Social Media + Sponsored Posts + Things I’m Loving Lately

Blogging has obviously taken a back seat lately. I haven’t written about anything except Boston training here. I’m finding that I can share more frequently via Instagram – photos with short blurbs of tips or lessons learned – that I’m able to do while commuting to or from work. It’s taken place of some of the blogging for the time being. (PS. Make sure you are following me – I’m doing an awesome giveaway later today!)

Prior to working out of the home, I was coaching and blogging as a means to help support my family. When my husband left his job at Hess in Dec 2014, we knew it was going to be a tough couple of years financially. We invested all of our savings into the company that he and his partner bought, he took a salary cut and there is no year-end bonus. So, obviously, I did what I could to bring in money for us. Returning to work was not something that made sense immediately since he was working long hours and traveling to Buffalo (where the company is physically located) very frequently (for a week at a time). It would have been hard to return to full-time work at that point.

Blogging/coaching was not something I was doing full time, but even a couple of hours/day meant a steady flow of money for my family. And so, understandably, it was hard to turn down sponsored posts from brands who were willing to pay me a pretty good amount of money. I’d use the app or wear the products for a few weeks until the post was over and then that was it.

One of the advantages to returning to work is that I don’t feel the need to say yes to these brands anymore. I can be much more picky, and keep my social media virtually sponsor-free. The products and gear that I share are the ones that I am using day in- and day out.

I’ve also really taken a step back with sharing things from my personal life on social media. I do occasionally post a photo of my boys on IG, but I have made it a point to focus mostly on running. Part of me wants to share more of me being a mom because it is the most important part of my life, but I also don’t want their lives documented for the world to see.

While I typically do not accept sponsored posts for Instagram or other social media pages, I do try out products from time-to-time. Mostly as a way to test them for myself. There’s always ways to improve, and the only way I’ll find what works/doesn’t work is by testing out different options.

If I end up liking them, I have no problem sharing that product on social media. If I like a product and find it beneficial to training, then I want you to know about it too – because it could help you.

So here are a few things I’ve tested or tried the last few months that worked/I liked. Some are not sponsored at all, others are (and are annotated as such).

Strava
I started using Strava this past fall. I had seen a bunch of runners I follow on social media use it. Shortly after I signed up, I met a couple of reps from Strava (who I had followed on social media for years!) while they were in town for the NYC Marathon.

I will be talking more about Strava over the next few months – I was asked to become a Strava Influencer and I feel that it’s a good fit given how much I enjoy and use the app/website.

Strava been an amazing enhancement to tracking my training. My running is an open-book. I share every run – the good and the bad – on here, so Strava is just a continuation of that.

There are a ton of features that I love – it tracks my weekly, monthly, yearly mileage, average pace (per week), breaks down runs into easy/tempo/LT/etc. And it’s great way to interact with local runners who are running the same routes as you on a daily basis!

Let me know if you are on Strava so we can follow each other! (I am Michele G!)

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Rock ‘n Roll Ambassador
I’ve been a huge fan of Rock ‘n Roll races for years. Two of my PRs are from their line of races (Philly Half in 2013 and Philly 5k in 2014). Truthfully, if money, time or childcare were not an issue, I would have run more of their races over the last few years.

I’m excited to share that I am an ambassador with them for 2016. I’ve already signed up for Philly – the 5k (which I will use as a shakeout run) and the half marathon. I’m also planning the Brooklyn Half in October. Other races are TBD. My husband and I always take about doing Vegas – but man, the logistics are tough. It’s a lot to ask my family to watch the boys for 3-4 days and I feel guilty doing so – especially at that time of year when the holidays are approaching. So we haven’t gotten the chance to run it yet. Maybe this year :)

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Tart Cherries
For months I saw other runners share aspects of their recovery that included tart cherries in some capacity. But I didn’t think much of it. Until I was contacted by a company – Montmorency Tart Cherries – early in the fall. They had reached out to see if I was interested in working with them. Before I agreed, I wanted to spend some time trying the tart cherries – in my trail mix, in smoothies or just drinking it straight as juice. I used their products for about six weeks before I decided to work with the company.

They have helped me reduce muscle loss while recovering from the tough workouts – while getting me ready for the next day’s run.

