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Running and Diamonds

The Moms Behind the Brands

  • May 4 2016
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I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you all to thank my fellow exhibitor "Mommies" who have paved the way for running accessories across the country, even the world! Many people don't realize how small our operations are and that even though we are under those bright lights at the expo, we are all working our little tails off to bring you the best and most innovative products to make your experience the very best. Being a "mompreneur" often means, no days off, lots of overtime, no sleep, and finding creative ways to stay ahead of the game while juggling the huge responsibility of not only managing personal finance, inventory, marketing, product development, customer service, shipping, social media, and fitting in running and motherhood at the same time! Just because most of us don't have small etsy shops, doesn't necessarily we aren't small businesses so I want to thank you ALL for your continued support and Happy Mother's Day this special Tinker Bell weekend to all of these amazing Moms!

Happy Mother's Day Brenda Brundage from The Roo Sport! She developed a patented design on one of the most amazing running accessories ever invented! Go Mama go!

Happy Mother's Day Carrie Lundell from Sparkle Athletic! One of the founders of Sparkle Athletic, Boston Marathoner, and Mommy of 4!

Happy Mother's Day to Christy Baker of Running Skirts!

Happy Mother's Day to Cindy Lynch of Running Skirts! Look at her run with her two adorable cuties!

Happy Mother's Day Elise Wallace from Sparkle Athletic! An ironman finisher and mother of 2!

Happy Mother's Day Kelly from Sparkle Athletic! One of the strongest women I have ever met! *muah*

Sandy from BIC Bands a super hard-working Mother Runner! Happy Mother's Day to you!!

On behalf of all of these Mother Runners, we thank you for all of your support! Happy Mother's Day everyone!!

xo

Sunny and the Endure Team ;)

How Princess Ariel taught me everything I need to know about that #RunnerLyfe

  • Feb 15 2016
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(photo credit: princess.disney.com)

It’s that time again, ladies! Time to bat your eyes, pucker your lips, and lace up those running shoes for the runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World! We couldn’t be more excited to once again be a part of this year’s runDisney expo!

With each year, we try to bring fresh new designs to you to celebrate your races. This year, the most adventurous and determined Princess of them all has inspired us--Princess Ariel. Did you know that in the song, Part of Your World, Ariel is talking about running? Duh! Mermaid or not, she relates the most to us runners in the most obvious way. Let’s examine:

1.“Flippin’ your fins you don’t get to far. Legs are required...” Song: part of Your World

She understands the importance of training. Can’t just jump into these things, you know. Gotta get those legs race-ready!

2.“I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I know something’s starting riiiight now!’ Song: Part of Your World

You start questioning your readiness for the race as you are literally standing in the corral of people waiting for the race to start. Is this really happening? Am I really doing this? What was I thinking? No, I got this. But do I? Welp, ready or not, here we go!

3.“…why does it…what’s the word…BURN!” Song: Part of Your World

You start singing this part of the song in your head (or out loud for some) just about the time in the race when your body really starts screaming at you. Feel the burn, ladies!

4.“You want thingamabobs? I got twenty. But who cares. No big deal. I want moreeeee.” Song: Part of Your World

You’ve become a runDisney race expert and your collection of medals has grown exponentially, resembling that of Ariel’s trove of thingamabobs. But, you’re unsatisfied and still want MORE. Congratulations, your running has now become an addiction.

Oh, Ariel. You get us all!

Princess Ariel is a true inspiration to us runners. She faced obstacles that could have easily stopped her from pursuing her dreams. Yet, despite the whole mermaid thing, the Sea Witch’s evil plan, her father’s untrusting of “the surface” and the human species, and oh yeah--not even having a voice, she overcomes all and accomplishes her dream to be a part of our [human] world. Now that’s determination! Ariel, you go girl!

Here are previews of some great designs inspired by the princess we all know and love!

