Claudia is my homegirl.


I am in a running funk. Seriously, I have been logging some serious mileage the past weeks I’m afraid I might be wearing my legs out already, but then it doesn’t seem to be the case really because I have been performing quite well in races – stellar in some, even.  Whoa, that was one long sentence I think a comma or semi-colon should have made its way somewhere in those group of words.  And whoa, did I just say stellar? Such unabashed conceit I have half a mind to edit statement – but I won’t. You know why? Because I have been training fairly well and rather consistently that I feel I have the right to stake a claim on my little accomplishments- like that sweet podium finish at the 2nd PAU 50k Tagaytay to Nasugbu Run, for example.

Tooting my trumpet one last time...

Though I think I have tooted my trumpet pretty darn good about that race and for a good number of days, too, I believe I have done someone a disservice by not giving her a bit more attention: Claudia.

You all have met Claudia, right? She’s officially my homegirl. That day at PAU T2N, she made me experience ultrarunning like I had never before: In which I managed to complete a 50-km stretch of hardcore road pounding with absolutely no injuries – not even a dead toenail.

Claudia, my homegirl.

Since I got Claudia in June, I had scarcely been separated from her. She and I would run around Ortigas area, sometimes going all the way to Pasig or Katipunan, and she would always surprise me with surefooted spring in my stride that just gets better each time.

And her cushioning? Ohmy. I could just go on and on and on about it being absolutely perfect it does make me feel as though I am literally running on clouds.  Except that I probably cannot say literally because I haven’t run on clouds – yet. So should I say ‘metaphorically running on clouds’? Running 50 kilometers is no joke, least of all for people like me who grew up without a single athletic bone in their bodies.  Unless you count playing chinese garter, patintero, luksong-baka, or climbing aratiles and mango trees as proof of hardcore athleticism then, by golly, I am a super athlete!

Like I said in my previous post on PAU 50k T2N, unlike my other attempts at long distance running, I must say, I did pretty well in my training. For two weeks before the race, Claudia and I would set out every morning, clocking-in an average of 15k on weekdays (just before I go to work) and a minimum of 20k on Saturdays. My Sundays are for Church and catching up on my Criminal Minds and other tv series obsession and my reading, of course.

In those two weeks of committed running and sporadic Insanity routine, I have come to love Claudia. Nay, ‘adore’ would be more appropriate a word to describe our two-way romance. She is like the best sister and girl friend I never had! Also a formidable competition with the way she pushes me to go beyond my preconceived limits.

Have you guys read The Game of Thrones or watched the series, at least? You know how they say that for a swordsman to become really dangerous in fights, his arms and sword must be one. The sword must cease to feel like a piece of fashioned steel he’s clutching, but rather a part of him. That’s how I would describe Claudia. When I have her on, she ceases to be this sexy, sleek pair of kicks. She becomes part of my body.

My LSD partner, KB Runner.

BREAKING NEWS!!!! I got the sweetest email in my Yahoo inbox — I qualified for BDM 102!!! Thank you Baldrunner for ending my week-long trepidation!

Now it seems Claudia and I will have to start seriously training for next year’s BDM 102and I am mighty glad to have enlisted the help of this lovely gentleman called KB Runner who agreed to train me for the big race. He’ll be mapping out wild LSD routes for us to conquer on weekends until I’m all set and confident to rock BDM – in sexy style.

I just hope Claudia would still be very much around by then. Oh but she’s one tough cookie, I’m sure she’ll keep it together until we cross that finish line.

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Road Test: ON Running Cloudsurfer


It is true what they say: Once you have embraced running as a sport, you would not be able to resist the temptation to try out many different brands until you find one or two that fit you perfectly. It’s a lot like love when you think about it. Sometimes you go through some bad apples before you get your pick of the prime kind. I have tried a handful of running shoes out there and though I may have already found the answer to my running essentials in a particular brand, my curiosity got piqued when I heard through the grapevine that there is a new kid on the running block about to make an explosive debut in September this year — ON Running.

With CHRIS Sports Marketing Manager Arleen Lindo

Avansa Over-all award at the ISPO Brand New 2010 Awards for Innovation in Sports, ON Running is a product of Swiss technology, although manufactured in China – just like nearly everything out there.

