get him shipshape again. Or maybe provide for gizmo^2.

The rest of the day held a picnic at Wash Park with a friend and her daughter plus my Shorties. It was a perfect day for it and we all had fun. And if my luck holds, they will crash hard for an early bedtime tonight...one can only hope.


RIP Gizmo

I am beside myself with despair. I feel on the verge of tears...a fat hole in my heart and my wrist light, empty, and longing. Yes, on this sad, sad day, my dear garmin (aka gizmo (after the gremlin)) is dead! The anguish! Sob!

I awoke this morning at the wee hour of 5:30AM (yes, I am shocked, too...I am so NOT a morning runner) as I deduced that early morning was the only slot I would have open today for a run, due to a busy work day and meeting a friend right after work for drinks/dinner. I did speedwork at the track last night with the running club, so I knew it was going to be crucial that I get a run in today to loosen up the legs in order to continue to be able to walk this week....so I reluctantly settled on a 5:30a run.

Laid out the gear on the bathroom counter last night, all ready for this morning. Managed to actually get up when the alarm went off, get dressed, shoes on, ipod on, strapped on gizmo, hit the on button....and nothing. Hit the button again, this time holding it down...nothing. Repeat steps times 3. Thought maybe I had left it on last night and battery was just dead. Plugged to charge...didn't get the little "battery charging" message...uh oh. But thought maybe it was so dead that it couldn't muster energy to display the message. I considered scrapping the whole run at that point, but decided that was just being a wuss. So, disappointed, I set out on my run wearing only my old timex ironman for companionship. (oh, he keeps the time alright, and he is so much lighter and slimmer, but I feel so lost not knowing my pace, heart rate, calories, distance, precise location, astrological sign, and bank account balance at the touch of a button)

When I got back home, gizmo still had a blank screen...no "charging" message. And he still would not power up. I fear he may not be simply comatose but dead....sob. In my cloud of despair, all I could manage to eat for breakfast was a banana and 2 oreos (courtesy of Shortie1's Safari Joe snack day). And a venti Starbucks (full caff, yikes). I think I've set myself up for a pretty coherent and productive day. Or a diabetic coma after the sugar wears off. 50/50 shot.

RIP gizmo, I'll miss you. But not for
long, cause I will definitely be sending your ass
back to garmin for a fix or replacement gremlin.

Wed - speedwork at the track 3.5 mi
1 mi warmup, 6x400 relays at 6:50-7:15 pace with 2 min rest in between, 1 mi cooldown

Thur - easy run
roughly 6 miles in 59:38 (pace? who knows. exact distance? can't say for sure. splits? one can only guess. calories? hopefully enough to offset those oreos...heart rate? felt racy. astrological sign? uhhhh sagitarius?)


Immemorial Day

Long Restful Weekend: Left leg and glutes sore after 7 miles on Thurs. Friday rest. Blatantly skipped Sat and Sun runs (lazy/busy/weather). After 9 miles yesterday, my left hip and hamstring are tight and sore again. Must look into foam roller. And phase out old shoes. And return to yoga.

Long, "Restful" Weekend: Paint in my hair (still, after washing it twice) and unstrategically located across my body (benefit of hiring a 5-year old painting assistant). Shoulders sore from rearranging very heavy furniture in 3 separate rooms. Patience shot from spending 3 loooooong rainy days indoors with own kids. Apparently missed seeing funnel cloud near home (busy painting, yo) on Sunday; would have been really pissed if new paint destroyed by tornado. Tornado obviously sensed this potential danger and quietly skulked back up to clouds.

picture stolen borrowed from my friend who had the cognisance (no doubt
because SHE wasn't high on paint fumes at the time) to both
recongize and photograph the funnel beast

Today will be some cross-training (weights, core, stretching, followed by wine) and maybe a couple miles if I feel like it. I am pretty sure this is NOT what's scheduled for me today on my marathon training plan but pffft! whateva.


Everybody's Kung Fu...Running

Lawdy, Running is getting into everybody's pants lately. Guess my Secret Lover is out ho-ing around...(you know that only makes him more attractive to me, though). Every which way I turn, folks is hot-and-heavy with Running.

