Brooks Running Bras Stink

I have owned two Brooks running sports bras since I started running just under two years ago. I started with the Juno model two sizes ago, and now I am into the Rebound Racer. These two bras alone have hugged my girls and kept them nice and snug for all of my major races and long distance runs.  I also own and use a C9 (Champion Target Brand) and a SheFit, which I use for day to day running mostly, choosing the Brooks because they have softer materials and fit better as they are quality bra’s, but they are not without their issues.

Brooks Juno & Rebound Racer Pro’s & Con’s (The short version): If you want a bit more back story read below the bulleted lists for my personal experience in each of these areas.


  • Good soft materials – doesn’t really cause chaffing (with the exception noted below) during distances up to a Marathon.
  • Durable materials – has taken almost daily washings and been worn for over a year (Juno) and a half (Rebound) without showing visible signs of wear and tear (one major exception also noted below).
  • Snug fit – my girls don’t bounce and the front tacky strap adjustment helps synch them in nice and tighten on the fly.


  • Stinky Fabric – After about 3 months of summer wear, both models have a breakdown in the materials and begin to trap odors which are released while wet. NO it’s not just me, or my laundry routine.
  • Outdated Design – Sports bra’s should be easier to get on and off. Especially when one is wet with sweat! See below for my opinion on the matter.
  • Price – are you kidding me? I paid full retail marked up price for mine at local running stores, and if they were perfect I would happily pay that price. But come on, I get almost as good support and coverage from my Target bra and it never stinks!

All in all I would recommend these bra’s for fit and comfort for longish and short distance, mainly because I haven’t found anything else that I like better. But for the price I would like something I love and I don’t love these bra’s. I use them because I bought them and I like to get my monies worth. But given the issues I have had with them I am on the hunt for a better bra for my Ultra distances.

More In-depth experience:

To begin, as mentioned before in other posts, I am rather sensitive to the feel of the material against my skin, so it is EXTREMELY important to me that the materials be soft (to me). I don’t like rough seams or scratchy edges, or stiff materials. And as I am upping my distances chaffing is going to be a HUGE concern.  So to be noted, with the Juno I occasionally had a problem of chaffing just above my breast plate where the fabric sagged into my cleavage. It started happening during my first marathon and happened a few times after that. My guess is that my boobs shrank just enough to allow this to happen, or I simply hadn’t run far enough for it to happen before that time. Either way I don’t like the burning sensation it caused during my post marathon showers.  Since boob shrinkage is a real thing thanks to running, I had to move down a couple sizes and purchased the Rebound Racer, and I have not yet had this chaffing issue, instead I have had a different problem.

With my Rebound Racer the straps compress over my collar bones during long runs and have left bruising on both side after races. Of note this occurs primarily when I have to wear a my Nathan Vest. Now you could argue this is the vest’s fault and not the Rebound, but I wore my vest with my Juno during Little Rock and didn’t have this problem. The fact is that the strap material of the Rebound feels thicker and doesn’t seem to absorb/compress softly enough over my skin and bones to prevent this from happening. Not sure if this is the Bra’s fault but worth noting nonetheless as it is a BIG factor in why I won’t be using it for our 50k.

My next complaint with both of these Brooks Bras would be the design. I don’t know about you but I HATE, with a passion, pulling a nasty sweaty sports bra off over my head. Not to mention wrestling into one before my runs. While you have the options to unstrap the shoulders on these models, I tend not to because they are a PITA to re-thread through the eyelet due to the velcro.  I also HATE the old fashion hook and eyelet adjustments on the back. I find myself looking like a contortionist every time the hooks catch over the fabric and won’t find the eyelets!  I would seriously like to see an open front option, and a velcro back adjustment maybe like my SheFit; the key here would be for the fabric and materials would have to be just right as to not cause chaffing or pressure points, I haven’t found my SheFit to be perfect in this department hence why I still wear the Brooks.

But so far my number one complaint about these two bras is that that they stink. Literally. About 3 months of wear during the summer months and both bra’s developed a stink that is released after they get wet with sweat. A smell like dead rotting vegetation wafts up into my nostrils and is most unpleasant during my runs.

Now before you jump to the conclusion that I have poor hygiene or don’t know how to wash clothes let me explain. First I don’t and have never had this issue with any other bra or sports equipment for that matter.  My husband is also a runner and his stuff doesn’t stink.  I wash our running clothes immediately after use in a detergent (Nellies Natural Laundry Soda) which I used to wash my babies dirty cloth diapers and my Roller Derby pads, so I know it is NOT my laundry routine that is the problem.  Again it is only these bra models I have ever encountered this problem.

