Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Take on the GObionic

I've been spending so much time with the Women's Skechers GORun Ride in September that I didn't have the time to try out the GObionic. I was desperate to find the pair to run my important events (such as the half marathon for Putrajaya Night Marathon and KL Rat Race) that the GObionic was never a candidate.

As I mentioned earlier, I was wary about trying on minimalist shoes for fear of hurting myself before my important events.

Earlier this month, I wore these shoes as casual walking shoes during my company's team building exercise at Port Dickson as well as during my weekend trip to Bangkok.

 Like all Skechers' casual shoes, this pair of GObionic was equally fantastic to walk around in.

I managed to impress my colleague/roommate at Port Dickson as well. She picked up a shoe and gasped, "Woahhhh!"

I encouraged her to try them on and she went, "Wahhhhh, it's like the Nike Free!"

Yes, they are, indeed.

In Bangkok, it was a different matter altogether.

With so much walking about to do, I was comfortable in them most of the time except until the end of the day. My soles were tired, probably from the lack of cushioning, maybe.

I wasn't even sure whether I was treating them properly - they deserve to be running, not walking around Bangkok!

So far, I have ran in them for a total of 25km (approx) and each run was only about 5km.

After each run, I seem to be getting more and more attached to them.

If I thought the GORun Ride was my new favourite, I'll have to rethink again.

Putting them on is like putting on a pair of socks. The lightweight material is ridiculously light that you don't feel them at all. Weird as it sounds, but that's what I think.

1. True to its design, the wide toe box encases my flat feet very comfortably that there is no reason for my toes or feet to feel pinched at any time during my run.

2. As I mentioned earlier, the Mstrike tabs are not as prominent as the GOimpulse pillars on the GORun Ride so there was no awkwardness of walking in the shoes before the start of my run.

3. For my virgin run in the GObionic, I wore a thicker pair of socks, thinking that I would need some cushioning. It turned out to be unnecessary as my feet were blister free post-run. 

4. I find that the responsiveness of the GObionic more quiet than the GORun Ride. I can't say that it's lacking, so for lack of a better word (hey, a pun!) I'll merely say that it's quiet.

The difference between the GORun Ride and the GObionic is the padded soles. As the former provides more cushioning and the latter a minimalist shoe, there was no bounce (or should I say *boing*) factor during foot landing.

You could say that I miss the bounce in the GORun Ride, but surprisingly, this does not impede my performance at all. In fact, the GObionic indeed fits like a second skin that I forget what shoes I am wearing as I race with wind.

5. Picking out tiny pebbles can be a bit of a chore after a run.

6. The soles seem more durable than the GORun Ride. The independent circular pillars of my GORun Ride seem to wear off just a bit more after each run. I'll show you a picture of it some other time.

7. During my recent run at Decanter's Bukit Damansara Fun Run last Saturday, I realised that running downhill was a bit of a hazard (for lack of a better word!) as there was no way I could avoid a heel strike. I could feel the impact on the heel. (remember, the GObionic has less cushioning!)

I did my best to adjust my landing to a mid-foot strike to avoid a heel strike but I can't remember whether I succeeded or not as I am, honestly still traumatised by the slopes in the route.

Jamie and his GORun Ride. Me and my GObionic.

Verdict: I am growing to enjoy the GObionic more and more. I'm surprised with how fast and comfortable my transition towards the GObionic is, as it is rather unexpected. (As in, I never imagined myself running with minimalist shoes.)

I was expecting a lot of pain and regret, but true to its description, it takes you on to a fluid ride. Really.

I can't wait to take them out this Sunday for Powerman Malaysia where I'll be running the 2nd leg (11.6km).  It's my last running event for the year!

[Many thanks to Skechers for this pair of GObionic! Absolutely loving it!]

Other reviews in Malaysia:


Running Tee - Temporary Alteration

I'm not a fan of the colour orange.

When I collected the race pack / goodie bag for the Bukit Damansara Fun Run last Friday, I was a bit bummed with the choice of colour. (Then I realised that it's Decanter's colour, so nothing much can be said about it.)

