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  • Outdated Design – Sports bra’s should be easier to get on and off.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.

Half Fanatic

So as it turns out I reached Half fanatic status, at least the reqs awhile ago and just didn’t know it.  I’m currently in Uranus status.  After our back to back halves at the end of the month that moves us to Jupiter status I believe.

I went ahead and signed up paying the lifetime membership option of $150.   At $55 the first year and $15 each year after that, it didn’t like it would take long all things considered to save money.  Assuming I don’t have a heart attack and die or get mauled by a rabid cougar while running.  In which case it was a waste of money.

It’s step one toward becoming a Double Agent which ever since we first saw the shirts at Route 66 run last fall I’ve wanted to be one.

This year’s T-Shirts (no offense guys and gals) doesn’t have the usual bug eyed guy/gal logo on it and for me that’s a good thing.  Since I don’t have any history with the group or their logo, which they explain in detail how it came about and it’s a interesting story, the artwork is just not to my taste.    It seems like that may be the case with a fair number of people since they ditched the logo on this years merch.

Honestly my #runningwife and I were only going to buy one shirt, the one with the smallest version of that log on it prior to now but I’ll likely buy two or three shirts to have to run in now that I can get one that fits more my personal tastes.

Anyway I’m a half fanatic now, working my way toward Marathon Maniac hopefully this fall with a Full and a 50K within 2 weeks of each other.

Vlogging Little Rock Marathon

I knew it was going to be fewer but I was surprised at how few clips I did record on the Little Rock Marathon 2018.   Frankly it was a boring race for the most part and the last 1/3 was very painful both physically and mentally wondering just how much damage I was doing to myself.

But I’m happy to report the mic set up I used worked really well.  The sound is clear and crisp and there’s no scritchy noises and no wind noise.   I’ll work on compiling it and posting it but it’s not all that good and frankly would just be for a few people who were there or are part of my running crew that would care.

This is the mic I used and will be using.  I drilled a hole in a spare GoPro housing I picked up cheap that I feed the USB through and with the gopro on my custom self stick which has room for the mic to sit inside it’s pretty compact without a lot of snag material.

You can get the selfie stick over at my profile on thingiverse here.

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.

Little Rock Marathon Gear

Here’s my gear list for the 2018 Little Rock Marathon.  Yes I know it’s a supported race.  Yes I know it’s a road race in the city.  But I like to be prepared and I’m the one carrying the stuff so hush you.   And I don’t like Gatorade or Gu which is what they have in the aid stations.

  • Hydration Vest – Salomon Advanced Skin 12, because it hugs you like your wife did back when she was your girlfriend.
  • Hydration Bottle – Ultimate Direction 500ML bottle with extended nipple.  Mmmm man nipples.  I plan on only have one bottle full at a given time with eFuel mix.  I’ll take plain water from the aid stations.
  • VLOG – GoPro Hero 4 Silver on a self designed and 3d printed selfie stick.
  • Fuel – eFuel in Citrus Punch (awesome), eGel, one of all 5 flavors, candied ginger from Sprouts, Golden and Regular Oreo’s just for a change of texture and flavor.  I don’t plan on needing all of this stuff, I just want it to have options. But Crank Sports fuels work and work really well for me.  And I love candied ginger and it has belly soothing properties as well as anti-inflammatory.
  • REI Lightweight Base Layer long sleeve quarter zip (love these shirts, soooo soft)
  • Either Brooks Running Tights or Champion Shorts with UnderArmor compression shorts depending on weather.
  • Injini Socks (love these things)
  • Scosche HR monitor – Love Hate relationship with this thing.  But it’s more comfortable than my Garmin HR chest belt and 26.2 miles needs comfort.
  • Stryd Foot Pod – Love the precision of this device for pacing and distance.  It’s 99% accurate once it’s calibrated to you.
  • Shoes…. Here’s my conundrum.  I love the Altra Escalante’s and I have a newer pair that have exactly 20.2 miles on them as they’re the ones I ran my last long distance training run in.  But… For 26.2 miles my Altra Paradigm 2.0’s with their little bit of extra cushioning in them on top of the stability feature may be the better option.   The longest run I have in the Paradigms though is around 17 miles.  And they have 150 miles on them.
  • Misc – Half sheet paper towels, I’m one of the ones that cold air makes my nose run like a faucet, baby aspirin (just in case I have a HA en route), half a percocet just in case I hurt something badly.
  • Garmin Fenix 5X – Love this watch for the features that I’ll never need and that it looks like a watch and not a ‘e-watch or smart watch’.
  • Google Pixel 2 XL – For using the Garmin Live Track so my wife can monitor my progress and know if something bad happens en route and for music.
  • Plantronic bluetooth headphones – waterproof, not water resistant, good battery life, good sound and they don’t go into my ears.  I can’t wear in ear headphones for long before the pain gets unbearable.