Says our condo guard when I asked him to snap this photo: 'Ms. Vicky ang gaganda po lahat ng mga shoes nyo pero eto po pinakagusto ko.'

Although ON Running is only going to be made available in the local market in September, I was fortunate to have been among the first few runners to test the pair. And because I was so excited to see what the rave was all about (hey, it has the best and the brightest of athletes endorsing the brand), I took my pair on a spin right after my 16k race at the recently-concluded Takbo.ph RUNFEST, and two more short runs after that.

Ladies and gents, meet CLAUDIA the Cloudsurfer.

LOOK and FEEL: Aesthetically speaking, ON Running Cloudsurfer is far from offensively garish. It’s two-color combination (mine’s black and lime green) gives it a classy and easily recognizable look. It is very lightweight at approximately 10oz so you don’t feel like you’re lugging around a block of wood when running. The tongue and ankle padding is very comfortable and I also find the wide forefoot a lot to my liking because it gives my weirdly shaped feet some room for breathing.

You see, my feet are a bit of a freak. My left foot has the bone connecting my toe to the foot itself jutting out like, well, a freak. And because i still insist on wearing pointy heels that push the bone out some more, I need a wide forefoot for my running shoes in order for me to be able to run for a period of time without feeling pain in that area of my foot. I mean, I would love to show you my freakazoid of a foot but I won’t be responsible for the nightmares that would haunt you in your sleep!

But forget about my freak foot obsession and how the Cloudsurfer sorts all that out for me because really, ON Running’s greatest advantage is the innovative ‘Cloud-Tec’ feature which are basically those 13 cutesy rubber lugs on the soles whose main function is to improve shock absorption on landing.

Looking forward to more running time with Claudia

ROAD TEST: I have only tried ON Running on the road for about 20kms including yesterday morning’s 5k run (thank God the sun finally decided to grace us with its elusive presence!), give or take, but I can vouch for the greatly reduced impact on landing. There is definitely the feel of real cushioning but without the weight and loss of propulsion, hence, I was able to do a relatively long run without the usual stress on my body and the expected long recovery period. Since I have been running long distance races often, my lower legs, shins, and calves have suffered quite a lot which makes me quite picky when it comes to the trainers I wear.

The second time I ran outdoors with ON Running, it rained quite a bit so the road was damp and I noticed that the sole grip was not as incredible as it was on dry road.

Walking on sunshine, Running on clouds.

On dry road, the Cloudsurfer is quite something. I felt it even more yesterday morning when I did another 5k around Ortigas. I don’t know about other users and their experience but my gait certainly feels different. There’s also an unmistakable spring in my run. It’s almost as though those rubber thingies at the sole are pushing me forward so that I am covering more distance with each step.

I did, however, notice that my pristine white socks got stained by what I suspect could be the black mesh fabric of the shoes. But then again, that is nearly inconsequential when pitted against ON Running’s stellar qualities. Stain versus improved speed and lesser injuries? That’s not even an argument right there.

Channeling my 'inner Kenyan'

PRICE: ON Running will be available at all CHRIS Sports stores beginning September 2011 and is priced almost similarly as Newton and Zoot, so it may be a bit pricey for those who impose a ceiling on how much money they shell out for a pair of running shoes. But if you are just as particular with benefits and performance, you will find this pair to be worth every peso. I am not yet sure about the shelf life as I have only had it for a few days, neither am I sure about its performance on trails as I have yet to test them there, but I am hoping for the best in these areas too.

