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Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning Big Words While Running: Extensor Tendonitis

What is Extensor Tendonitis? 

Extensor Tendonitis is what you get when you have just discovered a new running form and have become an over eager newbie barefoot runner. The trouble with barefoot running is that it is so damn enjoyable that you really want to do it every day, never mind that every website and blog is telling you to slow down and add it slowly to your running diet.

Extensor Tendonitis is what you get when you already feel a slight top of foot pain and you ignore it and run through it because honestly, running barefoot takes away the pain, that is, until you stop and then the pain comes rushing back threefold.

That's all you really need to know about it but if you insist on being scientific, here:
The white parts are the tendons and the extensors are the tendons that lift and pull the feet up and towards the shin.

Let us all bear in mind that before we rediscovered barefoot running, we were all running with high-tech cushions on our soles and were heel striking. If you run barefoot and you try to heel strike, your entire body from the heel of your foot to the tips of your hair will get the shock of a lifetime. It will hurt like heck. The only reason why it doesn't hurt when we heel strike with shod feet is all the cushion that goes on in the soles of running shoes. This also means that the tendons, ligaments and muscles in our feet do nothing much, they are basically couch potatoes sitting comfortably in your rocket science imbued running shoes.

With barefoot running, your body is suddenly reminded of the natural way to run, which is striking the ground with your forefoot. Suddenly, you pull out the soft cushy sofa that your feet has been lounging on and you take your feet out for a run in the nude. At first your feet will feel the asphalt's texture and will probably want to kick you for weighing so much, and then it will just be very happy because everything, all those bones and myriad of supportive structures in your feet are finally being put to use.

And like a kid who has been introduced to the wonders of a slide and has slid 145 times in one day with pure joy each time, your happy feet will be in pain, not exactly the following day, but, as what happened with me, a few months after you first freed your feet and introduced it to barefoot running.

Trust me on this one, you will enjoy running barefoot and you will overdo it.

So, take it from me, who now has to stop running for 10 days, LISTEN TO ALL THE BLOGS AND WEBSITES telling you to pace yourself and add barefoot running in tidbits no matter how good it feels.

How to treat extensor tendonitis?
  • Rest for 7 to 10 days. If it still hurts after that, it could be something worse like a tear so visit your podiatrist.
  • Ice it or take anti-inflammatory medication. I don't want to do either. I love my kidneys and liver, no meds.
  • Stretch! Stretch your calves, the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles so that they wont pull on the extensors too much.
  • And, since I can't live right now without physical activity, I am swimming in lieu of my running. Swimming helps the body deal with injuries while keeping you moving.


Here's to hoping I get better and up and running by the tenth day.

In the meantime, run like the Tarahumaras!

Friday, April 27, 2012

A really good video on Forefoot Striking


To my friends with ballet or jazz dance background, here is how NOT to land on your toes. It has to be the balls or the pads or those metatarsals, you know, the bones after your toes!

To my friends who wear the latest impact, stability and cushioning technology under the soles of their feet, try to buy one with less heel, like the shoes that Eric is wearing in the video. Now the trick is, for you to forefoot strike within your shoe so that your shoe can midfoot strike the ground. That is how screwed up running shoes can get.

Anyway, I found that this video helped me A LOT in correcting my running form not just because of the exercises but also because Eric draws our attention to different parts of the leg and feet as we run. Most of the time we do not really know what goes on in our legs and feet, we simply take off. In this video, we can practice it on the road and be mindful of how we run.

So, enjoy, and remember to get your butt off that chair, GO OFFLINE AND GET RUNNING.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Ballerina's Guide to Barefoot Running

Ok, so I am not a ballerina. But once upon a time I did wear tights and leotards and tutus and danced on my tippy toes.

There goes the problem. When you tell someone who has some ballet background to land on the balls of their feet or on their forefoot, they tend to overdo it and land on their toes. Why? Well, because we have developed exceptionally flexible feet and we can literally land on our toes after a short love affair with the air and never even have to distribute any weight to any other part of our feet.

We can do everything while on our toes. Except, maybe, that thing that you are thinking of right now.