Mermaid Pendant

Our signature “Runner Girl” turned mermaid! This pendant is cast and hand-finished in sterling silver and dipped in precious rhodium to help keep its lasting shine. In her tail is engraved the distances of the Princess Half Marathon weekend along with a beautiful genuine gemstone - 5k (pink topaz), 10k (Amethyst), 13.1 (half marathon – Emerald), or 19.3 (Glass Slipper Challenge – Blue Topaz). This pendant measures approximately 1" and can be worn on a necklace or added as a charm to one of our charm bracelets.

Mermaid Accent Charms

Accessorize your Mermaid Pendant necklace or bracelet by adding one of these mermaid-inspired flares! Whether it be a seashell, a “dinglehopper”, or both, these items truly look great together, completing your under-the-sea ensemble!

Vintage Fork Ring

“Human stuff, huh?!” Scuttle would surely find this to be something very special. These however are not for straightening your hair out, but we’ve taken sterling silver plated forks and turned them into rings! They are custom and are made with various style forks. Each one is different!

Princess Collection

We will be bringing our entire Princess Inspired collection for you to shop from, including our running princess girl, our princess crown designs, and much more!! Take a peek online at our Princess Collection to learn more--such fare-thee-well jewelry for all the princesses out there.

We can’t wait to see all of you this weekend at the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon. This will surely be a magical weekend! See you at the runDisney expo, booth 221!

Star Wars is LIFE...And other things I learned from runDisney Star Wars Weekend

  • Jan 25 2016
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Guys. I have a confession to make. I’m not a Star Wars fan.

BUT WAIT! Don’t stop reading yet! Because you’ll be glad to know that I’ve turned over a new leaf after meeting so many of you, super fans, at the runDisney Star Wars weekend in Anaheim, CA.

When Endure Jewelry Designer, Sunny, first asked me to join her at the runDisney expo for this year’s Star Wars 1/2 marathon event, I had to tell her I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars movies. (“Who ARE you?” is exactly what you are saying. I know.)

My knowledge of the movie series didn’t go much beyond the popular quotes, light sabers, set in the galaxy, good guys vs. bad guys, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, and the Star Tours ride at Disney. I know at least the very basics and I could probably fake my way through a Star Wars conversation. (Thank you Pop Culture)

But below, you’ll be happy to read my journey in becoming a Star Wars Fan.

1.) Sunny took me to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens before we even left Florida from the runDisney Marathon weekend. Ok, Star Wars…you have my attention. That movie was legit. Star Wars Fan Level: 1

2.) We played #FindingSunny where Endure fans who followed us on Instagram were given clues as to our whereabouts in Disneyland. If they found Sunny and I, they won some FREE Endure Jewelry. Seeing their excitement and energy for the weekend was awesome! I was totally getting jealous hearing all about your costumes. Star Wars Fan Level: 2

3.) Sunny absolutely LOVES Space Mountain, which for the time being is called HyperSpace Mountain complete with a Star Wars theme. She had us ride front row with our sunglasses on…3 times! Don’t knock it until you try it. SO Scary but SO awesome! Star Wars Fan Level: 3
4.) We rode Star Tours. Since I was a little girl, this has always been a favorite of mine, but NOW after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this ride had a whole new meaning. I actually recognized and knew the names of the beloved characters featured in the ride. C3P0, R2D2, BB8, Finn…gang’s all here! Star Wars Fan Level: 4

5.) Since we didn’t hand out all the prizes for #FindingSunny, the game continued at the runDisney expo where Endure Fans gave us a their best #wookie impression to receive their free jewelry. It was hilarious! I wish we had video. I now have a favorite character…Chewbacca. Star Wars Fan Level: 5


6.) There was a moment during Day 2 of the expo when there were 5 people wearing Endure’s Star Wars inspired Galaxy Hoodie all within 5 feet of each other! For Sunny, designer of the hoodie, it was truly a remarkable moment for team Endure. The support for Endure is unreal! We thank you! Star Wars Fan Level: 6


