Sunday, November 6, 2011

In which I love my magic pants

In September, I blogged about my longest run to date and mentioned wearing my "magic pants."

I promised to give them their own post and here it is.

When I started the Couch To 5K program last December, I remember Day 1 vividly.

I knew it would be hard to run for 60 seconds. I knew I would be breathing very heavily and "running" awkwardly, but what I didn't expect was all the jiggling south of the border.

When I started C25K I weighed 236 lbs, so it should not have been a surprise. Ever been in a car that needed an alignment, and the faster it went the more it violently shook and rattled? That's what my butt, stomach and thighs felt like. It was very disconcerting.

I was wearing capri workout pants from Target, which are great, but weren't tight enough (or at all) to contain my flab. Several of the runners/weight-loss superheroes I read all mentioned wearing compression pants when they ran, especially long distances.

I figured I needed some to control the jiggling, but they don't make compression pants in plus sizes, probably because most plus-size people are not in the market for running tights.

However, attention running gear manufacturers: Get in this market - a lot of plus-size people are new runners and could use the support, literally. You're missing an opportunity.

So it was a big deal to me when I was small enough to fit into a pair of real compression pants. All my clothing life I avoided tight clothes like the plague, but now - go figure - that's exactly what I wanted - a pair of tight, form-fitting pants.

I ordered these in June from Road Runner Sports (I highly recommend) and they were as advertised - very tight, but not my-legs-are-turning-blue tight.

Compression tights are supposed to give you extra muscle support and speed recovery time after your run, with the added bonus of keeping your flab in check. If you have flab, that is, and I do - still. Always will, I suppose, and I'm OK with that.

I only sport these when I'm running longer distances, which for me is 5 miles and up. Under 5, I don't feel like my legs will be taxed as heavily, so I go with this or this. Both great, both jiggle-proof, but not as heavy duty as the CW-X.

Those crazy pants even came with instructions on how to wear them. They're tights, how could you screw that up? Well, it's important you wear them correctly, to be specific, a certain part of the leg needs to be over your knee. Go figure.

Anyway, I call the CW-Xs my "magic pants" because they work magic on my lower half. I look lean and mean, when I assure you, sans clothes those legs are anything but magical. I will never, ever run in anything shorter than capris. I'm not comfortable with how my bare legs looks standing still, not to mention lifting off the ground over and over.

If I had the coin I would own several pair of $80 compression tights and I would wear them every day. I'd be "that woman who always wears those tights" and I don't think I'd care because I would look damn fine doing so.

A quick aside, the picture above may be my most favorite picture ever. I love it, and you know I stlll don't like many pictures of myself.


  1. You look awsoeme I wish I had the continuous motivation to do the same. Keep up the good work.

  2. You are such a bad ass! I'm (usually) an avid runner as well, having gone from a size 10 to a size 00-2 (I'm very very petite). I've let myself slack off, but have an 8 mile race in 10 weeks, and haven't ran since July. You are my new inspiration!

  3. I'm now adding your blog to my list of favorites! Thank you for the inspiration!

    I am currently in the process of losing my excess weight. As of two days ago I have lost 40 lbs and am now at 220. I swim 2-3 miles a week and walk 9 miles a week up a steep grade in my town (1/2 way, then back down of course), and have just added jogging to my regime. As I'm still a big girl, I would love to find some supportive jogging/running capris to control my "jiggle". I'm looking forward to the day that I can wear "normal" size clothes (I totally rant all the time about how larger than teensy girls don't have any exercise options, which is ridiculous because we are the people who NEED the extra support and to feel good about how we look, but I see I'm up on my soapbox, let me step back down...) What would you recommend for where I am today? What about sports bras?

    Thank you!

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  5. Oh! These are cool! My sister was looking for such a pant for a very long time now. I have shopped for Carbon 38 workout clothes for her and myself because we are planning to hit the gym as soon as possible and I would love to find an ankle length pants just like this for her.