So, I finally found out why I had shin splints. I was running, as in landing and pushing off with my toes. Just my toes. I didn't notice it until I watched the seasoned runners' landing very closely. All of them have all parts of their feet touch the ground. It's just that their forefoot strikes the ground first.

This is a very "DUH" moment but really, I didn't notice what I was doing until I watched my shadow as I was running past the Econ building in UP Diliman.

I corrected my form in this night's run. With every landing I strove to land on my entire forefoot and not just on my toes. It gave me, not just a better landing, but a better push off; my toes can dig into the ground instead of being so rigid because it had been carrying me the whole time. I also noticed that I tend to overpronate my right foot and learning that gave me a chance to balance my weight on my hips and feet, and what a surprise, no plantar fasciitis pain for me tonight.

That's all for tonight. Run like the Tarahumara!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How tempting to walk around in huaraches. But what of fashion?

Achtung! Fashion post from a fashion-challenged gurl.

I am not the best girl to be worrying about fashion, basically because if you ask a handful of my friends, they'd tell you I'm the least bit fashionable, and that although I may come up with a few good ones, the majority of my outfits require looking away from. And that is why I am a writer.

Goodbye plastic huarache.


Having said that very wordy caveat, I found myself buying new girly shoes yesterday. The straps of my trusty 100% plastic (yes, very environment unfriendly) huarache popped off while I was out malling with my best girl, Acar. I wish the popping happened in a Landmark where there are endless shoe choices but unfortunately, we were stuck in Robinsons Place Manila and the department store was just too, what's the word, lacking.

Barefoot Life

I had a hard time choosing because my mind launched into a lifestyle debate. Since I am running barefoot and minimalist, shouldn't I be applying the whole barefoot concept to my life as well?

I lost 20lbs since last Christmas and with that I lost the gout too. Then the gout got replaced by plantar fasciitis. I started running again (with my trekking shoes) a couple of months ago and my Achilles tendon was wreaking havoc all day long. Now, when I started barefoot running, there was no more gout, no more plantar fasciitis and no more Achilles tendon pain. Everything was nifty except for the shin splints which I have to work on. All in all, barefoot running has solved a lot of my health problems.

And so, my mind was telling me, why not let barefoot running solve my life problems. I'm like, ho in the hay, wait a minute, that's asking for too much.

Well, count on me to fall in love with something and want to realign my life towards everything that that something represents. I won't tell you about the time I got enamored with Hinduism just because a lot of Hindu readings were assigned to us in one of our courses in college.

Walking in heels.

I used to love wearing chunky heels, and I still can recall the pain in my feet during those times when I walked from RCBC Plaza to Glorietta (yes, I was an avid walker even in heels). While I was choosing which shoe to buy, on that day that the blasted plastic huarache bade goodbye, I admit to having checked and maybe even tried on a few of those platform shoes with lovable summer patterns.

Pink, almost ballet flats.


pink punkberry shoesAlthought, I am not yet on the verge of going to the Cotabato mountains and holing in with the Tasadays but I am all for going natural. And besides, I wasn't going to sabotage my feet again since they are just on their way to rehabilitation. So I ended up buying flat shoes. I wished for more room up front for my toes but until I get to design and manufacture my own shoes, I would have to squeeze in to the concept of pointy toes.

So, here's what I got, all for the low low price of 395PHP. It's a brand called punkberry. Nothing too ambitious or fashionable but it works.

Please don't kill me because it's pink. Most of my clothes are gray or black and so I tend to buy colorful shoes just to add a bit of interest and life to my otherwise drab color palette.

I haven't ran in 3 days. Very bad for me, I feel a backlog already. Will run tonight. See you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Pros of Making Running A Habit

Not all days can you summon the gaiety of a 4-year-old and bring it with you on your runs.

Some days, the 4-year-old's evil step sister dumps the slimy weight of her pre-spinster syndrome on you and I'll tell you it's worse than teenage angst. (And no, you can't ask me how I know so.)

What to do?

Well, if you're like me, I already have my runs scheduled in my bones. I hear the church chime at 6, I watch the sunset from my window, I change to my running gear, and at 7, I leave the house. It's like clockwork. I've finally formed a habit my relatives will not disown me for. Hurrah.