With the Juno when the problem occurred last summer I tried using Biokleen Bac-Out before washing, as it is an enzyme based odor remover, but that didn’t help. The only thing that has helped is Bleach, which seems to kill whatever bacteria is able to develop by the way the fabric traps in sweat.  I did a sniff test yesterday after I ran in my freshly washed Rebound and it seems to be the mesh fabric that traps the smell. It wasn’t the fabric that lays over my breasts, but the waffle woven dry fit fabric that surrounds the padding on the inside, which I thought was interesting.  So into the bleach it went. Problem solved.  I am sure Trex’s nostrils will thank me. He’s never said anything but I am sure he’s just being polite.

So my search continues. I guess one plus of moving into the ‘itty bitty’ category is that I don’t need quite the support as I did before, so I can move away from these thicker fabric models. Wish me luck in my endeavors to find a replacement for my first Ultra.


NOTE: I purchased all of the products mentioned in this article at retail price, from retail stores, for my own personal use. I have no affiliations with any retailers, company, or suppliers. This is strictly a user review of these products.

All about that Bass…Pro Marathon

Our next big run, okay our next Marathon or greater run because I just signed up for the 20 mile Midnight Madness run on June 30th by TATUR, is likely going to be the Bass Pro Marathon.  The reason for that is a two piece.   One of my bucket lists is to join the Marathon Maniacs which the entry level condition is to do 2 marathons (or longer) runs in 2 weeks or 3 marathons or longer in 60 days.  The second piece is it lines up perfectly with our ‘last long run’ weekend before our first attempt at a 50K, the Dead Horse Ultra, on November 17th (ish).

So doing the Bass Pro fulfills our long run and sets us up to get the 2 Marathons or longer races in 2 weeks.   And it’s within driving distance so that saves on costs.  And they have pretty medals.

This summer we’ll have a couple of shorter races, the Fleet Feet Firecracker 5K and Bedlam Run 10K although I’m not sure if Bunny is going to run those with me.   I may have to go solo or find another running wife temporarily to fill in.  It doesn’t look like the August run is a thing right now, I forget the name of it but I placed 3rd in my age group at that one mostly because all the fast old guys stayed home in the AC. 🙂

The Midnight Madness run will be our first long run weekend to kick off our training program for the Bass Pro / Dead Horse combo.   We’ll be taking it a bit easy this week definately, maybe a couple or three mile walk later this week and possibly a short easy run on Sunday.   Then the next week just start easing back into things before we hit the 20 mile race.

My current training plan is a combination of a couple of plans I’ve gotten from Ultra books and online.   It’s a 5 day a week, TWTSS running schedule because that’s what I’m used to.  Wednesday is always an easy day, Saturday and Sunday are always a medium/long combo back to back.  One long run a month starts at midnight.  Every 4th week is a light recovery week.   The T and T days are where I mix it up with pyramids, sprints/strides, thresholds, hill repeats and power hiking.   One thing I’ve read and agree with is you have to train your hike/walk as well as your run.  A prime example was this last marathon we did where due to injury and heat we ended up walking far more than normal.  As a result I ended up with a blister on the side of my right foot back by the heel and my shin muscles are especially sore because they were much more engaged with my walking gait than my running gait.

So don’t just practice running when you’re training for distance, have a couple or three long power walks in there.

My other goal is going to be to drop weight as much as I can between now and November as each pound I can shave off my bod is one pound less I have to haul for 26 and 31 miles respectively.   I’ve been holding rock steady at my current weight plus or minus about 4 lbs since last year so on top of my stepping up my weekly mileage for training, I’m going to be stepping down my calories or at least the ‘bad’ calories.

We’ll see how it goes but pending showstopping injury or death I’m going to be climbing those Utah hills and deserts in November so that’s something to look forward to.


Mowdy Ranch Mustang Run – Marathon Edition

We did the Fourth Annual Mowdy Mustang Run yesterday, June 9th 2018.  tl;dr – It was a great race, extremely well run and supported by very friendly folks, challenging course and we had a lot of fun with it.   Strongly recommended but due to it being run in Oklahoma in June, it’s a challenge.

Wild Mustangs

Wildlife alert – This isn’t your street run in the middle of urban America.  On the back half of the first loop I took a step and realized there was a 3′ copperhead’s head about 8″ from my foot, his natural brownish coloring blended very well with the dirt/sand/clay i was running on.   Luckily he was facing the wrong way or this race might have ended differently.   Later on the back half of the second loop there was another four footer that I believe was a water moccasin lying across the trail.  It was far easier to see with its darker coloration.

