Kikay Reviews: New Balance Vazee Prism V2

I haven’t done a shoe review in quite a while no thanks to being quite busy with work. However, today I’ve got some time to burn at the airport (four hours before flight departure!) and much to say about the New Balance Vazee Prism V2.

I’ve been running in the Vazee Prism since January, when Planet Sports so generously seeded it to me. It’s become my go-to shoe for runs longer than an hour and offers such a great ride when I feel like going for a cruise-y run. Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: New Balance Vazee Prism V2”

Kikay Reviews: Under Armour Charged Bandit 2

With the start of the UA Run Crew last week, Under Armour is poised for a bigger presence in the Philippine running community. The brand seeks a bigger share of the running shoe market with their latest offering, the Charged Bandit 2.

Under Armour Charged Bandit 2

I’ve mainly been running in the Speedform Apollo for races and short distance sessions, and the “Speedform Gemini for marathon training. This was my first experience with the Bandit line, which is on Under Armour’s second tier of neutral running shoes, at a slightly lower price point. Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Under Armour Charged Bandit 2”

Kikay Reviews: Nike LunarEpic Flyknit

Like I mentioned in my weekly wrap-up post on Monday, I’m going to tell you about the Nike Epic Run held last Saturday at Nuvali where we tested the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit running shoes.

Nike Epic Run
with a few of the 5:30min/km pace group

I mentioned the midcut LunarEpics a few months ago that were launched alongside the twice-weekly Nike Run Club sessions. Now Nike has introduced low-cut versions for women with the same sole and insole technology to make you feel like you can run forever. Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Nike LunarEpic Flyknit”

Kikay Reviews: Under Armour Speedform Apollo

Two months ago I went on a search for new running shoes to try. It’s not as if my current shoes weren’t serving me properly anymore; I was just looking for a different stimulus. It was kind of akin to shopping for a new wardrobe, as if I used to wear mostly shorts and comfy tank tops and then wanted to blossom into pretty and girly with floral fashion from Zalora. I wanted something new and different that would maybe jumpstart my desire to run.

I found it in the Under Armour Speedform Apollo.

Under Armour Speedform Apollo GR

Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Under Armour Speedform Apollo”

10 Reasons You Need to Run NOW

For self-confessed run addicts like myself, running is like a food that nourishes our bodies and souls. It is something we can’t live without. But if you’re just starting out, the thought of slogging through miles on the road, rail, or treadmill may not be too appetizing.

To whet your appetite for running, here are 10 reasons you need to run, NOW.

Lacing Up for a Run

Continue reading “10 Reasons You Need to Run NOW”

First Impressions of the Mizuno Wave Hitogami

Due to port congestion, the Mizuno Wave Hitogami only hit our stores here last week — and how excited were we! Up until that point, only fellow Mizuno athlete Coach Ige Lopez had a pair of the racing flats that were set to replace the old Wave Musha and Wave Ronin models.

The Mizuno Wave Hitogami is the shoe Javier Gomez has been winning world championships in all year.

Javier Gomez at Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Javier Gomez at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships (photo by John David Becker/

A “Hitogami” in Japanese means “human-god” and denotes the actors in traditional Kabuki theater who put on face paint to transform into gods. So, by extension, putting on a pair of Wave Hitogami should make one feel god-like when running ;)

Of course off I went at the earliest opportunity to snatch up a pair at the Mizuno flagship store.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions
But first, let me take a #selfie

Having used the Wave Sayonara for quite some time, sliding into the Mizuno Wave Hitogami felt a little strange because of the smaller heel drop (9mm heel-to-toe, versus the Sayonara’s 10mm). In the Hitogami my heels sat lower to the ground; in general I felt a little more in contact with the surface underfoot than I did with the Sayonara.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions

I took the shoes out for a spin that same weekend at the Next Step Triathlon Exceed Camp with a sharp 2-kilometer run off a 50-kilometer bike ride. I’d actually brought my Sayonara as well, but decided it was as good a time as any to test how the Hitogami would do in a race situation when my legs are tired from riding hard.

Let me tell you, they were beautifully light and responsive. There’s minimal structure in the forefoot, although the heel cup keeps your foot in place quite nicely. Because of the smaller heel drop, it aids runners who land midfoot (higher heel drops encourage heel striking…)

The Hitogami is a shoe that’s great for light runners with good mechanics, and for a guy like Ige Lopez who’s been training and racing in neutral shoes for years, the Hitogami is a godsend. He’s actually going to run the Osaka Marathon in them.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressionsMizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions
the details viewed from the side look like Kabuki face paint!

However, I come from using more cushioned trainers, so if I want to run longer in the Hitogami I would need to break my body in gently on them.

One place I loved using the Hitogami is on the track.

Mizuno Wave Hitogami first impressions
the Hitogami raring to go at the ULTRA Oval

Regular training shoes always feel clunky to me on tartan track ovals. Because the tartan surface is softer than the road, my Sayonara with all its cushioning feels mushy underfoot and not very responsive. (On the road, the Sayonara is perfect.) The Hitogami is light on the feet and firm underfoot, which enables me to bang out track sets without feeling like I sink too deep into the track.

For a runner like me, I’ll be using the Sayonara during my training runs and long races, and the Hitogami on the track and potentially during very short races like sprint triathlons and 5K fun runs.

Read more about the Wave Hitogami on the Mizuno Philippines website.

Photos all taken with the Samsung Galaxy S5, available first on Globe Postpaid.

Noelle De Guzman, Kikay Runner, Mizuno Athlete

Good relationships last and grow stronger. I’ve been using Mizuno running shoes since almost the very beginning of my running days, and Mizuno has become part of my identity as a runner.

I’m thrilled to renew my contract and continue working with Mizuno for 2014-2015!

Noelle De Guzman, Kikay Runner, Mizuno athlete
with Mizuno Philippines marketing team Mikee Liwag and Aisha Reyes

From the Mizuno Philippines press release:

The star runner/tri-athlete/blogger is more famously known in the running community as Kikay Runner. She has been tearing through the running and triathlon scene since she started in 2010 and does not look to slow down as she continues placing in her recent string of races. Mizuno will take care of all her athletic shoe and apparel requirements.

Her weapon of choice has been the lightweight Mizuno Wave Sayonara and it comes in her signature color which is pink. She will be using the pair for her upcoming races in 2014.

Noelle had this to say about her re-signing: “Mizuno has always been there for me on my journey to be the best I can be. I’m with the brand that never settles!”

Digital Marketing Officer Mikee Liwag said, “She has great influence over the running community and what sets her apart from others is her competitive drive which we love here in Mizuno.”

I join fellow athletes like triathlon coach and adventure racer Coach Ige Lopez, volleyball player Rachel Anne Daquis, football players Marielle Benitez, Mark Hartmann, and Anton del Rosario, and Mizuno’s latest addition, champion triathlete Javier Gomez.

Thank you, Mizuno, for all your support and for believing in me.

Noelle De Guzman, Kikay Runner, Mizuno athlete
my weapon of choice is the Mizuno Wave Sayonara