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Running and Diamonds

How I became a Nike designer…

  • Sep 12 2016
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How I became a Nike designer…

A must read for any runner or hard working, creative, big dreaming, goal driven, and passionate artist.

I am a runner. I started running at the age of 9 and have been running ever since. I love running so much that just talking about it makes me smile. Not only am I a runner, I’ve turned my passion for running into a business. A business that has been my sole source of income for the last seven years and, as a single mother, has supported both my son and I.


In the last 7 years, I have operated the company in every aspect and all business processes including creating unique, original jewelry and apparel designs that reflect my electric enthusiasm for the sport I love, running.


Over the years I have had the opportunity of showing our products to some of the most exciting running audiences in the entire world. These audiences include the symbolic, prestigious, marathon of all marathons, The Boston Marathon, the happiest race on earth, The Walt Disney World Marathon, and, in 2015, we were even selected to design the official jewelry of the internationally renowned San Francisco Marathon, just to name a few.

I also sell both our jewelry and apparel products at wholesale to a number of running stores and online retailers around the country. In 2014, we were invited and attended a retail show where the top running brands in the world showcased their products to specialty running stores from all across the world.

To add to our portfolio, our products have also been advertised in Runner’s World Magazine, by far the number one runner’s magazine on the planet. And our jewelry and apparel has also been featured on, which hosts the world's largest directory of sports and recreational activities, facilities, venues and classes, which includes more than 290,000 races, leagues, tournaments, camps and other recreational listings in more than 80 sports and 5,000 cities. Pretty much anyone who runs marathons or half marathons has had the opportunity to see our products in one way or another.

The Endure brand can be recognized in cities all over the country. Over the summer I traveled to Chicago where I had mentioned what I do to a fellow runner I had just met. After showing her my designs, her face lit up and she said, “Oh I’ve seen that shirt. A lady I just saw was wearing it running down the street!” Now if you can put a measuring stick to business success, whether it’s a number or a fact...hearing this woman say this, who I had just met, was priceless.

Now let’s rewind to this past spring where my hopes and dreams of becoming a designer for Nike begin to fall into place…

(and please be prepared for A LOT of Disney references as I am a CRAZY runDisney fanatic!)

The story begins this past April, I was selling my product at a running expo as usual. It was just another day in Monterey when a woman comes up to my booth and says, ““I need this shirt. My daughter has one exactly like it. I am so excited we are going to match.” I was so happy to hear that her daughter had the kid version of our shirt. I had never met this woman before and it was exhilarating to see her eyes light up when she went to grab the shirt I had designed. It made me so proud.

My 3-year-old at the time was one of the “models” featured on our website and that possibly meant his cuteness could take credit for the sale. This made me happy.

On our website we have a picture of him, his cousins, and his best little girl friend wearing neon yellow and neon pink versions of this shirt. So I proceeded to ask her, “Which one does she have? The pink or the yellow?”. She looked at me confused and said, “Its black…” continuing with a confused smile, “It’s exactly like this though except it’s Nike. I’m so excited to match her!” I processed her payment and let her on her way. I was so confused...did Nike really have a shirt like this?


After she skipped off with her new tank, I immediately googled “Nike Run Smile” and this is what I found.

I was shocked.

Now as a designer, I understand the whole “gray area” of design and copyright and if the design is changed “enough” then another artist can publish something similar, just as long as it doesn’t create brand confusion. But when someone comes up to purchase a shirt and says, “...My daughter has one exactly like it.”, it pretty much confirms to me that brand confusion just took place right before my eyes. It wasn’t just a friend who noticed the similarity. So let’s examine them side-by-side:

I created my signature design in 2014. After realizing the success of the design, I obtained a copyright in 2015 that is now registered with the Federal Copyright office. My run smiley design has taken on many fun and festive variations including a Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter versions, with many more still waiting to be released. This shirt has become a signature look that is synonymous with Endure branding.

Looking at the two designs side-by-side I know there are some subtle differences. Nike tilted the face more upright, they also used capital letters instead of lowercase letters. But the hand-sketched style, and the fact that the left eye is an “R”, the nose is a “U”, and the right eye is an “N” make it so similar that when I posted this on social media, people just thought I was releasing the “t-shirt version” of our tank!

Now really...does making the R and N uppercase make it all okay? Does taking the concept and changing it just a little bit make it okay to completely take credit for a design? It shouldn’t. It’s just not fair. If this were a bigger company, Nike couldn’t and wouldn’t expect to get away with something like this. Nor would another company expect to get away with “slightly” changing a piece of art that Nike actually designed for their own brand.

