A Quick Peek Of The Skechers’ GO RUN Running Shoe (Part 1)

Santa came knocking on my door this Christmas and left me one of his small sacks which contained some running shoes, well just two which was for me to review and post in this blog. I got Skechers’ new running shoe, the GO RUN and the New Balance 880.

I’m not going to give a comprehensive review on these shoes just yet as i’ve just wore-tested them at home and outside just to get the feel of it. I couldn’t resist to try the GO RUN shoes though, as i was curious about the review given by top American marathoner Meb Keflezhigi who wore the Go Run in setting his personal record of 2:09:13 and placing 6th at last month’s New York City Marathon.

The shoe just weigh a 7 oz. on my size 10 feet and felt feather-like as i warmed up for an 18 km run. There’s a bit of a “lump” on the middle of my arch or under the midfoot which sort of softened the impact. The rocker stance is less pronounced here than their SRR or Liv models and the usual cut-off under the heels is still present to encourage a mid-foot strike which it did, exactly like the LIV model and that’s coming from a heel striker like me.

The 18km run was a bit of a mixed feeling.. soft, light  and very comfortable although i was consciously landing on my mid-foot all the time which takes a while to get used to. I like the wide toe box and the fit was excellently snug. There was enough cushioning on the shoe although i wish they would have put more of it in the forefoot. The downside of it though was after the run, i felt some heat below the big toe and had i ran 2 kms more, i would have developed a blister at the big toe mound. I should have applied a lubricant or a petroleum jelly as i usually do when trying out new shoes.

Aside from this minor discomfort, i found the shoe very responsive, a definite shoe for racing or fast paced training. Light and fast-paced runners will definitely like its soft underfoot and spring-like response upon toe lift.

I’ll be making a comprehensive review once i try this out on different surfaces and get more mileage on it. But judging from this initial test run, Skechers might have already delivered a winner. The shoe brand is getting serious with their running!:-)

Running United In Cebu: The Lechon Experience!

Some of my favorite indulges, the Cebu Lechon, the tastiest lechon (roasted suckling pig) ever, Cebu’s Danggit and Carcar’s Chicharon (pork rind) are some of the reasons why Cebu City is high on my Must Visit Cities list. If your runners’ diet too often includes a plate of pasta, green salad and a fruit, forget it! You’re on an out of town trip and so is your diet! Besides, this is Cebu–a food lover’s paradise! This place is one of the few cities i’ve visited down south more than a decade ago where you get to taste some of its delicacies and once thought, “I can live in this place and eat all the food available.”

Cebu City’s urban development renaissance began in the late 90s and the result is a radiant metropolis. The dazzling Asian Park (I.T. Park) showcases an array of gleaming buildings, hotels, shops and restaurants. It’s like a little Ayala Alabang with clean and well-paved roads most suitable for, what else…running!

While Cebu boasts most of the visitors perks associated with a major city, there is little of the “snobbishness, mind your own business” feel you get in other cities of Metro Manila. Instead, the Cebu ethos is one of relaxed amiability. Also, there is a great running tradition here as well, the Pearl of the South is home to many competitive runners and other elite athletes.

Last week, i was one of the few bloggers fortunate enough to get invited by Unilab, Inc. to witness and run the last leg of the Run United Regional Series Half-Marathon in Cebu City which was held last Sunday, December 18 and it was great! It was nice seeing the large turn-out of runners specially in the 21k event which boasted a total of 1,300 runners, one of the largest 21k event to be participated in Cebu.

Here are some quick impressions of the 21k Run United Event:

  • Great course which was relatively flat with just a few gentle hills
  • Runrio’s usual high-tech pre-race program which included the video of the route and Emcee Boy Ramos’ exciting hosting of the event
  • During the early stages of the run, we saw church-goers arriving in their places of worship, some bringing their own stools to attend midnight mass. I can only surmise what they had in mind while looking at us. They must have been thinking that we runners are supposed to celebrate midnight mass instead of running while i was wishing that they should run instead and hear mass later!:-)
  • Though most roads were closed to accommodate runners, street intersections were partially allowed to open thus at times, we were running side-by-side, playing “patintero” with vehicles.
  • Cebu runners are raging fast from the very start and you feel them whiz past you during the early stages. You seldom see walkers during the first half.  However, you get to catch up with some of them during the latter stages of the race.
  • I NEVER saw any lovers (runners) walking and holding hands!
  • There are many good teen-age runners who topped the short distance races. They will be the country’s top runners in the future.
  • Saw numerous running clubs (based on their uniforms), many more than you would see in several Manila races combined.
  • Coach Rio standing alone below the finish line arc, ready to greet the finishers, which he rarely does in Manila
  • No complaints for the delayed medals and finisher’s shirt!
  • Loaded on lechon for lunch the day before the race, another serving for dinner, and still another serving after the race. I ate way too much and paid for it when i really felt heavy during the race. Lessons learned.
  • Even after running the half-marathon, i gained 3 lbs when i returned to Manila.

Over-stuffed!

I was completely toast when i crossed the finished line in 2:31:24 (2:30:58 chip time ). Over-all, the race was an amazing experience and one that i’d do again if given the chance. I big thumbs-up to the Unilab Team led by Ms. Claire Papa, Janice Ianne Miguel and their team for their great hospitality and support who took care of all our needs while in Cebu! Mabuhay kayo!

I’m not been doing any “real” running as of late, this Christmas season has been just an endless series of late night-outs, parties and over-stuffing with food!

Tonight is Christmas eve and guess what’s on the table for our noche buena?

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!:-)

Here are some pictures taken during our Cebu trip:

Getting ready to board at NAIA's Centennial Airport

Cebu's famous Marcelo Fernan bridge

Checking-in at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel

Inside the hotel lobby with its imposing Christmas Tree

View from our hotel room

At the Cross of Magellan Shrine

At the Sto. Nino Church patio with Glaiza and CJ

Coach Rio and Host Boy Ramos prepping up the runners before the race

The 21k crowd numbering about 1,300 runners

With Jinoe, Bee Yen, Amanda, CJ, and Pedz

We're almost ready

About to get the high-five from Coach Rio at the finish line (Photo by Jinoe Gavan.)

With Unilab's big boss, Claire Papa (3rd from right) after the race

3rd place finisher at the 21k run, Loushen Abella.

Go Natural Run: Runrio’s First For 2012

GO NATURAL 2012

Nattural Quality Corporation (NQC) is sponsoring the first important and biggest run of the new year, GO NATURAL 2012, on January 15, 2012 at the Bonifacio Global City. NQC decided to sponsor this event because the incidence of diabetes in the Philippines has increased at a metabolic rate.  NQC is spearheading a campaign for the early education of children regarding this disease.

At the launching of the event last night at the Maxims Hotel at Resorts World in Pasay City, Mico Almeda of Brand Action specified that proceeds from the event will be donated to ABS CBN’s Ako ang Simula who will help mount the campaign for the early education and awareness of diabetes.

GO NATURAL 2012 is organized by veteran marathon director Coach Rio dela Cruz under his RunRio group and Brand Action, Inc.

RACE CATEGORIES
3K/5K/10K/21K

REGISTRATION FEES

3K – PHP 350
5K – PHP 550
10K – PHP 650
21K – PHp 800

– Includes Bib with Timing Tag and Singlet (21K + Finisher’s Shirt)
– First 1,000 early bird registrants get a special Go Natural Baller ID. Special surprises await those who wear the Baller ID during the run.
– Register 4 + 1 race kit for free for any category (in-store only)
– Donate P150 on top of the registration fee in support of early child diabetes education gets a freebie T-Shirt. (pickup race day)

REGISTRATION VENUES

November 28, 2011 to January 8, 2012 (12:00 nn – 8:00 pm)
– Toby’s – Shangri-La Mall and SM MOA
– Planet Sports – Trinoma and Glorietta 3
– Riovana – Bonifacio High Street
– Athlete’s Foot – Robinson’s Galleria and Alabang Town Center

Natural Baller ID. Special surprises await those who wear the Baller ID during the run. Promo ends on December 16, 2011. For online registration and more details, log on to www.RunRio.com.