7.) On Sunday, I went to ESPN zone to play games. All the points I racked up from winning…yeah, I traded them in for Star Wars Trading Cards. (I don’t even recognize myself!) Star Wars Fan Level: 7

Well played Star Wars and Star Wars fanatics everywhere! I’m now a big fan. While I’m not quite yet at a 10, I believe I’m well on my way! Since returning home from quite the epic weekend, I had a movie marathon of all Star Wars movies, talked Star Wars with other super fans, theorized about how the movie will pick up after that kind of ending (BTW, what a tease!!!) I’m even considering watching The Clone Wars on Netflix because I want more!

I’ve come to the conclusion that Star Wars is LIFE. And thankfully Sunny is STILL selling all the Star Wars inspired jewelry and apparel, which I now HAVE to have. Because…Star Wars. You understand, don't you? www.EndureShop.com

by Marissa Garcia

Ultimate Runner's Gift Guide

  • Nov 30 2015
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It's that time of the year where we show the ones we love how much we truly appreciate them! Most of us have a person in our life that deserves to be recognized. If you have a special someone in your life that just happens to be a runner, we've got a little cheat sheet to help you find her the perfect gift!

Since most runners already know what kind of shoes they like, it's gets hard to get creative when it comes to gift giving. I've broken it down into price points to make it a little easier. Here are 15 gift ideas all under $75!


Gifts Under $30.00

Run, Half Marathon, or Marathon Bracelets! Priced at an easy $29.00 (current pricing), these stainless steel cuff bracelets make a perfect gift! They can be carefully adjusted to fit any wrist. They come in three colors, rose gold, yellow gold, and silver. The great thing about stainless steel, is that it doesn't tarnish!

Another idea for a runner gift under $30.00 is a festive holiday tee! The eyes and nose of these characters spell out the word "run". This is a cute twist on our signature "Run Smiley" design. Available in "Runny the Snowman" white, Run Santa red, and Run Elf green!


Gifts Under $60.00

At the top of my list is our sweaters from our Run Merry Collection! Again, choose between the Runny the Snowman, Run Santa, or Run Elf!

Another jewelry idea is our silver stud earring collection. All of these designs are inspired by running! We have the Tortoise and the Hare, which are our all time best sellers, the Roadrunners, distance studs in 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2, and newly added wing earrings! Current pricing: Sterling Silver $38 and yellow gold or rose gold plated silver $58!

Another great gift idea is a stackable ring! The only thing about this gift is that you would need to know the ring size you need. Most people can fit a size 6 or 7 on at least one of their fingers so if you are willing to just guess, a size 6 or 7 ring would probably work just fine! My favorite stackable ring is the "Runfinity" ring. Current pricing: $54.00

Other gifts under $50 are our Run Smiley Raglan Sweater $49 or our Run Smiley Tech Shirt with thumbholes $48! The Run Smiley Raglan is a comfy lifestyle top that can be worn off-the-shoulder anytime anywhere! The Run Smiley Tech shirt was made to perform! Wear it on a run, to the gym, or on race day!

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Click here to SHOP


Gifts under $75.00

Our best-selling necklaces are definitely our disc pendants. We offer them at $72 with a chain and they include FREE engraving! You can personalize the back of these pendants with a special date, time, initials, or short word or name! Choose between "run.", 13.1 Half Marathon or Roman Numeral XIII.I, 26.2 Marathon XXVI.II, and others as well! There is a sweet option to turn these necklaces into genuine diamond necklaces for an additional $30.

You can see the approximate size of the necklace on the model shown above. (She's a 400m runner like me!)


Cross Country Necklace $72

We recently featured these at the high school Cross Country State meet in Fresno, CA. It was a fun way to commemorate such a memorable event!

With Christmas approaching so soon, I hope this gift guide has given you some great ideas for that special runner in your life! I hope you enjoyed looking through our gift guide and look forward to playing "Santa's little elf" in my little shop over the next few weeks!

