Wednesday, August 22, 2018

All Hail the Ambassador

Despite the fact that I've been running for more than 2 years, I still consider myself a bit of a newbie. I'm not hip to all of the different brands of activewear, hydration packs, GPS watches, or headphones. I wrote a post last year, Get Into Gear, that talked about the different gear I had at the time and also about my desire to become an ambassador for something. Well, last month my friend and fellow runner started selling Zyia Active. She asked me if I would be interested in becoming an ambassador to help spread the word. Of course, I took her up on the offer. 

Zyia is a fairly new company. They were founded in February 2017 by three women. The company started out primarily geared toward woman, and it largely still is, but in one of their recent "new release Wednesdays," they introduced some men's items. 

I've never been an activewear "snob." I've been content to buy shirts or capris at my local big-box stores. I have remained pretty brand loyal to Champion and C9, but that's only because I do a fair amount of my shopping at Target. I've also bought activewear at Walmart, Kohl's and Dick's Sporting Goods. I've been in a few high-end activewear stores, but only because I had to pick up a race packet. I've looked at the prices on the items in those stores and thought, "No way!" It wasn't until I was introduced to Zyia that I didn't scoff at the price tag. I somehow ended up on a Zyia reps Facebook page and I won a gift card to her shop. I decided to buy a pair of Zyia's Light n Tight Hi-Rise Capris 2. I didn't even wash them once they arrived in the mail—that's how excited I was to try them. I put them on and went for a run. I can honestly say that they are the first pair of capris that I've ever run in that I didn't have to adjust AT ALL! They are made of a 4-way stretch fabric that also offers compression. The Light n Tight Capris 2 have pockets on each leg and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Zyia also has other styles of capris and, as mentioned before, there are new releases every week.

In addition to buying the capris, I decided I needed to get a tank top to match them. I ended up getting one of Zyia's Copper Charged Tanks. As stated on Zyia's website, their Copper Charged collection "incorporates a technology that infuses copper yarn to help block odors during the toughest performance activity through its anti-microbial properties." The tank is super lightweight and breathable, and I don't feel gross in it no matter how much I sweat.

Shortly after my initial Zyia purchase, my friend Christina became an independent Zyia representative.  That was when she offered to provide me an outfit in exchange for my promoting it. Given how much I already liked my Zyia pieces, I had no problem agreeing to Christina's proposal. 

The pieces that I selected were the Gray Track Shorts and the White Twist Tank. The first pair of shorts that Christina sent me ended up being a little small. The Gray Track Shorts are an item that Zyia actually recommends sizing up on. Oops. Christina sent me my new size and they fit like a dream. 

The White Twist Tank is super comfy.  It features an opening in the back to help with ventilation and twisted straps, which are a nice touch to jazz up an otherwise plain white shirt. 

The first time I wore the outfit was for a seven-mile training run. I cannot say enough good things about the shorts. They are the most comfortable shorts I've ever run in. They have a long enough inseam so as to cover my thighs and prevent rubbing, but I also didn't have to adjust or fix the shorts even once during my training run. It was awesome. 

The tank was comfortable. It's made of a heavier material that holds sweat, but I couldn't really feel the dampness of the shirt while I was running. After my training run the tank was soaked, but I didn't have any complaints about it. 

It wasn't until I wore the shorts and tank for a race that I discovered I could say a few more things about them. I wore my Zyia outfit for the RBC Race for the Kids half marathon on August 4, 2018. It was a disgustingly humid day, and it actually rained toward the end of the race. My shorts didn't let me down at all. Surprisingly, they seemed to be dry during the whole run, even though every other part of me was drenched. I might have to get another pair of the shorts, because I love them that much.

The Twist Tank gave me some issues at the half marathon distance. Sometime shortly after mile ten of the race, I noticed I had terrible chafing on the underside of my arm. I've never had an issue with chafing before. The thickness of the shirt and the wetness caused by the humidity and the rain is what I attribute to have been the cause of the problem.

I'm not saying that the Twist Tank from Zyia is a bad shirt. The first time I tried it on I loved it because it was so comfortable. However, it might not be the best shirt for running 13 miles in. I didn't have any issues running 7 miles in it, though. A better option for longer distances would be a tank from their Copper Charged collection that I mentioned earlier. In the future, I think I'll be more inclined to wear my Twist Tank for short runs or cross-training or just for lounging around.

The Track Shorts, on the other hand, might just be the only shorts I wear for races from here on out. Aside from the fact that they are ridiculously comfortable, I also love that there's a small zippered pocket that I can put my keys in. Currently, the Track Shorts come in Gray and Green. But if you can't find something you like on the website now, you only have to wait a week to see some new items. The Zyia operation is a pretty small one, so if you do see something you like you better snatch it up. Items seem to sell out pretty quickly, and there are no guarantees that they will be restocked.

If you have any questions about Zyia, you can check out Christina's Facebook pageInstagram, or independant representative page. Let her know that I sent you, and you'll get 10% off your first order.

Hopefully, there will be more ambassadorships in my future. On the top of my list of companies I want to be an ambassador for are SPIbelt and PRO Compression. But, for now, I'm honored to be a Zyia ambassador.

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