NQC would like to invite everyone to support the campaign for early education of children about diabetes by joining Go Natural Run 2012 or by donating a minimum amount to sponsor a runner.  Participating runners who would also like to donate an additional P150 over their registration fees receive an advocacy shirt.  Donations are accepted online through www.gonatural.com.ph.

Go Natural is brought to you by Ampalaya Plus,  Amapalaya Plus Delite Herbal Tea, Slenda, Enduranz, Renalin, Resorts World,  Powerade and Viva Mineralized Water.

Live healthy, Go Natural.

For More Information visit:
Official Website -> http://www.gonatural.com.ph/gonaturalrun
RunRio Website -> http://runrio.com

Singlets

21K-finisher-shirt

For a donation of P150.00, this advocacy shirt will be yours!

Some pics taken during the launching last night:

At the Resorts World with Coach Rio, race director with the other organizers and sponsors of the race

With some of the bloggers in our table

Group pic at the launching

Run United Cebu: December 18, 2011

Run United Cebu next weekend, which is expected to attract 5,000 participants, is a fitting finale to what has been quite a busy year for Unilab Active Health.
 
The run race in the ‘Queen City of the South’ is the fifth and final leg of the Run United Provincial Series, which had successful runs in Davao, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Baguio.
 
“We could not have chosen a better venue for our culminating event this year. We hear that response for Run United Cebu is quite good and that the number of registrants is nearing our target number of participants,” said Alex Panlilio, Head of Unilab Active Health.
 
Registration sites for Run United Cebu are Toby’s in SM City Cebu, Runnr in Ayala Center Cebu, and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) office at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) or online through www.runrio.com. To avoid errors, Run Unted uses the first ever iPad automated registration in the country.
 
“Our target number of participants for Run United Cebu is higher than in races in other provinces because Cebu ranks second to Manila in terms of number of runners. So we expect the highest turnout, among our provincial races, next weekend,” said Rio dela Cruz, Head of RunRio Inc., the organizer of Run United series.
 
There will be five race categories at Run United Cebu, which includes 500m dash for kids, 3k, 5K, 10K, and 21K. It will be held on December 18 at the Cebu IT Park. There will be no cut-off time for the 21k category.
 
Registration fee is P500 for the 21K, P400 for the 10K, P350 for the 5K, and P200 for the 500-meter dash, which will have two age categories—kids 5 to 8 years old and 9 to 12 years old.
 
“We want every member of the family to participate, so we have a race category for kids as well. We were the first to feature a 500m dash. We want to start them young and to keep the kids active, away from too much computer games and television,” said dela Cruz.

Run United participants will get a limited edition race singlet, bib-tag timing chip and a finisher’s sports bag. Runners as well as their families and friends can get more freebies and product samples at the Unilab Active Health Village for the Active Kids, Active Adults and Active Seniors. Fun games and photo booth stations are also available at the venue.

The Run United series and the other events of Unilab Active Health—
Bike United and Tri United, are in line with Unilab’s advocacy to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among Filipino families.
 
“More and more Filipinos are really getting into the active bandwagon. We will remain committed towards providing them with high-quality events to keep them active and healthy,” added Panlilio.
 
Indeed, Unilab Active Health has lined up bigger and better things next year. Dela Cruz and Panlilio recently announced the inclusion of a 42K or full marathon in the Run United race categories.
 

Thus, Run United Philippine Marathon will be the culminating event of the Run United Series in Metro Manila every year. Thus, the sequence of events would be as follows: Run United 1 in March; Run United 2 in June; Run United 3 in September; and Run United Philippine Marathon in October. The exact dates are yet to be finalized and announced together with the full 2012 Unilab Active Health Calendar. ###

 

Soleus GPS 1.0 : A Steal At P6,150.00!

Soleus GPS 1.0 SG001-003 - Black & Grey

I’ve tried both the Garmin Forerunner 305 and the 405 models years ago when they they were at the height of their popularity although they never really stayed long enough with me as they either went kaput or were given to somebody else. I’m presently using a Garmin 110 which was handed to me by running mate Abet who had just purchased a spanking GF 610 recently.

