Here’s a fun little Instagram tag I completed recently. 15 random things you may not know about me. 1. I am a California girl born and raised. 2. I will be getting married this September to my fiance, whom I have been with for 9 […]
Finish and Afterthoughts I came up on the chute, adjusted my kit, picked up the pace and prettied my form (My finish pics were gonna look nice okay). I booked it though the chute and finished with a time of 7:33:43. Final run time of […]
T2 and The Run
I click clacked my way down my row in T2 to rack my bike. T2 was full, but not quite as full as last year. I was happy I wouldn’t be out alone on my run again. Transition was uneventful. I doused myself with another layer of sunscreen, chomped down a honey stinger waffle and another applesauce pouch, grabbed my hydration and headed out. Total Transition time, 6:59, which was actually not recorded on the IM tracking for some reason, but oh well.
I left T2 a little too hot. It’s always so hard for me to gauge exactly how fast I am moving, when I run off a long bike. My legs turnover just fine, but it’s almost like I can’t feel them. They feel like they’re moving on their own, lol. I slowed my pace and found my nice HIM turtle rhythm @ 155 bpm. Everything was going great. I had energy, I was upbeat, there were lots of people on the course, good crowds, great weather… and then it hit, GI Distress.
About a mile in, I started cramping and not muscle cramping, although I had a bit of that in my calves. I couldn’t believe it. Why?! Why me?! I remember my coach telling me a terrifying story involving GI distress and Kona, and I was scared shitless (ha, I WISH) it would happen to me.
I slowed my pace and focused my mind. This would NOT happen, lol. I got control over myself, but had to stop at the port-a-potties 4 times. I’ve never had to use the bathroom during a race and was so happy they weren’t too disgusting. I began making emergency plans in my head. There was a little creek that ran along the course, if the worst had happened, you could bet your last buck, that I was gonna go down there and sit in it. Thankfully it didn’t happen.
As the run went on, I continued to battle GI issues in waves. Sometimes I could run at my HIM pace, other times I had to slow to my IM pace. I walked the aid stations to get water and peruse the snack bar, lol. Nutrition wise, over the course of the run, I took in nearly a full orange, a few pretzels and the greenest banana I’ve ever had in my life.
Gi issues aside, the run course itself was wonderful! There were plenty of aid stations and a ton of shade. We ran on a dirt trail for the majority of the run, under large trees, along a quiet little stream. The rest off the run, weaved through a park, over a couple of bridges and along the main road. There were plenty of spectators along the main road and a bunch of volunteers along the trail. And best of all, I wasn’t running alone! Running alone was the final straw that broke the camel’s back in Arizona. Thankfully, Santa Rosa had plenty of athletes along the course. I was nowhere near the tail end of the race and I was so thankful for it.
Mile 12 came and went and I was still running. I don’t know if the mile markers were correct or if I was just done, but that last mile felt like forever! After what felt like an hour, I finally rounded the last corner and ended up in the chute.
Check-in on Friday went smoothly, I got my packet picked up, my bike racked, my bags checked and best of all I got to meet some of my Coeur Sports Teammates! I could not be happier with the team I’ve been blessed with this year or prouder to represent such a wonderful brand! I saw so many badass Coeur kits on the course on Saturday! If you were wearing one and I mumbled something to you, it was probably a compliment on your kit!
Friday night, I had In-n-Out for dinner, not the best choice I’m sure. I didn’t feel like doing a sit down dinner so obviously, the typical California girl that I am, I went straight to In-n-Out. I had spotted it earlier that day. We have a radar for these sorts of things, it’s built in at birth. One cheeseburger (animal style of course), one fries with extra salt (pre-load) and half a milkshake later, I was back in my motel.
Getting back to the motel I noticed that my room smelled of pot and my neighbors were super noisy. Weed is legal here in Cali and I’m sure they were smoking it on the landing. I shrugged it off thinking things would quiet down by bedtime. The motel was fully booked, so I couldn’t move even if I had wanted to. The entire town was packed with the influx of athletes and their friends and families.
