Tales From the AAAAA: Runner bodies and being just a Handful

I’m a flat runnerchick. Truth be told I’m more than okay with that, and I swear it when I say I’ve never once wished I had a bigger chest. That said, I’m a single runnerchick at the moment and there may or may not be a correlation there. I also will find any excuse to wear running clothes in public everywhere so…

runner gluttony

The pizza is hiding my chest there, but trust me it’s not hiding much.

Everyone has their ‘thing’ though, runners and non-runners. I hate my stomach. She can’t stand the cruelty of Mother Nature in that she runs 70+ miles per week and still has some dimples on the backs of her thighs. He wears long socks in an effort to hide his small calf muscles. We all have things we don’t necessarily love, and at times begrudge, about our bodies.

Sometimes it’s okay and a positive motivator to have things we’d like to change: the man who peels off 100 pounds when he took up running because he’d finally decided he couldn’t keep living the way he was. Other times though, getting hung-up on certain aspects only steals mental energy that could be much better put to use elsewhere: the woman who obsesses over said thighs and ignores the fact that she’s running on those thighs faster than most runnerdudes.

It’s a line to walk, or run rather. I bring up running because I think it can make both instances of these battles better for most people. With running it naturally makes you stronger and leaner, so it tackles the physical. It also forces you to look at your body more from a performance standpoint and what it can actually DO for you, rather than how it looks all wrapped up in a pretty bow. Running, and the mentality that comes with it, goes so much deeper than the muscles and tissues, and even bones. Your thinking shifts, your goals change, and your perspective of what is important and what is worth siphoning the mental energy into also changes. It’s worth busting your @$$ to get a PR…it’s not worth busting your @$$ obsessing over the jiggle on said @$$ if you’re PR’ing.

Though getting back to my opening, I’m a flat runnerchick, and to be honest kinda proud. I never have to worry about a twin offending someone with any type of cleavage. 😛 That said I also recognize there’s nothing wrong with other women not so stoked on a AAAAAA chest; I’ve got a friend who literally wears two bras even when she works out: a normal sort of padded bra under her sports bra. I’m not kidding, and I make fun of her (in a non-mean way) for doing that, but she tells me to shove it and goes about her two-bra merry way.

Handful Adjustable Bra…I got the purple!

So when I started hearing about Handful bras, I first couldn’t help but love the name, even though I’m more like a pinkyful, and was excited when they wanted to send me one of their new adjustable models to try out. Here are my Handful Bra thoughts:

* First Impressions: Okay, the bra, I got the purple adjustable, came in this cute purple, mesh bag. I like the little things and know that anything that sets you apart from your competition is a plus. Good job, there Handful.

* Chesty-Besty: My two-bra wearing friend, this is right up her ally, in fact I showed it to her. It really does have some padding already put in there and has to be more comfortable than two bras. I will be honest though, I’m sad that now I can’t keep making fun of her…oh well.

* Comfort Factor: The material is very nice, it’s technical material just like a sports bra should be to wick off all that sweaty-beast style runner drip.

* Adjustable Straps: The latest models are the skinny, adjustable straps. I actually prefer a thicker strap, myself, but know that’s not the case for all. I still find the skinny straps supportive enough (again refer to AAAAA chest) but I do sort of wonder if a thinker strap may be the way to go for runners with larger chests and going all out in a workout or race situation. Though I don’t have experience with that so can’t really give an opinion there!

* Overall: I think Handful has hit its niche market really well. It’s cute, unique and with some feminine flair lots of women runners are looking for today. (Enter running skirts.) If you’re not totally jazzed with a concave chest than I do think it would be worth checking out.

The bottom line is that I believe SOO many people would be much happier if they were runners (duh) but in this instance because by being a runner you begin to look and think of your body as a performance vehicle. You respect it, maybe even admire it at times, and you want to treat it right…so that you can beat the heck out of it in workouts. Sounds maniacal, but aren’t us runners all a bit maniacal??
Soo, in case you haven’t heart, Handful is one of the awesome brands offering up some loot for all of you running the Miles Madness Competition! That means if you women (or men too, I’m totally equal-opportunity at the blog!) want to snag a freebie, you best be getting your running on. The awesome news is that anyone on the winning team has a shot at winning, so recruit more friends to join and run to increase YOUR chances to winding up the winner. Tweet, Facebook, blog, stand on the corner in your running clothes screaming about Team Cait. 🙂

1) What’s your ‘thing’ or hang-up?

2) How has running changed or maybe helped your dislike for that?