I’m not really a techie when it comes to analyzing data or uploading them into a computer. Although i can do these and understand what this all means, all i really care is to have a watch that gives me the distance, time and pace of my runs which my present GF110 currently does. Although the 110 is quite limited in its features compared to the 305 and 405 (it just gives an average pace and not the actual reading), i still get the basic features mentioned and i’m happy with it.

Recently, i got hold of the new Soleus Sport watch which is breaking into the GPS market with their brand new GPS 1.0 Digital Sport Watch. The price tag? P6,150.00 which is just a third of the cheapest Garmin GPS watch you can buy locally. The GPS 1-0 has been recently lunch in the Philippines in select retailers and this should be a most welcome news for runners who are pinning for a Garmin but couldn’t afford one.

I’m going to be forthright on my recommendation. If you plan to buy a GPS watch to monitor and guide you on your training runs and races, now’s the time to do so with this very affordable watch. I guarantee, you will love it!

Price: Nothing beats its price of P6,150.00 for a GPS watch. It’s about the cost of one high-end running shoe and if you can afford to have those Newtons, Brooks or Nike’s, then i don’t see why you wouldn’t want to save for one.

Recommended For: The newbie runner or someone who would want to test out a credible and accurate GPS watch for the first time.

Size: Its bigger than the GF 110, about the same size as the GF405 and fits like an ordinary sports watch which you can use outside of running.

Display: The dials are large enough to see and there’s a night light which you can pre-set on particular times in the evening.

Comfort: The fit is snug with adjustments that suits your feel. I’ve worn it a couple of times and it doesn’t wiggle even if i wear it loosely. You don’t notice the weight and size at all.

Accuracy: Recently, on a measured 10k route, i used it simultaneously with my present GF110 and gave almost the same readings (10.10 for the GF110 and 10.15 for the Soleus). Don’t ask the time!

Quick GPS Sensor: It took as quick as a minute for the Soleus to locate and lock-in on a satellite while the Garmins can sometimes take up to 5 minutes for a go signal.

Other main features include:

  • GPS: high-sensitivity receiver
  • Distance: current & total in Miles or Km
  • Pace/Speed: current & average
  • Calories Burned: current & total Kcal burned
  • Chrono: 1/100 second resolution
  • Data Storage: 100-lap memory
  • World Time: 106 cities covering all time zones
  • Rechargeable Battery: USB rechargeable lithium-ion
  • 30 Meters Water-Resistant

One Minor Complaint:

Having been so used to navigating the Garmin Forerunner GPS watches easily, i found it very difficult to navigate and set on the dials of the Soleus GPS on first try. It was very frustrating at first because some settings were blinking and you can’t figure out how to exit or stop the configurations. The instructional guide supplied with the device was a bit ambiguous and it took me some time to figure out the menu and navigation after i searched on their website which showed a basic Quick Set-Up Guide. Once i had the device configured, the operation became clear.

A suggestion to the manufacturers: I think it would be more convenient if the SET mode was placed at the very first position when the MODE button is first pushed because a lot of setting modes and navigations are initially done here. This will avoid confusion to the user and make navigation more user-friendly.

Except for this minor hitch, the Soleus GPS 1.0 is still a great buy and guess what? I heard that stores are going to give a 10% discount around Christmas time so expect the watch to come as low as P5,500.00. A perfect Christmas gift to yourself!

Thanks to Judith Staples, Sales & Marketing Manager of Truegears Marketing and to Jeff Paulino of LTime Studio for sending me this watch for review!

At the recent Philippine launch of the Soleux GPS 1.0 Sport Watch

Riovana Recovery Center: Sole Healing

Many runners will feel some soreness, sluggishness, chronic muscle aches and pain at any time during their training. If you just finished a marathon like i recently did during the QCIM3 last week, there’s this thing called post-marathon depression… a feeling of emptiness wherein boredom or low moods set in.

I’ve often experienced these days following the euphoria of finishing one although i’ve learned to deal with it by enjoying other activities, running easy with friends for just plain fun and the occasional visits to massage therapists.  This last remedy really helps!

