Run For Brooks

Brooks Adrenaline X's - 276km and counting!
My tortured Adrenalin Xs.Virtually no heel wear!

I was 90 pounds overweight when I started running. Because of this, I was really careful, bordering on paranoid, on choosing equipment.

Particularly with shoes. It took me a long time to finally decide what running shoes to get.  I did my homework by getting my foot analyzed at RUNNR. The internet is a godsend for looking for proper equipment. I scoured the Runner’s World websites for shoe reviews. Turns out that best brands (according to them at least) were Asics, Newtons, Brooks and Saucony. Besides being really expensive, Newtons had no stability shoes so that took them out of my shortlist. I knew that Asics shoes were wayyy beyond my budget. I knew that Saucony and Brooks didn’t have distributors in Manila (then) and just delayed getting them. A couple of months later, Brooks finally showed up in Manila. And I proceeded to get a pair of Adrenaline Xs.

I’m very happy with them. I’ve logged 276km on them since getting them late last year. No knee pain or major running injuries.

I ran 15k in the Brooks Run Happy event. It was my first 15k in memory of our Toastmaster’s mentor, Brooks Loomis. The eerie thing about this run was that it was announced right after the day he was cremated. I thought it a sign to do something special for this run. It was nice that the rest of the Makati Toastmasters Club took me up on the offer to run this event too. Some running their first ever 3ks or 5ks.

POST-EVENT:

First time to see a personalized STRIDER RFID chip. Cute.

I personally was not in good shape for this run.  I didn’t train enough. Longest run was 11-12k during a training run 3 weeks before the race. I thought I could compensate for the lack of training by getting some quality sleep before the run. Talk about Murphy’s law! I was in bed by 8pm only to be woken up at 10pm for some really trivial matter. I couldn’t get back to sleep after that due to irritation.

Yes, foolish me. I ran my first 15k without any sleep the previous night. If this wasn’t a special run, I woulda just not left the house and proceeded with my late appointment with the sandman.

My target was 2hrs for my first 15km. In my condition, I thought I’d be lucky to go below 2hrs 10min. Ended up 2hrs 8min. (Chip time was 2hrs 13m. Still bad.) I was one of the last people to cross the finish line.

Just a coupla problems with the run:

  • The run started late. Since I got no sleep the night before, I was at the venue very early. It was a bad omen that at 5am, the sun was already peeking over the horizon. At 5:30 am, the sun was really high up in the sky. For a run during a really hot summer, this became a really big problem particularly for 15k runners because the latter part of the  route was largely open and unshaded. I heard that this was because the 15k water stations were not set up yet. It’s just a good thing that they didn’t push the pre-race warm-ups.
  • Compounding the overheating problem at the mid part of the 15k route, the water stations were spaced wayyy too far apart after the 7.5 k mark. Water station was after the 7.5k mark was at 10.25k. There was one at around the     I had a hydration pack with me and I didn’t load up when I got to the stations before this. And then the cramps started
  • While it was nice that they had medals for all the finishers. There really should have been different medals for each distance. Getting my first 15k medal only to find out my other friends got the SAME medal for finishing their first 3k kinda took something out of the achievement.
  • The results took some time to publish. RFID tags are supposed to make result publishing instantaneous. I thought that the results could have been better formatted. The names could have been been included with the bib numbers. Another important piece of data which was not included (though I’m sorta glad it wasn’t published because of my pathetic performance) was finish order. There also could have been an option to sort the results since they were published from a database driven site.
  • Lastly, I heard that there was a route problem with the 3k run. There was no signage along the route and the 3k became a 1.5k. I think this problem could have been averted by including the route map in the kit. If the route maps were not final yet when the kits were given out, the maps could also have been included with the singlets when they were distributed the week before the race.

Honestly, the race organizer really did Brooks a disservice with this run. Brooks is up there as one of THE running brands abroad. Mistakes like these really won’t contribute to the brand’s gaining footing in a country dominated by Nike and Adidas.

Nitpicking aside, I was also sleepless (even sick!) when I ran my first 10k during the Condura Skyway run early February. A first 15k IS a first 15k (or 14.31k). I think Brooks is the only shoe brand along with Adidas who gave out original singlets (not rebranded knock-offs, you know who you are :p) for their runs. The singlet was really nice and was really comfortable. The run was reasonably priced costing about half of the retail price of the singlet alone. Singlet was correctly sized at 2XL (2XL means 2XL. NOT L, NOT M. But that’s for another blog entry.)