3) Women: skinny strap or wider?

4) Men: Have you seen the Seinfeld episode with the Bro? Are you Team Bro or Team Manzier?? 😉

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28 thoughts on “Tales From the AAAAA: Runner bodies and being just a Handful

  1. you are freaking ADORABLE! LOVE this post! Yes, I have hang ups too, and becoming a runner 4 years ago, I was able to work on those hang ups…. Being a runner, I hold my head high, because ANYONE can lift weights, It takes SO MUCH MENTAL FOCUS to go out and run for 8,10,12,13.1 miles!!!!!! I LOVE running and what’s its done for me, my body, my mental attitude as well as how much it’s drawn me closer to God!

    • YES!!! omg, soo true…i think in my mind all the time (but sometimes feel bad…okay, well maybe not so much…lol. jk) “okay, those weight lifters, or those people doing X,Y,Z, yea they think that is hard …but trust me, i know for darn sure some of those running workouts are about a million levels higher on the ‘this is kicking my butt’ scale.” 😉 yea, runners are just hardcore and awesome-er like that. 😉 and since i’ve SEEN ur body…i think everyone with eyes can attest to how amazing it has made ur body. did i mention i have a stomach hang-up…aaaaand every time i see ur six pack i think i need to pick my jaw up off the floor. 😉 XOXOXO

  2. YAY! I’m a “flat runner-chick” too (I totally get the AAAAA thing – try finding 36 AAAAA and tell me how ya do. Yeah right… I’ve done the padded bra under the sports bra just to make it look like I actually DO have a LITTLE something there, especially when my friends show up at races and take my pic. I heard about Handful too and have 3 of the original bras and LOVE LOVE LOVE them! No more double-bras here baby! Thank you for your post!!! Gotta go – today is hill training and I hear them calling…..

    • thanks for stopping by and the comment!! oh no, so u’ve gone the way of my friend too with double bra style! 😉 hehe…jk. i’m so glad u found the Handfuls helpful so u can cut down on bra bulk….lol. i hope u CRUSHED those hills out there, they called and u kicked their butt! 🙂

      • my mom bought the “genie bras” off tv.. and didn’t like them so she gave them to me.. they are awesome for working out! They have a slight padding which I love bc it hides my headlights when they get cold and wanna make an appearance! Dont you hate that! Esp at the gym in classes where you are front and center in the mirror.. ugh.. humiliating.. lol

        • HAHAHA…”talking boobies with a stranger” i love u! insta-friend with u Nicole! 🙂 okay, i’ve always thought to myself when i see women get implants, “no way in HECK would i do that, it would screw up my form and only be extra baggage slowing me down.” 😉 #priorities

  3. I was thinking about this today – such a good post (and a seamless entry into the review there ;-))

    This waistless wonder is a hater of her hips and thighs. Running has taught me that runners come in all shapes and sizes, and, most importantly, I have to eat to run. I am an excellent carb-cutter – but there’s no cutting corners in running land – eventually it catches up with you 🙁


    • and together we are…da da da *superhero music* the Waistless Runner Wonder Twins!! hahaha…oh yea, i kno the tummy angst well, but i’ve learned much like u it’s not worth sacrificing all else, and all performances, because of it. screw carb-cutting, i wish i could have been the one to push mr. atkins off a cliff before he started spreading such propaganda. 😉

  4. Love this!

    I am usually a fellow AAAAA runner but thanks to breast feeding at the moment I can finally fill an A… JUST! I have seen these bras reviewed before and only heard good things.

    Strangely though my lack of chest has never bothered me… when it comes to running I think it is a blessing. I have always criticised my legs though. No lean pins here. But the more I run and the more I achieve with my running the more and more I love them.

    Running has taught me to love my body and food! Such a healthier focus than body image and dieting!


    • oh my gosh, u crack me up!!! my mom would grow just to about an A too! 🙂 yup…i think small chests are a blessing, sing it sister…and stick legs i don’t think would make for very powerful ones, don’t u agree?? 😉

  5. There are some days that I wish that I was in the AAAAA club! I think that my girls are just right, but there are days that I just wish that I didn’t have to worry about them when it came to running. 🙂 It really was hard to find the right sports bra!
    I love how running changes everyday for me and that includes finding out what my body can and can’t do. Mind you, the “can’t” isn’t attainable, it’s just something that I have to work up to. 🙂
    Running has taught me to love my curves!

