I really loved all of your comments - which were written with such thoughtfulness. FWIW, I can see a world in which interval running might occur (at least sometimes when weather permits). I mean (see below), I've got the bra for it! Oh, and on the topic of bringing equipment into my home: I wasn't particularly clear when I suggested that I don't have the space. I cannot abide visible equipment in my midst. There is no place to put this equipment that it wouldn't be visible. That's why it can't happen.
Before we talk about bras, perhaps you'll indulge me with another couple of questions.
The Questions: How often do you work out? And for how much time in each session? If you've managed to bring fitness to your regime after a time of weight-gain due to hormonal influence (pregnancy, menopause, endometriosis, PCOS, birth control etc.), how much cardio did you have to incorporate to attain your desired benefits.
The Considerations: If you're wondering why I've been langouring over this change for some time (even as the issues, that cause me dissatisfaction, persist), let me explain:
- I'm not reflexive about the activities I pursue. That's why it took me till I was almost 40 to take up sewing and now I am obsessed. That's why I've been doing yoga and walking regularly for 25 years. I start as I mean to go on. And, till I'm ready to do something whole-heartedly, I'm not ready.
- I have done intense cardio at other times in my life when I felt much better, physically, than I do right now, and even then I found it unpleasant. But as I now feel physically fragile, much of the time, I'm worried about unbalancing myself and leading to new or exacerbated challenges. I'm gradually overcoming my resistance because, frankly, what I'm doing isn't working and I do know about the positive relationship between hard activity (heart rate increase) and overall well-being. Sometimes you have to take a risk.
- I'm going to be honest here. I'm not in this for the joy of the cardio experience. (I walk and do yoga for that purpose.) My goal is not specifically fitness (I'm pretty fit, though one can always be moreso). My goal is to lose fat in a specific spot. I do recognize that fat does not leave one's preferred zone on command, though I have to hope a shake-up will produce the desired impact. My goal is to retain my former shape while, to the best of my ability, also retaining my former lifestyle.
- My issue isn't easily resolvable because I'm not being particularly flexible. Mind you, better to know myself and to generate a sustainable solution - even if it takes time and still-emerging motivators - than to jump in without due consideration.
- A propos of the bullet points above, I know I need to do something that I will be inclined to continue because it meets my lifestyle. The weather here sucks for months of the year. I don't imagine I'll be dragging my ass to the gym on a crap, dark evening and there are weeks of those. I'm very concerned about germs, so I don't want to put myself into crowded classes, esp. when the weather gets bad and everyone is sick for months at a time. I have a lot of responsibilities - and pursuits - so I have to consider how I can include new exercise in my life in such a way that it doesn't eat into my evening hours overly.
- The one thing I can say about myself is that I work hard when I decide to work hard because I am intently self-motivated.
- Information gather to confirm "best" activity, optimal duration and number of weekly sessions
- Get rested and ready (inasmuch as it's possible)
- Determine requirements and kit up
- Just Do It and all that shit
I still need to ensure I have the appropriate gadgets and shoes (I believe I do since I've only worn the runners I got years ago a handful of times) but at least the bra is sorted:
The Sports Bra: I bought the Shock Absorber N109:
This purchase was an accident. Though I'd read about this brand for a long while, I never imagined that they'd have it at The Bay. What works even better for me is that the back size is insanely small but the cup size (at least as far as I'm concerned) is generous. Because I could go up a band size and down a cup size, I was not sized out of the (limited though admittedly much more wide-ranging than usual) department store offerings. I take a 34 back in this style and it is as snug as I would ever want to go. I've read that many sporty-ladies go up two band sizes. Some also find it small in the cup but I think that has a lot to do with breast shape vs. volume. You can find a lot of info about this brand on A Bra That Fits.
This bra is a combo encapsulation/compression model. Its interior construction permits adequate space for a very projected breast but the rigid underband and inflexible shell fabric keep everything taut. The encapsulation comes in the form of an interior sling with cylindrical openings (not really cups) for the breasts. The compression comes from an exceedingly strong, stretch free overlay (the part that's visible) that attaches to your body with a wide and intensely snug band.
This bra really stops bounce - like miraculously. I could distance run and nothing would move.
But here's the thing - it's designed for a seriously full-on-bottom breast. If you are full on top (or even balanced), you may find it overly large in the bottom and too closed at the top. It's not a perfect shape match for me though my breasts are less voluminous on top than they used to be. I do find it's a bit roomy at the base of the "cups" but I manage to be able to move things around to achieve a balanced spread of breast tissue. It's also designed for a narrow frame - the shoulder straps are very close set and could potentially cut into the neck area depending on how you are shaped.
I do think it's optimal to buy a sports bra having tried it on, in store. There are so many variables to consider with this sort of purchase that your likelihood of easily finding the right size and shape, online, is slim. Most brands only make one or two styles of sports bra, so you often have to try multiple brands to determine what will work. Much easier to manage that in a department store or boutique. I got lucky - but if I'd bought my regular size in this bra, online, I wouldn't have been able to do it up.
The price is right, btw, at 50 bucks. I've also heard you can find it on sale sometimes.
So, that's my sports-bra scenario. Anyone else use this bra? Thoughts about it? Remember, I'd love to hear about duration and frequency of your cardio work outs! Please do tell. And let's talk.