It all started in January when we got the letter from hubs' friends who proclaimed they were a Team in Training for the Lincoln Half. Then a couple more friends joined them to do the Lincoln Full...then Cross Country Squared nudged me over the edge and I officially decided I was in for a half and full this year...I started hearing about coworkers who run, and recruited them for a "corporate" running group....and yesterday I learned about two other gals at work who have taken up the affair--one doing Team in Training for the Nike Women's Marathon in October and one just in the early "make-out" stage with Dear Running (and now I'm going to have to worry about being faster than all of those other suckers, great).

In all the years I've been with Running, I have never found this many people lusting after my man. Oh sure, he was obviously out there cavorting, getting nasty with girls and guys (he's an equal opportunity kind of soul) near and far...but always he had the good sense to keep it on the sly. I don't know if it's the economy or global warming or the Brooks Running Superfan commercials getting folks all hot-and-bothered, but something is going on out there. Running has obviously joined match.com and found some takers. Anybody else noticed this in your community?

As for last night's HR running club group workout, we did:
1 mile warmup - 9:00 pace
2x1600 repeats - 8:45, 8:15 paces
800 recovery jog after each - 9:35 pace
1 mile cooldown - 9:00 pace

Grand total: 5 miles but I didn't keep track of the total time. I should have done one more 16oo/800 repeat with the A group, but didn't since technically I am still in "race recovery" mode. Next week.


Race Report: Colorado Cofax Half Marathon

Me and hubs post-race. Wow, race hair is sex-ay...

For the first time, I really had a solid race plan. I put forethought into what I wanted to do and how I wanted to race, rather than just going out and running it and seeing what happened. My plan for the race was to run a steady, consistent pace. Since I seem to have a bad habit of going out faster than I want, and then getting tired in the middle, I really wanted to focus on not doing that for this race. I'd start a bit slower than my goal pace for the first couple miles, then pick it up and keep it steady, and then pick it up a little bit again after the halfway point. I made sure to drink plenty of water all week, so unless I really felt I needed it, I decided I would skip the water stations until mile 7, and then would walk for about 10-15 seconds through the water stations in the second half. I had my Sharkies in case I wanted a couple of them at mile 10, as I'm used to on my long training runs.

For my first half marathon, the weather was perfect, the course was nice and flat, the crowd was good and I am happy to say that I was able to see my plan through. It's a beautiful thing when you are able to run the race that you want/plan to!

Mile 1 - 9:40
Marathoners and half marathoners started together for the first bit. It was fun to be in the middle of such a large pack...except for the major weaving around people. Just before the start of the race, hubs told me, "I think I'll just run with you the whole time instead of racing it." Ten seconds after getting past the starting gate, hubs was off like a bat outta hell! Darting and weaving through the crowd, he surged ahead and I knew he was gone for good and I was on my own. I didn't mind and was glad to be able to run my own race without feeling guilty knowing he could have run it faster. Plus, I was interested to see just how fast he'd finish--though a long-time runner, this was his first-ever race! I felt good, kept my pace, and enjoyed the lovely path through City Park.

Mile 2 - 9:17
Headed out onto Colfax, still feeling fine and doing a lot of darting and weaving, but the crowd started to spread out, so it was a little easier.

Mile 3 - 9:20
Still a pretty good crowd, I picked a guy ahead of me that seemed to be running the same pace, and figured that I'd use him as my pacer...until he stopped at the first water station, which I skipped. So, I just kept going on my own.

Mile 4 - 9:20
Crowd started to thin some more, but I really wasn't getting passed much. A couple people here or there, but most everybody was keeping pace, or I was gradually passing them.

Mile 5 - 9:16
Heard someone cheer for me; it really does make you feel good to hear your name called, even if it is just a kind stranger reading your bib!

Mile 6 - 9:27
Lady in a wheelchair yelling at all the racers, "You think that's hard? Try this! Keep running fools! You can do it!" Ok maybe she didn't call us fools, but I bet she was thinking it. Made me laugh, but also made me thankful to have the strong, healthy body that allows me to run and race. Mission accomplished.