Thoughts on (hopefully) Running on On-Running


When it comes to running and nearly everything fitness-related, I have to give loads of credit to a certain friend of mine for getting me started – and pretty much hooked – on it. Though the ‘hooked’ part is really more of a personal conviction, something I am determined to keep on the up and up for as long as my body can take the pain, he was the one who introduced running to me – right from my first pair of legit running shoes, Mizuno Wave Creation 10 in bright orange (around this time, I haven’t gotten into the habit of naming my shoes yet but for easy recall, let me now call my first pair, Wanda. She breathed her last in Phuket  where I have decided to leave her degraded body – but Wanda served me well. Very well, in fact.) which he gave me as birthday present two years ago; Phoenix, my NF trail running shoes who carried my weight and busted shins all the way to the finish line of my first trail run – the Men’s Health All-Terrain Race in Sta. Elena; my prized Zara the Zoot which I would wear to my first (and only) full marathon, the Condura Run for the Dolphins in 2010 in which I crossed the finish line in less than five hours. Far from a Kikayrunner finish, obviously, but not too shabby either. Zara the Zoot were given to me as Christmas present so I was actually one of the few who would be wearing the pair before it was formally brought into the country by the local distributor. Zara came in patriot pink, by the way, which happens to be one of my favorite colors. And I got another pair of Mizuno Wave Rider, which I named Blu, as my 2011 New Year’s present. All these serve as constant reminder for me to work hard in making my fitness resolutions stick because I have been known to run my mouth on this and that and end up not achieving the end-goal I desire because I would get bored halfway through it and move on to do something else. It’s like the early signs of ADHD, I tell you.

Enter Reebok…and suddenly, my fitness goals have taken a whole new dimension. Just before I joined a bunch of cool runners as brand ambassador for Reebok Running, I thought my running mojo had decided to go on an extended vacation – indefinitely. At that time, I have not been logging decent mileage per week, so much so that I have already placed my running shoes back in their boxes, which resulted to my pants getting a bit tight around the waist again. Uh-oh. Danger alert!

Now what I like most about Reebok is its versatility. So far, the shoes and apparel that I have worn to so many running events and also at home when I do my Insanity workout (which reminds me, I gotta start Insanity Asylum soon!) have all given me my main prerequisites: Comfort, Performance, and Style. It fits perfectly with the very active lifestyle I maintain. I have Bruno, Basia, Purple Pippa, and Terra of the ZigTech family, and all of which have seen some hardcore action on and off-road. As luck – combined with hard work, determination and a whole lot of prayers for safety and deliverance from major injuries, if I may say so – would have it, I have also bagged a few podium finish. Recently though, I swallowed my prescribed dosage of this bitter pill called DNF and it did not taste heavenly at all, but it taught me a lot of things which I really ought to apply in my next ultra run happening in August. It’s 60k, if I’m not mistaken. Oh but before that, there’s MILO marathon happening end of the month for which I am hoping to log a new PR. I will attempt to shave off at least half an hour from my first marathon record of 4:56:00. Reebok Teammate Titanium Runner is egging me to pick up the gauntlet and throw in my bid to go sub-4 just like him and Sam the Running Ninja but I don’t know yet. I think it would be too tall an order for me. But who knows? Barring unpleasantries, I think I have enough fire power in me to achieve my marathon goal.

So now I think it seems pretty clear that I am a fitness enthusiast who loves shoes! I don’t know with you guys but it just seems very logical to me to come armed to the teeth when I am about to embark on some fitness activity – especially running. And by that I mean, I have to make sure my feet, knees, shins, etc. are insulated from injuries – especially the lingering kind. Nothing hurts a runner more than not being able to run.

Speaking of shoes, I have recently come across this brand which I heard will soon be making an appearance in the local running scene (courtesy of CHRIS Sports) — On-Running. Have any of you guys seen this on the road? I read Titanium Runner and JazzRunner‘s blog posts and I must say my curiosity got piqued. In a colossal way! It’s supposed to be the fastest running shoes in the world and it’s got nearly all of the world’s elite athletes raving about it. I took a peek at On-Running’s official website to learn a wee bit more about their patented CloudTec™ 3D cushioning system and found myself daydreaming about it for quite a bit. I mean, it’s rather hard not to when shoe performance is talked about glowingly like that. I have no illusions of one day running neck-and-neck with the gazelle-like Kenyans but I am mighty curious to know just how much faster I can still run. I don’t think I have reached my maximum speed yet. I mean, I may be 32 but I think my body’s built to constantly morph and improve. I wonder how it feels like wearing them? How exactly does this CloudTec system work? Will it really make me more agile and run faster and longer?

I suppose there is only one way to find out.

What are you running ON?

Uhrmmm, by the way, my birthday is less than 24 hours away. I’m just saying.