TTFN!

Sunny and the Endure Team


Going Half Crazy: Part 3

  • Mar 23 2015
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PART 3: SPRING 2014

Spring is finally here and it seems like I'm on track to writing about each of these races one year after each of them! I'm super excited to share my March, April, and May races with all of you. Right now is one of my favorite times of the year to run in California's Central Valley. Hopefully some of you come out to either our big fall and spring half marathons. We have the 2CM Two Cities Marathon and Half in the Fall and the California Classic Weekend Half Marathon in March, and the Century ride in May! These have definitely been some of my favorites!


MARCH

Race #8 California Classic Weekend

A couple friends of mine, Nader and Alissa, ran the race as well as my Dad, sister, and nephew. Alissa was proudly wearing one of her Endure tank tops, it was a super cute "Eat My Dust" tank. She and her husband Nader were both dressed in super neon green so they could stand out. This would have normally worked if all of the volunteers weren't dressed in neon green so it ended up being super hard for them to spot one another along the course. Alissa set a personal best time and it was awesome being there to witness such a big accomplishment.

I ran the entire race with my dad, my oldest sister Melissa, and her (then) 11-year-old son Christian. My dad and I both ran the half and my sister and my nephew ran the two-person relay. The course begins in downtown Fresno right next to the Grizzlies Stadium. It continued through Fresno's historic Tower District, through Fresno's Chaffee Zoo, and back through downtown Fresno, past our gorgeous City Hall, and back to the stadium. My sister ran the first half with my dad and I, and my nephew met us right before the zoo. It was awesome running through the park with him and my dad and crossing the finish line with all three of them. My sister Melissa snuck back onto the course to finish with us. It was such a fun and memorable race. We didn't even take the race very seriously and still finished the race in 2:02!


Christian, Dad, Melissa, and Me before the big race!

Saying "bye" to my nephew Christian before he takes off on the bus to the relay hand-off.

Me, my dad, and my sister Melissa at the starting line.

Me and my friends Nader and Alissa after the race. This is the photo of the 2014 Finisher's Medal.

Medal Earned: California Classic Finisher's Medal with Fresno's most well-known buildings and a tiger representing the zoo! One thing that I think could be improved on this medal would be a different medal for each race. The Half Marathon and 5K finisher's got the same medal, wish each were different, even if it were the ribbon!
Running Buddies: Friends Nader and Alissa at the starting line and my dad, sister Melissa, and nephew Christian
Inspiration: Running alongside my family in the county I grew up in. Other family members along the way cheering us on were my other sister, my brother in law, and my son was there at the finish line.
Tips: If you're not from Fresno, learn about all of the landmarks and what they mean to the city. Come a day early, pick up your packet at the expo and visit the Tower District, eat food at Doghouse and possibly try and catch an FSU basketball game across the street. Take time to visit and enjoy the zoo too! One tip for running the half marathon, make sure you know where you are on every turn during the last 2 miles. You will be doing "city switchbacks" through downtown and it will feel like it's never-ending unless you know where you are. You literally will be going back and forth through downtown a number of times before heading back to Chuckchansi Stadium, so be both mentally and physically prepared rather than discouraged when the last turn, isn't really the last!


APRIL

Race #9 Not a half, longer! Big Sur International Marathon - 21 Miler

My race in April was one of my top three favorite races ever. As far as the course, it blows every other race out of the park. A close second would be the Big Sur Half marathon that is held in the middle of November every year. This was such an emotional and meaningful race to me that I can't even think of where to begin. So I'll start months before the race, a little while after I decided to register, summer of 2013. I wanted to register for the full, since this was something I had put on my bucket list to complete. However, my alarm was set at the incorrect time and before I got onto my computer, the race was SOLD OUT!! My dad and I decided we would register for the 21-miler instead of the full. We were pretty disappointed but in the end it was probably the better option for us.