Now while neither of these two snakes are typically aggressive and their bites are rarely fatal to adults, it’s still going to ruin your day if you get bit.   So keep an eye out.

Gear Check:

  • Shoes:  Altra Lone Peak 3.5
  • Socks: Injini Toe Socks in medium weight short crew
  • Stryd
  • BCG Compression Shorts
  • Champion Shorts
  • Underarmour  Heat Gear Tank
  • Underarmour Halo
  • Hand Customized cooling towel with an ice pocket
  • Plantronics BackBeats
  • Scosche 24+ HR monitor
  • Fenix 5x
  • Google Pixel 2L
  • Nathan VaporKrar 12L Hydration Vest
  • Platypus Bladder
  • Ultimate Direction 500ml Soft Flasks
  • CrankSports eFuel, eGel
  • Trail Toes anti chafe cream that we like to refer to as “Trail Crotch”

We drove down the day before.  Because of the early race start, the travel time and packet pick up at 4:00 a.m. we’d of had to leave right after we went to bed to drive down the same day so off we went the evening before.

You can rent bunks in the bunkhouse for not much money and it’s a real set of bunkhouses with lines of double bunk beds along the walls, if you can handle sleeping in a room of strangers it’s a lot of fun. There is also an area for camping out by the Start/Finish line if you’d prefer that which is free.  Depending on your preferences either one is viable.


They had a big (BIG) bonfire set up down by the camp area and you could drive down (or walk) and set up a chair and watch the fire if you wanted.   The camp area was about a quarter to third of a mile away from the bunk/main house.

There was also spaghetti dinner the night before as part of your entry.  We didn’t partake as we had dinner with both families at Cracker Barrel before we left.

As usual for a race we didn’t get a ton of sleep for the all the usual reasons including of course sleeping in a strange place surrounded by strangers and were up with the other early risers around 4:00 a.m. and were ready by around 5:00 with all the usual pre-race stuff to do.   We’d prepped fairly well and didn’t have any pre-race surprises other than for whatever reason my race workout hadn’t synced to my watch.

The 50k and marathon runners all started at the same time.   Lights were definitely needed for the first 30-45 minutes as after starting out within a quarter mile we were in the “Shire” which was forested and pretty dark and pretty rocky/technical.

Overall the course was a mix of terrain, from hard packed ground that was practically paved except it was uneven under foot because it was, well… you know actual ground and then to some pretty technical stuff that was very rocky and had a fair bit of difficulty to traverse especially on lap 2 once you started getting (or had gotten) tired (or injured).

Rock Climbing

The route was run twice to make up the marathon distance with a 3rd sub loop on the back half for the 50K’s to get them their distance.

I’d like to call out the fact that the course was EXTREMELY well marked, it would be impossible to get lost.  All the white markings were always on your right and the next marker was always visible.   They included tree tags, wire ground markers and streamers clothes-pinned to the trees.   All you had to do was make sure the markers were on your right and unless you were vision impaired you could always see where you needed to go.  Unlike a 30K we ran last year in spots, with this race we never had a moments confusion as to where we needed to go.

They also looked to have swept the trail free of leaves in those places where there were leaves and mowed the trail in the places where it went through the meadows.  You honestly couldn’t ask for a better laid out course. Kudos on a job well done.

There was a lot of sun to be had as the big chunk of the trails were without tree cover.  An issue if you’re prone to burning.  Me thanks to my genetics I went the whole day out there without sunscreen and came back with a little redness, no pain.  A ginger would probably have spontaneously combusted so if you’re fair skinned, pile on the SPF 50.

Someone came by with a broom

There were aid stations, all manned except for 1, every 3 miles.   All the aid stations were well staffed with people and the usual running fare.

We’d like to especially call out the staff at the 6 mile / Bigfoot station.  They were extremely good at their jobs.   Welcoming, friendly, encouraging and they had us restocked with ice and water on our second loop, cooled down with portable misters and a piece of cold watermelon in our hand and headed out in a minimum of time.  For a race that had nothing but a high level of quality and professionalism these particular guys and gals stood out and rocked it hard.  Bravo!

The first half we were doing okay, slower than a street run by a fair bit but a lot of that time was lost in the very rocky trails that made up a fair bit of portions of the first half of the first half.  Which is a weird way to say it but there you go.