Mile 7 - 9:43
Next to the Fitzsimmons Hospital campus, we made the turn to head back. Some awesome high school girls were out dancing and cheering for everyone at the turn, which was a nice pick-me-up. I think I paused to thighten my shoelaces somewhere during this mile, as I felt a blister coming on as my right foot was sliding around.

Mile 8 - 9:08
Just running steady; had some gatorade and water at the station.

Mile 9 - 9:27
Don't remember this mile; it went by quick and I was just keeping my pace and a little zoned out, I guess.

Mile 10 - 9:25
Still felt good, was keeping my pace and thinking, "Wow, I only have a 5K left!"

Mile 11 - 10:31
This was my longest aid station break; had 3 Sharkies chews here, then followed with water to rinse them down. Walked a little at this point as I have discovered I tend to gag if I keep running while trying to chew the Sharkies. Still felt good and didn't have a problem starting up again. Hubs told me how he got his first drink at this aid station, and didn't realize there was both gatorade and water...and dumped lemon-lime gatorade on his face, thinking it was water.

Mile 12 - 9:34
This was a really beautiful area of gorgeaus old brick tudors and lush lawns and I was just enjoying looking around and thinking how I would love to live in this area. There were more spectators here as lots of folks came out in their yards and were cheering or handing out water bottles.Hubs later told me how he dumped one of the bottles over his head here and immediately regretted it when all the salty sweat went into his eyes.

Mile 13-9:39 .1 - 7:19
My favorite song for keeping a good pace came on, so it helped me keep going strong. I think I listened to it three times in a row, all the way through the finish line!

The spectators started to increase and I knew my parents and the shorties would be there somewhere, so kept myself busy looking for them. Kept seeing ladies that looked just like my mom and getting excited...only to find it wasn't them. Finally saw my parents and the Shorties smiling faces in the last tenth of a mile, and made my way over for a couple of high fives. Was great to see them, especially since I was feeling good and felt the race had gone great! Picked it up through the finish to about a 7:19 pace. Still felt good (despite the lady that finished just before me throwing up right after she crossed the mats in front of me...blech) and looked over and found hubs at the finish. My first half marathon: success!

Time: 2:07:08
Overall place: 1023 out of 2294
Division place: 197 out of 513
Gender place: 486 out of 1448

Hubs finished in 1:45:10, which I think was awesome for his first race, and especially for only signing up to run it to give me moral support. Overall, I felt great and ran well, but I think I probably didn't run as fast as I could/should have, based on the fact that I really didn't feel tired afterward...and felt great all day afterward. Now that I know I can do 13.1, I'm ready to set some more challenging time goals for my next half! And on to the full marathon!!!


Recovery 5 Miler: Very Smart or Very Stupid

I rested yesterday but decided to go for a run today. The advice from my much-more-seasoned-runner groupmate yesterday was, "Take it easy for the next few days so you can recover properly." Does a 5-mile recovery run in 90 degree heat at high noon count as taking it easy? (I did run extra slow, stretched extra and walked the last .3 miles back.) Methinks so.

I am either very smart or very stupid, obvi. (I think we can all guess which side of THAT the odds favor...) I did investigate what Runner's World had to say about resuming post-half running and I got the sense that one should do what one's body is comfortable with, yet not push it. Oh and that I should be a raw vegan, but that's another post entirely.

Well I felt fine before, legs felt fine during, still feel fine now, everythings just fine so....we'll see how I feel tomorrow.


Half Marathon: Complete

Me, my dad, and Shortie2
Well the race today was great and I loved every minute of it! Some minor and un-life-changing revelations from today:
  1. I definitely can't wait to do a full marathon this year.
  2. I do not like Gu.
  3. People yelling your name really does pick you up.
  4. High fives from smiling strangers also really pick you up.
  5. I need to find my real 5k and 10k paces. If I can do 9:20 for an entire half marathon, then that should not also be my 5 and 10k pace.
  6. My post-race hair leaves a lot to be desired. A LOT.
  7. I do not have the 6-pack abs that I always imagined I would have if I could run a half marathon. I vow to have said abs by the time I get to a marathon (ha!)
  8. I am buying some recovery socks. Preferably with monkeys on them.
  9. Holding Shortie2's tinly little butt over the porta-potty hole reminded me of that one scene in Slumdog Millionaire. Thank God I didn't drop him...
  10. Even a regular old "finisher's" medal makes you feel like a winner.

