The Need for Shades

Wednesday, 25 June 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

Running is one of the most affordable sports there is.  No need for special gear or equipment such as a swimsuit and goggles, bike and helmet, skis, ball, racket, etc.  One can indulge in the sport with the clothes on his back and the shoes on his feet—or, in rare cases, no shoes at all.  

Conversely, running can be an expensive sport, especially for insane people who obsess over the latest gear.  I am living proof of that statement.  

Since I started running, I have “invested” (the aforementioned word works wonders for the shopping conscience) in a watch, running shoes, singlets and shorts, ipod, caps, running socks, water bottle carrier, coaching and therapy fees, and more.  I thought I needed nothing more…until a couple of days ago.

I met affable and down-to-earth Titus Cruz, distributor of Optic Nerve shades in the country, who basically reminded me through his presence that I could use a pair of shades to keep my already singkit eyes from shrinking even more when the sun hits me.


– Titus of Optic Nerve –

Titus came into our meeting carrying bags of sunglasses in various shapes, colors, and sizes.  Optic Nerve shades, he explained, are sports shades that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. (Perfect for me because, at my injured state, I really can’t afford to lose another leg!)  And, based on what I saw, the shades have attractive designs and are high-quality products.  

I sifted through dozens of models and declared, after a long 30 minutes, that it was a toss up between “Threat” and “Revolt.”  I ended up choosing both.  

Driving home from The Fort, I wore “Threat” in the car—complete with stickers and tags on—and declared that I liked it.  Mind you, my two kids agreed that I looked like a cool mama too.  I have yet to test them training outdoors but you can expect to read TBR’s Optic Nerve review pretty soon.

For more information, you may contact Titus Cruz at 0917.812.0308 or email  Check out Optic Nerve sports shades at their site.


The Bull Gets a Bike

Wednesday, 4 June 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

Last Sunday, I dropped by my brothers’ place to pick up my new old bike.  One of my brothers unselfishly agreed to lend me his mountain bike so I could gradually dip my feet into the world of cycling.


– My new hand-me-down bike –

I have three brothers.  And they have three bikes, if I’m not mistaken.  

The eldest brother was a cyclist in his 20s.  Having an 11 year age gap, I remember watching him in awe as a little girl every time he got ready to leave or returned from his cycling adventure wearing his cleats (which looked so high tech at that time).  I recall his tattered, overused logbook and how he tediously monitored his distance, time, and everything else in it.  He taught me that wearing the yellow jersey was the coolest thing in the Tour de France.  

One time, while on my way home to Makati riding our school bus along Marcos Highway in Antipolo, I was pleasantly surprised to see my Kuya waving from outside my window.  My bus mates suspiciously asked who it was I was smiling at.  And, I replied with pride “That’s my Kuya!”

My two other brothers enjoyed cycling too, but never got into it as seriously as the eldest.  It was the 2nd brother who lent me the mountain bike.  The 3rd was asleep (at noontime!) when I picked up the bike.

So, before they allowed me to bring home the bike, my two kuyas commanded me to test ride the bike.  I rode it up and down the driveway.  Okay, it looked like I passed that test.

Next, they demonstrated how to shift gears and how to reattach them should the gears fall off.  Easy peasy, I thought.

Lastly, they showed me how to remove the front wheel for transporting the bike.  Wait a minute, run that by me again.  They showed me a 2nd time and asked me to do it myself.  I did it twice.  Then, they told me to load the bike unto my car.  Such tough instructors, I tell you!

When all that was said and done, my eldest brother gave his final words of advise much like a nervous dad discussing the birds and the bees with his teener.  Spinning his hands in the air, he said “Don’t push down with your feet.  Focus on circular motions.”  Okay!  “When you are about to climb up, shift your gears, take a deep breath, and push forward.” Got it.  Then he looked at the bike and said, this time like a mother giving her baby away for adoption, “I’m going to miss you!”

I felt pangs of guilt, but I knew that he knew his baby would be in good hands.  I will try to ride the bike at least once a week.  And, hopefully, I’ll enjoy it.  I’m sure not as much as I love running though.

