"To help keep you motivated and stay on track for your goals, we want you to be one of the first to experience our newest innovation in partnership with Apple, the Apple Watch Nike+ and join us in NYC next Thursday 10/27"
WHAT?!?!?! As soon as I read that in an email I literally pinched myself one hundred, thousand, cazillion times just to make sure I wasn't dreaming!
It was such an honor to be one of four individuals invited to join Nike Running on a 36 hour trip to NYC to be one of the first to try out the new Apple Watch Nike+. Prior to this trip, I had only been to New York once in 2011, on a educational trip with the Cal State Northridge Fashion Department, so I was BEYOND stoked to be going to New York again, but this time with NIKE!
The night before our flight, I received a package from Nike that included a ton of sweet Nike swag and a hand written letter from Coach Blue Benadum. I was seriously in tears when I read the letter. For those of you that don't know, Nike Run Club was where I first started running and also where I found my true love for running. Coach Blue has helped me become a better runner since day one and I could never ever thank him enough for that! NRC will forever hold a special place in my heart!!
THE DEPARTURE FROM LA
Our flight took off from LAX to JFK at 7:20am, which meant we had to meet at the airport around 6am-ish, just to make sure we had enough time to go through the whole TSA process. Once arriving to the boarding waiting area, I kind of just waited around and hoped to see Julia (@JuliaVictor) from Nike Running, whom would be traveling with us, since I hadn't met any of the other three people who would be going on the trip. It wasn't until Julia arrived and told us we were all coincidentally sitting right next to eachother without even knowing!
The other three going on the trip were Michael Pak, whom runs the instagram and twitter handle for @Koreatown and also founder of Koreatown Run Club (KRC), Lee Tilghman (@leefromamerica) who not only is a recipe developer + food stylist based in Los Angeles, but also runs the streets of LA, and Chauntal Lewis (@chauntallewis) a super talented make-up artist based in the LA area and also runner, but not just any runner, she was part of the first runners who ran from LA to Las Vegas in The Speed Project.
ARRIVING TO NYC
5 hours later, we landed in New York! We definitely did not pack the California sunshine with us. It was pouring rain when we landed. I actually loved the fact that it was raining and chilly weather because we don't get that often here in LA.
I've always thought traffic in LA was pretty bad, but oh man, NYC definitely takes the cake! It took us about two hours to get from JFK to the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District. Within that two hour car ride, we all bonded and had the opportunity to learn a little about ourselves and our backgrounds, so the ride wasn't awkward silence (lol).
Once arriving to our rooms, we quickly dropped our luggage off and changed into running clothes. We met at the lobby and all headed out to the Nike Clubhouse at 45 Grand where our new Apple Watch Nike+ was waiting for us!!
The Nike Clubhouse at 45 Grand was fully transformed into all things Apple Watch Nike+. From the wall decor, to the color choices, you name it! The space was previously used to display the Nike Air Mag, where it was the only place people got to try on the actual shoe.
It was very nice having a super intimate experience getting to know the ins and outs of our new running partner from a New York Nike EKIN. I've never owned an Apple Watch, so I made sure to pay extra close attention to all the features and oh boy, I instantly fell in love with it!
Once we got it all set up and ready to go for our run, we were lead to a room in the back where we would be gifted the dopest backpack ever which included a Nike Shield Jacket, Nike AWN+ tee, Nike Sports Bra with reflective accents, Nike Speed Tights, Nike Socks, Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknits, a portable charging station for the AWN+, and 4 Nike pins that could not be found anywhere else and were exclusive to us.
The lockers in the changing room had our name on them where we could drop our stuff off and securely leave them while we went on our run.
The run that night has by far been the best run I have ever ran! Not because of my pace or time, but because it was such an amazing experience being in a different city, running the streets in the rain, stepping in puddles without a care in the world...other than making sure we didn't get ran over by NY drivers (haha) and of course, my first time trying out my new Apple Watch Nike+.
The next morning, we were all encouraged to invite and challenge a friend "Are We Running Today?". I was so happy and thankful for my insta friend MaryAnn (@orchid613), whom I had never met in person, for coming out and running a 5k with us followed by breakfast on such a short notice. The run was led by NYC Nike+ Run Club Coach Jessica (@jeslynnyc).
The views while on the run were beautiful! There were times when I even forgot I was running because I couldn't believe my eyes. We ran from our hotel to the 9/11 memorial, which was about a 3 mile run.
After breakfast, we had about 2 hours to spare before having to head to the airport for our flight back to LA, so instead of just waiting in my room, I took an Uber to the NYU area where I visited local stores, one of them being Kith on Broadway. It was about about a 20 minute walk back to the hotel so I decided to just walk back instead of taking an Uber and I'm so glad I did because the sights were so beautiful! I had no shame in being a tourist because every photo op I had, I definitely took it!
I can't ever thank my Nike family enough for the amazing opportunity!
I never thought anything like this could happen to little ol' me. It truly makes me so happy to know I have the support of such amazing people that genuinely want to see me succeed in my running journey! This is by far one of the best experiences in my life that I will forever remember. Much love to my Nike fam!
xo, DIANA KAREN
Below are 2 video compilations of my InstaStories from my New York trip with Nike :)
SHOP THE LOOK: APPLE WATCH NIKE+
*Disclaimer* My thoughts and opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.