I've managed to keep going all day, but now my soft, comfy bed is calling. Full race report coming soon!


Feeling Better...Bearly

So, when last I posted I told you I was sick... (well, technically I've felt ucky for about 3 weeks but chalked it up to allergy season) and Tuesday morning I awoke with a fever, so I set up camp on the couch and called it a Sick Day. I thought if nothing else, a full day of doing absolutely nothing, with no kids or spouse to bother, might help me heal up (important, since my race is Sunday!). It did help and I do feel a little better, but still only about a 7 on a scale of 10. I have decided (what with my advanced medical degree and years, simply years, of training as an ear-nose-throat specialist...which I'm sure has a fancy latin name but I don't have the energy nor will to google it and find out) that it is a sinus infection. I get them a lot, yet every time I try to deny it because I simply hate taking medicine (esp. antibiotics) unless it's really, really, REALLY necessary. So I've got a trip to the doc scheduled, just to officially see what's what.

Since I did feel a little better than a couple of ays ago (save for the abominable ache in my entire head/face and the tenderness in my sinal regions), and had taken Sunday-Monday-Tuesday off, I decided to join the group to run last night. Glad I did, cause I think it actually made me feel a little better mentally and emotionally, if not physically.

The workout: 4 miles
1.5 warmup @ 9:15 pace
3x800 @ 8:30 pace
1 cooldown @ 9:15 pace

Had I known about the BEAR loose in my neighborhood, I may not have ventured out, but as it happened, I didn't check voicemail when I got home from work so I missed the reverse-911 call from officials to "stay inside your home, bring pets and children indoors, and avoid open areas until further notice." Seriously, this is the kind of shiz I love about living in Colorado.

I love me The Denver Channel.


Strength = Holding Your Peep for 11 Miles

First off, let me say that I am sick. Like, I probably should be in bed not out communicating with the world...but thanks to Mucinex and Extra Strenght Tylenol, here I sit at my desk. The allergy/sinus/cold/flu/whatever that I've had going on for the past couple weeks is now genuinely illness, and not just allergy bother. Anyway, I feel like roadkill, so I'll keep it short today. Since my half marathon race is this Sunday(!), I will be doing everything in my power this week to be well by then...hmmm, perhaps I should be at home in bed afterall...well anyway.

Saturday - 12 miles in 1:52
Sunday - OFF due to sickness

Had a great 12-mile long run with 3 others from the running group Saturday morning. We were at my favorite place, the High Line Canal Trail, and I had gotten up with plenty of time for breakfast, hydration, a sinus rinse, and 15 minutes of the weekend Today Show (and wow, I am not missing anything by not watching it normally, that is one fluffy waste of the very-loosely-used-term "news anchor"). I even had time for the hydration to go through me, and got TWO pre-run potty breaks in (I am just talking #1 here, or as Shortie2 calls it, "peep"). So I figured with two preparatory peep breaks, I should be fine for the run, as there are no bathroom stops on the trail.

Unfortunately, just a mile in, I was again hit with the very strong urge to pee. And, as previously mentioned, I was with a group (2 of them men) so it was clear there would be no sneaking off into the bushes for a quick leak. And let me tell you, I have now decided that the true definition of strength is not staying up all night with a sick child, or giving birth without drugs, but is the ability to hold your peep on an 11-mile trail run (did I mention the entire trail runs next to a bubbling, gurgling, water-filled CANAL?), while making pleasant conversation all the while. At least I know my kegels are strong.


TIaRT: Big Up to Moms

This week's Runners Lounge Take It and Run Thursday topic is dedicated to a "running mom who inspires you, makes you laugh, kicks you in the butt when you need it, coaches you, runs with you, brings you water, or just simply runs."

I have a multifaceted approach to the topic...one, I would like to salute my own mom for being a great runner-support mom, while not actually running herself. Two, I would like to give thanks to some other runner moms I know who DO inspire me, daily. And three, I'm a running mom myself, and my Shorties are a big inspiration for that.

