Sunday, July 18, 2010

Running: A Love-Hate relationship with my New Balance

At 309 grams, I thought my New Balance 778 Lightweight Trainers bought around 3 weeks ago was the perfect training partner for my speed runs and interval training here in Cebu. I am a Nike guy and could not remember drooling over any other sports shoe since the Michael Jordan era of the 90s.

Always in 2 places every other week, I decided to leave my Nike Zoom in Mindanao, my first 'serious' stability running shoes I purchased last February, a month after I started running this year. Already past 444 km on its mileage, my NB 778 would give my Nike some needed rest when I am in Cebu.

So Nikes in Agusan, NB in Cebu.

The first test I did with my NB was run it around IT Park for several days and true enough my feet ached in the right places owing to shoe adjustment.

But this week proved to be another 'achy' moment with my 778. My right ankle felt stiff and I had to stop after just running 2.5 km around IT Park and could do no better than 7-7:30/km pace+. I was devastated. I blamed it on the shoe being too light to provide adequate running stabilities.

This morning from the 7th floor of the Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort (FB page) in Mactan, Cebu, I decided to give my NB another try-- a long distance run to the Lapu-lapu shrine where Magellan fell to the hands of the natives (carrying with them tools for circumcision, I gather).

The first few kilometers was a getting-to-know session again with my NB as I tested my running pace while traversing the virtually empty paved road to the shrine. I saw 3 or 4 runners. With less than a kilometer to the shrine I tried to increase my pace and it felt actually good. Minimal right ankle pain, which I attributed to my past runs, but manageable nonetheless. I said a quick hi to Magellan's tormentor and left.

Just about now, a few drops of rain started to pelter me. It didn't matter, I thought. I have run in the rain twice already and it was actually fun. Both were more than 10ks. The clouds might have heard me as suddenly torrential rain poured down on Mactan Island. In 2 minutes, I was already drenched. Fellow runners and cyclists took shelter (even a cow took shelter) while momentarily I was King of the Road! Wohoo!

I was relieved that I didn't bring along my wife's point and shoot camera else I would have to stop my run. I plodded on stepping on mud puddles and rain water, my NBs getting heavier and making funny noises as I ran. I did not even think of the already wet hotel key card in my pocket. I'm sure the hotel have lots of these.

I ran. I ran in the rain. And it was good. People stared and I stared back at them thinking, "You morons! The rain is good." If I shouted that, they would probably have shouted back, "Crazy dude!" The Cebuano version of the sentence is much more articulate.

I reached the hotel in 1:05 covering 9.36 km. Then the rain stopped.

It didn't matter now. NB and I went through some tough times together and we have bonded. LOL