No Pain, No Pain!

Monday, 4 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights, Gear + Gadgets

It was the second test run. And I was nervous.

I didn’t want to do this mini experiment in front of everyone.  Nope, not even before close friends.  I wanted to do this on my own, in the comforts of my home, and on my decrepit, practically orphaned, but reliable treadmill.

If this 2nd test run failed, it would be easier for me to deal with another bout of sadness.  I would just quit if I felt pain or discomfort in my injured area, change into my pambahay, grab a cup of coffee and nibble my frustrations away with some blueberries while watching yet another replay of The Bachelor.  I wouldn’t have to slow down any running buddies to a walk or dine at UCC consuming more calories than I actually burned by walking Erap-style on the road.

But, if this little experiment succeeded, if I could actually run again without any pain or discomfort, then I could proceed at my own easy pace or even stop anytime if I didn’t want to aggravate the injury.  Even in the silence of my own study where my treadmill is homed, I could rejoice on my own and savor every single moment of a short experimental run after having been out for so long.


I had done my research online and scared myself to death with all the threads about Morton’s Neuroma being a persistent runner’s injury.  (You would’ve been glad to NOT be my personal friend at this point because you would’ve received incessant texts from me about possible alcohol injections and surgery just to get this nasty injury out!)  But, I managed to draw out some helpful tips on how to deal with the injury that I practiced for the test run.  These were:

1. Keep shoe loose in the toe box – I used my Women’s KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light.  I’m still unsure if I should be using this considering I got the injury while wearing them for 6 months, but I’ll see how it goes.

2. Run on soft surface – hence the treadmill

3. Use orthotics – I used my newer Spenco orthotic insoles (I have three pairs which I rotate! Hah!)

4. Use metatarsal pads – I didn’t know what the heck were metatarsal pads.  Man, before this injury, I didn’t even know what a metatarsal was!  But I did remember that I was given samples of footcare products from New Zealand a few months back so I hunted around the house for them.  True enough, I found metatarsal pads…and more!

– I attached this Neat Feat Metatarsal Pad to my middle toe (just like in the illustation on the packaging) and felt relief underneath my injury –

– I wanted to attach this Neat Feat Forefoot Insole under my Spenco but thought it may be overkill. I’ll try it some other time –

– No use denying I have a bunion. If you see me in flipflops, you’ll spot it a mile away anyway. I’m thinking of trying this soon too since bunions make one more prone to having Mortons Neuroma –

I’m posting images of other Neat Feat products in case you may spot something you need…


– See the 3B Action Cream above?  I tried that in place of Body Glide for one long run.  Oh looord, I chafed like crazy.  No, I wouldn’t recommend that.  I guess Neat Feat should stick to Feet. –


– Products for women’s feet –


So, there I was, on a fine cloudy Sunday morning yesterday, dressed in full running gear at 7 a.m. ready to hop on the treadmill. The metatarsal pad felt awkward but it did provide relief at the injured area.

By this time, I thought, most of the 21k runners who signed up for Yamaha Run would be nearing the finish.  There were no thoughts such as “Drat, I should’ve been there.” or “I could’ve PR’d in that race.” I was focused on only one thing: Running at least 30 minutes without a single hint of pain.  If I could just have that, I would be the happiest runner in the world.  (Funny how life can throw you a curveball and reduce your goals to what you used to take for granted, eh? )

I started with a 5 minute walk and increased the pace to a conservative 6.  That was it for me.  No sense in pushing any faster to the level I was accustomed to.  I ran and ran and ran.


I couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t feel a hint of pain.  None at all!  After 10 minutes, I slowed to a walk.  Then, I increased the pace to a run and did another interval of running.  No pain!  Holy crap, no pain!  I finished 3k with absolutely no pain.  What a feat!  A Neat Feat! (Corny.  And, no they didn’t pay me for that!)

Let me tell you that in that moment everything just fell into place.  Like there was a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel.  Like I found my rhythm after being sidetracked for God knows how long.

I’m not fully recovered yet, but wow it’s good to finally get out of limbo land and know that I’m finally headed somewhere.  Looking forward to seeing you all on the road soon.

Neat Feat products are available in Watsons SM Mall of Asia (near National Bookstore), Fairview, Podium, Gateway.  For inquiries, contact

Bull’s Eye: Asics Sky Speed 2 (and more running shoes)

Thursday, 16 June 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

This Bull’s eye spotted Asic’s Skyspeed 2. WOW!  This is one handsome shoe.  May I say even more handsome than Piolo?!  (You know I’ll take running shoes over men anytime!)

