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  • Operation Smile Charity Run 2011

    I was finally able to join a running event here in Cebu.  Last Sunday, February 20, 2011, Operation Smile Charity Run was held; start and finish lines are found at the IT Park.

    Finish Line

    I was pretty conservative on choosing the distance because I know I didn’t have any decent run for the week.  I made this 10K run my training run instead.

    Before I went to bed last Saturday night, I already have this feeling that I won’t be able to wake up at 3AM, so I decided to take a bath and wore all my running attire to sleep.  True enough, I woke up late and only have an hour before the gun start.  I immediately washed my face, brushed my teeth and off I went.  I arrived relatively early.  Thank God for Cebu because places here are like 10-15 minutes away from eachother.

    We had a rainy weather that morning and it got me more excited because I miss running under the rain.  The downside is that my Asics got soiled for the first time!

    I tried running the same route before with the Ungo runners, but still find it challenging that day.  The hilly roads of Cebu added to the leg breaking experience.

    runners under the tent

    The runner turn out was over a thousand, some said it was almost 2,000 which for me is ideal.  It wasn’t crowded; everyone gets the chance to grab freebies being offered on different booths without the hassle of waiting in long lines.  Every runner by the way gets a hotdog on stick and bottled water after arriving at the finish line which I really appreciate because I was already hungry that time.  The sad part though, since it was raining, almost all runners went to shelter under the tents and some establishments around the area.  But your Running Enthusiast kept on walking around, looking for things that the organizers have prepared for us not minding getting wet further because of the drizzle.  I just went inside a tent when the Ungo runners called me to take pictures with them.

    back view; near the finish line; to the lady: habulin mo ako! lol!

    with Bikik

    Water stations never ran out of supply and that they were situated strategically just in time a runner really needs one; there were four stations for the 10K so technically there is 1 water station found on every 2.5K.

    Though marshals were very good at cheering the runners, they could have done better on controlling vehicles around the circle.  I remembered for a time I tried to control the traffic and had runners cross the street together with one lady runner who spoke to me in Visayan language which I surprisingly understood.

    with Noy Jopson and his wife

    Given the cheaper registration fee compared to Manila races (the fee is relatively costly according to my Cebuano friends), they were able to organize a good running event without compromising the quality of the race plus the fact that proceeds will go to the Operation Smile Cebu Mission that provides free reconstructive surgery for patients with cleft palate.  You know how I love running for such cause-related events.  Til my next event here in Cebu.

    **Special thanks to Ms. Lorebelle Joy for the pictures. :)

  • Condura Skyway Marathon 2011 : The Big Event

    Who would have thought that I would make my way through all obstacles just to be in a running event?  Many have already written about their own experiences and reviews about the recently concluded Condura Skyway Marathon, but mine’s going to be sharing it from a standpoint of someone who flew just to make it to the event.  It was like joining the Amazing Race.

    Two weeks prior to the race day, I already conditioned myself that I’m ready to run Skyway; this time around feeling mentally better as compared to my first 2 Pikermi’s.  One week prior to race day, my boss told me to go to Cebu on February 1 and be assigned here for a month (still here in Cebu as of this writing).  From that time, I already said to myself that I need to give up Condura because I’ll be in Cebu and I’m sure I’ll be stressed and don’t wanna go through the hassle of booking tickets back and forth, carry stuff, etc.  So when I arrived in Cebu, my friends back in Manila were still convincing me to go home over the weekend and run for Condura.  I was really hesitant, but little did they know I was already checking tickets secretly just in case I would decide to come back.  And so after much debate, I already decided to buy tickets and have asked their help to book the cheapest flight for me, Cebu-Manila-Cebu.

    I was really excited to come home to Manila for the event and the level of expectations for the race was high.  I was wishing that the race must be worth the hassle and expense (I apologize for being blunt about it).

    The night before the race, I was still undecided on what to wear.  All of the tops I brought with me were going to be used for the first time for a race.  So I was kinda scared.  I fear of sustaining bloody nips or chaffing.   But I decided to go for the black technical/performance shirt that a friend gave me because it goes well with my overall attire.  Lol! :D

    I grabbed my stuff in the morning and off we went to Ayala to check in our bags and go to the starting line.  I was also able to receive my Snail Runners Alabang shirt with my website printed at the back (talk about marketing).  I also wore some compression socks to help prevent leg cramps.  Inside my pockets were 2 granola bars – because I get hungry on races especially 21K, 2 Hammer gels, and 2 caps of popular brand of pain relievers just in case.  I also have a hand held energy drink just as a reserve in case the race run out of hydration.

    While walking towards the starting line, I saw familiar faces but most of them were new to me probably because I rarely join races lately. :)  We were at the Wave A corral as we did register early for this event.  Reading how nice the event was last year made me go out and register early because I personally do not want to miss a slot for this prestigious event.

    can you find me?