I have been running with green slime and a handful of bile for about two days now. How have I done it? Blame the habit. I couldn't stay at home between the hours of 7 and 9. It's almost like the house is retching me out of it's walls. I had to get out and run.

Well. So. Sorry, I am still covered in gunk and have no sense of humor to speak of right now.

Just... GO AND RUN ALREADY!

Oops sorry, that was the evil step sister. Not me. Run along now. Bye!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Putik Pare, ang hirap mong habulin Or: Trying out different running forms

Introduction to the title

Ok, apologies to my international audience, which for some reason are quite a bunch, thank thee heavens. That part of the title that you can't understand translates to: Shit man, you're hard to catch.

In the Philippine running world though, we have what is called the Vaseline Men Xterra Putik Pare Off-Road Triathlon, basically men running in muddy trails, biking in sometimes not too muddy trails and running and falling in mud pits of all sorts of sizes. Sorry I did not really look up the mechanics but it's something that masquerades as too much fun but actually hurts in all places known and unknown to man. But yes, you can bet that wallowing in the mud is more fun here in the Philippines because we don't have freezing cold mud. Here is the Xterra site with loads of photos.

Pay-per-Lifestyle

So, the past two weeks since I've gone barefoot and minimalist running, I've also been trying out different  running forms. Even though our body is finite, there are many running forms that people have developed/discovered/invented and made money out of. Seriously. They all say how easy it is to do and then at the end of the effin thing, you need to pay 25$ or some other denomination to get the full blown rigamarole that is supposed to change your life in like blammo!

Well, you can go ahead and buy whatever lifestyle you want if you have the extra cash to blow, but if you're like me, I'd rather just go ahead and do more research and try the damned thing on the road. Hah!

Sometimes I get injured in the process, but I'm hard headed. I'm not saying that you should be too!

Running Styles

Barefoot Bob Method


Barefoot Bob's and Pose is quite similar if not the same. I just made a mistake of taking my knees too high while using  Bob's techniques and boy did it ever send me sailing so fast. I realized that I was not only lifting my knees high I was also overextending my leg in the process, like a sprinter's gait. And that was why I was so out of breath.

The Pose Method


The following day I tried to follow the Pose method and found that it was very much similar to how I naturally ran except that I didn't lean as much as I should have and my raised foot was in the wrong place (see video).

The Putik Pare Ang Hirap Mong Habulin Running Form - for the WIN!

On that same day, while I was struggling with my Pose, there was this really cool Xterra Putik Pare Finisher (yes he was wearing the finisher's shirt and the muscles to prove the fact) who was literally just whizzing past with very little vertical movement.

He ran like a cartoon with only the lower limbs moving and boy was he moving fast. I didn't manage to compute his cadence but it was really fast. A few times he passed me and I tried to mimic his stride and his speed but after a few meters I would fall back. With lots of smiles on my face, people were looking at me like, man that fat girl sure can run fast.

So, my Putik Pare friend has taught me a lot of speedwork that day. I tried it again last night and it still worked, I imagined him overtaking me like a mad cartoon guy, an eat and runner, and run I did, fast as I could with the least vertical movement I could muster.

Summary, so far:

Relax arms and legs
Bend knees
Raise one foot beside calf
Lean forward
Run with the least bounce
Land on your forefoot


Until next time! Run like the Tarahumara.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Girl on the Run: Dealing with Monthly Periods

What happened to Running Barefoot Day 2?

This post is supposed to be Running Barefoot Day 2.
But that day turned out to be Running Barefoot on the First Day of My Period.

After my successful Running Barefoot Day 1, I was having a hard time accepting that Day 2 sucked big time. I couldn't run as long as I wanted to and it wasn't the shin splints either.

I felt like a heavy blob. I ran in my Speedos, mostly walked, two rounds, then walked barefoot for a around 500m and headed for home.

When I got home I found out what was wrong with me. I had my period.

So, running beauties, our lesson for today is how to deal with periods.

Should I still run even when I'm on my period?