Recently, i was invited by Sidney Lanuza of Riovana and top blogger Vimz Mendoza (kulitrunner) to the soft launching of Coach Rio Dela Cruz’ Recovery/Wellness Center called SOLE HEALING which is located at the 2nd floor of the Riovana Running Store at their Bonifacio Global Center Branch. With several sports doctors, orthopedic surgeons and therapists on call, it offers various types of treatments to help manage sports injuries, ease sore muscles, relax the runners and give them a most memorable post-running experience.

A Nurse and a PT in one of the rooms

The recovery center was specifically built for runners and other athletes as a combination spa, wellness center, physical therapy clinic in the convenience of a home-like ambiance. It concentrates on both the mind and body. There are different services offered that can revitalize and relax, helping you deal with the day to day stresses of life. As well as relaxing the body and mind, the center uses state of the art machines that has many physical and physiological health benefits, of which some can be felt immediately.

Among the services offered include:

  • Sports Doctors – Orthopedic Surgeons and Physiotherapists
  • Conditioning Specialists
  • Running Experts
  • Nurses and Physical Therapists
  • Cryo-Treatment
  • Laser and Ultrasound Therapy
  • Sports Massage
  • Hydration Therapy/Oxygen Supplementation
  • Acupuncture
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
  • Kinesio-taping

The rooms were very well-equipped, the surroundings were homey and the staff were very accommodating. Some Doctors were present during the center’s presentation and we were briefed on what the recovery center hopes to provide for all its clients. Full operation of the clinic will start at the latter past of this month (December).

Here are some pictures taken during the soft launch:

Dr. Gar Eufemio, Orthopedic Surgeon (in striped shirt) briefs us on the center's services

With the bloggers

Guests were toured around the facility

Our gracious host for the evening, Riovana big boss, Jill Panganiban

Being with these lovely Nurses and PTs, i feel well already!:-)

A complete menu list as well as prices will follow.  For now, standard treatments (cryo, laser, ultrasound and sports massage) will be P1000 – 1200 (depending on the number of body parts).

Let’s Go Vegetarian: Let’s Go Gandiva!

I’ve never purposely been in a vegetarian restaurant/cafe before, much more when this cafe (with its wide roomy extension) also serves as a mini archery range for archery enthusiasts.

Just a few hundred meters away from our Ortigas office, the Gandiva Cafe and Archery Range, located at the 7th Floor, One Corporate Center Building, Julia Vargas corner Meralco Avenue, offers a delightful selection of healthy, vegetarian dishes for health enthusiasts and a practice and training ground for budding archery practitioners.

Getting there in a rainy Friday afternoon for the launching of their establishment is a bit of a drag but once you get there, you’ll immediately feel the ambiance and the staff’s hospitality as they did for us last night. As i took a seat near the glass panels overlooking the view outside Meralco Avenue, i am reminded of upscale watering holes where fun and laughter with friends often takes place over some bottles of beer. Only this time, mouth-watering fruit juices and coffee were served.

The interiors of Gandiva

For starters, we were served a sample of their Tuna Pesto, a mixture of fresh gotokula (don’t ask) and basil with nuts, fragrant flavours, similar in taste with that of Joey Pepperoni but not too spicy- it’s pasta with all the goodness. A sampling of their pizza came with the pasta. The slice of veggie pizza was light, with a veggie meat ham and other veggie trimmings laid into it although i wish they should have served more of this as a thin slice don’t really bite the taste palette much.

Tuna Festo, Pizza and Veggie Burger

Took a bite of the YAM Burger and it was yummy although the bread itself was a little bit dry. Burger patties come in two varieties, Mushroom and Soya Bean Burger.  The Choco cup cake was very interesting which they say is diabetic friendly and vegan, no dairy.

Runners who run frequently in the Ortigas area can surely drop by after their runs and enjoy’s Gandiva’s pasta, pizza, veggie sandwiches and other runner-friendly delights at very reasonable prices.

Highly recommended!

The crowd at Gandiva Cafe

Thanks to Jigs Padilla for the invitation and to Chef Lali for the superb food! For more info, you can go to their website at  www.gandiva.com.ph.