    As the race started, I promised myself to stick with my own pace and never get carried away with the speeding runners beside me.  I was not feeling quite well during the first kilometer.  It was like my legs are still cold.  After the ascent to the Skyway, everything went back to normal and was catching on my pace.  With the steady pace I’m having, I already calculated that I’ll be finishing between 2:30 to 2:45.  By the time I saw the kilometer 14 marker, the leg cramps started.  I ran on toes for some parts of the route because I do not want to stop.  I don’t feel tired at all; it’s the cramps that is giving me a hard time.  So I’ve got no choice to but to do alternate run and walk patterns.  My goal of finishing 2:45 is not feasible anymore.  With the rate I’m going, I know I would be finishing Pikermi at 3 hours again.  I tried popping the pain relievers but to no avail.  It didn’t work.  Perhaps the muscles were too tired of recognizing pain relievers. :)

    When I saw the Finish line from afar, I really got excited and tried my best to run even with cramps.  Thank God the cameras was not able to capture the moment when I was running on toes and penguin-like. Lol!

    Now for my general review of the event:

    Start time

    We started on time.  And runners were all divided into “waves” so as not to crowd the starting line.

    Marshals

    Marshals were very visible.  They tried their best to assist runners especially from crossing intersections.  They managed the traffic well.  Some even cheered runners.

    Hydration

    I didn’t have any problem with hydration.  In fact, I downed my energy drink on hand to offload myself from additional weight and relied solely to hydration stations every 1.5-2 kilometers if I’m not mistaken.  No runner will be dehydrated on this race, I told myself.

    Route

    I love the route.  It’s challenging, exciting – because it’s very rare that runners can conquer Skyway, and not boring.  The route on the last stretch was familiar to me.  That was the same road I conquered for my very first Pikermi.

    Freebies/Runners Village/Baggage

    I missed the beer!!!!  :)  Nevertheless, the runners village were not crowded.  You can easily get your stuff.  As for the baggage area, our stuff were neatly transported from Ayala to BGC.  They are all in plastic bags and secured.

    Medal

    My favorite so far!

    SUMMARY

    My trip back to Manila was all worth it!!!!  I’ve got all praises for the Condura Skyway Marathon 2011.  Kudos to the organizers, race director/s, the staff, volunteers, and to everyone who have made this event successful.  The runners were “pampered” in a way.  Can’t wait to be there again for the Condura Skyway Marathon 2012.  By that time I’ll be doing the Marathon.  Am I hearing “International” next year?


  • Shoe Review: Asics GT 2150

    Love-hate relationship, that’s how I am with my Asics GT 2150.  Got them free from Toby’s last Christmas.  Since then I was trying to break in the new pair.  It took me about 1-1/2 months to fully understand the shoes and see how it will make me enjoy the ride.

    To start off, Asics GT 2150 was winner of the Runners World Editors Choice in 2010 and was recognized as one of the best stability shoes there is.  Heard and read some stories about getting blisters from them and I have my fair share to that as well.

    The first thing I’ve noticed when I started to fit the shoes is that my feet were like on bed.  It was very comfortable and it hugged my feet.  One of the more obvious was the medial arch support.  It is my first time to feel such a prominent arch support from shoes which I think may have caused the blisters.

    Walking on them felt like I had springs on my shoes.  It was bouncy and made walking very comfortable and easy.

    The mesh design of the shoes also allowed air to enter and you can feel that the most when you’re not wearing any socks.  They’re also relatively lighter than the other stability shoes in the market.  They also have reflectors in front (just on top of your big toe) and at the back that makes it also the ideal shoes to run with at night.

    Did several short runs with them and it was difficult.  I suffered from shin splints that made me really shorten my runs.  I’ve no doubts about the impact.  These shoes really absorbs them.  Another issue that I had with them, just like the others who have reviewed the shoes, is that I sustained medial arch blisters.  At first it felt like a sharp object was rubbing against my skin while running.  Later after removing them at home, there they were…beloved blisters.  That’s one reason why my old Adidas shoes extended its services to me and became alternate shoes (actually Asics was shelved for a while).  I don’t use my Asics to long runs either.  I don’t want to be bothered with the blisters and at the same time shorten my trainings.  First thing I did was to verify the insoles and identify what causes the blisters.  I’ve tried placing wax, tapes, nail filed them (to smoothen the sharp edge) but it still caused blisters.  A friend of mine told me to cut the insole.  At first I was hesitant but I gave it a try.  And voila!  That small piece that I removed from the insole made a big relief.  I didn’t have blisters anymore (sorry Asics, I really have to cut them or else I’ll suffer).  Next is my issue on shin splints.  I know my shin splints are only caused by wrong tying of shoelaces.  So I experimented on my shoelaces.  Tried loosening them, skipping some of the holes, tried loosening and tightening at some parts, etc.  The solution was easy.  I didn’t put laces on the last 2 holes of the shoes.  That made the trick.  No more shin splints!!!

    a little loose near the toebox, didn't put laces at the last two holes

    To learn more about Asics GT 2150′s technology, you may read www.asicsamerica.com or you may also read them below:

    Impact Guidance System (I.G.S.®) (RUNNING)

    ASICS® Design Philosophy. Employs linked componentry that enhances the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.