Yes, by all means! Running before your period means less cramps. Running during your period means you're crazy, no I mean that you don't mess up with your running schedule and not have to make up for the lost time.

All you need, since tampons are still not very welcome in this part of the world, is a good snug fit with your sanitary napkins and you're good to go.

Just don't wear light colored bottoms. Well, that's common sense.

Another plus point when you run during your period? You get less cranky. So boys, this is a good reason to get your girlfriend up and running with you when you know those days are a-coming.


Run like the Tarahumara!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Barefoot Running Form

The photo above is from http://www.thepeacefulrunner.com.

Aside from the videos in Barefoot Bob's website, this is what I think of when I am running. A mental note to check whether I am running the right way or not.

Aside from the obvious difference between shod and barefoot running, another main difference is the way the foot lands on the ground. Because most running shoes have a cushioned heel thicker than the rest of the sole, a shod runner tends to strike the ground with the heel first. Barefoot runners strike the ground with their midfoot or their forefoot.

Dan Lieberman of Harvard University has been studying the biology and biomechanics of barefoot running. In one of his studies, it shows that barefoot running has less impact on the body and the feet as opposed to shod running. You can watch the videos comparing barefoot and shod running in his website.

As for me, I found that the advice of Barefoot Bob is the easiest to follow:
1. Relax, relax, relax.
2. Align head, neck, shoulders and hips.
3. Tilt body to the direction where you're going.
4. Lift, lift, lift that knee.

Number four is my favorite. I found that if I do not think much about how my foot strikes the ground and if I just keep a mantra in my head that says, "Lift, lift, lift, lift," I not only ensure that my feet almost always does a forefoot strike, I also run quite fast.

And that is the problem. I wasn't a fast runner. Before barefoot running, I was jogging almost in place with my trekking shoes. My breathing has to catch up with me. I find myself hard of breathing most of the time. Nevertheless, it is still a good sign. Better than slow running, definitely a calorie torcher.

Until next time.

Yours,
girlrunningbarefoot

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running for Writers

Running and Creativity

Maybe I am doing this consciously, you know, filling my running blog with life lessons so I can be different from the plethora of running blogs out there, but I swear I am not.

I read an article in Runner's World by Noelle Q. de Guzman aka kikayrunner, that as you run you become more creative. I'd say more pensive, really, but in a way they are the same.

While running, it is not only your body that is being freed from gravity, from being bound and from the travails of modern life: deadlines, nagging wives (or husbands, hah!), screaming kids and bills to pay. Your mind gets a chance to wander, too. With all the labyrinthine convolutions in every human brain, you may end up finding a few good ideas and questions at the end or even, as in my case, during a run.

So, if you are a writer, why should you run? For one, it free's your mind to think. Running is almost involuntary, and once the mind has figured out that you plan to run a long distance, it goes on auto-pilot and does something more interesting, something it has always wanted to do but can't because you kept wanting to think in just one boring old way. Sometimes, you know, we are the ones who limit our brain power by thinking of the same things over and over and over again. If the brain is left to think for its own, new pathways are made and we get to see the world from a different angle.

Running Away with Your Emotions

Have you ever thought about this: toddlers are taught to walk but hardly are they ever taught to run. It comes naturally and usually, the discovery comes with a squeal of happiness. Running releases emotions, too; emotions that would not otherwise come from, say, us walking sullenly on the side of the road because our boss was a crabby patty and yelled at us for a not-so-bad job.

So, another good reason to run if you are a writer, is that your emotions can also run free while you are running. Since your mind is busy trailblazing neural pathways, your emotions are suddenly unrestrained. All those pent up emotions get released and aired out. Suddenly you realize that you like this girl or that you aren't really mad with your parents or that your boss is quite likable. 

If you also happen to be very emotional (as you so often hear from your exes), which most of us are, it is almost a requirement for writers, running can be a good way to manage it. When my grandfather died, the first thing I did when I heard about it was to lace up and run. I cried while I was running but I didn't cry for long. I realized he's had it with life, it's his time; so I said a little thank you and bade him farewell and pounded more pavement. Running helps you think better as opposed to curling up and indulging too much in your crying fit which is just downright depressing.

