I wasn't blogging much back in September, so I never really told this story...
It was a Sunday morning, about 3 weeks before Ironman Louisville. On my schedule was a 90' hilly run- a specific treadmill set. We were having a stupidly hot/humid summer (we got the effects of El Nino- in the form of hurricanes, heat and humidity- before most of the mainland) so most of my key run days were prescribed to be inside so I wouldn't die. The thing was, this particular morning happened to be quite cloudy and not that hot and I had an option for an outdoor run that was hilly and ~90'... so I made the call at the last minute to run in the botanical gardens instead of on the treadmill. Not many people would blame me! I still sort of felt like I was cheating by not following the plan to a T, but...
Anyway, as I approached the turn-around at the end of the gardens, I came upon what appeared to be a professional photoshoot. There were two thin young gals dressed in cute clothes, bounding up the hill and smiling like no real runner would do. Essentially, this is the scene I came upon. Trust me, that hill is steep and nobody's ponytail swings like that while running up it.
So they stopped shooting so I could run past. I sort of felt bad for interrupting them. I got to the top of the hill and saw their whole camp set up.... Several big cars, a few tents, a bunch of food, a changing tent, lots of clothes on a rack, and a couple people hanging out. I smiled and waved to them, made a comment I can't remember now, then started my run back home.
I ran past the two bouncy girls again and after I was down the hill, a van drove up next to me... windows down... A woman seemed to be asking me about a photo shoot? I took an ear bud out and said, "Yes there's a photo shoot going on it right back there..." and I pointed to where I'd just come running from. It took a minute for me to understand that she was asking me if I would join their photo shoot... What? Me? Um, seriously?
I was soaking wet but they insisted I get in their van (it was a rental) and they would drive me back to the shoot for 'hair and make-up'. Ha! Hair and make-up... If they only knew how non-standard this is in my world. To be honest, I think the Hair and Make-up guy was grossed out by me because I was all wet. Normally I guess they coat the models in this bronzing oil b/c it makes them look like they are glistening with sweat. He decided I didn't need any of that. And since I hadn't combed my hair in a few days and it was all knotted up, he opted to just give me a hat (that's how I typically deal with the issue as well).
The whole thing was already taking longer than I anticipated it would and I was starting to get hungry. Honestly my biggest concern was that I still had 5 miles left to run home and I didn't have any food with me (it was only supposed to be a 90' run) and I was 3 weeks out from an Ironman which meant training was huge and I was eating ALL THE TIME... so when they offered me some food I jumped on that opportunity! I filled up a plate with a granola bar, some fruit, some yogurt, etc. When the 2 young thin gals saw me eating, they had lots of questions. Carbs?!? I ate carbs?!? I thought the one gal might actually faint. Ha!
Anyway, they toweled me off and dressed me up in their clothes (I'd found out at some point that it was Athleta, which got me excited b/c I have loved Athleta clothes for a long time!) and we spent maybe an hour jogging like 10 steps at a time back and forth back and forth in several different locations while they took a billion pictures. The models were quite nice and asked me a lot of questions about how much "exercising" I did.
The gal in charge took down my contact info and handed me a couple of gift cards so I could order some free clothes online (score!) and I grabbed another granola bar and then set off to run back home and explain to my husband why I was 3 hours late.
I sort of forgot about it until a few days ago when I got a text from an old friend of mine about how she saw my picture in the Athleta catalog! Oh ya that's right... Then more texts started coming in... It has been fun to hear from some friends I haven't heard from in years telling me how surprised they were to see me running up that hill! (And um, I had no idea how many friends I have who get that catalog?) Trust me though, nobody was more surprised than this 40-something year old mom becoming an 'Athleta Model', even if it was just a one off thing! Though I heard a rumor that they used another picture in the next catalog, so that will be fun to see too... :)
Flipping through the catalog I saw that they took some fun shots in a few more familiar local places where we train and play... A nice reminder... #LuckyWeLiveHawaii!