SkySpeed M
– Asics Sky Speed 2 Men –

* NOTE: “BULL’S EYE” will be a new series on  This will feature new gear, products, or services that catches my eye. These will NOT be paid endorsements or advertisements unless otherwise stated.

I dropped by the Asic’s showroom last week to check out the Autumn-Winter 2011 collection of Asics.  I was thrilled with the new line of shoes. Looks like Asics is adding more than a dash of color to its new running shoes—and I’m loving it!

Like I said, I fell head over heels for the Asics Gel DS – Sky Speed 2.  It’s a newcomer in Asics’ line of products and almost like the little brother of my favorite Asics’ shoe, Asics Gel – DS Trainer.  It can be used as an everyday trainer. Price: P6,500. Available in Asics GB3

Bad news about the Asics Sky Speed 2 though: it’s only available for Men locally.  Sob sob.  To my fellow female runners: I begged Asics to sell the Women’s Sky Speed 2 seen below.  Let me know if you think I should collect signatures for a petition!

– Bright green Asics Sky Speed 2 Women on the right –

My 2nd favorite is the Asics Gel-DS Trainer 16.  This is a supportive, lightweight trainer.  I had the older model which, unfortunately, my foot just doesn’t agree with, but a lot of my runner friends swear by this shoe.  Price: P6,250. Available in Asics GB3

DS Trainer
– Asics DS Trainer 16 Women –

For those of you who want light and fast shoes for races, the Asics Gel-DS Racer 8 looks fantastic too. This is a unisex shoe. Don’t you just love that copper line that cuts across? Price: P5,500.

DS Trainer M
– Asics DS Racer 16 Men –

The new collection of Asics boasts of new features which include:

1) Guidance Line – This is a line that runs at the outer sole of the shoe.  It helps fix your stride instead of wavering when you’re starting to get tired.  Almost like training wheels for your foot.  This is available only with some models, namely Kayano 17, Cumulus 13, Nimbus 13, GT 2160, DS Trainer 16, Sky Speed 2 and more.

Guidance Line
– Look closely and you’ll see the words “Guidance Line” –

2) AHAR Heel Plugs – This is a high resistance rubber on the heel of the outer sole of the shoe for extra durability.


3) Soft Top Duo Max for Women – Only Asics makes a unique system for the insole that caters specifically to a Women’s needs. It makes for a more comfortable ride and protects women from injury. I heard sales for Asics Women’s shoes soared in the US because of this new feature.

Duo Max

Okay, I took down a lot of notes for you. Here’s the WEIGHT OF ASICS RUNNING SHOES (in ounces) for most shoes:

  • Nimbus 13 – M 11.5 | W 9.5
  • Cumulus 13 – M 11.8 | W 9.3
  • Kayano 17 – M 12.6 | 10.4
  • GT 2160 – M 11.7 | W 9.6
  • GT 1160 – M 10.7 | W 9.5
  • DS Trainer 16 – M 10 | W 8.5
  • Sky Speed 2 – M 9.9 | W 7.9
  • Piranha – M 4.6
  • Tarther – M 7.4 | Tarther Diva 6.2
  • DS Racer 8 – M 7.6

Age is Just a Number: Achieving Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life from Dara Torres

Wednesday, 8 June 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

Age is Just a Number: Achieving Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life from Dara Torres—twelve time Olympic medalist in swimming (four of which was gold) and the first American swimmer to compete in five olympics—is all about swimming.  But, runners, and even non-runners, stand to gain from reading this book.  It’s about an individual who realizes that she can achieve anything no matter the obstacles—whether it was age, naysayers, injuries, or real life.  It just so happens that Dara found her passion in swimming.  Even if your passion is in running, biking, or multisport, this book will inspire you.  Well, that’s what it did for me.

Dara Torres

Dara Torres was an Olympic swimmer in her teens, pursued a comeback at 32, and yet another comeback at 41 as a young mother. She broke her own world records set in her younger days and competed with younger swimmers…and won.  At 41, she didn’t only get to the Olympics, she bagged silver missing gold by only one one-hundredth of a second.

Wow. I loved her strength of character, her discipline, how meticulous she was with her nutrition and training, how competitive she was, and last but not the least, how she balanced this all with motherhood. She calls herself a Type A++ person, one who wants everything done fast, correctly, and with 100% effort.  That’s pretty much me (I don’t know if that’s a good thing!) in my, uhm, far more ordinary and mundane world.

