The Power of the Bra

by Holly on March 29, 2011

in dessert,friends,lunch,running,travel

Life is about overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles.

It’s about running a half-marathon despite the fact you forgot to pack a sports bra and are forced to run the entire 13.1 miles in your favorite lilac lace underwire bra.

It’s about being filled with dread over running a half-marathon you are completely undertrained for only to find yourself forced to run a mile to the start line because you are late, on the verge of missing the race and stuck in bumper-to-bumper D.C. traffic.

It’s about running 14.1 miles and not collapsing a lung at Abe Lincoln’s feet.

Most of all, it is about putting aside stubborn pride, competition and self-induced pressure to finish in under 1:50 and instead, just enjoying the fact your two legs CAN run.

And I did.

It took me 2:01.32 and a mild between-the-boobs rash.

But I did it all, in fact.

Of course, that’s not to say that I didn’t have help.

Madeline. Her friend Josh. That skinny, smiley biatch at mile 7 that I swore I would and had to beat no matter what. Christina Aguilera’s “Ven Conmigo,” Glee’s “P.Y.T.” and Spoon’s “The Underdog” playing on repeat. And the knowledge I would get to scarf my face post-race.

Really, it was a team effort.

And yes, for all of you who inquired, those are exactly what you think they are, which in the words of our waiter is, “…pancakes impregnated with macaroni + cheese.”

The key is the addition of maple syrup.

Sweet, salty, savory, sugary and salaciously satisfying.

Followed up with an Odwalla juice, raucous anti-Gadhafi Libya protest and afternoon nap on a bench across from the White House, I had to admit I was feeling pretty dang good post-race.

How Madeline + I managed to walk an additional 4 miles around Washington D.C. without getting attacked by squirrels (it almost happened, I swear), hurting Madeline’s already stress-fractured foot (she’s a champ) or passing out under the cherry blossom trees due to exhaustion (we thought about it) is quite beyond my realm of Everythingtarian comprehension.

What I do know is we managed to do it and do it looking gooooood.

Oh yeah, and do it with a serious hour of intense, judgmental people-watching.

Part of me thinks it’s got to be the power of the {lilac lace} bra that resulted in our lovely, karmic Saturday afternoon stroll.

Hey, it’s got to be the bra or the pre-race chocolate PB chip cupcake, right?


Evan Thomas March 29, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I’m adding this to the never ending list of why being a dude rocks. This and peeing standing up.

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Oh my gosh – I barely have a chest, and I can’t imagine running in a regular bra. Kudos to you my friend!

Katharina March 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm

HOLLY!!!! Gah I hope that pretty bra helped keep your friends in place. Luckily, I am basically flat lol so I could go braless and no one or myself would notice. Anyway, I loved reading your recap and about your attitude about the race and that awesome day. That mac-n-cheese pancake… MAKES SENSE! I would really like to try that one day :) and trying it with you would be the creme de la creme.


Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Great race Holly!

Meister @ The Nervous Cook March 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Wow, good on you! I’m hoping to run my first half this summer, in honor of my birthday (dirty 30!), and this post is just fanning the fire even more. Can’t wait to get ‘ir done!


Amy B @ Second City Randomness March 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Giiiirrrrllll… I would have been stopping at a Target to pick up a bra… I don’t think I could have done the underwire! Not necessarily because I NEED super support, but I don’t think it would be very comfy at all!

I’m so glad you had such a great race! I know you were a little nervous about being undertrained… so this definitely makes me feel better about the race I’m going into in a week and a half!