Well our wall-mates did not quiet down. In fact, they got louder and because the walls were so paper thin, I could hear every minute detail going on in that room. Guess what, that wasn’t an ordinary motel guest (or maybe it was…?), it was a prostitute with her pimp. I know what you’re going to say, “Lindsey, what did you expect from a Motel?” And all I can say is, I just didn’t think about it. I knew it wouldn’t be nice, but hey I just wanted a place to sleep right? Learn from me, lol. Never stay in a motel for a race, or for that matter, any reason.
I couldn’t believe it. Is this real life? Yes, yes it was. I heard everything, EVERYTHING and was fuming. I deal with anxiety often, even during non-race settings, but this just sent me through the roof. We couldn’t move because the motel was fully booked and I didn’t want to cause some sort of scene and have to deal with police or god knows what else (crazy pimp, gun?), so I endured. That’s what this weekend was about right? My race just started early, lol. We turned the TV up and tried to let the sounds of the Matrix drown it out. She had many “visitors” that night and I finally succumbed to sleep at about 2:30, only to wake up at 3:45.
I got my butt ready and jammed out of there as fast as possible to get down to the buses, eager to shrug off the slime of that motel with a nice cold refreshing dip in Lake Sonoma. I boarded the school bus (haha I know right!) and headed up to Lake Sonoma with a few thousand athletes. I ate my breakfast on the bus, one Hawaiian Roll and a quarter of a croissant, not ideal, but that’s all I could stomach.
The ride took about an hour before we finally arrived at T1. It was a twilight and the flood lights were on, excitement and nerves hung heavy in the air, as hurried athletes, spectators and volunteers rushed to and fro. The lines to the bathroom were probably 20 persons long for each stall, but I had noticed a huge line of stalls down at the water’s edge that had no lines, so I ran my butt down the hill (warm-up!) and took care of business.
T1 was ablaze with athletes, some already donned their seal-like gear, others were still shoving themselves into their wetsuits and looked like half-stuffed sausages. There really is no elegant way to get into a wetsuit. If you’re a self-conscious person, tri isn’t for you. I got T1 set-up, sausaged up and looked for my teammates. It’s really hard to tell people apart in a wetsuit. We all kinda look the same with the cap, goggles and suits on. All equals, getting ready to start a long, hard day, each with their own hurdles to overcome. I finally found a teammate, we checked our morning bags, with our flip flops inside (BIG MISTAKE) and headed down to the water to line up.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Actually it’s tomorrow. Here is a simple DIY for my fellow procrastinators. Roses are great to get on Valentine’s Day, but they die. I much prefer flowers that last, usually buying potted plants as gifts. For the runner […]
Let’s talk about the ambassadorships and sponsorships that are available for every day athletes like you and me. For those of you that are unaware or perhaps vaguely aware, the majority of companies are currently taking advantage of our ever-increasing interconnected world and have begun using every day people like you and me to advertise their clothing, gear or nutrition. Advertising is no longer restricted to magazines, bill boards and television. They do this with ambassador teams.
What are Ambassador Teams?
Most ambassador teams provide their athletes with racing gear, sponsored attire and deep discounts to their products. Some brands require that you pay for their sponsored gear, some give it away. Be sure to read the fine print when applying.
The teams also generally create a private social media group for the athletes to use as a way to communicate with one another. The community aspect of these teams will be by far the biggest benefit. Your team will most likely be compromised of people all over the world and full of a wide range of athletic abilities and body types.
How do you Apply?
The best way to find ambassador and sponsorship opportunities is to follow your favorite brands on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Make sure this is a brand you truly love, already use and has a core message that you identify with. Don’t go applying to every brand you see. Really think about you who want to represent. Most brands will do an announcement when their team applications are open. If this is something you really want, keep a close eye and maybe set a weekly reminder on your personal calendar to check your favorite brands.