Most everyone loves their mom, but I have to say that my mom really is the best. She is a great friend to me and has always supported every crazy idea I've had (and there have been some, I promise) with enthusiasm and genuine excitement. Though not that into sports herself, she saw how important they were to me as a youngster and shuttled to-and-fro for a ridiculous number of soccer practices/games, volleyball tournaments, Optimist basketball sessions, and (yes, shudder and guffaw) cheerileading camps.

When I started running for fun and exercise in high school, she would come and walk the track with me at they gym, or give me the time and space I needed to do so. Nowadays, she watches my Shorties so I can run, always asks how my training is going, and has volunteered to come visit and see me finish my first half-marathon. There is no one else I'd rather have cheering me on. She bought me my garmin, sends me links to helpful articles, and is my official supplier for the Shot Blocks I like that they dont' have near me but have at the running store near her house. In addition to all the overt support, she is an inspiration to me because she has a warm disposition, a generous heart, and a ton of inner strength.

I know some amazing running moms. Nothing inspires me to keep going more than another mom (especially if she has more kids than me, runs faster/farther than me, and is in better shape than me) to keep going than those chicas. I thank and salute my personal friends who are running moms, all those moms out in my neighborhood with strollers, the super-moms in my running group (and there are some really amazing running mamas there), and of course all the RBMs out in blogland. It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and guts (and patience, and lack of sleep, and sandwiches for dinner a little more often than you ought, and hella stroller arms...) to make time to run and train and balance it all as a mom so THANKS for continuing to inspire me!

I run because I love it, and it makes me feel like "me" more than anything else in life. But I also run because I hope my runinng will someday be an inspiration for my own Shorties. If they have one memory of me, over everything else, I hope it's of me in my wedding dress, cause DAMN I looked good me running (though preferably not this particular day), because I'm at my best when I'm running. I hope I am still running at 85, and that they and their kids are running right along beside me.


Hump Day

A summary of yesterday's run: 6 miles in 56:54
I planned to do a Cinco Cinco, but found I had exta energy so ended up with a Seis Cinco. Random items of mention:

1) I have discovered my new pace is about 8:30-8:45 since that's what I seem to be running most consistently and comfortably lately. That's a nice improvement over the 9:15 of two months ago. Not sure that I can maintain it more than 6 or 7 miles, though. We'll see...

2) I swallowed THREE bugs. I'm running, I see them in the distance, I see them coming at me, I think, "that would really suck if that bug flew into my mouth" and then....that bug flies into my mouth. This seems to happen to me a disproportianately frequent number of times. I am not sure if it's due to my height, that perhaps my mouth is just positioned exactly at bug-flying altitude? Is it the gum I chew? Perhaps they are attracted to peppermint? I don't know, but I came frighteningly close to vomiting 2/3 times yesterday. Not good.

I was performing a similar ritual yesterday...times three.

3) My training plan since January has been to get up to a half marathon (May 17 Colfax Half) and then from there build up to the Denver Marathon in October. But now that I am knee-deep into this, it is going better than I expected, and I am liking the distance...I am starting to think I might want to try an earlier marathon.

My question is: how long do I really need to work up from a half to a full marathon (I am at 14-15 mile long run right now)? Could I get there by July 26 (San Francisco Marathon)? Maybe August 22 (Park City Marathon)? How about September 20 (Boulder Marathon)? I'm just worried that if I don't have something sooner than October to work toward, I'll lose steam or get bored doing all those long-ass runs. I'm just not sure I need 6 months to get up to the first one?

My goal for the first marathon I run will be simply to finish...I'll move on to pace/time goals (and related training) for subsequent races. Since I can find a training plan to fit virtually anything I want to do, I thought I'd gather thoughts from those of you that have done it before...how long do you need to reasonably go from half to full?


HRCA Shirts: Fugly Revealed!