About a month later, my dad was feeling chest pain and had complained to my sister Janielle and I about it. He's a registered nurse so we didn't think much of it because we assumed he would know if it were something he should be worried about. Later that night my mom found out, who is also a nurse, and she took him to the emergency room. My sister and I both felt guilty for not doing something when he had first mentioned it. He had a chest scan and they found something that had multiplied in growth filling his lungs overnight. Our family was distraught. My dad had always been very health conscious. He's told us before that all of his siblings and many of his relatives have died from either heart problems, lung cancer, or diabetes by the age of 60. He was to run 60 in three months. A heaviness took over throughout our family.

During the time my dad was in the hospital, one of my best friends, was getting married. My family stayed home to be with my dad. I was part of the wedding party so I traveled to southern California by myself.

For a couple weeks the doctors couldn’t determine exactly what it was that was taking over my dad’s respiratory system. We were afraid it anything from a small heart attack to lung cancer. It turned out that my dad had textbook Valley fever. There were spores that he had inhaled that began to grow in his lungs. The severity could range anywhere from it not affecting your life at all to death. Luckily, my mom and her instinct acted in time to treat him and he’s still alive and well today. Months later we celebrated his 60th birthday with an “It’s not cancer” party and we as a family drove to Sacramento for a fun day at one of our favorite breakfast spots, the Tower Café, lunch at Joes Crab Shack, touring the train museum, old time photos, and walking around old town Sacramento.

It did take my dad a while to recover. My sister ran in his place for the races he signed up for, the Two Cities Half Marathon in Clovis and the Big Sur Half Marathon. By the time our 21-miler came in April, he was ready to go. The expo was fun. I got to work it with one of my good friends Aimee. During the expo we met a girl named Lori who had the endure logo tattooed onto her wrist! It was awesome. I saw Lori on the course during the race too!

It was an emotional race for the both of us. The sights and the sounds along the race were absolutely amazing to say the least. We enjoying running up the hills, walking down the hills, and taking both scenic photos, and silly ones as well.

I will never forget the feeling I had the moment I thought there was a chance I could lose my dad forever. He’s the rock of our family and we all love him so very much.

Medal Earned: A hand-made 21-Miler Big Sur Medal with a leather cord

Running Buddies: My dad and I ran the 21-miler together. My friend Mika ran the full.

Inspiration: My dad.

Tips: Although I wished I had run the full, the 21-mile distance seemed perfect. Bring a fully charged phone with plenty of memory to take photos. Enjoy the beauty. Drink lots of water and enjoy the yummy strawberries when you’re nearing Carmel. From the pianist, to the course, to the officials, everything about this race is amazing.


MAY

Race #10 OC Half Marathon

This was my first race I had ever run by myself. With the exception of my friends Mika and Robyn during the race and at the finish, I had no running buddies and no family cheering me on along the way. Going to bed the night before this race was lonely. I was alone in the hotel room, getting my race outfit together, instagramming it, with nobody helping me decide what to wear. I woke up by myself, ate my energy bar by myself, had a cup of coffee by myself, and drove to the starting line by myself. It was definitely a strange feeling. I had never done this alone. I'm kind of a needy person with a strong need for other people's approval and there was nobody around to tell me good luck, to hold on my long sleeve shirt after I started the race, or to take a picture of me in front of the starting line. I wanted my family there, or even just a friend to start their watch alongside me. But I was alone.

I stepped into the first corral and awaited the national anthem and the start of the race. There I met a very friendly girl who I found out had run the course a number of times. I had never run this course before and was somewhat nervous. I had a goal of running under a certain time and I had a little bit of pre-race anxiety. I don't get it often, only when I have a goal I'd like to reach. Lately I had been running races just for fun and not for time. The girl I met helped take the nerves off talking about how awesome the course was and how she's done it for years. It was great to be able to talk to someone at the start of the race. It was as if I had met a friend that I had a lot in common with, but runners really just do have a lot in common with each other. I'm so thankful to have met her. I wish I had her name or brought endure business cards with me so I could know how her race went!