Sadly, I was wayyyy too slow to enjoy the post race festivities though I heard from my first time runner friends that they did enjoy themselves. Brooks Distributor, Sports Resources Inc was out in full force with booths for all their run related products (what?? no PRINCE rackets? 😀 )

I hope there’ll be a Brooks event next year.  It wasn’t a perfect run but just like my performance, I do hope we’ll all do better next time. I do hope I’ll be using Adrenaline XII’s by then too. 🙂

Drooling Over The New Mizuno Prophecy

Nope, this isn’t a Japanese doomsday prophecy. Rather it’s the new droolworthy shoe from Mizuno. Master Sports, the Philippine distributor of Mizuno was showing this off during the blogger’s event for the 2011 Mizuno Infinity Run.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Mizuno Wave cushioning system. I’ve always used them for badminton. Badminton is wayyy more demanding from footwear than running. Unlike running, there is no way to avoid heel strike in badminton. Mizunos, so far, are the only  indoor shoes that have ample cushioning and support for the heel WITHOUT sacrificing agility. I have gotten injured on these but it’s really more of (a lot of) excess weight than shoe failure. I’ve had more downtime on other shoes than these. My WAVE JUMPS are on their third year of use (of at least 2x a week on-court use) and are beginning to fall apart.

Yes, I am unashamedly a Mizuno Indoor shoe fanboy.

For the Mizuno running shoes, I wasn’t really too interested because I have wide feet. Most of the Mizuno running shoes were narrow so it wasn’t really my brand of choice. Like every other brand, they had generous heel support but had moderate forefoot support.

Until this version of the Prophecy.

Guaranteed to put a spring in your step

It’s the Mizuno Wave! For Forefoot cushioning! If looks can give you a PB every time you go out in the road, I’d be doing 5 minute 5ks two weeks from now. This shoe looks AWESOME.

The weird thing about the specs is this is supposed to be for heavier runner (Wait a minute, I AM a heavier runner). Yet it’s a neutral shoe. Most heavy runners need stability shoes. The only reason I could think of for this is that Mizuno assumes that the heavy runner has already transitioned into forefoot/midfoot striking  and would not need that much stability in the rear.

I’m also not sure about the wear and tear of the sole. The rubber beneath the forefoot spring looks a bit thin. Wonder how this will affect the lifespan of the Prophecy.

Checking the mizuno USA site, this is retailing for 199 USD in the States. Will be released in the Philippines soon.

Alas, I’m not in the market for new running shoes anytime soon. I just want to know when the 2011 or 2012 edition of the Wave Jump is coming out!

Around The Walled City and Through History…

A run around the Walled City instead of the Global City? Awesome! Sign me up!

KAISA, the Filipino-Chinese civic group who put this thing together ought to be congratulated for putting up one hell of a run. The Intramuros Heritage Run really should be an annual event. Aside from the really cheap fee (350 bucks) which included a singlet and some really awesome freebies (more on this later). The route was unique and the organization was not lacking. Water stations were abundant though the water wasn’t cold.

Loved the scenery, went past the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Luneta, the Manila Hotel, the old customs house and the Lyceum and Mapua inside Intramuros. Wish they’d do this again next year. They need a longer route so that they don’t need to do 2 laps for the 10k. Perhaps they can include the Luneta Grandstand in next year’s route.

POST RUN:

My only gripe about this run was that it started 20 minutes late. The sun was already high up in the sky at 5:30am. It was a really hot morning and there was just no wind that day. There were some stretches were there was no shade which took away some minutes from my time. Was worried about the short stretch of cobblestones but turned out they were already smoothened out and there was no way they can cause a foot injury.

Still, the heat dashed any hope of a PB. I was expecting a PR here because I was setting a pace 30 seconds faster than my usual 8-7:30 for the first 2.5k. Then that stretch in front of the Manila Hotel where runners had to contend with no shade and diesel fumes from jeepneys, trucks and buses.

Was sort of disappointed seeing my time knowing I was way slower than my PB. The route was 5.51km, though. Half a km longer than advertised. Looking at the telemetry later on. Was relieved to see that I wasn’t that much slower than the pace I set for my PB run.

Oh yeah, before I forget. The awesome post race freebies. That deserves another blog’s blog entry altogether.

TM Manila Convention 2011 Sunday Run (aka The Jorjames Sajulla Run 2011)

During the 2011 Toastmasters District convention in Manila, Division C (as in CEBU) governor Jorjames casually told me he brought running gear and wanted to run while he was in Manila.

So we did what any good host would do and closed down Roxas Boulevard just for this running addict to run. Not only did we close down Roxas Boulevard, we also had  Pocari Sweat stations to make sure James was well hydrated during his morning run.

I met Cathy (of Executive TMC) at Hotel h2O at around 6am. I did not realize that at 6am, the sun was high up in the sky and it was HOT. James met us near the Museo Pambata and we proceeded to do a pleasant 5.55k run thorough Roxas Boulevard up to CCP then back to the Quirino Grandstand.

 

 

Kidding aside, we lucked out on the World Youth Day run. It started from the CCP complex and looped to the US Embassy and back. We caught the tail end of the run. There were a few stragglers on the road, but aside from that, Roxas Boulevard was ours.

This was a dream run. It’s always nice when two life passions find some way to converge. It was just about three Toastmasters bonding while pounding pavement with the requisite photo-ops along the way. (Apologies to Mr. Sajulla, the media did not arrive on time. :p )

Gudjab Cathy and James (and me!) We should do this every convention! And may be find more fellow runners to join us on the road. Boracay and Samal Island run, anyone? 🙂