Okay Nike, I’ll give you this, you weren’t the first to be “inspired” by our designs. We have successfully notified other companies of the copyright and they have politely removed their versions of the design from their stores.

One other company has been not so nice...but that’s a completely different story in itself. Check out our social media stalkers Gone for a Run below…

Our original designs are shown on the left…Gone for a Run’s ”inspirations” on the right.



...I think they might be crushing a little to hard on our jewelry

And now our apparel too…..they posted their pink version within hours of our #FindingSunny game at Walt Disney World in February.



Come on seriously?

That’s pretty much like Jafar trying to get Jasmine to fall in love with him.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Shame on you!

Back to the Nike story...

So the question I would get after showing these eerily similar shirts to people, the first question was always, “So are you going to sue them?”.

Long story short, we sent them a cease and desist (which, by the way, cost me well over 100 shirts of profit margins), and they basically flipped us the bird via legal document. The jist of it said, “We didn’t copy, we designed it on our own, we didn’t know about your design, it’s not substantially similar anyway…” and that they considered the matter closed. I call Pinocchio on this one…

So basically Nike gets e-mails with accusations of copyright infringement and they respond with this letter pretty much saying, go away, it’s not worth our time, STFU. And apparently this seems to work because who is going to be able to afford suing a monster like Nike? ...and with the legal teams they must have on their end, they know a single mommy really can’t do much without risking it all, just to end up possibly losing in the courtroom. So not fair.

Hey Nike, just a little FYI: flexing your wallets might make me back down from trying to sue you...but listen, bullying is not nice.

Up until this moment, I loved Nike. I had Nike everything. I wore Nike Pegasus to run in even though they weren’t the number one fit at my local Fleet Feet, I just loved the brand and I loved how they looked. They were a classic choice, a brand that grew out of a garage that began with a passion for running, just like my company did.


I dressed my models in Nikes for photo shoots. I incorporated Nike products in my outfit posts and hashtagged and commented using their company handles accordingly. I ran the Nike Women’s Marathon as a bucket list race. I ran in Nike sports bras and traveled to the Nike outlet in Tulare pretty often just to update my wardrobe. I used a Nike watch, the Nike running app...the list goes on. I even dressed my little one in Nike. But this girl was Nike’d out.

I went through every emotion possible. I went from flattered at first, that Nike would like my design so much to produce one that they called their own, to heartbroken, to angry....

This is where the angry Sunny came out. Kind of like when Queen Elsa told Anna to leave and she unleashed the crazy giant snow monster, Marshmallow, after her.

Go away..

I started a #PaintingMyNikesRed campaign in hopes to get Nike’s attention. Perhaps they didn’t have time to deal with my case and maybe, just maybe this would shine a light on the situation.


I got a lot of support and got some new people aware of what was going on. So much that over the last few weeks I had a number of people approach me, strangers even, just to buy the shirt they saw from the story they heard about on Facebook.


Over the last few months, I found myself sharing this story over and over again with friends, family members, and complete strangers.

It made me sick.


Commenting on posts and encouraging people to destroy their expensive Nike products to support me, at first felt empowering. Some of them used paint, some used red tape, some just bought my shirts and posted the shirt with the hashtag #PaintingMyNikesRed to help raise awareness. But with every encounter, every post, every mention of Nike, came heaviness, anger, and frustration. Think Inside Out...and Joy sitting with her arms crossed in the corner waiting for her turn to shine.

This just wasn’t me. I started getting sad about a happy face. Once I realized this, I knew that something needed to change. And it had to start with me.

After the initial buzz around the topic of “anti-Nike” and bloody red Nike shoes, I took some time off of the subject to let things settle.

My news feed became filled with violence from crazy things happening all over the world. Putting me in my place, helping realize that this isn’t really a tragedy, just a really sad, really disappointing story.

Soon after, my news feed became filled with Olympics. It was inspiring, beautiful things happened. Records were set. I got the opportunity to watch one of the girls from my hometown perform in front of the whole world. Another one of the girls I used to watch since high school was breaking Olympic records.

The entire time, I was flashed with Nike swoosh symbols; they were everywhere. As much as I tried to ignore it, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being punched in the chest each time I flashed across my screen.

I wondered. How could this happen? How often does this happen?

Pretty soon, my news feed became filled with presidential candidates and campaigns. I wondered...could anything really be done about this?

So I think I’ll ask some questions to those who might be able to give me the answer...