Since I had already been running for months, I had a goal of running this race under two hours and hoped to run around 1:55. I surpassed my goal and ran 1:52! It was a new feeling having to dig deep for the last few miles and the last quarter mile I had a stranger running alongside me pushing me along. To me, that's what running is all about. It's about encouraging one another, being there for someone when they need you every step of the way. Because whether you know the person or not, in a way, you're their team mate, running the course with the same challenges, the same pain, the same struggle, and stepping over the same finish line with an amazing sense of accomplishment. Sometimes running is lonely, but sometimes you'll also be very surprised how many people are there for you along the way.

This race was my fastest of the 12 races. Not my lifetime PR, which is about 10 minutes faster, but I was proud of this one.

Medal Earned: The US Bank 10th Anniversary OC Marathon

Running Buddies: I did this one solo :)

Inspiration: I had to dig deep, friendly runners along the course helped push me through the finish.

Tips: Check out the course beforehand to see what to expect. Either way you won't be disappointed. Orange County is gorgeous everywhere.

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!


SEPTEMBER
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!


OCTOBER
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!


NOVEMBER
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!


NOVEMBER
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

Countdown to Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

  • Aug 22 2014
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Four more days until we head down to Southern California for the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo! This is one of my favorite races for so many reasons! First off, the race is at the happiest place on earth! Second, you get to dress up. Third, you get to see your favorite Disney characters at the start of the race and along the course. It’s a great weekend starting off with one of the most high-energy expos I’ve ever attended. If you’ve ever been a part of a runDisney event, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, you’re definitely missing out! Click here to view the official runDisney website. I highly recommend subscribing to their mailing list as some of their races are known to fill up in less than an hour of opening to the general public!

The race expo is a three day event full of fun and excitement. If you've never attended this event, or if you've felt any anxiety with so many things do that weekend, you'll want to pay attention to the five tips I've outlined to help streamline your weekend race experience. Below are 5 runner tips for Disneyland Half Marathon Race Weekend:

#1 Be Prepared

Running is 90% mental and 10% physical, at least that's what I learned in college. Prepare yourself for a weekend of fun! Race weekend is kicked off by one of the most colorful and high-energy expos on the planet. Make sure to do these three things: hydrate, eat a good breakfast, and take a deep breath. Drink a lot of water, eat a beignet, and get ready to get Disney-fief. There are three days of expo that precede the Disneyland Half Marathon. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are your opportunities to pick up your race packet and shop some of the best running brands. Disney races are unique from most other races since usually bib pick up is located in a separate hall than goody bag pick-up and the expo. Be prepared to wait in lines and to be among crowds of some of the happiest people on the planet (Disneyland + Runner endorphins = Happy people on fairy dust)

#2 Importance of your Smart Phone

Bring your fully charged smart phone. For a number of reasons you’ll need your phone handy. There are a number of photo opportunities you won’t want to miss and signs that will help you with posting your photos correctly on social media. They almost always recommend #runDisney on Twitter and Instagram, search these hashtags now to see some of the buzz that's already brewing. You’ll also want to make sure your phone is charged in case you attend the expo with your friends. Through all the craziness there is a chance you’ll get distracted by something sparkly or colorful and misplace your friends, you’ll want your phone at that moment. Another reason your phone will be important is that some of the brands will give you an additional discount if you’re connected with them on a social network like Facebook or Twitter, you’ll want to be able to show proof that you’re already their fan. Below is a photo I took in front of a Dumbo Double Dare Photo-op inside the Disneyland Hotel prior to entering the expo.

#3 Don't forget your ID and waiver

Don't forget to bring your photo ID and race waiver. Once you arrive at the convention center you’ll be directed downstairs to pick up your race number. This event is extremely organized and you’ll want to be prepared so you aren’t holding up the lines. Keep in mind there will be thousands of runners attending the expo all three days so you’ll want to keep the process as streamlined as possible and running all the way back to your car may mean a 1/2 mile trek to the Disneyland parking lot to get your ID.

