My feet and I got to know each other a little better today. Thanks to Adidas, I got a free runner’s check up with Kristine Warren, the head physiotherapist of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Clinic in Ateneo de Manila.
So, there I was, standing in the middle of the Ateneo Highschool parking lot under the pouring rain with my feet soaked in dirty rainwater (how many times should I remind myself to stop wearing flipflops now that it’s the rainy season?!) I was searching for the Moro Lorenzo Gym and—since that entire structure was not even conceptualized during my college days—I could not for the life of me find it! After calling a friend (who just tells me to go straight ahead), I see it before me. Now how could I miss that colossal thing?!
After a brief wait, I am welcomed by Kristine herself. She cordially ushers me into her cubicle, plops down a black rubber pad right outside the door, and asks me to run as naturally as I can over it—with my bare feet. Uh huh, I nod and then I nervously peep out her door to note the handful of male athletes who will be forced to watch my attempts at landing on that little mat properly while I try my best to curl and hide my hideous runner’s toes (which, as I’ve told you, were earlier submerged in rainwater. Cover your noses people!) After reminding myself that these men are practically a decade younger than me (so they could care less about a ditzy mommy) , I muster up the courage to run and successfully finish the simple test in three tries.
Kristine pulls up a chair and I sit beside her to watch my feet pop out on her monitor (much like what the Predator would view using his infrared vision.) In the case of my foot image, the red portion shows areas of high-pressure landing against the backdrop of my yellow footprint. The monitor also reveals how and where my feet land and the full movement of each foot as I run.
– Kristine and Joseph of the Moro Lorenzo Sports Clinic posing with my feet image! –
My first reaction was panic. Do I land the right way? The image portrayed me clearly as a heel-striker. No doubt about that. But, with all the opposing information available in books and the net, I wasn’t quite sure if it was good to be labelled as such. Kristine says there is no hard and fast rule to this one. Some coaches teach you to strike at the heel, others prefer mid-foot. Whatever works for you, she says. Images of Haile Gebrselassie, Adidas endorser and greatest runner of all time, landing on his fore foot—not his heels—flashback into my memory and I know Kristine is right. To each his own.
Next, Kristine reveals that I—ack I hate to admit this—sort of turn my knees inward while running, then my feet try to make up for it by moving laterally. What?! I didn’t know I was capable of such a complicated maneuver! Perhaps I should have been a flamenco dancer instead of a runner?
Kristine instantly makes me feel better though when she calls me a “lightweight” runner with narrow feet. (Now you know: the best way to boost the self esteem of a knock-kneed runner is to tell her that she’s lighter than she looks.) She further says that I put heavy pressure on my forefoot (oh, you should’ve seen all those tiny red spots right below my pinky toe and in the middle of the ball of my feet) so she knows exactly what shoe to recommend for me.
Kristine says I must focus on cushioning. (Cushioning. Cushioning. Cushioning. Remind me about this the next time I go shopping for shoes. Now I know why I’ve got more calluses than skin under my feet. Okay okay I’m exaggerating, but really I do have a lot.) For competition, I should get the Adizero CS which has climavite cushion. Meanwhile, I could choose between the AdiStar Cushion or Supernova Cushion for my training shoes.
I hate to admit it, but I’ve confirmed what I knew for the past few weeks: that my current running shoe isn’t compatible with my feet! Through the Adidas Runner’s Check Up, I learned that my shoe is way too wide at the front and lacks the cushioning my special feet deserve. Aaaah, that’s what I get for buying a shoe without ever having my feet assessed. Lesson learned, but money wasted.
So, to all you future running shoe shoppers out there, go for a feet evaluation before you open your wallets! The Adidas Runner’s Check Up travels all around the Metro offering free feet assessments to everyone.
Thanks to Odette Velarde for making all this possible! Yeah, impossible is nothing with Adidas, eh?