It was quite big on me and so I thought I'd make some adjustments to it to make up for the colour. :D

Sewed an inch deep from the side seams.

I don't have orange thread, so beige brown was the closest match I could find.

For the sleeves, I also sewed an inch in from the seams as well.

And then folded the sleeves in twice before sewing a knot at 4 different spots, just to hold it in place.

For the bottom hem, I measured it to myself and figured out the length I wanted. Had to iron the folded section so I would have a crease to sew along.

The cute chicken stays!

But gawd, notice how obvious the sewing is!

As I look at this picture, I now think of prison overalls. O.o

Anyway, despite how obvious the sewing was, I'm glad they stayed in place.

Note the slight difference. :)

I really shouldn't embark in last minute projects before the event itself as it can be very stressful indeed.

Will I do this again?


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bukit Damansara Fun Run - The Race

Earlier post is here.

Saturday, 27th October 2012.

As the skies growled and lashed down that afternoon, I pondered whether I would still have the energy to run in the evening.

Having ran an easy 6.5km that morning during the MPIB clinic, I was still contemplating whether to take it easy with some of us from Dutamas Runners or do I have the energy to go all out during the Decanter's Bukit Damansara Fun Run that evening. I was pretty exhausted due to lack of sleep and with only a 15-minute nap, I wasn't too sure what my plan was.

the reps from DR. :D

Dutamas Runners with Madam SH Tan :)

I arrived at Jalan Setiabakti's Decanter at about 530pm to a festive atmosphere. 98% of the crowd was dressed in orange, families gathered around, and friends yakked until it was time for the warm up before the race.

Yes, race.
Did you think there'd be no serious runners at a fun run?

Jamie, Kenny, Ashe Ek, me & Kah Wai

(photo belongs to KYK)

I decided that I was going to go for it because I was curious to know whether I was still as fast as I was during the KL Rat Race in September. As mentioned before, my GPS went wonky so I have doubts on the accuracy of its reading.

(photo belongs to Kenny)

As the horn blasted, a few of us at the front of the line made a mad dash. It was my first time being at the front of the start line and boy, I wasn't used to be shoved aside (by men!) within seconds into the race!

The first 200m or so was pretty amusing. The boy on my right wasn't seem to be running in a straight line. He kept veering towards me and to avoid him knocking into me, I kept moving to the left. Yet he would still veer towards me. Aiks. So I had to speed up to shake him off.

KYK ran by from the back and shoved his camera into my face (it was on video) and I went, "ehhh please!" as I covered my face - which proved difficult to do so while running.

As we headed towards Plaza Damansara, we turned right at Menara Southern Bank Berhad and up onto Medan Setia 1. I tried to slow down as I didn't want to go too fast and go flat in the middle of the route. James of The Marathon Shop overtook me at this point. I could still spot KYK at a distance but lost sight of him as we reached the traffic lights to turn right onto Jalan Beringin.

As we were approaching Decanter at Jalan Setiakasih, the volunteers at the water station offered us water but no one stopped. I apologetically declined (not sure if they were miffed that the front runners weren't interested in water!) and as I puffed up the gentle slope, the waiters cheered us on and I gave them a wave.

Anyway, Jalan Setiakasih felt very long and with the gentle incline, I was ready to stop and walk. Which I eventually did, by the way. (At this point, I'd like to say that the route map provided did not reflect the entire Jalan Setiakasih as part of the route.)

Had to catch my breath in 5 seconds before I continued running up the freaking slope.

At this point (3km), I think 2 or 3 guys overtook me.

It was a huge relief to get out of Jalan Setiakasih and back onto Jalan Beringin. I joked with a marshal at the Jalan Bruas junction whether I could just take the shortcut back to the finish line.

There was another slope (but a shorter one) that greeted me at Jalan Bruas and man, I had to stop to catch my breath again. (Just 5 seconds!)

This time, one guy and another called Lee, overtook me with a pat on the back and told me to keep going.