#4 Pre-Ordered Purchases

Since some of the best brands will be represented at the expo there will definitely be a chance of "sell-out" on special edition, new, and popular items. Pre-order any running gear if at all possible. Most brands have pre-order options on items and you can be the first to know about pre-order options if you subscribe to their mailing lists or if you follow them on any social network. Endure usually makes new designs for these races and often sell out by the end of day two of the expo. Click here to pre-order one of our 19.3 Elephants or beads that fit Pandora! See the photos below for a preview of this years necklace and bead. Below, you'll also find some examples of other popular Endure items that have sold out before the expo ended.

#5 Dress AppropriatelyDress to Impress! If you’re not dawning your runDisney gear, and you’re not wearing something with a Disney character on it, you might feel a little out of place. I'm not saying that every person is wearing Disney attire, but if you own it, you'll probably wish you were wearing it if you don't. Being at the race expo is like being around thousands of Disney-fanatics high on running endorphins…wait, it’s not “like” that, it “IS” that! Be prepared to be in the middle of a swarm of happy people who are doing nothing but talking about the race and finding the perfect race gear for their weekend attire. Make sure to wear your shopping outfit. Easy-on and easy-off is the key. You’ll most likely be trying on shoes, shirts, and skirts so wear shoes that are easy to take on and off and clothes you don’t mind changing in and out of. The expo is filled with running apparel and accessories that you won’t want to pass up. When you scroll down you'll see some of my outfit ideas for some of the past Disney races I've run along with some other outfit ideas from our friends at Running Skirts and Sparkle Athletic!

One of my favorite outfits from last year. Not too over-the-top, but if you can't tell, it's a Snow White-Inspired running outfit and I'm wearing a sparkly Sweaty Bands headband :)


Minnie Mouse-Inspired Running Costumes by Running Skirts

Cinderella-Inspired Running Outfits by Sparkle Athletic

New Neon Compression Socks by Running Skirts to complete your race-day costume. I'm going to be wearing yellow socks this weekend!

See you on the course! And for those of you running Star Wars in January…may the course be with you!

xoxo

Sunny

Slow and steady, wins the race!

  • Aug 1 2014
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Over this past weekend, I experienced the heartbreak of utter disappointment in myself. As many of you know, we were at the San Francisco Marathon. I ran the "2nd" half marathon, which finished at Embarcadero with a gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge at the final stretch. I was running as hard as I could and pushing myself toward the finish line. I looked down at my watch at the 13-mile marker I saw that I was no longer going to finish in the time I had hoped for, and I gave up and slowed down. After crossing the finish line, I looked down at my watch and saw that I was only 3 tenths of a second away from reaching my goal for that race. I had looked at the wrong numbers on my watch and confused the minutes in the hour for the seconds in the minute! A heaviness fell over me. The shame I felt in myself was like nothing else. If only I hadn't looked down at my watch and just…run! One of the simplest ideas immediately came to mind…just moments too late, "Never Give Up!".


Sometimes I feel that we depend too much on our technology instead of our heart. How many times do we get lost in a familiar city, or taken a turn too early, simply because our GPS told us to go somewhere else? How many times have you felt drained and discouraged from a long run when you are focusing too much on your stopwatch or heart rate monitor instead of listening to your body?


This morning I went on a refreshing run with no stopwatch, no headphones, and no baby jogger. For those of you who have the opportunity to just lace up your shoes, and just…run! I strongly encourage you to try this…and please share your experience with me as well!
TGIF! Have a wonderful weekend!

xo

Sunny Arada

The San Francisco Marathon

  • Jul 28 2014
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San Francisco was absolutely beautiful this past weekend. It was unusually warm and the city was bustling with so many different events. The food trucks and movie crews added to the excitement of race weekend. And I was especially pleased with how our Finishers Necklaces came out! If you've never been a part of The San Francisco Marathon, I highly recommend running any of their races. Races range from a 5K, two different half marathon courses, and a full marathon that crosses the Golden Gate Bridge (the only San Francisco course that crosses the bridge.