@RealDonaldTrump How do we keep giants like @Nike from taking advantage of small businesses?


@HillaryClinton Can a small, female-owned business stand a chance facing a giant like @Nike?

Let’s cross our fingers and “retweet” and see if we can get an answer…

As for me...I am going to continue smiling when I run and will continue wearing my run smiley shirts proudly. I refuse to be sad about a happy face any longer.

I’d rather let Nike have that knock-off version of our shirt than spend any more of my time and energy being upset about this. I don’t care anymore.

Sunny badger don’t care!

Yes Nike...go ahead, keep that one.

Just do it.

You can take something that’s not yours, but for me, for my well-being, for my happiness, for my creativity to thrive and keep on thriving. I am left with no choice but to let it go…


Thank you @Nike for the flattering gesture. I can now say that I’ve landed my dream job as a Nike designer…

Oh and P.S. @GoneforaRun...stop following us all over social’s just creepy.

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!!


Sunny and the Endure Team ;)

Valentine's Day Guide For Your Favorite Runner

  • Feb 11 2016
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Candy Hearts and Running Rings by Endure Jewelry

Ok, so let me get this straight.

Valentine's Day is just days away and you haven’t gotten your special someone a gift?!

For it was just Christmas and the days of straight up B-R-O-K-E are finally behind you. And the New Year’s resolution of keeping fit has prompted you to sign up for 6 races you and your runner have made a pact to do over the next 6 months!

And now Valentine's Day is here. Sorry, there is no off-season in spoiling your loved one. It’s year round. At least that’s the argument I go with when talking my husband into buying something for me. Can’t say it works every time. Shucks!

While you may feel consumerism is behind all the hoopla of this holiday, you just can’t show up empty handed. Your runner deserves a little something for all the hard work she’s endured through training.

Well ol’ Marissa here is going to break things down for you. Here are a few of our favorite things that will surely win her heart over:

1. Love, and Give Back

Head on over to our IG @EndureJewelry and place a bid on our newest trademarked Smiley face designs, our Run Lover tank! These are SO limited that we only have 7 available for "purchase". They aren't listed on our website this year but we have 7 up for auction til tomorrow as we help our friend, Marathon Goddess, raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and cheer her on to complete her 100th marathon! Feel the love, and share the love this Valentine's Day, by participating in this fun event!

2.Something Practical

Ok, listen here: she NEEDS this. She doesn’t know yet that she needs this, but guaranteed she needs this. TRUST. Don’t tell me the things we want are not the things we need, because I’m pretty sure my want for this bracelet slash hair tie disguiseis a necessity in the running world. Us girls are infamous for wearing those little black hair ties on our wrist. We gotta be ready to throw down at a moments notice if we see a starting line and a race clock. Here’s a way to make this hair tie look a little less obvious and a lot more stylish.

3.Something Memorable

It’s like a medal….but not. Stay with me. Commemorate her race accomplishment with any of our race distance jewelry. Rings, earrings, and necklaces--alpha numeric or roman numeral. It’s like stylish bragging rights without having to haul her medal everywhere. She’ll wear her race distance proud because dang it, she did it!

4.Something Meaningful

Necklace & earring and earring & ring combos. I call it the twofer - two gifts in one. While they are sold separately, if you want to double the kudo points, buy one and then buy the matching necklace, ring, or earrings! We offer several styles that are running inspired and have some meaning behind them. Examples:

Roadrunner – For runners who strive for fast speeds. Necklace/ Earrings

Tortoise & the Hare – Slow and steady wins the race. Necklace/Earrings/ Ring

Running Wings – “And my God give us the wings of angels so that we can fly.” Earring/Ring (p.s. These earrings happen to be the Endure Jewel of the Week! Enjoy 25% Off through 2/13/16)

5.Something Unique

Okay, how cool is this? You can have a necklace made of her running!! I kid you not. Send in a side-profile photo of your runner and designer, Sunny, will turn it into a necklace. I’m more of a Phoebe from the sitcom Friends when I run, but you know what, I’m proud of it! Put that on a necklace and call it a day!

6.Something Disney

Disney. Need I really say more? NO, I do not. A true Disney fan will understand. A princess deserves a crown and a castle, right? While I don’t recommend buying an actual crown and castle (unless she’s into that and you have that kind of money), I think she’ll be just as happy with our smaller versions. Our Run Princess Crown ring and our Run Castle Necklace. How fitting for your running princess!

