The Reluctant Stylista


I always get the question if I work out.  And while I’m not always thrilled to hear it, I guess there are worse questions or even assumptions to be made.

No, wait, let me explain. Thanks to genes, I’m on the thin side, with seemingly athletic cuts to my biceps, back, legs and even abdomen. I went through high school and college being called macho and Jackie Lou (as in Blanco).

But the funny part is that I hate exercise. I don’t like gyms; I feel alien in them.  And I suspect I’m being vain about it–if I work out, I’d probably be called Vina Morales apart from being Jackie Lou, too.  But the truth is, I’m not very fit.  I even hate walking–I’d always opt to take a cab, an elevator or an escalator.

The funnier part is that I used to be the best runner/sprinter in my high school.  I wouldn’t really consider it my sport, I just happened to be light and fast and what better way to get exempted from classes and exams than to take advantage of this?  The longest I’ve had to run was 200 meters and thank God, because any longer than that and they’d see me for the fake I really am.  I can’t run long distances because I don’t really train or exercise so my stamina sucks compared to real athletes.

Come to that, I don’t know squat about running, really.  Apparently, being fast and knowing how to run the right way so you don’t hurt yourself are two very different things, as I’ve come to learn when my boyfriend brought me to Runnr yesterday for his anniversary gift to me.

How cool is it to have a specialized store just for running?  Running marathons has taken over Badminton as the sport of choice here in Manila.  Everyone just seems so crazy about it that it’s no surprise Runnr opened in Bonifacio High Street (where every weekend there seems to be a run).  Anyway, my boyfriend brought me here because he’s been trying to get me to exercise for a while now since he’s noticed I’m always tired and sleepy and lazy.  I’ve told him I do want to join him in marathons, but he insists I can’t just dive in without the least bit of training/jogging/any form of regular exercise and the proper equipment. 

I didn’t really care about running shoes before.  I’d just take any of my mom’s tennis shoes or I’d buy anything on sale.  But my boyfriend’s reasoning goes–trainers or sports shoes are usually expensive, so why not take the time to really know what suits me before I spend money on it?  To him, it seems like a waste to be blindingly paying for something that doesn’t really fit my movement.  And he’s right.  Most people don’t really know what problems they have with their shoes until they run 15 minutes straight in them.  As I’ve learned while researching for this article I wrote for POC, “What to Wear on Marathon Runs“, running long distances requires a different set of gear to stand the constant friction.  I wrongly thought you should be wearing cotton because it’s light and stretchy, and that you can wear any sort of socks just to soak up the sweat.


running socks from Runnr
Bought socks from Runnr, specially made for long distance running. Helps prevent blisters.


The coolest thing in Runnr is that they have this professional gait analysis system that lets you know about the way you run and how your foot is built.  Check out the crappy pics taken with our Palm Treo’s camera:

Runnr - Gait Analysis

So first, I was made to run the treadmill barefoot (I was only a little nervous about this because I’ve never stepped on a treadmill before and I thought I might slip or something).  This is the video gait analysis so the consultant can observe my gait and footfall.  Then I stepped on the Podoscope which analyzed my foot type.  The consultant told me that I have a high arch.


Runnr - Gait Analysis

Based on my video, I land on the balls of my feet while running.  This is true; I have a tippy-toe gait and my foot calluses attest this fact.  Apparently, this kind of running is only good for sprints but not for marathons.  As seen above, my legs are mostly straight, which is correct, but my ankles are moving slightly inward when I land.  So what I needed was a pair of shoes to help me stabilize.

Runnr has three main categories for their shoes: Neutral, Stability and Motion Control.  I chose pairs of shoes from the Stability rack, but I eventually narrowed it down to two.  One was from K-Swiss and the other from Nike.  Both were lightweight, ultra comfortable and designed to stabilize movement, but I couldn’t decide which was better for me.  Hence, I had both pairs analyzed.

Runnr - Gait Analysis

The video immediately showed an improvement in my strides.  My ankles were still occasionally leaning inwards, but I had more consistent steps with the K-Swiss pair.  So that’s what I ended up with.

Runnr - K-Swiss

Runnr -  K-Swiss

Now, as my boyfriend says, I have no more excuses not to take running seriously.  This is a huge investment already (for me at least).  He gave me this card as proof, haha.  I always like his cartoon drawings of me and the way he copies my wavy-curly hair (he’s also the one responsible for the artworks on my blog’s header).  Those are antennae on top of my head, if you’re wondering.  The background is Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli because we went to Fully Booked, too, my favorite place in Bonifacio High Street, and I finally used up my gift certificate.

Paolo Lazatin cartoons

Liked this article? You might also want to read others with similar topics:

Reluctant Exerciser takes on Barre3
What to wear on marathon runs

Runnr is located at B3, Bonifacio High Street and 2F, Ayala Center Cebu.

Store hours:
Sunday to Thursday – 12pm – 10pm
Friday to Saturday – 12pm – 11pm

Video Gait Analysis is FREE!

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