Once a brand has open applications, get yours in reasonably quick. Hundreds of people will apply and only a select few can get chosen. Don’t rush your application, but do get it in as quickly as possible. On your application, be well spoken and be sure to do a short proof read. As someone who runs a business and has been a manager for big chain stores, I can tell you that poor spelling and grammar do not make good first impressions. No need to be Dickens, but do proof read your application.
Highlight any achievements or personal struggles, companies like both. Of course, they like high achievers, but they also like a good story. Show your personality through your writing, talk about your racing plans for the next season, what you do to inspire those around you and how you volunteer in the sport. Most importantly be an actual user of their gear. Ethics aside, if you are applying to these teams just for the free gear and are not an actual customer, you may not get far. Companies want people who believe in their core message and already love their gear.
If you are active on social media and have a good following this will increase your chances. The larger your sphere of influence, the more attractive you will be to these brands. It is not necessarily a requirement, but the majority of my teammates are active in some way, be it a blog, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. After all. this is advertising for these companies, they want to ensure that their product is going to be seen by as many people as possible. The more active you are on social media, the better your chances at getting chosen.
Those of you that are active on social media, be sure that your accounts have a fitness centric theme. Your friends may enjoy 50 pictures of your cat, but companies can’t really use that for marketing and it won’t give them a good idea of who you are as an athlete or a person. If you are unsure of where to start with fitness posts, just check out some of the athletes you currently follow that have ambassadorships and sponsorships. Look at their posting styles and see if that may mesh with your personality. I’m not saying go copy the chick with 50k followers, but you can definitely get some pointers by checking out her content.
For those of you that do not wish to use social media or perhaps have a very small following, highlight your local influence. If you are a part of a local racing team, bring it up. This is first and foremost a marketing strategy for these companies, give them a reason to want, or better yet NEED to add you to their team.
Who Gets Chosen?
With many of the brands announcing their ambassador teams for next racing season, I have seen a lot of talk from women discouraged at not getting picked. I’ve seen women complaining that only petite, super fast athletes get picked, which is definitely not the case.
So who does get picked for these teams? In my experience brands not only want high achievers and people who are active on social media, but they want to represent the field of their sport. All of the teams I am a part of have many different types of athlete, be it body shape or ability. They all include athletes from beginner to elite, from Athena to ripped. You don’t have to podium at every race to get picked and you don’t have to be shredded.
That being said, these companies are using these programs as a marketing strategy. At least 50% of the field at every race I’ve done, save the tri aimed at beginners, has been composed of super fit looking athletes. I say looking, because of course, looks can be deceiving. This means the target audience for these companies is going to be people on the fitter side. It just is what it is. These companies do research and they know what sells. It only makes sense that their ambassador teams will fit a certain look and be representative of the current field of athletes, meaning plenty of fit ladies along with average and Athenas as well.
At 5’6″ and 150lbs, I am by no means svelte. I am an average athlete with an average body. In fact, I’m currently working on dropping about 20 pounds before my next big race. I place every once in a while in short races and actually did quite terrible at my first 70.3, yet I have been selected to be a part of teams since I began doing triathlons. So you absolutely can get chosen, but I also know I most likely won’t be plastered all over their marketing campaigns and that is okay with me. I am on these teams to support the brands I love and to be a part of their awesome community.
In the end, this is just one type of team and one type of community you can join. There are many out there that are open to everyone. There are also tons of local tri teams that you can join and actually meet people in real life. Don’t base your self-worth on whether or not you get chosen. They can’t choose everyone, it just isn’t economically feasible. You could have been skipped over because they already had enough athletes by the time they got to your application or they already have enough athletes in your region, or for a hundred other reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with you as a person. If you don’t get chosen one year, but you really truly want it, work on increasing your sphere of influence, apply again next year and most importantly, keep tri-ing. Don’t get discouraged and know that you are awesome just for getting out there!