Around mile 8 or 9 I took a pretty heavy fall, as usual on a stretch of terrain that was ‘easy’ which leads to lapses in concentration and a rock or root or something grabbed me and asked me to visit the ground.   Pulled some things in my right thigh and left lower leg that made the rest of the race a little less than pain free.   Around mile 11 or so the muscles in my lower left front calf blew up with excruciating pain and I had to remove my gaiters to get some relief.   My RW ended up having to take my shoes and gaiters off for me as I couldn’t bend my right leg without it seizing up so I literally couldn’t reach my shoes to take them off.

At the halfway point we, by more luck than design, had parked the FJ next to the path so we were able to step off the trail, resupply from our drop bags and then head back (to the same exact point we left it) to the trail.

By miles 14-15 things went downhill, not literally, and my calves started locking up like Hulk’s fists every time I tried to run with a forefoot strike.  I was able to shift to heel strike gait to counter that but then a half mile of heel striking and my IT Band said, “Gotcha!”.

Pope of Nope

From miles 15 on it was mostly power hiking, I’d try to step up the pace and the Pope of Nope would show up and tap me on the shoulder.

Pain’s a funny thing, sitting here writing this my brain is telling, “it wasn’t that bad you could have gone faster” but intellectually I know that wasn’t the case at the time.

With the slower pace came the hotter temperatures and hydration and electrolytes were an issue.  I went through at least 2 gallons of water over the course of the race and urinated only once around mile 25 and not much then.  I was sweating it out as fast as I was taking it in.


The interesting thing is after about 5 or 6 miles I was ‘recycling’ my sweat to be kind of grossly honest.   The cooling towel I had around my neck would catch all the sweat and water I poured over my head, evaporation would cool it off and later on I’d wring it out back over my head.   Very Dune like.

Every aid station starting with #2 at 6 miles I’d get at least 16 ounces of water, sometimes 32 ounces.   Earlier in the race I was using eFuel in half the water but by mile 15 it was just water.   I was taking in eGel’s and the occasional salt tablets to keep my electrolytes up.  Possibly not as well as I should have been because around mile 23 the muscles in my forearms also started cramping up, the kind of seizures where it curls your middle 2 or 3 fingers into your palms and you have to press them out with your other hand until the muscle relaxes again.

Fun in the Sun

At mile 22 or so there was an unmanned aid station of some ice water jugs on a makeshift table.   Honestly if that hadn’t of been there and if I hadn’t of taken a good 6-7 minutes or so to sit down and cool off by putting ice water on my cooling towel and wrapping it around my head I’m not sure I’d of finished.  Yes, I would have, but the thought of it being possible I might not finish this race was certainly trying to insert itself into my head.

Mile 24 and some nice folks on a quad came by and checked on us, filled our water bottles with ice water and they offered to drive us in.   DNF with 2 and a half miles to go?  NAFC.

Mile 25 (or so) we came to the last aid station, a Luau themed one which served as the last two manned stations on the back half of the loop.  It was here that I was finally at a point where it felt like I needed to urinate.  Wasn’t  a lot but it also wasn’t the color of coke so I had some confirmation of no rhabdo going on which is always a concern for me when I push myself.

With a clean, albeit darker yellow, bill of health I just focused on trudging out that last mile and a half, all in the sun, and uphill to the finish line.  I wasn’t in great shape mentally because at one point my RW was talking and I realized I hadn’t understood a thing she was saying.  I’d heard it but it might has well have been in ancient Egyptian.

Not far to go

Not far to go

We crossed the finish line, got our medals which albeit modest in size are extremely well done and of the 40 or 50 medals I have are easily in the top 3 for just clean tasteful appearance.  We then packed up where we got to watch at least two people finished after us so we weren’t DFL’d and headed home.

We stopped at Mona’s Rose of Sharon’s diner on the way back.  Mona’s had good reviews on Google, the best on the entire trip and I’m happy to report those reviews were well deserved.  I had a cheeseburger with fries and onion rings and RW had steak fingers with fried pickles.   For afterwards we had a blueberry hand pie warmed and topped with ice cream.   If you enjoy classic, good, old school diner food this is a place to get it, it was all very good, very tasty and it wasn’t because we’d just run a 26+ miles on trails in the sun.

We had some takeaways, or I did, in that you need to double check your load out before you head out.  Whether it’s the start or at a drop bag break, don’t assume you put everything on  your list on your body, physically double check it.  For instance I had no pain relief other than prescription strength stuff which I didn’t want to take as it has a mental impact.   My capsule of OTC pain relief was nowhere to be found when I needed it.