I will be featured in a series of ads in running magazines over the next few months (the first one was from this month’s issue of WR – page 18) as well as in two video series that will be shown on a couple of running websites.

This past weekend was the photoshoot for the print and video – two full days of interviews, running and eating cherries/drinking cherry juice. We filmed at sunrise at the beach, in the park by my house with my boys, inside/outside my house with my family and in Weehawken (has arguably the best NYC skyline view) with Ashley! It was incredible – there was even a drone (with a camera) flying overhead/beside me at multiple points during the day!

As soon as more of the footage from the weekend is available, I will share it here and/or IG.

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Saucony hooked me up with some of their gear from the recently-released 2016 spring line – it’s amazing!  

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RX bars

You need these in your life. I saw my friend Carly post a photo on IG with one – and was intrigued. I ordered a couple of boxes (Chocolate Sea Salt + Chocolate Coconut)and have been having one a day!

The bars are made with nothing but real, natural ingredients – egg whites, almonds, cashews, dates. cacao, sea salt. They are high in protein and are whole-30 approved. It’s been the perfect mid-afternoon snack for me to get me through the afternoons at work!

More information can be found here.

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    13 thoughts on “Social Media + Sponsored Posts + Things I’m Loving Lately

    1. Pingback: The Rundown - Recovery Week - VitaTrain4Life

    2. This was so funny because I have WR mag on my desk so I just flipped to the page as I was reading this and BAM there you are!! So very cool. I cannot wait to see more. In the meantime, I will definitely be ordering those bars!!!!
      Allie recently posted..The Rundown – Room to BreatheMy Profile

    3. Hey Michele! Thanks for the reviews. I’ve been using Strava since January and I’m loving it. Currently considering becoming a premium member. I totally agree with all the benefits you mentioned – and it’s fun to follow others. I follow you! https://www.strava.com/athletes/7693149

      As for Rx Bars – I wish these were in Canada!! Dying to try!

    4. I have to say, you are seriously such an inspiration to me! I’m a fairly new runner gearing up to run my first marathon this May and love how passionate you are about the sport. Keep kicking butt!!

      Also, those bars look delicious. I just may need to buy a few to test out as snacks throughout my training. Any preference on flavor?

      Have a wonderful night!
      Mackenzie recently posted..Life Lately + Why Bad Runs are GoodMy Profile

    5. Great timing of this post. I was actually just thinking about this a few minutes ago…I’m at a place in my life where I’m really happy with its fullness — a job I love to pieces, amazing friends — and blogging has definitely taken a backseat…and that is a-ok by me :)

    6. I love how true to yourself you stay Michele.

      Since I work full time as well, I can relate to blogging and sponsorships. I love blogging and the friends it’s made me. Would I like to make more? Sure, who wouldn’t…but I don’t want to sacrifice what I believe in either to do it. I’m glad everything has been going well on your end. I’d love to do more RnR races but the logistics are definitely hard….plus the air fare.

    7. I have been wanting to try those RX bars! They look delicious. Have you ever struggled with your weight and intake? You seem so balanced about food and you stay so lean! It is truly admirable.

    8. I just got onto Strava – it’s a nice way to share with others, and I really like how you can see who you’ve run with or run by! I’ve always used Sport Tracks to keep track of my running, but Windows crashed on my Mac and I haven’t been able to get it back yet (well, my computer-skilled boyfriend hasn’t been able to get it back yet…), so I’m not sure which I’ll use long term. It’s hard to give up something that I’ve been using since 2007!

      I’ve only done one RNR event – I ran Dallas last year, and it was really well done! I wanted to do more last year, but working so many weekends and the rest of my life (and injury, oops) didn’t really allow it to pan out. I’ve heard Philly is great! Vegas sounds so intriguing, but I have mixed opinions about doing it…

      Working with Tart Cherries sounds awesome! I love how you’re transparent about sponsorships (and the money that may accompany them). Sometimes you do what you have to do, but I like getting real opinions from people – not necessarily tainted by a free product.
      Susan – Nurse on the Run recently posted..Long Run and Looking Long TermMy Profile

    9. I’ve never run a Rock N Roll event but congrats to you on being selected as an ambassador for them. People seem to really like them, there is one in Savannah but none in SC. Those RX Bars look really good and I like that the ingredients are whole foods you can pronounce- I will have to check them out.