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Going Half Crazy: Part 1

  • Sep 3 2014
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PART 1: Fall 2013

So I (as Ana would say it from Frozen…) decided to do something "crazy" and took on the challenge of running 12 half marathons in 12 months. I'm super excited to share my journey with you but I'm going to have to break this up into seasons as I won't be able to cover everything in just one, single blog post. This past weekend I completed my 12th of 12 half marathons in one year. When I started this journey I didn't intend on making it a goal of mine to run 12 halves in 12 months. But once I realized it was possible, I was already half way through and I did everything I could to make it happen. With every race there were unique experiences and every course was another milestone. I'm so excited to share my journey with you and hope you find this 4-part blog series interesting, inspiring, and helpful! As always I'd love to hear your feedback!

Race #1 Disneyland Half Marathon + Disneyland 10K = Dumbo Double Dare Challenge: Total 19.3 Miles

Running at Disneyland is always a great time. Running the happiest race on earth means running alongside happy people on crack! Just kidding, but it does mean running alongside happy Disney fans on running endorphins, which I'm pretty sure equates to the happiest people in the universe! I absolutely love runDisney races. If you've never participated in one, I highly recommend you sign up for one asap! Not only are many of the runners dressed as Disney characters, you also get to run the first few miles through both the California Adventure park as well as through Disneyland! Last year was the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge which was composed of the Alice in Wonderland 10K (6.2 miles) and the Disneyland Half Marathon (13.1 miles) for a total of 19.3 Magical Miles at the happiest place on earth!

Medals Earned: Alice in Wonderland 10K, Disneyland Half Marathon, Dumbo Double Dare, Coast to Coast
Running Buddies: My friend Mika and my cousin Ferdie
Inspiration: The adorable little baby elephant that believed he could fly…Dumbo!
Tips: You will want to make sure you snap a selfie in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle and also through Angel's stadium as these are the two main highlights of the course. Also, make sure to get on the runDisney mailing list so you know exactly when registration opens. If you're on the west coast, note that registration normally opens eastern time and many of their races are known to fill up within the first hour of opening. Good luck!

Race #2 Nike Women's Half Marathon 13.1 Miles
This was the 10th annual Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco and I paced my friend Mika who was running the full marathon. The course begins at Union Square, passes through Embarcadero, and passes the Golden Gate. It's beautiful since the race starts pretty early you get to overlook the bay, see the Bay Bridge (if you turn your shoulder when coming toward the piers) and a misty view of Alcatraz. Mika and I pretty much talked the entire 13.1 miles but the course is so beautiful and all of the runners exude so much positive energy. A large number of the runners at this race are running to raise money for Team in Training, a group that fundraises for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Along the course you see runners wearing their team shirts with messages and photos of people they are dedicating their races to, it is truly inspiring.

Medal Earned: 10th Anniversary Sterling Silver Roman Numeral "X" Tiffany and Co./Nike Finisher's Necklace/Medal
(I just love how it matched my Endure Roman Numeral Statement ring that day!)
Running Buddies: My friend Mika and Andrew was at mile 12 in my cheering section :)
Inspiration: Crossing the finish line and receiving my Tiffany's necklace from a firefighter in a tuxedo and spending a nice couples weekend in the city with Andrew…we left the baby at home with my mom so it was our little getaway, it was like we were dating again!
Tips: Since Nike Women's Marathon accepts race entries through a lottery, the best way to ensure you get a race entry is to run with a training group, or even better, raise money for Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will pay for your hotel and race entry!

Race #3 Trail of 2 Cities Half Marathon- Total 13.1 Miles
Every year, my family and I look forward to the 2 Cities Marathon. It's our local marathon and half marathon and Endure provides jewelry for the winners of the races. Usually, my dad, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my friend Dina all sign up to run it but this year, it was just my sister and I. This race falls on the death anniversary of two dear friends of mine who were Marine Corps snipers killed in Iraq in 2004. This past year was very different, I honestly believe that I had the wings of angels carrying me through the race. This race was unlike the previous races since I actually felt like I was running full stride and pushing the entire time. My mantra for this race was "headstrong" I repeated this in my head the entire race and ended up running about 30 minutes faster than I had at the Nike race a month prior. One thing that stands out to me for this race was seeing this guy, named Nick, dressed in is military fatigues with yellow ribbons pinned to the back of his shirt within the first 3 miles of the race. I was lucky enough to run into him after the race and got to meet him and talk to him shortly. What an honor it was to run alongside him and what a moving act for him to run in memory of our community's fallen.

Medal Earned: A newly re-designed 2CM Medal with beautiful colorful enamel. The past medals were leaf-shaped and we were excited to see the new, modern design!
Running Buddies: My sister, Melissa
Inspiration: Three fallen heroes especially close to my heart Jared Hubbard, Jeremiah Baro, and Nathan Hubbard
Tips: There is one full marathon and two half marathon courses. You can choose to run the Clovis half or the Fresno half. I'm partial to the Clovis half since it runs through parts of my old neighborhood growing up. Fresno definitely has more scenery as mile 6 and 7 give you awesome views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Also, be prepared for a full-on breakfast after crossing the finish line. You'll want to check a bag at the beginning of the race since you will probably strip off some of your layers and wear your cozy new finishers sweatshirt while enjoying your breakfast, coffee, brownie a la mode, as well as beer and music in the amphitheater after you get your massage!

Race #4 Big Sur Half Marathon 13.1 Miles

Big Sur International Marathon is the most beautiful marathon in the world and Monterey offers a very beautiful alternative half marathon course in November called the Big Sur Half Marathon but it runs mainly through Monterey. I ran this race with my sister a week after our race in our home town. A former team mate and dear friend of mine, Fernando Cabada, is now an elite runner who is sponsored by Newton. Since the race is pretty much an out and back course, we knew we might have a chance at seeing him somewhere along the way. We didn't see him until around mile 5…when he was coming around to mile 12! He ended up being the first American and 4th overall. Another friend of mine, Aimee, had moved to Monterey and was along the course to cheer us on as well. It was an awesome reunion after the finish line and we were able to watch Fernando accept his plaque at the awards ceremony.

Medal Earned: A hand-made, hand-painted ceramic medal on a leather ribbon cord. The Pacific Coast is a very environmentally conscious community and these medals are absolutely unique and hand-made locally!
Running Buddies: My sister Melissa and Fernando Cabada (I really just couldn't keep up with him that day! ;) …jk!)
Inspiration: Running with my sister (we get pretty competitive with each other), seeing Fernando running the opposite direction, and hearing our cheering section at the perfect moment when we needed that extra boost of energy!
Tips: Don't run for time if you don't have to. You'll want to make sure you have a camera or smart phone to snap photos and selfless along the way. You'll be running miles of gorgeous views of the ocean that you'll want to share with your friends! Also, make sure to visit some of Monterey's best seafood eateries including many popular places along Fisherman's Wharf

To be continued…
Part II Winter 2013-2014

Meanwhile check out some of my favorite designs to commemorate these and other races!

Check out the 19.3 Flying Elephant Necklace in our Fairy Tale Collection

Check out the 13.1 Roman Numeral XIII.I Statement Ring

Check out the engraveable 13.1 Diamond Pendant (<-- a best seller!)

Check out the adorable, hand-written 13.1 Stud Earrings

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