Rock N Roll San Jose was my very first time…running a half marathon!

  • Jul 18 2014
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It is race weekend for Chicago Rock N Roll runners and I can't help but remember my first ever half marathon, which was the Inaugural Rock N Roll San Jose Half. My first ever half marathon was in 2006, a few months after I was finished competing in NCAA Track and Field as a 400M hurdler. My last race was in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships, so this race environment was completely different to me. There was the familiar sights and sounds of people running around and stretching, getting their last sips of hydration and pinning their race bibs on. The corrals and vast numbers of runners were new to me, but I had trained properly and couldn't be more ready.

The first couple of miles my adrenaline was going in full gear. I had trained around 8:00 minute mile pace and was running 6:45 pace and feeling normal. My sister and I had to mentally be cautious about our speed because we knew we were just excited but couldn't slow down without thinking about it. We stayed under 7:30 pace for the first five miles. I didn't really have a race plan and had absolutely no strategy or goal for a finish time besides finishing under 2 hours and 15 minutes, I was well under 2:15 pace at this point. My sister, my dad, and I stayed together for the first 8 miles for so and my sister and I stayed together until mile 10, when she told me "just go!". I finished the last three miles picking up my speed. Around mile 12.5 I was about to pass a blonde guy, younger than me, wearing burgundy. Was it burgundy shorts or shirt? I don't remember, I just remember the color vividly in my brain. I told him "let's go!" and he tried to push with me and gassed out after a few hundred feet. I was still going full stride towards the finish. A few steps after mile 13 the course turns a corner and the finish line is in sight. I was immediately hit with an overwhelming feeling of heaviness and stiffness and the .1 miles left felt like it was more than a half mile away. Runners call this feeling, "hitting the wall", but I tried my hardest to finish strong.

When I crossed that finish line for the fist time at 1:42 it was the furthest I had ever run in my entire life. As a matter of fact, since I only trained to 10 miles, I had been running the farthest I had ever run every step past the 10 mile marker. It was an incredible feeling to finish a race of such a long distance. I had been a runner my whole life. But in track I was a sprinter and I ran cross country basically to keep in shape for track season. Distance running was not my forte and I found myself falling in love with it every step of the way.

A couple minutes later, my sister crossed the finish line. We greeted each other with sweaty and dry crusty sweat salt on our faces and congratulated each other on our victory. A few minutes later my dad and brother in law finished. I hugged my dad and we all were in somewhat disbelief that we each completed the race and lived to tell the tale. It was magnificent. This moment we shared at the finish line was a moment we will never forget. This moment not only brought us closer, it was the beginning of our journey together as a running family.

After our post race gathering we followed the "herd" through the post race festivities where we received our Rock N Roll San Jose Half Marathon medals, took finisher photos, received free Spenco sandals, and enjoyed an abundance of post-race cuisine including bagels, electrolyte drinks, bananas, protein bars, and the like. We were then led to the official merchandise tent where we decided on a Rock N Roll San Jose picture frame and headed back to our hotel to rest and recover.

Our picture frame is now displayed at my parents lakeside home among the family photos, wedding pictures, and crystal decor. This colorful picture frame is proudly displayed right next to the other important photos of my grandparents, my parents wedding photos, and a photo of our trip my sisters and I took with my dad after we hiked to the top of half dome for his 50th birthday. Finishing our first half marathon together was definitely a huge milestone for all of us and obviously deserves a place on the mantle.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my very first half marathon. What do you remember about your very first race? I'd love to hear your race stories and see your photos! Happy race weekend to all the Chicago Rock N Roll runners and I look forward to seeing many of you next weekend in San Francisco!

xo

Sunny