And there you have my marathon kit.

Taper week

I guess we must be tapering right since per experience runners “If it feels like you need to go run then you’re tapering right.”

This is 2 days straight we haven’t run which hasn’t happened in… a year plus?   And tomorrow is only a 5K and then more days off, then a 5K race and then we finally get to run our first marathon.

So t-minus 5 and counting.   Technically as of right this minute it’s 4 days, 11 hours and 51 minutes before we see if our training worked or not.

It’s been a long row to hoe as my grandmother would say.  Due to health issues and basically not wishing to drop dead from over exertion it’s taken me 18 months to go from can’t run 2 minutes to trying to run 26.2 miles.   And hopefully it doesn’t kill me when I try.

02042018 Long Run

Today was our first 20+ mile run.   We parked a car at the 8 (12) mile lap and then drove to the start.   Our big thing this run was to work on our pace which is a 9 minute run, 1 minute walk and a 11 min warmup.    Our 11 minute warmup is 12-12:30 pacing.  The remaining sections are negative splits by 15 seconds for each 1/3rd of 26.2 miles.  i.e. if the first 9 miles is an 11:45, the next 9 is 11:30 and the last 9 is 11:15.

The averages are over both run and walk.  The pacing is designed to have an average of around 11:27 per mile over the course of the marathon.   This gets us just under a 5:00 marathon which is our primary goal.  Our secondary goal is a 5:15 and our tertiary goal is just to finish before the race ends.

It’s important to have attainable goals.

We did 20.2 miles in 3:47 which leaves us enough time to do another 6 and break 5:00.   Maybe.

One problem is that as is our usual thing we hit the 90% point of a run , regardless of distance and things go pear shaped.   Around mile 18 to 19 it just got really hard (duh).

My RW did an amazing job and I really wanted to trip her to slow her down but I didn’t.   She’s had problems with our last few longer runs, the last 17 mile we did and the last 19 (20) mile we did on trails but this time she just kept on going.

Afterwards we were both mostly okay but we had a superbowl party at a dear friends house and basically ate like pigs.

It’ll be interesting to see how things keep going as we’re about to go int our taper stages.

01 11 2018 Thresholds in the Cold

Today was thresholds, 10 minutes z2, 10 minutes z4, 10 minutes z2 then cool down. Pretty easy day all in all. Due to the OMFG cold we took the hilly route because it has a windbreak and runs sideways to the north wind that was blowing around 30mph.

Shockingly there was no one else out running today. An 11 degree windchill seems to keep people home a lot.

We did ‘okay’. One thing we dd was backtrack our marathon schedule up by 6 weeks so it matched up with Little Rock Marathon race on March 3rd. So we’re doing the same runs we did 6 weeks ago. This gives us a direct way to check progress.

On this one we had a better average pace by a few seconds. Our z4 pace was 30 seconds slower but this route included a lot of hills, mostly up hill for the z4 section whereas the one back in November had no hills. So while at first glance I was disappointed in the minimal appearing progress once you took the hills into account, I was running on an hour of sleep and no carbs and I was okay with it.

One thing I’m trying to do with this brand new year is look on the brighter side of things. It’s hard, I’m a dyed in the wool pessimist because you’re disappointed less often that way and pleasently surprised more often. But even old dogs can occasionally learn new tricks.