Do You Need To Run Barefoot Too?

Maybe, maybe not. Don't overthink it at first. Just run. Remember that you will not become a Tarahumara anytime soon. You may not even get past 10seconds in your first attempt. It takes time, a long time. And it takes persistence and patience.

If this is your first time to run, the main rule, as with life, is to take it slow and easy, to listen to your body and your mind and to take it from there. Did I tell you that running also trains you how to tune in to yourself?

So, it's not a complicated thing, you learned it on your own while you were barely able to speak, you can do it now. Have fun.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Good Life Advice from Barefoot Running: Don't Do Anything That Causes Pain

Three Standout Qualities of girlrunningbarefoot

I have been in a whirlwind romance with barefoot running. In the past three days, I've stumbled upon it, researched it, loved it, bought a minimalist shoe and ran barefoot. That pretty much sums up my personality: impulsive, impatient, aggressive. On a good day you can call me passionate, on a bad day, I can be quite irrational.

Succumbing to Fun

Being impulsive, impatient and aggressive has put me into all sorts of adventures. On any given day, I can wake up and suddenly want to run to the nearest beach. It doesn't matter much if I have made plans or even that I have any money for it. I simply go ahead, indulge in the joy of the moment and hail the next bus to the beach.

Relationships

I can also decide in a split second whether I want to commit to a relationship with you. Being a writer, I've probably written up our love story in my mind while we have been apart. It really doesn't matter much if I just met you five days ago. My imagination fills in the blank. I have had many such misadventures and most of them I ended up in pain and sometimes inflicting pain.

Don't do anything that causes pain.

So, after all the melodrama, ladies and gentlemen, I just wanted to say how this statement, in its many forms, crops up in barefoot running guides: don't do anything that causes pain.

Of course you wouldn't know if it causes pain unless you've already done the deed. So the message doesn't say that here is a definitive list of things that will cause you pain, do not do these things. It just tells us that, hey there are different things that you can do with your feet and with your life. You can try everything, but remember, if it starts to hurt, you have to stop and try something else.

Is pain your comfort zone?

That capacity to know when to stop and to actually stop is a great big trouble for most of us. We've been told over again that if there is no pain, there is no gain. Well, breaking news, pain sensors in our body and in our hearts are there to protect us. Pain means we are not doing something that is good for us, it may be something that actually causes us harm. Sometimes even pain can be part of our comfort zone and we are so afraid to stop doing what pains us.

Of course not all pain causes harm. Some pain, like birthing pains, are there to make the moment indelible to us. To seal the importance of that moment in our heads. Pain makes us remember.

Choose to run pain free. Choose to be happy.

As a writer I am already full of mush and melodrama in my head, it is my default setting. Melancholy used to be a great resource of writing for me. Until recently. You see, in person I am really very jolly. I can make, and I love making people laugh. I now know why I don't always go out with friends or new acquaintances for that matter, my melancholy mind tells me to NOT step out of the pain because someone is sure to shove me in there anyway. Well, surprise surprise, lately I've been stepping out of that pain, running barefoot, living life as an advocate and not a cynic, and it has so far held true.

So my dear friends, run like the Tarahumara, run barefoot, run with the least pain, live free and feel the joy of freedom with every kilometer you have learned intimately afoot.

Running Barefoot Day 1


Pedicures and Spa Treatments

I started out with perfectly pedicured and foot spa'd (yes I just used that as a verb) feet. Then I said as long as I'm finally taking care of my feet, why not change the trekking shoes I've been running with for shoes intended for running?

If you've read the older posts, you know by now that I've decided to try running minimalist and later, barefoot.

Running in Minimalist Shoes

Yesterday I bought my Speedo Women's Pool/Beach Runner for a fraction of what the other minimalist shoes cost. I wore it last night for a test run. It was definitely easier to run with than my trekking shoes. My feet can flex this way and that; I wasn't carrying too much weight on my feet.

To give you a background, since I started running again last March, I began with 10sec run intervals. That was how in bad shape I was. I run 10secs and walk for the next five minutes.

