Ah, November. The chill in the air, early sunset, quadrennial political handwringing, and triathletes trying to cram a year’s worth of fun into a few weeks of off-season before self-exiling to their trainers and treadmills.
How am I doing against the cliches? Well, after last week’s swimrun, I didn’t even wait until returning to DC before visiting a brewery (conveniently located on the route home). I spent 90 minutes waiting in line to vote (#Imwithvotingabsenteenexttime). I also turned my mostly solo, 100% purposeful sportz into social sportz. Barre class taught by a friend? Sure! 52 mile bike ride with half of DC? Sign me up! I also attended a 2017 race planning party, but carefully avoided the actual planning discussions and focused more on socializing with my fellow DC Tri Club swim coaches.
As for 2017, I honestly am not sure yet. This will be my 6th season of racing, and I am looking for ways to keep things fresh and challenging. I have been fortunate to have raced a lot over the past five years and experienced so many different things–Ironman 70.3, Ironman 70.3 world championships, full Ironman, long course world championships, nationals, aquathlon worlds, swimrun, ultra-marathon, trail running, off-road racing, etc. So… then what? Do I repeat a type of race and try to do better? Focus on a location that I want to visit? Go for something new?
One aspect of 2017 is already set: I will join the Coeur ambassadors team! After two years on the LUNA team, the company decided to discontinue the program. I had been a fan of Coeur clothing since 2015 (thoughtful pockets! bike chamois that is literally not a pain in the ass! made in the USA!), but what really sold me on the company was their brand ambassadors. Everyone was so friendly and supportive, both via social media and in person. When I joined the Valor Triathlon Project at the end of last season, I learned that quite a few of the women on the team were also affiliated with Coeur — in other words, a group of genuine, no-ego, enthusiastic women who are passionate about sportz and supporting other women. This also included all of their professionals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting — Kara LaPoint (my former LUNA teammate), Katie Thomas Morales, Katie Zaferes, and Valor teammate Ericka Hackmeister. Before applying, I asked current ambassadors about the program–was it just a discount code or an actual team atmosphere? They all responded with an enthusiastic “BEST. TEAM. EVER.” and heart-warming stories about the friendships that have emerged, how they have grown in the sport, and their eagerness to make other women feel welcome. Sounds great to me! But first came the application process. Little did I know, over 1300 other people applied this year, for approximately 100 spots (including returning ambassadors, of which there were many). Not the best odds, but I was hopeful. Then, finally, came an email from Coeur co-founder, Hailey Manning: Welcome to Team Coeur!
The past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind, including several dozen new Facebook and Instagram friend requests and finding not one but two training buddies for when I’m in Florida next week. I’m also thrilled to learn that my swimrun partner, Rachel, has also been invited to the team, so get ready for some stylin’ photos next year!