Now, I realize there are shirts waaaaaaayyyy more fugly out there than these, but for those who cared to see, these are the 2009 HRCA race shirts that I think are just gross. True, they are all spelled correctly and yes, I have seen worse clipart in my time...but because it's my hood, I have special pride in these Highlands Ranch Run Series shirts. I want to feel proud wearing these around the greater Denver metro area. I want all those snooty Wash Park and Cheeseman Park runners to think, "Ah, maybe they have no yards and the houses are all soulless and beige down in the Ranch, but BY GOD they can make a nice race shirt!" And quite frankly, I think we can do much better here.

And oh yeah, for the running part, I did 8.5 miles* on Sunday in 1:19. My hammies were a little sore yesterday after the weekend, so I took the day off. Today I will be celebrating Cindo de Mayo by taking my act to Wash Park to show off the lovely new red HRCA Cinco shirt.
*I have noticed that my little Daily Mile calculator has not been calculating correctly the last couple of weeks...I will choose to believe this is because I have done so many miles that I've broken its will to calculate. So I am in search of a new simple blog calculating tool to tell me how much I am running so that I can continue to avoid all simple math for the forseeable future.


HRCA Cinco de Mayo 10K Race Report

My official time was 59:08 (although my garmin clocked 58:51 and I stopped it at least 10 seconds after I came through the finish).

This was a pretty good race for me, considering that I have had allergies/sinus/cold-type issues going on all week, and I did not feel 100% today. But, I had trained and was looking forward to it, so there was no way I wasn't going to run...and I really wanted to prove to myself that I could finish in under an hour, since I had a horrible race the last 10k I ran in April. Because I was tired and feeling only about 70% good, it allowed me to really see that the training and speedwork/hills/intervals I have been doing with the running group the past couple of months are paying off. (Overall I've noticed that I've been running a faster on my regular weekly runs, but it doesn't count unless it's legit with a race time validation.) It was a little chilly at about 45 degrees, but this is actually the weather I seem to run best in, so it felt pretty good. And, NO WIND, WAHOO!!!

Mile 1 - 8:45
Mile 2 - 8:32
Felt pretty good and kept a good pace, was cautious not to go out too fast. My legs felt strong and I was powering up the hills, passing people on the uphill and keeping a steady pace. (Big-bastard-hill-by-my-house-training, thank-you-very-much. You have earned yourself the right to stay in my route rotation.)

Mile 3 - 9:26
Mile 4 - 9:38
Starting getting a little tired, my sinus/snot issues were kicking in--even had to break out the kleenex from my pocket. Big hill at the turn-around, but it wasn't too bad (plus then there was the lovely downhill going back...)

Mile 5 - 9:53
Mile 6 - 10:41
More tired here, had a couple of 20-second walking breaks in mile 6 but picked it up again and was staying around a 9:00-9:15 pace when running

Mile .24 - 1:57 (8:13 pace with a 5:50 sprint at the end)
Kicked it back up and ran it out strong, sprinting the last tenth and passing the wonderful gal who had unknowingly been keeping me on pace all race long. :-)

One suggestion for the lovely folks at HRCA: a new graphic designer for your race t-shirts is in order, pronto. I can give you some names. (I am not sure I have seen an uglier batch of graphics than those proudly displayed all over the HRCA race shirts I've collected to-date. I'm almost embarrassed to wear them; if they weren't tech shirts, I wouldn't...)

Overall, I liked this race and the course and I will probably do it again next year since it so conveniently starts like a mile from my house. One interesting side note is that upon looking at the 5k race results, I realized that if I had run it instead of the 10k, I would have placed for my age division. It kind of eats me up to know that....


Product Review: Itty Bitty Bra

At long last: my review of the Itty Bitty Bra. It's a Yay.
Overall Score: A

***First and foremost, I must tell you upfront (pardon the pun) that if you truly aren't itty bitty upstairs, these bras are in no way going to work for you.****

If you are a full B in most bras, you are out. In fact, an A in other bras may be able to get away with a B from Itty Bitty. (I shudder to think what the AA bra cup looks like; My First Training Bra, anyone?) [Un?]Luckily, that is me: truly itty bitty. This may be TMI, but in the interest of accurately explaining the product, I will admit that in most bra brands I am an A or B cup, depending on the style and fit, so I was looking forward to checking the Itty Bitty out.