01 10 2018 Entry

Thought I’d start adding little notes on runs just to have something to look back on when I’m old and feeble (er).

Today the run was intervals, we backed up about 6 weeks in our schedule to have our end date in sync with our first full marathon.  FYI we’re running a full marathon in March.

Anyway this pulled us back a bit in effort level so this was a 15 minute warm up, then 5 repeats of 3 minute sprints + 90 second recovery then a cool down.

At this time both myself and Running Wife #1 (I have 3 now although one isn’t aware of it) have succumbed again to some level of injuries so we’re kind of having to take it easy anyway.

I was also on a conference call for work during this run and it was cold with a pretty bad head wind on top of that.  And I was under-dressed because I expected temps in the 50’s and it was in the 30s’.

Nothing super noteworthy about this run, we went south along Riverparks instead of our usual north as I wanted to try and cut down some of the noise from traffic. But it just caused more noise from wind as there are no wind breaks on that section at all.

In looking at the same run from 5 weeks ago, sadly there wasn’t any real improvement.  But I was distracted during the run due to the conference call and I don’t feel like I was putting 100% into it.  I know my RSS for that other run was probably a 8 or 9 and this was was maybe a 7.

Tomorrow is an easy run of 30 minutes but we’re going to change it to hills because we seriously need hill work.

We’re trying to find the ‘right’ 50K for 2018 to be our first time at that distance and it’s tough.   Between cut off times, total elevation change, scenery/location, expenses, it’s not an easy decision to make.

We have a 30K in 3 weeks and then our first full in 7 weeks.

Stryd’ers on the Storm

The title of this post is a play on a play of words.  Back in my younger days when I had more free time and less demands on what time I did I was both a geek and a nerd.  i.e. I played roleplaying games.  The kind you do with several people.  That’s probably not clarified enough, the kind you do with several people, with your clothes on.  Okay maybe that’s still debatable.  The kind you do with several people, using rule books and dice, with your clothes on and there are no orgasms involved.

But as one of the bigger clydesdales in the herd”

Anyway there are these things called Driders which are a combination of a kind of elf and a spider in a centaur like blending.   In one particular session our heroes were at a placed called Storm Shipping and Receiving when they were attacked by Driders.  This of course by necessity generated the phrase “Drider’s on the Storm”.

Which is a long way to go about explaining a title that makes sense to now one.

Anyway….  I bought a Stryd foot pod as the pacing and distance from my watch wasn’t as precise as I now want it to be.  I was also intrigued by the ‘train using power’ metrics that are being floated around.   The Stryd foot pod calculates how much energy/effort you’re expending on each step you take to move your body mass forward.  It analyzes all kinds of data from each step and gives you a picture of running motion.   It takes into account slopes, go up hill and burn more power, downhill burn less.

The idea is to run so that you burn a specific amount of energy for distance and to go into specific burn zones, i.e. energy output bands, to achieve your training goals.  Certain bands and types/timing of training are good for certain things, lactate use, vo2 max increase, physiological changing of the body for running etc.

Now that I’ve finished my half marathon training using the Garmin Heart Rate Zone based plan I’m going to try the Stryd marathon training plan.   It’s interesting, the first month is a lot of long slow distance or LSD’s with some sprints, Stryd calles them strides, at the end of the shorter ones.   The speeds are slower than I’ve been training with so far for long distances so it’ll be interesting to see the results.

I did a 9 mile run on Sunday at the recommended speed which was about 90 seconds per mile slower than I’d been running long distances and I was a little surprised at how difficult it did feel by the end of the run.  There are extenuating circumstances, in the previous month I’d run my first half marathon, normal training, a 5k race on Friday, 2 5K obstacle courses on Saturday and then the 9 mile on Sunday.  So there may have been a wee bit of reason as to why 9 miles slow felt kind of tough by the end.

It runs through to mid September over 4 months of training.   It’s 3 days a week, starting with 16 miles a week for the first week and ramping up to around 40-50 miles a week at the peak of the training.

But as one of the bigger clydesdales in the herd for distance running long and specifically slow may be what I need at the moment to help clear up a nagging knee issue.