After 2 weeks I could run through an entire song, roughly around 2 to 3 minutes worth of running. Then a week ago, I started running through 2 songs in a row.

The night I first used my Speedo's, I ran, for the first time, 3 songs in a row without much difficulty. I was ecstatic. The theory worked. Minimalist shoes were the way to go.

A Good Looking Bald Barefoot Runner

Now I always ran the UP Acad Oval counter clockwise and there were two instances when a guy, bald, muscled and very focused on his running almost bumped into me. The fast runners, I've noticed, run clockwise. He was a fast runner, a good looking fast runner, haha, but aside from that I couldn't help but notice that he was a barefoot runner!


Was I ever proud of my minimalist shoes then. Hah. After I've finished cooking up a plot in my head about two people meeting barefoot on the tracks, I realized how seemingly effortless his running was. He was fast but he wasn't wheezing nor was he heavily careening past us; he was whizzing past, like the wind.

Girl Running Barefoot

So, after running one round in my Speedo's, I decided to remove it and tried to walk on the asphalt.

At first it was painful. My feet were acting like primadonnas, "Ew, why are you making us step on this dirty road! Have you lost your mind? So kadiri ha." I declined to acknowledge them and waited for my primal, child self to kick in. I was right. That child in me was soon literally squealing for joy at having been allowed to run barefoot.

I am so not kidding. I was almost laughing in that first mile. It was more than endorphins. I was maybe going insane. Deliriously. Not a very bad way to go though.

I felt every tiny bump in the road. The funny thing was, walking was more painful than running; you feel the bumps less when you run. So I ran.

I ran through one, two, three songs and finally I lost count. I was just so happy running that I never did stop until I saw that I have already made another two rounds running barefoot.

"Why the hell is she barefoot?"

Oh yes there were people who looked at me like I've completely lost my mind and stepped on shit every time I put my foot on the ground; but they were few. Most were simply intrigued, like they want to ask me why I am running barefoot. The seasoned runners couldn't care less, they sped past me as usual. They were used to crazies on the road.

Knowing When to Stop

I stopped when I got through to my third round. One rule for beginner barefoot runners is to take it slow, not to run too fast too soon. After all I still had to walk my way home. And the cute bald barefoot runner was no longer making rounds. Haha.

How was my feet after the run? I had less post-run injuries than when I ran with my trekking shoes. I had NO blisters. Except for dirt on my feet that washed away with good old soap and water, my feet we pretty as the day I got a foot spa treatment.

I took a whole day to rest. I noticed my muscles, especially my calves, do not feel tight. My Achilles tendons do not feel frozen too. This is maybe on account of not wearing regular running shoes with a high heel to toe cushion height ratio. My muscles, tendons and ligaments are beginning to unravel. Freedom, that is what running means.

girlrunningbarefoot Breaks Her Personal Records!

Last night I broke a lot of records. I ran in minimalist shoes and got three songs straight and a total of 2.2k.
I ran barefoot and ran 4.4k with only two quick walk sessions.
All in all, for the first time, I was able to run 3 rounds in the Acad Oval without great pain.
That is 6.6 kilometers in one night.

Now, you can tell me you've run more in a day. But for someone who started with 10second run intervals a month ago, last night's firsts were definitely a big achievement for me.

Needless to say when I got home I was tired, I lay down on the floor and just let my body be still. This is a yoga pose that not many people try to master. It's one that I love most. It keeps me still and I feel at one with the world. A very Avatar feeling.

See you around the Acad Oval! Run like the Taramuhara!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Speedo Women's Pool/Beach Runner

Unboxing, well, technically I took this photo after I have already run on it but you get the idea.

I could have done with a little less packaging though. Like put a handle on the shoebox or forget the box, wrap the shoes in paper and dunk it in the paper bag.

Now that's only my idea about the packaging. I don't like to many clutter and I think neither does the earth we live in.








Here it is in side view. The soles, although it curves towards the sides, does not have any sort of differing thickness to it, it has the same thickness throughout the shoe.

I like how feminine this looks, they look rather like maryjanes, school shoes.

I could use a little more strap though, I have fat feet and stretching the strap too much too early can be trouble later on.