Here’s just one of my favorite excerpts from Page 219: “I am who I am—a competitor at heart. That hundredth of a second doesn’t gnaw at me a little; it gnaws at me a lot. I’ve heard people say it put the focus on my comeback in the right place, on blowing open the possibilities as we age. But that’s not how I think. I’ve wanted to win, at everything, every day, since I was a kid. And time doesn’t change a person. It just helps you get a handle on who you are. Even at age 41, I still hate losing; I’m just more gracious about it. I’m also aware that setbacks have an upside: They fuel new dreams.”

Thanks to Jun and Mariel for giving this book to me at the perfect time: when I turned a year older last month and a full month before I got this stupid injury.  It’s helped a lot in keeping me strong (and bull headed) despite the setback.

Quick New Kwickys

Wednesday, 25 May 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

I got my first pair of Kwicky Blade Light in January 19, 2011.  I loved it so much I used it for track, tempo, races, and long runs.  It was the ever so dependable multi-tasking shoe. (Read my shoe review HERE)

A couple of weeks ago, my friends started making fun of me for using such decrepit looking shoes.  I gazed down at my feet and realized only then that the shoes did look old, and stinky, and pathetic!  I didn’t realize that I had used them for almost 6 months and I had logged in over 750 kilometers in them.

Last week, as I was getting dressed for a run, I couldn’t find them in my pile of shoes.  I asked our househelp to look for them and she plainly pointed at the pair right in front of my face. I had completely missed them!  I was looking for yellow shoes when, in fact, this pair was already black!  Oookay, I knew then that it was time to get my new pair of Kwicky Blade Lights.

Unfortunately, this model is doing so well that my size is sold out in Manila. KSwiss was kind enough to source it for me in other Asian countries, but my size is sold out there too.  Crap.  Their advice: Use the Men’s smaller size which should be exactly the same.  Since I desperately need to break in my new pair in preparation for Phuket Marathon, I said: Yes!  I’ll try that Men’s pair (even if the Women’s yellow is way cooler!)

Looking forward to my last longest run this weekend with this fresh-out-of-the-box pair!


– Out with the old and dirty. In with the brand new pair –

7 Products This Running Mom Loves

Tuesday, 10 May 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

In the spirit of Mother’s Day last Sunday, I thought of sharing some products that I love…

(1) RUN LIKE A MOTHER: A friend brought this home for me as pasalubong from a trip abroad. I initially thought it would be a typical book on recreational moms who happen to run.  I was wrong. It’s a witty and engaging book written by serious runners who happen to be moms and how they successfully balance everything on their plate.  I’m just halfway through the book but I can completely relate!


(2) CUSHE SLIPPERS: I bought this pair of slippers last week in Trinoma after giving a running talk. I usually use Havaianas after a run or swim (and I probably still will for convenience), but this is another option for a more unique and feminine look. Love how the toe slips in between the two straps.  And, did I tell you how comfortable they are?!  Perfect after a long run.  Cushe must mean cushy.


(3) MESSY BESSY SPORTS SPRAY: My good friend Krie Lopez manufactures Messy Bessy. She gave me this for Christmas and I just love it. You know how your sweaty running clothes inevitably makes everything else around it smell like sweat—the car, your gym bag, and even your bathroom. Spray this and the odor goes away completely!


(4) COLUMBIA CHASKI SANDAL: When Columbia gave me this last year, I had a tough time choosing among the colors. Don’t let the cute, playful colors fool you. This sandal was inspired by the ancient Messenger in the Inca Empire called Chaski, who were highly trained runners. Admittedly, I wouldn’t run in them, but I use them for the beach or grocery. Columbia says it’s the ultimate outdoor sandal.


(5) GOODY STAY PUT: I’m a huge fan of Goody’s Stay Put line. But, for the past years, I’ve always stuck to the plain back bands. Couple of weeks ago, I bought this colored set from Runnr. Makes summer running even more fun! And, they’re not so hard to find in my black hole of a gym bag.


(6) NIKE FREE RUN+ 2: I know, I know. I’ve written about this before. But, I can’t help it. This is the ultimate running shoe slash everything else shoe for me. And no, I’m not a Nike endorser. (The shoe in the photo below is the newest model for Women.)


(7) NATHAN HYDRATION BELTS: Check out these colors! I used to be a big Amphipod fan, but after trying Nathan, I switched brands. What I like most about Nathan are the elasticized belts that don’t shift up and down like other brands. I’ll post more detailed product reviews on these two products (and the handheld which is what I use the most) soon.


Belated Happy Mother’s Day to all running mommies! It’s not too late to ask for gifts, you know?