Sports bras and coffee: A supportive friendship. (Guest blog, Taryn)

Taryn and Bets. Friendship started over a cup of coffee. There have been MANY cups of coffee between then and now. 🙂

Taryn is a registered dietitian, athlete, sports bra expert 🙂 and friend.  Grab a cup of coffee and meet my friend Taryn…

As Betsy has alluded to in a previous blog post (Bra runs amok), we originally met through her fear of asking her running coach, Spencer, advice on buying a sports bra after multiple bra-related mishaps.

Call it fate, call it whatever you want, but if sports bras are what originally brought us together then I am forever indebted to those innocuous little pieces of clothing that are so much more than bits of dry-fit fabric and elastic. {Insert little cheer for sports bras HERE! Guys, sorry you don’t quite understand.}

So, after that introduction, let me share a little bit of our story…

After being introduced to Betsy via Spencer over email, and many, MANY emails and personal details later (overshare on the internet to a stranger? Nah), we agreed to meet for coffee.

Betsy shared her story to lose weight and reverse Type 2 Diabetes, which was instantly intriguing to me. I should also mention, I’m a Registered Dietitian with a specialty in sports nutrition. In my few years of practicing as a dietitian, I’d heard a few stories here and there of people who had lost large amounts of weight but never actually met someone who did it solely through healthy lifestyle changes: EAT LESS (or more, high quality, nutrient dense foods ☺), MOVE MORE.

I soon realized, this woman is freakin’ AWESOME and hilarious. And by “soon” I mean about 5 minutes after taking my first sip of coffee with her. I just had to learn more about her journey! I think the feeling was mutual though, as we both saw there was more to be gained by this introduction than just sports bras…

So she began to tell me about her quest to revamp her lifestyle (which she was already deep into at this point) and her new idea to run an ultra. Had I ever heard of such a thing? Why yes, I had in fact just run an ultra ☺.

And so began what might be called the second phase of our journey together…learning to fuel for exercise, specifically long duration exercise.

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “What do you do for fueling during your long runs?” (we’re talking like 2+ hours here)

Betsy: * blank stare * (she might have been speechless for maybe the first time in our entire relationship 😉

When I suggested that she should try fueling during her runs, I could almost read her thoughts: “why the F would I EAT something while running?!?!?!” To put it mildly, at this point, Betsy was still very much in the “diabetic carb-phobic, use exercise for weight loss” phase.

If she wanted to run an ultra, and not just grudgingly finish, but enjoy the experience (a HUGE factor in sticking with any form of exercise: enjoyment!!!), fueling during her longer runs would be a necessity. Bonking + being hangry = a bad combo, and best avoided.

Fast-forward countless more coffee dates (and maybe a few carb-tantrums…) later, I have been fortunate to witness a small part of Betsy’s mindset transformation from carb-fearful to understanding the role of proper portion size of high-quality carbohydrates (think fruits, vegetables and whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, etc) in her everyday life, during exercise, and for post-exercise recovery.

If you ask me, meeting over sports bras took down a lot of the barriers that are sometimes initially there in the beginnings of a friendship when you’re thinking: “Can I tell this person this story? What will they think of me?…” I mean, let’s be real, how many of your friends can you openly and honestly share stories about gut issues while running and pooping in the woods with no shame? (Note: if you’re a runner, that doesn’t apply to you). That might have happened on maybe our third or fourth coffee date… Just go right ahead and smash those barriers.

When I think about it, I’ve only known Betsy for about a year and a half but it feels like so much more. Not only have I gained a lifetime friend that we can be authentically open and honest with each other, but it’s a supportive friendship at that.

Get the pun? 😉

Trail run at Peavy last March. Taryn KNOWS the trails. Her mind is a map. I would still be running in circles trying to find the Bonzai trail had she not been there. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Sports bras and coffee: A supportive friendship. (Guest blog, Taryn)

  1. Bonking?? Not dear Betsy. Or…does bonking mean something different these days?! Please Betsy, run all you want but no bonking until marriage (or the 18th date).


    1. SUSAN! Good lord — you are killing me! Uh… Bonking in this context means that I did NOT have enough sugar in my blood and was in a grumpy, cranky, confused state. And not running very well. And you have to get some useable carbohydrates into your system. 🙂 Oh my goodness…. I can not stop laughing!!! Love you Susan!


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