These Shoes Are Made for Running

The Urbanite was the first time my friend Joel saw the shoes I’ve been using since last October. He’s a recreational triathlete and was using the Urbanite as a tune-up to the Cobra Ironman 70.3.

Joel asked me with incredulity, “Are you sure those shoes are for running? They look too low!” My reply was, “Well, they have ‘nikerunning.com’ on the sole!”

Nike Women "Track Runner Lace"
Nike Women Track Runner Lace

I bought these shoes late last year on sale from Sports Warehouse in preparation for the Run for Life race I didn’t run. While they had served me well in my running on treadmills, they weren’t taking too kindly to being out on the road in races. I looked them up online at Nike and they’re track-spike-inspired and mostly used by gym bunnies (hehehe). They finally gave up the ghost after my Urbanite experience.

Nike Women "Track Runner Lace" right shoeNike Women "Track Runner Lace" left shoe
“she falls apart by herself,” sings Sugar Ray

Today after signing up for the 5K event at GMA7’s “Tatakbo Ka Ba” run, I headed to Bonifacio High Street in Fort Bonifacio to buy a new pair of shoes at RUNNR. “Now to get myself a real running shoe,” I thought.

RUNNR storefrontRUNNR is owned by the son of the business mind behind Toby’s Sports (check out the August issue of Action&Fitness for the story), but carries products specifically for running enthusiasts. Being a specialty store, they carry top-of-the-line and latest products from Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Asics, and other running brands. I wasn’t expecting to find the same kind of bargain there as I did at Sports Warehouse. However, I was looking for help in finding exactly the kind of shoe I need for the kind of running I do, and that’s where RUNNR’s Footworx service comes in.

The very knowledgeable salesguy (who also does his fair share of running — OMG, ultramarathons) asked me to step barefoot onto a “podoscope” so I could find out whether I had a normal, flat, or high arch. I was flat-footed as a baby and always thought I had a low arch, so I was surprised to find my arch was normal. (Oh the wonders barefoot walking can work.) Then he asked me to run barefoot on a treadmill. He took high-speed video of the way I ran, and analyzed how my feet struck the ground. Although I knew it already, he confirmed that my right ankle was weak, causing me to overpronate on the right foot. I told him that I was fine with my current shoe except that my ankles complained after the races.

Based on my results, he recommended I try a neutral to light stability shoe, like the Nike Air Span + 6. “My feet are in better shape than I thought,” I mused at this point. And after another video analysis where we confirmed that my ankle-rolling had been controlled by the shoe, I ended up taking a pair home.

Nike shoes!the unboxing

arch supportswoosh!
Elmo approves of this purchase.

Char, one of the girls I ran with at Urbanite, had been to RUNNR about a month ago and found she needed a stability shoe for one foot, and a motion-control shoe for the other. She ended up spending approximately 6,000 pesos for stability shoes and an additional 2,000 pesos for custom shoe inserts. Yoinks! I had come into the store with a budget of 5,500 pesos but asked God to help me find a shoe around 4,000 pesos. I got the shoe at P4,895.

The best part is that they’re Nike (my favorite shoe brand) and they go really well with the racing top I’ve set aside for the GMA7 run. Ü I’m taking these puppies out for a test run on Monday.

Nike Women Air Span + 6
“Tatakbo ka ba?” Answer: YES.

Kenny’s Open Urbanite Run

I’ve been hot under the collar to race again and see if I could beat my 10km time at the Globe run. I thought I could do that at the Kenny’s Open 2009 Urbanite Run on August 15.

Urbanite Run: Marc Nelson
Based on this poster alone I would have signed up.

I got sales-talked into it by Rovilson. He told me (and I have the Facebook comment to prove it), “It’s going to be a night run (starts at 9PM, no wind) so I expect a lot of personal times to be beaten.”

Well, that was before we saw the race route. It would wind through the old Fort Bonifacio almost down to C-5, then back up the way we came. Then we would detour through McKinley Hill (past Heritage Park cemetery) and a quick run-by the Manila American cemetery before heading back to where we started.

Urbanite Run 10k route
what the hill?! (pun intended)

I arrived at 7pm fresh (or tired) from a shoot at Splash Island with the Weekend Warriors. After a quick-change in the car I met up with some friends from church who were also going to run the 10K event at 8:45pm.

Urbanite Run: the Vite Runners
Guess which ones were our bandits?

Official race results were released today (enter my bib number 1605 to view all my results) and despite me not beating my personal best, I’m still largely pleased with how I did.

summary info

The Timex clock at the finish line told me I crossed it at 54 minutes 25 seconds after the gun. It’s weird that the official time is off by five seconds. It’s still better than my treadmill time (54:31) before the Globe run, though.

result in entire field

Probably due to the lack of depth in the field (only 887 finishers in the 10K event), I finished in 32nd place. At the Globe run I finished in 60th place. My gender and division results were poor though; I finished two places lower.

result in gender
result in division

section speed
It was really a tough run: the time of night, the route, and the humidity and temperature wilted all the runners. I ran strong during the first two sections of the race, but by the last one, my will was starting to fail me as it was literally an uphill battle.girls do it better I tried to overtake a guy who had glowsticks poking up like antennae out of a headband. Then I tried simply to keep pace with him. But at the last two kilometers, he put on a burst of speed and just vanished. I was fading, and I had to pray aloud for God to give me what I needed to finish strong.

As I made the last turn toward the finish line, I saw the clock tick from 53 minutes into 54. Suddenly I felt a surge of defiance within me. No way was I going to let that clock tick into 55 minutes. I started sprinting.

Urbanite Run: Racing to the Finish
harder, better, faster, stronger

My feet crossed the mat, I came to a sudden stop to avoid crashing into the woman logging the finishers’ numbers, and I was gasping for breath from the burst of effort. A few minutes later, Rovilson came in from his 15K run, and we bumped fists before he went off to host the awarding ceremony with his best bud Marc. I stayed near the finish chute to welcome my fellow runner friends, and then we went back to the finish line to take some photos.

Urbanite Run: Powered Up!
my Supergirl pose. all I need is a cape billowing behind me…

I reverse my original statement that I like running alone. Sure I may leave behind the group I came with as I try to beat my personal best — but being around when they celebrate their own personal victories is a better feeling than the runner’s high.

UPDATE: Thanks to Sam the Running Ninja for giving me the link to my Photovendo photos from the race. See the change in my expression from the start to the end of the race:

Urbanite Run: Serene Start
Serene Start

Urbanite Run: Pushing the Limit
Pushing the Limit