Sore bits and good support.

It’s no great surprise that parts of my body are suffering with marathon training.  Some of you may remember one or two photos of my feet I uploaded (I am still unapologetic), and blisters are no longer a real shock to me.  I know men suffer with bleeding nipples, and I am glad to be a woman, because chicks (one would hope) wear sports bras when they run, which prevents chaffing.

At least nipple chaffing.  Part of the problem with having sizeable (even after a reduction) chest pillows is that they are more difficult to keep locked down.  For as long as I can remember, I have doubled (and sometimes tripled) up on bras to avoid painful bounce.  Even after my reduction I am a DD cup, and although I have noticed enormous benefits to having a smaller chest, they’re still big enough to need some serious support.  I have forever relied on Shock Absorber bras as my main man for such a task, and although they’re great, wearing one, and sweating in one, and moving in one for hours a week causes some unique problems.  Witness:

This is an improvement.

While the photo above doesn’t look too bad, it is a VAST improvement to the raw, seeping mess my underboob area looked like a week and a half ago.  Take a moment to imagine the searing pain (and hissed swearing) that occurred in the shower recently.

I haven’t backed down on training – the past two weeks have been my highest ever mileage weeks, back to back.  What I have done is switched to a different sports bra for my longer activities to minimize painful rubbing on this weirdly vulnerable area.  It’s still a Shock Absorber, but it’s their specialist running bra.  I can say that this bra has saved my skin recently.  But more than that, it has the power to hold my chesty junk in its trunk.  Seriously, my mammary meat is firmly strapped down, and it is as though I had an extra pair of hands holding me in place.  I cannot sing this bra’s praises any more.

Oh wait, yes I can.  It comes in the standard black/white colour choices, but also some jazzier colours.  The most recent one I’ve bought is this beauty:

I can get into this contraption solo, but it is helpful to have a drowsy boyfriend to clip you in on early Sunday mornings, I will admit.  This particular colour combination is the one I have linked to above, but unfortunately I do not have an Olympic women’s beach volleyball player’s figure that fills me with enough confidence to go for a jog wearing it sans t-shirt.  But I know I’m wearing a nice bra.

The quest continues, however, for socks that prevent all blisters, end up dry at the end of a run, and massage your feet throughout your workout….

Arbroath Smokies 10 Mile Road Race 4.3.12

Official time: 1:24:56  (PB)

99th finisher (out of 333)

Medal: None, unless you’re crazy-fast (but we did all get a t-shirt and goody bag)

First race of the year, first PB of the year (by default, but totally still counts), and first 10 mile race – such excitement!  At least excitement is what I expected to feel this morning, until I gazed out of my window upon the delightful Scottish weather.  Here is a shot from the inside of the car, on the way to Arbroath, just before we passed the road information sign announcing: Snow forecast.  Terrific.

A touch of rain - and sleet.

Luckily, when we arrived it had stopped bucketing rain from the sky, but it had not stopped being totally freezing.  I was very glad I wore the long running tights.

Anyway, The crowd was friendly and I had some good chat before the race, and picked up some handy information.  For example, it was good to know there would be a hilly start, with a down hilly second half before I set off, or I may have ended myself at mile 3.

I’m a fan of summarizing, so I’ll keep the overall ‘Race Report’ short and sweet by breaking it down into defining thoughts per mile.

Mile 1: Glad I brought my gloves, it is freeeeee-what the hell, how can she wear just a singlet and micro mini shorts? Oh, we’ve started, bring it, hill, I’ll destroy you. Holy shit, check my pace!  That’s a 7!  I am AWESOME!

Mile 2: My pace is still awesome.  I am slightly concerned I will suffer for this pace later on in the race.  Pffffft!  Whatever. I am AWESOME!

Mile 3: OH MY GOD, I AM SO SORRY HILL, I DIDN’T MEAN IT, YOU WIN, PLEASE, PLEASE JUST END.

Mile 4: I recovered like a pro after that hill – BOOM!  Still a decent pace.  Damn my hands are sweaty.  I’ll take off the gloves.  Hmm, where do I put the gloves?  Stuff into bra? That’s some sweet thinking on your feet, Rachel.  I am AWESOME!

Mile 5: Shit, that guy just took a photo with a super-professional looking camera and I have gloves stuffed into my bra.  I’m going to look like I have a growth on my chest in every single race photo.  Should I move them?  Nah, best not to look like I have a dong instead.  Smart thinking, baby, you’re on top!

Mile 6: Shouldn’t have tried to drink out of the plastic cup, I am freaking soaking. Hey!  We’re going downhill! WooooOOoooOooOOOOOoOOOoooOOO!! Check my pace.  I am AWESOME!

Mile 7: I want to die.

Mile 8: I’m a fucking idiot for signing up to this.  Why did I sign up to this? My underwear is chaffing my vagina.  How does that even happen?!  My shower is going to sting, hardcore.  This is shit.

Mile 9: So close.  Please don’t die.  Keep going.  Wait, why am I listening to PJ Harvey?  This is not uplifting at all!  Ah, here we are, some relaxing System of a Down.  Lovely.

Mile 10: Chaffing is worse than cancer and AIDS and world hunger, I will never enjoy sex again, where the shit is the finish line?  Wait, is that the sports centre?  Oh thank fuck, it’s over.

So as you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am totally not regretting the Half Marathon in Inverness next weekend.  At all.  But knowing that if I stick to today’s pace I can make it in under 2 hours is pretty groovy indeed. And the goody bag?  Well, who can complain when they give you booze at the end of a run?

Minus a Twix Bar, a bag of crisps and a bottle of water.

To everyone that gave gel advice – thanks!  Unfortunately my stomach has been really weird all day, so I just stuck to Gatorade and dried fruit, and am still not feeling totally right.  I will definitely try a gel or two next weekend though.  After my Mile 7 lull today I think I’ll need it!

Oh and the weather cleared after the race.  We visited some of my boyfriend’s relatives for lunch, then met a friend for a quick visit before heading home to some typical Scottish views:

Mountains and nature and shit.