The sole is very pliable, you can smooch it and do all sorts of contortions with it. Perfect for travelling. Or for that moment when you've finally decided you want to run barefoot and have to carry the shoes in your hands.

If you notice, the toe area has ample space for someone with rootcrop feet like mine. THEY ARE SQUARE and not pointed, thank goodness. Try to look for that when you buy your own.

That small part of the sole that goes a little bit higher to the tips of the toes are a good protection for when you get over exuberant and run on pointy toes.







Ahh, and here it is in my feet. Have I told you I have very thick ankles? Some say thick ankles prevent you from running well. Ok, but that shouldn't prevent anyone from running and taking time to make their form good enough. Yes?

Note though that this is not aqua socks or a Zem360. Hence, it does not hug your feet, in fact I would say I can use a little more material to cover my feet with, but since our aim is to run barefoot anyway, this does the job pretty well.






It is 32 degrees outside and boy is it burning or what! The good thing about hot weather though is that my muscles relax and recover better than when it is cold. So although it was my first time to run barefoot last night and my legs and feet have discovered all sorts of unused and misused muscles, ligaments and tendons, I think I can manage a little run tonight.

See you in UP.

Run like the Tarahumara!

Christopher McDougall and the real missing link.

I am too absorbed to make a decent commentary. My feeling has overcome my thinking.
I hope you get the same reaction after watching this for yourself:


Run like the Tarahumara.

The Hunt for a Minimalist Shoe

Yesterday morning I went to Trinoma to find a replacement for my trekking shoes which I've been running on for well over a month now.

Having read all the hullabaloo about barefoot runnning, I decided it was a healthier not to mention a potentially cheaper alternative.

I was looking forward to checking out Vivo Barefoot in the BarefootStore but unfortunately, they no longer had an outlet there. Wonder where they transferred. Too lazy to find out.

Anyway, next I went up to the Vibram booth and I got to try the Vibram classic on! Whee. But if I had bought a Vibram I can only afford the classic and that isn't much for running especially if you have big feet like mine, I think my feet will plop out of it in no time.

While I was checking out Runnr, I saw a kiosk selling Zem360 for a couple of thousand pesos cheaper than a Vibram. They look like the ninja counterpart of the Italian mob Vibram. I feel a screenplay coming on, augh, I'll spare you the details. So, I tried one on and it was a very nice snug fit! The bands really work in hugging your feet and the sole is way thinner than Vibram. Way thinner. Since I am a heavyweight, I slunk off, I'm not sure how the sole can last with all my weight. It was also a lot of money to pay for something no one in the local running community, at least none that I've read so far, has tested.

Since Landmark was and still is on sale, I went inside to look for aqua shoes. Nothing. I moved around and found Shubizz selling flats, as in flat sneakers or however they are called. It has a very similar upper to that of Zem360, it was a snug fit and the sole was flat and thin enough. I almost bought it since it cost even less than a Zem360. The only thing that deterred me was that it had pointy toe area. WHO IN THE WORLD HAS FEET THAT ENDS IN A POINT? Even ballet pointe shoes are square! Sigh. It must be the vampires you now. The old ones kept wearing white pointy shoes.

Anyway, I was about to get thoroughly disheartened when I managed to find Speedo. I made a big inhale and hoped that I can afford anything in there. To my utter amazement, hehehe, OA, I found this:
Speedo Beach/Pool Runner
Speedo Beach Runner

It's called the Speedo Pool Runner, but when I was searching for info online, in other places of this great beautiful world, they call it a Beach Runner.

Technical stuff from thefamousfootwear.com:

The Speedo Beach Runner water shoes put a stylish spin on this sporty water shoe. It features a quick drying, lightweight upper with Velcro® instep strap, plus a durable traction outsole.


  • Quick-drying jersey and mesh upper
  • Soft EVA insole, Velcro® closure
  • Durable TPR outsole 


  • Well, actually,the only technical stuff here are the EVA insole and TPR outsole. A little Googling around got me the following details which I am sharing with you:



    TPR stands for Thermo Plastic Rubber. Thermo Plastic Rubber is one of the latest technologies used to create mold-injected soles, including polymers and high tech resins. This sole offers superior comfort to ordinary die cut soles, because it is flexible like a traditional leather sole but also washable and more durable.