Run Princess Crown Rings

7.Something that will for sure guarantee you not becoming a resident of the dog house

Want to really set the bar high amongst your friends? Jubilee ring is where it is at. Pronounced joo-bi-lee. Well let me say that is bee-you-tea-ful. It’s twenty-six glorious, genuine diamonds representing the miles of a marathon. Bling bling, baby!

8.Something nerdy

Nothing speaks more to the heart than a Star Wars inspired gift. At least that’s what my inner Stars Wars nerd tells me. Our Galaxy hoodie has been an absolutely hit with our fans and we only have a few left! Pretty sure it’s because the sleeves have light sabers on them. Light. Sabers. Fun level: 10.

Star Wars Inspired Galaxy Hoodie by Endure

9.Something that reflects her heart

Bless your running heart, my love! That’s what you’ll say when you gift to her one of these rings. “Live Love Run” said so simply, but it’s every runner’s anthem. Does she live and breathe the sport? Then our Run Beat ring is the perfect gift. It’s a heartbeat rhythm that reads the word “run”.

Live Love Run Heart Ring by Endure JewelryRun Heartbeat Runbeat Ring by Endure Jewelry

10. Something she collects

Start a ‘build-a-bracelet” for her so she can continue to add commemorative pieces as she completes races. We have both charm bracelet and bead bracelet styles. This gift doubles as a motivator for her and a go-to gift for you! Think about it. You’re set for every Valentine's Day here on out, because she’s going to want to keep accomplishing race goals so that she can continue to add to her bracelet. I see this as an easy way out for you for all future Valentines, knowing exactly what to get her every year. #winning

There you have it. Now go be that amazing supporter every runner dreams of having! Happy Valentines Day to you and your favorite runner!


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!


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!


Sunny and the Endure Team

Happy 5th Birthday Endure!

  • Sep 8 2014
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I can't believe it's been 5 years since Endure started back in my MBA classroom in 2009. The moment the idea of jewelry and running came to me, I never would have thought that Endure would turn into something so much more than just a brand.

In these 5 years, I've learned that Endure is not just a jewelry line. Endure is capturing moments that can be held close to your heart, it's commemorating milestones, it's celebrating successes, it's inspiration, it's all the blood and the sweat and the tears that remind us that we are human and that when you believe in something, everything and anything is possible.

I've met some incredibly amazing and inspiring people that have touched my heart and at many times have brought me to tears after hearing their stories of hope, strength, perseverance, and love. I cannot put into words how incredibly blessed I am to have met so many of you in person and even read your stories through e-mail.

Thank you to all of you who continue to support Endure in every way as we celebrate our 5th Birthday. You continue to inspire us.

Cheers! :)

Sunny Arada

Sunny in Studio 108 at the Endure Jewelry Sneak Preview in 2009

Sunny standing in front of her old stomping grounds in Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High School Track

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

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!



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!


Sunny Arada

Teammates are like my Running Sisters

  • Apr 29 2014
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As I'm getting older I'm realizing that more and more that for the most part (there are exceptions!), my teammates throughout high school and college, even some from junior high school, have been there for me through thick and thin. Right now as Endure is going through a different stage in growth, I find myself surrounded by my running family.

Rain, Rain, Come Again Another Day!

  • Jan 30 2014
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Today it rained for the first time in a long time. At first I was excited, then I reminded myself that I had scheduled a photo shoot for this afternoon. I contacted my photographer and one of my friends who was supposed to model for me and told them we might need to reschedule. Edward Yung, my photographer, reassured me that we could still shoot even if it was raining. He got me thinking about photos in the rain and I started getting excited. How often do you have the opportunity to have a photo shoot in the rain, and a photographer who is willing to do it? I started brainstorming ideas for the shoot but once the afternoon came closer, the downpour of rain started to turn to a drizzle. When the time came for our shoot, the rain had stopped completely. So now I've got some fun ideas for a photo shoot in the rain, but no rain to shoot in! Oh well, maybe another day!

Edward did take some fun pictures of my friend/fitness model, Chelsea, and I at the track on our old stomping grounds, Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High School. She and I ran together in high school and nowadays we try to make it a point to do regular workouts on the track to get some speed work in. While we were out there we saw some of our former coaches. Every time I see them it makes me feel like that little lost teenager who didn't know where the world was going to take her and here I am now, over ten years later, taking photos of some of my t-shirt designs on the very same track.

I am so excited to see how the photos turned out. Chelsea is such a beautiful subject to photograph, and Edward does such a great job especially with how picky I am.

Thank you for reading my blog post and stay tuned for the new pics!

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