Spenco In My Step

Thursday, 27 March 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

For the past two weeks now, I have enjoyed every bit of all my short runs sans the pain. What has made all the difference? Nope, it wasn’t Dr. Pribut’s ultra conservative recovery program (I heard knee clicks and experienced soreness even with the gradual progression from walking to running) nor my self-discipline, patience, or unwavering faith in the gods of running. It was Spenco.


– Spenco Orthotic Arch (Full Length) sitting comfortably in my beloved Wave Creations –

Yes. Believe it or not, a pair of arch supports have brought me back into running. It was Dr. Canlas who—after I consulted in absolute desperation and depression two weeks ago (which I intentionally did not share over here because I was mad, mad, MAD!)—told me quite simply that all I needed were arch supports and motion-control shoes. He even added, to make me feel better or hmm maybe worse, that my 2-month abstinence from running was completely uneccesary. I could’ve ran continuously had I just learned about this magical solution early on!

No use crying over spilled milk. I am a much more positive person now that I’m getting my daily dose of regular runs. Why, you’ll even notice me running with a new Spenco…I mean, spring…in my step.

The Spirit of The Marathon

Friday, 7 December 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets

COMING SOON! The first ever non-fiction movie that captures The Spirit of The Marathon.

You have to see this trailer.  Awesome!


So, what’d you say?  Let’s all watch this movie together with tons of bananas and gallons of Gatorade.  I can’t wait!!!

Visit The Spirit of the Marathon website here.

Thanks Taki for telling me about this!

Garmin vs Nike+: A Test of Accuracy

Monday, 12 November 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets


NOV. 3, SATURDAY. This was the first time I used my Garmin on a long run. Our goal with Annie, my running buddy, was 15 km around Ayala Alabang. We agreed on taking our usual 12 km route and just let our feet carry us an additional 3 km anywhere from that point. Boy, were we in for a surprise.

At the 12 km mark (according to Nike+ in the past), the Garmin recorded a distance of 9.5 km. “9.5?!” Annie shrieked in disbelief. I was likewise stunned at the awfully large discrepancy. At the very least, I was expecting to hit over 10 km by then.

Which gadget was telling the truth? Had I been logging less kilometers than I actually ran for the past 5 months? Should I have followed Nike’s directions and calibrated the kit before using it? All these questions were floating about in my mind as Annie and I plodded on with an unxepected 5.5 more kilometers to run.

[ TEST ]

NOV. 10, SATURDAY. At the risk of looking like Inspector Gadget, I wore both the Garmin and Nike+ on my next long run last Saturday.  Our goal this time was 18 km.  Again, we ran the same initial 12 km route then ran halfway through that same route making our way back to the starting point.

At the onset, both gadgets recorded the same distance.  At least, that’s how it was at 2 km.  But, as we increased our distance, the discrepancy increased as well.

For the pace, there was a significant 30 second difference too; the Nike+ giving me a faster pace than the Garmin.

At the same 12 km mark (based on the Nike+ in the past), the Garmin, much to my delight, registered the exact distance as the past week’s run: 9.5 km.  I pretty much knew which gadget was more accurate at that point.  And, sadly, our once favorite 12 km route needed an immediate name downgrade to “10 km route.”


Here are the actual data from both the Garmin Forerunner 305 and uncalibrated Nike+:

GARMIN: Time 2:01:15/ Distance 18.2 km/ Ave pace 6:4/ Calories 1028
NIKE+: Time 2:00:08/ Distance 20.5 km/ Ave pace 5:5/ Calories 1148

I get goosebumps thinking of what could have happened had I used the Nike+ to train for my upcoming marathon.  I would’ve been led to believe that I trained at my maximum 32 km when it might have been only 30 km or less.  Scary isn’t it?

* Note: At 8 km, I accidentally ended the Nike+ workout when we paused for a water break.  I started a new workout and added data from both workouts.


I predict my Garmin Forerunner 305 will be my new best friend.

I predict my Nike+ will gather dust at home.

I predict I’ll get death threats from Nike+ fanatics who are running 2 kms less than they actually are.  (Please don’t kill the messenger.)