    Space Trusstic System®

    This midfoot stabilizer creates a pocket between the Trusstic System® device and the midsole, allowing for controlled midsole deformation and more efficient foot function.

    ComforDry™ Sockliner

    Provides cushioning performance and anti-microbial properties for a cooler, drier, healthier environment.

    Solyte® Midsole Material

    A lighter weight midsole compound than ASICS’ standard EVA and SpEVA®. Also features enhanced cushioning and durability.

    DuoMax® Support System

    A dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, positioned sport specifically.

    Just last Sunday, I ran 21K at the Condura Skyway Marathon using my Asics GT 2150 and it felt really great!  Considering that I forgot my knee strap at home, I was expecting something painful is going to happen on my left knee.  But again, there was none, no pain at all.  I can say that the shoes really helped in minimizing the impact on my knees. :)

    As a summary, I think the Asics GT 2150 is a very good pair of stability shoes and runners who are on the heavy side would really benefit from them.  The fact that it absorbs shock and impact makes it safer to the lower extremity joints, specifically your ankles and knees.  The downside of it is that you might also suffer the blisters that most of us (who reviewed the shoes) encountered upon initial use.  But after when you were able to get rid of the hassle, you will get to feel the best that the shoes can offer for you.  If you’d ask me, this pair is ideal for long runs.

    Hope you enjoyed and learned something from my article.  Keep on running!

    Impact Guidance System (I.G.S.®) (RUNNING)

    ASICS® Design Philosophy. Employs linked componentry that enhances the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.

    Space Trusstic System®

    This midfoot stabilizer creates a pocket between the Trusstic System® device and the midsole, allowing for controlled midsole deformation and more efficient foot function.

    ComforDry™ Sockliner

    Provides cushioning performance and anti-microbial properties for a cooler, drier, healthier environment.

    Solyte® Midsole Material

    A lighter weight midsole compound than ASICS’ standard EVA and SpEVA®. Also features enhanced cushioning and durability.

    DuoMax® Support System

    A dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, positioned sport specifically.

  • My Version of a Christmas Run

    After being stalled for a while and not logging any mileage for the last 2 weeks, finally I was able to run last Sunday and logging a 6.1K. Yeah, it’s kinda short for a comeback training run but I also had to break in my new babies – Asics GT 2150 which I think gave me more reasons to slow down and feel every step I make with them. It was the usual lazy Sunday so I took the opportunity to run at 1PM.  Am I hearing my readers saying, “this guy is crazy running at noontime”? The weather was a little cool that day with some sun, so no need to worry plus I miss getting some tan. :D  Plus I also wanted to shed those extra pounds gained during 2 weeks of inactivity and those I took from Noche Buena. :)

    yum! one of those sinful food at noche buena. :)

    Let’s just say we’re still in the getting to know each other stage so I could not really tell my views about the shoes in terms of performance.  All I can say is that they’re very comfortable, it hugged my feet. I don’t know if it’s because of excitement, but it made me run faster too. :)  Also noticed that it felt like I’m wearing shoes with springs while walking. I still have to adjust the lacings – you know how it affects my runs, it can cause shin splints, knee pain, noisy foot strikes, etc. One thing I also need to discover about my shoes is that the left has this sharp thing inside that almost caused me to have a blister. Aside from minor adjustments, the shoes are sturdy, comfortable, and fits well.

    I’ll write more about them in the coming weeks.


  • Feeling Lucky – Toby’s What I Want for Christmas

    I never won in any raffle or contests before but this year, well, for the last part of the year, felt luck was on my side as I did win 2 raffles and the latest was winning Toby’s Sports What I Want for Christmas promo. :)

    I didn’t have any idea that Toby’s will release 15 winners.  Based on the promo details, they will draw 10 winners, and last weekend they have already completed the list.  Got surprised when they posted on their Facebook page that they’ll be announcing another batch last Monday.  I remembered going home from work early that day because I was running some slight fever.  By the time I woke up for dinner, saw my picture part of batch 3 winners! Below are the 15 winners of the promo:

    I did claim my gift, an Asics GT 2150, from Park Square, Makati on Christmas eve.  The staff was more excited than me!  Here are pictures taken during that day, I became an instant celebrity in the store:

    I would like to thank the staff of Toby’s Sports Park Square, Makati:  Tin (supervisor), Ivy (assistant), Pia, Mench, Kevin, Jude, Set, and Froy.  The best kayo! You were supportive from the day I joined the promo until the time I won and claimed my gift.  More power to the team!

    Special thanks to Toby’s Sports for the Christmas gift!  I can now have my new babies tested and train with me for my very first Marathon in March 2011.

    Merry Christmas!