Low March 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

So many things to say.
1 – you are my hero for running that in a lace bar. Get it.
2 – Those pancakes? Just when I thought there were no food combinations left to shock and delight me… there THAT is.
3- YOU ARE AMAZZZZZZING!!! That time is amazing and it looks like an amazing time.
4 – But, to end on a slightly sour note, I’m still mourning the missed opportunity of meeting you. I feel as though a summer trip to Wisco is order.
Love, hugs and cheers to you Holly!

sarah March 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Omg I ran my first half marathon in november and forgot to pack a sports bra too!!! I had to run it in my regular underwire bra and I didn’t notice much during the race (my shirt had one of those built in shelf bras which helped) but holy hell when I got into the shower it was the most painful thing ever. Chafing like woahhhhhh! That sucks but at least now you know that you are not alone. And a sports bra is now always the first thing I pack. Next time i’ll prob have to run a race in my underwear when I forget shorts ;)

congrats on the race! Awesome job!

alison March 29, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Those pancakes look AWESOME. Where did you get them? I live in North Carolina, and frequent DC on a semi regular basis. They just might be worth the trip!

hippierunner March 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I think it was the power of YOU! Congrats and awesome job!!

Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin March 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Haha I still can’t believe you ran the whole thing without a sports bra, and with a lace bra at that. More power to ya! =)

So fun to hang out with you this weekend.. come back!

Madeline - Greens and Jeans March 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I will be telling this story forever. I may have told it this evening at a work dinner after two glasses of wine. COME BACK TO PHILLY.

Mackenzie March 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Wow. Props to you for running it in your underwire bra! The pain, oy! Also, I’m lactose intolerant and those pancakes still look good to me!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) March 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

“pancakes impregnated with macaroni + cheese.”

The key is the addition of maple syrup.

Sweet, salty, savory, sugary and salaciously satisfying.”

That sounds like a crack on a stick. I’m down it :)

Your time with Madeline….I am so jealous! She and I spent hours and hours together when we both lived in Phoenix. Our weekly coffee date meetups were what kept both of us sane while living there. She is one of my best friends…I cherish that girl. So happy you got to spend time w/ her :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes March 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

The right bra can be so very important… ;)

Sounds like a fabulous weekend! Ever since your post yesterday, I can’t get the idea of adding mac & cheese to my pancakes out of my head… I’m just afraid my family will think I’m completely nuts (and they wouldn’t be that wrong…).

Kaleigh March 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Haha! Awesome job! I’m super impressed you made it the whole race with the bra! I think I would either cry my eyes our or just go hippy-style and nix it half way through! You are a stronger woman than I.

Lauren March 30, 2011 at 6:01 am

Yay!!! I knew you could do it. So proud of you girl. ;)

Katie March 30, 2011 at 6:17 am

So proud of you love! U lilac wire bra race runner! Love it!

Yes that cupcake was a good reason to run that race with all your heart and finish!!

LOVE the photos!!

Teri [a foodie stays fit] March 30, 2011 at 6:20 am


I am now convinced more than ever that to travel with you would be the BEST. Love your fun pictures.

Erica March 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

oh my gosh! Girl! Why didn’t you go out and buy a new sports bra? You totally crack me up. If only those other runners knew who the sexiest lady there was ;). Congrats! And what delicious eats afterwards. Pancakes impregnated with mac and cheese- too funny

sisters running the kitchen March 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

wow kudos to you for running in a bra! hahaha you must have just about died when you realized! i dont know if i could have done it! haha

brandi March 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

you rock :)

that is all.

Susan March 30, 2011 at 8:34 am

Ohmanohman. That’s all I can really say. I can’t believe you did it in an underwire. I can’t believe you had to run a mile before you even started. And I can’t believe someone invented mac n cheese stuffed pancakes. Thank you for ordering them.

It may not have have been your goal time but dammit, a two hour half mary is still AMAZING!!

Christine @ Merf In Progress March 30, 2011 at 8:52 am

I love the word salacious. I totally would have brought you a sports bra if I’d been awake at that ungodly hour to see Madeline’s tweet. And I can’t believe the macaroni and cheese pancakes are for real. I think carbo loading is reason enough to take up running.

sarah (sarah learns) March 30, 2011 at 8:55 am

i loved your recap! congrats on a great race – and i loved your description of the smiley biatch! lol… i still think my favorite part is the mac & cheese pancakes though.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

Congrats to you! Hope your boos have healed. I only wish I had boobs to create a rash. *le sigh*

I’m back in DC next week. Impregnated pancakes need to be on my to-do list. Classic.

Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport March 30, 2011 at 9:34 am

I love it! You better keep that bra for-ev-er! *said in the Sandlot voice* Tell me you’ve seen that movie!

You rocked that race and a wonderful weekend! I love D.C. Way to go!

Sami March 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

haha! awh you poor thing! underwire and all!? that’s ballsy :)

way to go, hol! and the pb cupcake was a win, too!


Ashey @ 365 things March 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

I love DC. I bet this time of year is a great time to go. When we went it was winter and everything was brown. We always said we’d go back when everything is green. :)

Kailey (SnackFace) March 30, 2011 at 11:01 am

Girlfran, YOU GO!!!! Dang, I have no idea how you ran untrained and unsupported. OW OW OW.

You’s a boss. I miss you. I laaaahv you. xoxooxoxo

Sarah @ One Love Sarah March 30, 2011 at 11:21 am

Congrats! I love this post! its so cute and the pics are beautiful! woo lilac bra

Michelle March 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

Wow, congrats on an awesome race! I’m sure it’s one you won’t soon forget :-)

Gillian Young March 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

You are an incredible woman and that is an incredible thing to do with pancakes. Amen to the power of the lilac bra!

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun March 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Congrats! You did awesome and I can tell had a blast with it all. That’s all that matters.

PS – Hope the tata rash has calmed down.

katie March 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

hahahaha i loveeeeee you and your witty humor!! AHH congrats sugar!

Megan (Braise the Roof) March 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Holy crap, I can’t believe you had to run an extra mile and in a regular bra, no less! That’s the stuff of legends, Holly. And you still kicked ass- you’re one fast lady! I’m totally jealous of your whole DC weekend, btw. ;)

Emma (Namaste Everyday) March 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

congrats on the race! women are so strong: they can even run in a lacy bra!

Sana March 30, 2011 at 1:43 pm

So yesterday I went a a kickboxing class and I wore two sports bras, they clearly did not do the trick because I had to march in place while the rest of the class was doing jumping jacks. Sigh.

Lauren March 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm


those pancakes look DIVINE. here in NYC, they have mac&cheese pancakes on the menu at this place Shopsin’s – I’ve never been, but I guess I should go!

Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans March 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You are my hero! If I ran to the bus in a regular bra I’d be complaining. I’m impressed!!

Lauren March 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Way to go! I can’t believe you did the race in your lacy lilac bra… OUCH!! But maybe it was the bit of sexy that got you through it. And a pb cupcake is the perfect pre-race snack!!

Any plans on trying to re-create those pancakes?

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather March 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Way to go holly! That’s a super hero bra for sure!

Will you be replecating those impregnated pancakes? Pretty please :)

Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free March 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Woohoo that is such an awesome time! 1 million props for doing it in a real bra and having an awesome post race too!

Katie March 30, 2011 at 5:14 pm

A few things…

I’m so completely impressed that you ran in an underwire bra.

I always that it was spelled “Gaddafi” – so thanks for that current events lesson.

I had a brownie pre-workout this morning, and it was the perfect fuel – so I can see how a cupcake would be the same thing. :-)

amanda March 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

oh em gee. i pat you on the back for the whole lace bra run thing! my tata’s never would have held up. or held in for that matter. in-between boob rash might be the worse kind of rash. besides an in-between leg rash…eh.

good thing you had those mac and cheese pancakes to dive into after. i am seriously enticed. i’m heading to dc this weekend…i might have to be on the lookout.

holla, holla for capitol of the usa trips!

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine March 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I have so, so, so much respect for you for running that sucker in a lace bra. I think you deserve to buy yourself something really nice from Lululemon as a reward :)

Emily April 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Congrats! Kudos to you…looks like you had a great time in DC, too. I LOVE your purple flats…where did you get them?

Mallory April 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

forgive the huge delay… CONGRATS, lady!
you make me wish i could do the running thang. and work the purple shoes thang.

that’s it, going on THE LIST. both of them.

but seriously, you are a rock star!

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