    • embrace the curves and prove that those twinsies CAN be a part of the Brandi running machine. my belief is that so long as u have the drive and mentality to respect ur body as it can perform, the sizes of the girls isn’t what counts. flat or not, u’re awesome AND u are working up to some amazing achievements…just look how much u’ve accomplished already! sooo proud of u! XOXO

  6. It took me so long to do like you said… view your body as a ‘performance vehicle.’ Oddly enough, when you start focusing on the performance, you stop seeing those hang-ups, and learn to love your performance machine you have created! 😀

    Nice post as always lady!

  7. I’m starting to realize i’m reading a website definitely geared more towards women, haha. 😉 So the only comment I have regarding all this is…its all about the legs and rear end, I couldn’t care less about the size of a woman’s chest. I’m not shallow, I just love those shapely calves and thighs!

    Being a guy, my biggest problem is that most women are not attracted to the male distance runner physique, haha. So I try to do enough strength work and eating to maintain a semi-respectable size (155-160lbs) without losing any speed. Needless to say, 90% of women still look right past me to their jacked boyfriend, but there is that 10% who appreciate my runner legs!

    As for the seinfeld episode, I always preferred manzier, something about it seems more clever to me. the bro is a little to simple.

    • NOOO!!! don’t lump my blog into a women’s only club!! dude, 90% of my friends are guys and while i admit this post prooooollly is on the girly side i love me my runnerdude buds too. 🙂

      playing devil’s advocate here, it could prolly be true that 10% of overall women population gravitate to runner’s build…but if u were to poll other runnerchicks that percentage would be higher. i kno my guy friends have said the same thing u do, but at the same time the runner look is sooo heroine chic. haha.

      ya, i think bro rolls off the tongue well, but i sorta wish they woulda gone with Manzier too. 😛

  8. I too am a member of the itty bitty titty committee.. and I love it.. I think it is so “natural” compared to fake ones of course.. and big real ones are usually wonky and saggy.. lol.. mine are perky and even.. bwahahahahaha.. omg.. Hi my name is Nicole btw! LOL just sittin here talking about boobies to a stranger..

  9. Was fearful to respond for a moment. Loved your quote on looking at “your body more from a performance standpoint and what it can actually DO for you, rather than how it looks ” Nothing looks better than a runner in the zone.

    • hahaha…wat, u don’t wanna weigh in on how u feel about ur boobies?? 😉 jk. but i did want to tie in that everyone has body hang-ups, even the dudes, but wat counts is how that body RUNS, baby! 🙂

      • My boobs… well, let’s see. My pecs (that’s the manly word for it) are maybe my only muscles that actually respond to my minimal weight training, so they are round and tight with minimal sag, yet quite a bit of hair. No need for the seinfield “mansieur” yet. As for hang-ups, no matter how many runs I do, my middle-aged man paunch remains. I could run a hundred miles a week, but if I want to lose it, I’d have to give up chocolate and pizza and other essentials. Not gonna happen.

  10. I am a flat runnerchick too and dang proud! My poor sister was overblessed in that department and has back problems and wears 2 sports bras to teach dance, etc. I am happy with what God gave me and it actually works to my advantage being a runner and former dancer, I never had issues with outfits fitting.
    I really want to try the handful bras, everyone is talking about them!

  11. Pingback: 5,6,7 | Run with Kate

  12. I wear two bras for a completely different reason…to keep my DD’s from knocking me out during a run. I wish someone would come out with an “armful” sports bra line…

    • okay, ur comment is WAY too cute! hey, we all have different shapes and i’ve found making light of my maybe not-so-favorite body parts is the way to go. i sooo want to see u get to work on that ‘armful’ bra line!!

  13. Love this Cait! I am a flat runner chick too! My darling little sister is more of the Victoria’s Secret build (a mini one at only 5’2″ though) so I have always had someone to compare myself too. I have never really been jealous of her chest though, she has to wear two support bras when she works out and I get away with a really nice crop top!
    My “thing” is my stomach. It is incredibly sensitive to what I eat, and after a meal I can look like I am 5 months pregnant if I have eaten the wrong thing! I am gradually getting over this hang up though. I used to worry about my thighs, they are a study in dimple-art, but now I focus more on the fact that they are strong. I will wear a bikini in public, because these thighs have run races, and carried me through cities all over the world – they deserve to see a little sun 🙂

    • EXACTLY the same!! ugh, these stomachs of our’s…i said to another friend just the other day: my theory is that we have just WAY too much personality to be crammed into a pancake flat stomach. we’re literally exploding with awesomeness. 😉

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