    There ya go. I am now a proud owner of a good quality, good value minimalist shoe.

    Unboxing photos and a review in the next post. Keep reading. :)

    Happy running! Run like the wind!

    Running with Shoes On and the Beginning of Running Barefoot

    Tonight was my first attempt at running barefoot.

    Previously, for about a month, I was running with trekking shoes. A Regatta Lady Sidetrack. It's good enough, light and not too rigid but they weren't really running shoes.

    Regatta Lady Sidetrack
    Regatta Lady Sidetrack
    I was having all sorts of pains in my feet and leg. At first it was the insertions of my Achilles tendon, they hurt long after the run has been done and over with. I'd wake up with them hurting.

    Then my shins, seriously, my shins which I never thought could hurt so much without first being kicked, started hurting during the walk phase of my run-walk interval whatever program.

    So I looked at my shoe and figured I got to go and get me a decent pair of running shoes.

    I am, however, a cheapskate and am not willing to shell out money. So I went to the ukay-ukays in Anonas and found a dismal selection.

    I went back home and researched what kind of running shoes are best for someone like me: an obese runner who lands on the balls of her feet.

    Then I stumbled upon this blog and found myself feet-deep in research about running barefoot.

    I've read about Vibrams from our local Runner's World magazine so I checked them out. Boy were they expensive. Even the fake ones were terribly overpriced.

    Then there was Vivo Barefoot. It looked like a slipper the Jetsons would wear. It is cheaper though but I do not fancy hearing a flip flopping sound when I run.

    Finally I stumbled upon Chinellas, a Pinoy style huarache, or running sandals widely used in Mexico. It's DIY and it's proven to last a half-marathon. Hmm, very interesting. It's very affordable too but it also looks like it's going to require frequent replacements.

    Then, when I was about to go crazy and just give up and resign myself to my trekking shoes, I managed to find birthdayshoes.com, barefootrunning.com and a local group called barefoot running Philippines. And you know what, they all made sense.

    Our feet are capable of running around naked! And we're not talking about hunting gathering Cromagnon days either. Our own katutubo run around naked, uh, barefoot. The natives of Australia run around with barefeet. Tribes in Kenya, those gazelle creatures who end up winning marathons here and abroad, run in barefeet!

    So, this morning, a Saturday, I said before I hit the road to run, I better buy a minimalist shoe, like a Vibram or whatever and start training my feet to be strong.

    Anyway, I am way too sleepy and I still have dirt on my feet. It's 3am, grrr. Tomorrow again!

    Run like the wind!




    Who's this girl running barefoot?

    I know, I know, there is an "About Me" tab but I am lazy and I don't want to fill that up yet. I just want to let you know who I am, after all you are reading my blog, and you need some backgrounder to understand why the heck am I writing the stuff you read or are just about to read.

    I am not a runner runner, I'm not a professional runner, the ones who run terrifying amount of races, wear the latest clothing technology, hire trainers, get sponsors etc. etc. etc. 

    I run on the sidelines, I like watching the pros and reading about them, I run because it's fun.

    Nothing can beat the feeling of you slicing through the wind, the feeling of your feet conquering the ground, the feeling of getting from one place to another on your own will and two feet.

    And of course, it allows me to burn calories.

    I'm a writer, working freelance, and most of the time I am just sitting and pounding at the keys so it's good to pound pavements after a day's worth of writing.

    I am also obese with a BMI of 29. So there.

    What else. Most of my choices tend to be on the natural side. Organic shampoos, cleaners etc. If I have time I make my own things.

    I also love second hands. Books, clothes, furniture, houses, and sometimes, hand-me-down people.

    I have two younger siblings: a brother in Nevada, a sister in Singapore. 

    I was born in 1985 and my nickname is ET. Yep, I must've scared my parents shitless when they saw me first. Boo.

    Where am I? I am most of the time running in UP. Come run with me. And a horde of other strangers.



    Yours truly,
    girlrunningbarefoot