It’s been a good 10 days since I bought my New Balance 890 and so far the outcome has been mixed. Accordingly, they’re cushioning shoes for neutral runners with forefoot strikes, supposed to be just perfect for my foot and running style, right? There’s only one way to find out. So I took it to where the action is – into the peopled and bustling streets of Quiapo.
I do my quarterly visits to Quiapo to usually replenish certain medical/dental supplies for stores that don’t do clinic deliveries with side trips to 168 or even Divisoria, just to get a feel of real everyday Filipino life and be thankful that I don’t have to go through this kind of daily grind. This time, I decided to try out Ongpin after taking some tips from gym mate/patient Peter Lim (a friend of Chinatown walker Ivan Dy) on eat-worthy hole-in-the-wall restos.
I usually leave my car at the gym (Slimmer’s World, Marcos Highway) and take the nearby MRT at Santolan station and in 30 mins., I’m in the middle of one of the busiest areas in the country. It took a lot of walking (and gawking at all imaginable wares) along the streets of Quiapo and early on, I noticed a diminished support at the forefoot area. Hmmm…
After asking around for some decent mami (noodle soup), NB 890 (and my stomach) led me to Kim Hiong Food Garden along Ongpin St. The chowfan noodles were fleshy and the meat broth was quite rich and smelt of ‘Ongpin’ (without tasting like old socks, ala Ma Mon Luk). I also passed by Den Dong Bei (at Nueva St.) for some fresh dumplings before finishing the afternoon with the much hyped and flavorful Sincerity friend chicken and sumptuous Kikiam. I walked towards Recto station, full and scrabbling from all the calorie-rich delights. When I got to the clinic, I checked my soles – 2 minor blisters on the right forefoot area and the big toe plus traces of plantar fasciitis on the left foot. I was frustrated – did I just buy shoes that’s bringing back old injuries from the grave?
Well I’m not one to easily surrender so just last Sunday, I took it for a long run. This time it’s at my favorite stomping ground – the Marikina-Tierra Monte-Timberland route which Dave & I usually go to for our LSDs. We started out at 6 am with Boringer Bong and ultra-princess Keshia Fule. The road goes up, up, up into San Mateo but the pace was comfortable and the weather was relatively cool, even in the company of 2 really fast runners (or maybe they adjusted to our glacial pace). Soon we were descending towards the busy town of Tierra Monte where the AFP housing is situated. Exiting town, the roads go further down with mild ascents in between – a truly rolling terrain.
Later on, we were entering the road leading to Timberland Resort – a biker’s haven, what with swarms of two-wheelers dashing all over. We were an anomaly as the only humans moving on our own 2 feet in a sea of bikers. And of course seeing Keshia slugging it out with the guys on wheels suddenly sucked out all the testosterone in the air. The real climb began with roads angling up to 50 degrees. We power walked up the hills with Bong enthusiastically running up against the struggling bikers.
A good 2 kilometers later, we entered the gates of Timberland as the road expands to 4 lanes with some of the most scenic views of Metro Manila on the right side. A few kilometers later, we reached our destination – the Timberland clubhouse where we had a commanding view of the metropolis below. We checked out their posh facilities and took some souvenir shots before going back to civilization. It was 10:30 am.
The road back had minor uphills and mostly sharp descents one can easily injure the knees if done too fast. It took us a good 1 ½ hours running back to our starting point (our home) and we racked up 33.41 kilometers. Along the way, we were savored available road refreshments – the pink ice scramble (sweet and milky) and fresh buko juice. 5 hours and 45 mins. later, we were enjoying our lunch (prepared as breakfast 2 hours before) with stories of the day’s struggles. Now that BDM 160 2012 (I’m in) is a mere 2 ½ months away, expect training to go to hyperdrive and peaking in the final week of November, tapering to the QC International Marathon on Dec. 4 and perhaps, the Rizal Day Run (Dec. 30).
Regarding, my NB 890, I hardly sustained any blister though the right inner arch felt a bit swollen (I laced the right shoes too tightly). I just used it last Wednesday during a rigorous Milo A.P.E.X. routine under pounding rains and I felt fine after. It’s still in its break-in stage so we shall see if these babies are going to take me to the Capas monument finish line.