Score: A-
It fit well. (Why yes, I did take that picture myself in the bathroom mirror reflection, thank you for noticing.) The cups are definitely smaller and cut for smaller-chested users. There was no sagging or bagging in the cups, and the cut of the cups was comfortable. I would be ok with them adding another style with slightly more cup coverage though--without increasing or changing the cup shape--but this style fit me pretty well. Both the shoulder and ribcage straps are thin, and did not cause any weird bumps or ripples. Single clasp on the back, with 4 different hook adjustments--a bonus over the usual 3 found on most bras. This allowed for perfect adjusting to my body. Also, there was plenty of room to adjust the shoulder straps length, which I liked. (I hate when you have to cinch it all the way up or down and it still doesn't fit correctly and the straps are too short or falling off your shoulders.) I wore the bra all day on two separate days, and was comfortable both days.

Score: A
It seems well-made and the stitching looks solid. The real test will be after a few washings, though, so I'll update if I notice any extraordinary wear-and-tear. The double-mesh fabric was comfortable and breathable. (Marcy likes to let her, ahem, "girl downstairs" breathe, apparently I like to let mine upstairs do the same? Well yes, I believe I do...) The elastic bits were not scratchy, but kind of a soft micro-fibery feel, which was nice. Even the little decorative bits (rhinestone and some loopy/lacy trim) did not rub, chafe or scratch. The cups were slightly padded--enough to hide the cold-weather radars if you know what I mean, but not so padded that they felt like extra-terrestrials had set up camp on my chest. BIG bonus points there.

Score: A+
The folks over at IttyBittyBra.com were friendly and fast, getting me two bras in just a couple days' time. Course the test of service is always if there are problems with the order or product, but hey when they are fast, friendly, and right the first time, I give that a good score.

I would compare this bra to a couple of Calvin Klein ones I've had in the past, in terms of fabric and style and construction, except that it fits my itty bitties better. If you are by most American standards flat-chested and tired of buying bras that look like they were made for a 12-year old, or fed up with bras with tons of ridiculous padding and inserts (don't even get me started on the rubber filets), you will probably like this bra. I definitely recommend it, but you really do need to be pretty flat-chested to wear it.


Not now, I'm busy

There's that part in the movie Marley & Me where Owen Wilson's character verbally fast-forwards through a couple years of their lives with a very long-winded soliloquy; that is exactly how I feel my life has been the last two weeks. (Well, actually to be honest, it's been that way the last 5 years, but the past two weeks especially so.) It has been one thing after another with seemingly no rest in between. I've been so busy I haven't had time to think straight yet it feels like I've gotten nothing done--both at work at at home. Anyway, one thing I did manage to do OKthis week was run. Because I was short on time, I was forced to run faster in order to get done what I wanted...that is not altogether a bad thing. A little recap:

  • Monday - crammed in quick 6 miles at the park after work

  • Tuesday - crammed in 2.5 miles at the park after work, then another 2 plus weights and core at the gym after Shortie soccer

  • Wednesday - speedwork with the running group: 1-mile warm-up, few strides, 5x400 at 1:50-2:00 pace, 2-mile cool down

  • Thursday - 1-mile warm-up, 45 min of weights/core work, 1-mile cool down

  • Friday - off
Tomorrow is the Cinco de Mayo 10k and the running group is meeting to run the 5k course beforehand to warm-up. After that is soccer, more soccer, a friend's birthday party for Shortie1 and then hopefully some rest? (yeah, right) Sunday I hope to get my 15 miler in on one of the trails, weather permitting...in other super-exciting news, I will try to get the product review of the Itty Bitty Bras up this weekend. I received them and tested them out this week and can't wait to share my opinion with the world. :-) I know, I know, I'm quite positive the world is waiting on pins and needles.

The most exciting news of the week to me, is that I am now on a short countdown to my very-first-ever 1/2 marathon on May 17th! I cannot wait and am starting to do all the fun planning and analyzing to figure out what the rest of my training should be for the next couple weeks. (Like, do I really need to taper for a half? I'm worried if I do, I will be all lazy when race day comes and will run like a pile of mush. Maybe I will just take an extra day off that week?) Oh Running, how I love to obsess over you...