Also be ready to start at least 30 minutes before the start of the race.  Make sure your electronics if you’re using them are ready to go at least 5 minutes before the start time.   For example I ended up having to get my phone out, sync my calendar to my watch, then start the run on the watch and by then the race had started and been going for a couple of minutes.

Also always pack some alternate food stuffs.   All I packed was eGels which get the job done but in the last quarter of the race I found myself wanting something else, a waffle or some PB M&M’s or Stinger Chews or just something other than a gel.

And the biggest takeaway is we’re going to have to train harder than ever to be ready for our 50K in November if we want to finish that race with a decent, for us, time.

All in all we had a great time, in spite of my personal physical issues, at a great race run by great people.  And there were wild horses.  What more could you ask for from a trail race.

Little Rock Marathon 2018 – Done

Let me preface this that my running partner was a rock on this race.  She held up with smiles and support for me the entire course in spite of me getting more than a little snappish.  I was so inwardly focused dealing with the race in the mid part and the pain in the latter part that any intrusions into my focus were the sand in the oyster problem, i.e. irritations. And no pearls resulted.

But that’s one of the good things about our duo is so far when one or other of us gets mentally out of shape the other not only manages to put up with it without smacking the person they manage to pull them out of it.  What’s going to happen when we both get into a bad headspace remains to be seen but I think it’ll be fine.

The Little Rock Marathon 2018 has come and gone and we survived although to be honestly I was seriously starting to question what injury I might have been doing to my body starting around the time we were coming down that ridiculously long hill between miles 13 and 17.   I’ve already suffered one case of Rhabdomyolysis so far in my running career and that 4 miles(ish) of grinding uphill had me feeling the same muscle damage and pain in the kidney region on this run.

So on top of what was turning into pretty excruciating pain with every step, especially when I ‘changed gears’ i.e. shifted from run to walk and walk to run, I had the concern of actually dying from potential kidney failure, or of at least inflicting additional kidney damage onto myself and that stuff doesn’t heal well or at all.  The damage tends to be cumulative.

But… I’ve not always done what’s right and I pushed through each bolt of pain as I moved each leg forward and back.  After we came down from the hills and hit the river walk flats I knew from driving the course that I had a few miles of flat to recover and the next two hills were steep but short and the grade into the finish line was a shallow climb.  And between you and me there wasn’t a chance I wasn’t going to finish that race if I had to crawl to the finish line peeing blood the whole way.

In the end we were on pace or ahead of pace all the way to the top of those hills, another mistake; I should have slowed down knowing I had miles of hills to go up but I was focused on breaking 5 hours for our first marathon.  And pushing hard uphill cost us big time in time as we finished in 5:30 and a few seconds.

Based on my energy levels and general physical state I believe we could have broken 5:00, perhaps not easily but doable, but the long climb did me in.  At no point was I feel fatigued or out of energy

The Marathon as a race was well done, well supported although the back half wasn’t quite as well supported as the front half but it was good enough.   Support was good and *gasp* they didn’t do something stupid like prevent us from wearing hydration vests like the OKC Memorial Marathon has recently announced, now that most people have already paid their non-refundable entry fees.  Yes that pisses me off and no I won’t be running the OKC Memorial Marathon races again.

We ran the 5K the day before which though was more of a pain.  They didn’t enforce corrals and we were in our corral and the first several minutes of the race was literally weaving and waiting our way through walkers and strollers.  It cost us too much time just breaking free to have a chance at a PR which was disappointing.   One thing I’ve always done is put myself in the queues about where I think I’m going to finish.   I’m not asking others to do it, just be aware if you’re planning on walking a race then perhaps in the front of the race queues may cause other runners inconvenience.

As with every time we push ourselves and go for a new record race we try to learn something from it and we find out if we’ve reached our limits. I’m happy to say yes I’ve learned it may be best to give up some time on a really hard section of the race to avoid losing more time later on due to damage/injury.    And I’ve learned I can push through a whole lot of pain for a long time frame and keep moving forward.  I already knew that but it helps to have it reaffirmed.

So no, a marathon is not my limit.  Not even close.

As usual I’d like to give a shout out for all the volunteers who man the registration, aid stations, recovery tents, whatever.   Without you people these races wouldn’t be possible in a safe manner and quite literally you potentially save lives with each race through the support you give.

I recorded some footage of the race with my GoPro but not as much as I might like.  The route was for the most part boring in terms of scenery and there just wasn’t much to talk about.  And latter on it was all I could to do to keep moving forward at more than a shuffle.  But if it’s not too horrible I’ll post it.