This past weekend I returned to my hometown of Flint, Michigan to participate in the Crim Festival of Races 10 Mile Run. I was proud to celebrate my Runniversary by finishing the race with a personal best time.

big bust mia tutu
No race would be complete without a tutu.

On August 24, 2012 I completed my very first race, a 5k. I had never been a runner. As a matter of fact, I used to say, “If you see me running, call the police because someone is chasing me!” I needed to develop a fitness routine and with three children and a husband, was in desperate need of some “me time”. I did some research online and discovered Black Girls Run. (Featured in Darlene’s July Running for a Fitting post). It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had hard runs and easy runs, but I have never had a run I regret.

big bust mia first half marathon
First half marathon in April 2013

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Contrary to popular belief, running IS NOT a cheap, equipment-free sport, especially if you have a large bust. Before you hit the road (or treadmill), you MUST have a properly fitting sports bra and a pair of running shoes specific to your needs. Do not guess and just pick up what’s cute or in your size. Try out both items.
  • If possible, visit a shoe store in your area that specializes in fitting runners. Some of these stores even allow you to take your shoes out for a run and if you don’t like them, they will exchange them for a pair that are a better fit. Remember, bad shoes = bad posture = back pain (doubly true for us busty ladies).
  • When choosing a sports bra for running, keep in mind that there will be continual bouncing for an extended period of time. That means your bra needs to be snug. Try on the bra and seriously jump up and down in it. If the girls are partying, you need a different size or brand/model. The last thing you want is to start your run off with two boobs and end it with them having mated–their twin offspring protruding from the center of your bra.

I started off wearing the Panache Sport bra. It was great, but I lost weight and an inch around my band, going from a 34H to a 32HH-J. They do not offer larger than a H cup. A word of caution. If you are going to purchase this or any other sports bra with an underwire to use for running, BUY TWO. You will most likely be running 2-4 times a week, and the rubbing of your arms on the armpit area of the underwire causes a lot of wear. Having an underwire break through and jab into your sweaty underarm in motion is a pain I’d like to spare you.

big bust panache sport

I now wear (and love) my Shock Absorber bra. It’s not as flattering a shape as the Panache but this baby holds the girls in so well I forget they are there!

big bust shock absorber
Shock Absorber

If you think you’d prefer running alone, do so, but for me, joining the right running group has made all the difference in the world. I recommend an all-women’s group. You will be less self-conscious and be able to speak freely. Groups that include women of all ages, weights and fitness levels are extremely helpful to new runners. You get to run with those at your level while being inspired by those ahead of you.

Running is a very personal experience–more so if you plan on running anything beyond 5k. Who wants to spend 30 minutes or more, several times a week with people they don’t like? If you join a group and find you don’t like it, graciously resign and find a group that fits.

Running has been quite a journey for me this past year. I’m sure you will have a story to tell all your own. It takes baby steps. Walking, jogging, and/or running, I’m getting further and further, always moving forward . . . and she’s coming with me.

big bust first race number
My daughter’s first race number