A Running First

Today I had a first. I went running without a shirt, twice. About two miles into my morning run, wearing an obnoxiously neon outfit, I wanted to take off my pink shirt not only because it was already warm out, but because my outfit was just a bit too loud for 6:30 am.

In the past, I refused to take off my top on no matter how hot it got because I felt that a) I didn't want the world to see my jiggle and judge me for it and b) I didn't want anyone (i.e. creepsters) to actually like what they saw.

I always said it was my dream to have flat enough abs to run in just a sports bra and shorts.

Well you know what? I'm in probably the best shape of my life and my body is still not perfect.

I workout a lot and eat my share of fruits and veggies, but I also eat cheese and dessert a few times a week. I have jiggles and bumps and let's face it, I have a child size torso and long legs so any ounce of fat likes to hang around my mid region.

The point is, when I stopped letting that belief I needed to be perfect hold me back, I felt really free. The second half of my morning run felt awesome. Sure, folks headed to work got an eye full of my neon, pasty white self and new blue Brooks Pure Cadence shoes. Hello, love...

But if they didn't like it, who cares?

When I see other women running without tanks/tees with less than "perfect" bodies, I think "good for them." So why not good for me?

At lunch, I went on another short run because I had plans to listen to music outside with friends tonight. By 12:30 it was already 80 here so what do you know, I took my shirt off again and ran to my heart's content.

Yep, I still feel self conscious and vulnerable sharing my body with the world, but I also feel a bit liberated. I can't say I'd take my shirt off during a group run, but there's something about a solitude run - it belongs to you and you only. You can't let anyone take that away from you.

Sign on the back of the Hayward Field grandstands - still hanging even though all the other remnants of #Tracktown12 have been packed up and shipped out. 

What's your stance on the shirt/no shirt running debate? This body confidence thing has definitely been a work in progress - baby steps.


Anonymous said…
only sports-bra-ed it once or twice bc as way too hot (nr 100, humid, etc). just not used to it so it feels weird to me and my torso is super pale. and prob self conscious although in nyc I tend not to care since there are so many ppl
Unknown said…
1. I promise you my torso is WAY whiter than your yours. Have you seen my race photo's lately, my legs are day-glo!

2. I had all the same hang-ups about doing this and finally said eff it and now, while I don't make a regular habit of it and certainly would never run a race sans top, I def don't let those hang-ups stop me on a regular run if it's a bazillion degrees out.

BE FREE!!! :)
Gracie said…
Good for you! If I'm going to overheat - it's jog bra for me. I gave up caring what other people thought about it!
missris said…
I don't love it but when it's super hot out, I do go running in just my sports bra. I figure hey, I'm out here running hard, so anyone who is going to think negative things about me can suck it!
Tasha Malcolm said…
Way to go, very proud of you! From what I can see, I am sure that you look just fine without a shirt on. I was posting on this topic earlier this year and everyone had fabulous comments telling me to rock the sports bra. Especially since we both haven't had kids- lets have fun and embrace it while we can. I do know what you mean about not feeling totally 100% comfortable about it because I have the exact same insecurities as you do. I by a lot of bra tanks and usually run in those during the summer.
siri said…
I always liked your child-sized torso.
Leigh said…
I used to always say no way would I ever take my shirt off and go running.....but it happened once this year already and a couple times last summer. It was just so hot that I couldn't think of any of other way to get through my run!

Love the new shoes!
I never take my shirt off. Like you said, I am too self conscious and I don't really want people looking at me. If I am on the trails alone, I sometimes think about doing it, but on the street/in public (which is where I've been running lately) I already get cat calls even when I have my shirt ON! No thanks.
Lindsey said…
Cute shoes! Are those part of Brooks minimalist line?
I’m the same way, I always wear a shirt. BUT, I have been trying to mentally prepare myself to accept taking my shirt off during my race this weekend. I think I’m going to be so hot and tired by the time I’m running.
I ran without a shirt for a lot of my training for my 2006 marathon. It was so freaking hot and humid. I even ended up taking it off during the actual marathon as it was 90 at the finish, so obviously very very hot. I guess I have let go of what others think of me and my not-so-perfect body. I really don't look much at other runners so figure no one is really looking at me! That said, I haven't taken off my shirt in years... But who knows, maybe I will on a solo run this summer!
Unknown said…
I kept waiting until my love handles we're gone to run n just a sports bra. (ok, 2 sports bras at once, usually.) I gave up last year. My belly is pasty, the love handles are still there. Too bad. Actually, I think it motivates me to keep my core tight while I run!
I think if you are running in sans shirt, don't feel self conscious, and it is since you don't overheat, then go for it. I personally don't nor do I when working out. Maybe working in the yard when it is 300 degrees but that is at home. Now the people who run/workout sans shirt because they are oooooh soooo seexxxxaaaayyy and want the attention have to go.
J said…
I have never done a workout without a shirt on (or tank top) I honestly don't know what it would be like. I might have to try it this Tuesday at running club when its supposed to be almost 100F!

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