Then I noticed that Kah Wai was at the top of the road with his camera. I had no choice but to move on as I didn't want to be caught on camera walking when I should be running! :D

With just 1km left to go, I was wondering if any ladies would suddenly zoom past me.

Snuck a peek to the back and couldn't figure out whether it was a guy or a lady hot on my heels. (Sorry!)

Back out onto Jalan Beringin and as we headed back towards Jalan Setiabakti, I saw that the runners at the back were just turning into Jalan Bruas.

So close to the finish line ...

I knew I had to step it up again and pushed forward.

Why do I always end up sprinting like crazy during the final 300m of a run is beyond me.

I only managed to catch up with Lee at the finish line.

Mr Wan stopped me to offer me his notepad, and with a shaky hand, I wrote my name and time down.


Not too shabby, I think.
Damn the hills!

Yin Yin's mum was so sweet as she congratulated me on the spot and offered her cup of 100plus. I refused and told her it was OK, I'll help myself, but she insisted that I needed it. It was a very funny dance of hands and arms as we kept pushing the cup towards each other. I eventually relented because it felt so silly. :) (Still, very nice of Madam SH Tan! Thank you!)

Food and beer was abundant. There had sandwiches (I had one), fried spring rolls (I had 2), fried meehoon, fried rice, chicken, mini fried curry puffs (I had 2), 100plus stall and a Tiger beer stall to cater the event. 

I could only manage 2 1/4 cups of beer, which I think is equivalent to only 1 1/4 pint. Tsk! How disappointing.

(photo belongs to Vivien Tay)

Besides prizes for the first male and female runners who completed the run, they also had lucky draws. Everyone was eagerly waiting for their names to be called but no one from DR won anything.

(photo belongs to Vivien Tay)

Overall, I think small events like these are cosy set ups which makes an event more manageable and provides a better opportunity for familes to gather together and enjoy themselves, inviting the neighbours along.

Just like a weekend barbeque. :D

A job WELL DONE to the organisers and their technical support. The event wouldn't have been successful without you. Many thanks to the marshals who were rooting for me as I ran past them. :)

To Madam SH Tan and Jamie Pang, thank you so much for the encouragement. It was very amusing and sweet, I appreciate it. :)

To the boys from Dutamas Runners, thanks for being there, too. It wouldn't have been fun accepting my prize without a support crew. And standing out in our blue tshirts! :)

To my Skechers GObionic, thank you for the ride. :D

Note: The slopes killed me in the end. I was running a sub 5min pace during the first 2km but during the 3rd and 4th km, I had slowed down to about 5:40 pace (must be my 5 second break!). I only managed to snap out of it and sped up during the final 1km. Overall, Garmin says my average pace was 5:10 min/km. Phbbbbt!

The intended route was supposed to be this:

Turned out to be this:
p.s. DR, be forewarned. Capt KYK enjoyed the hills so much that he has hinted of our handicap run to follow this route ... yikes. Start training your hills, peeps!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Skechers Gobionic - First Take

Teaser post here.

First take
When I first tried on the GObionic at Skechers' office in August, I couldn't help but to fall in love with them immediately

They fitted like a glove, so perfect.

I wanted to gasp with pleasure, my eyes just lit up, but was afraid that Adeline would think I was wacky.

I never felt this way before, I think.  Or I can't remember when was the last time I felt this way.
The GObionic just wrapped around my feet like a perfect fit.

Of course, I was naturally wary with minimalist shoes as I don't believe they're for everyone, including myself. In fact, I've always believed that I'm more of a casual runner, with the occasional need for support.

But I wanted them badly, just because they fit like a glove and well, it was love at first fit!

Oh, I don't like the round laces, though.

The unassuming pair of black shoes wouldn't have caught my attention on any other given day.

The colour. It's so ... blah.

But Adeline of Skechers Malaysia explained that the seeder's pair of women's Skechers Gobionic was only available in black. 

I understand that they will be available at all Skechers stores in Malaysia from November onwards and rest assured that they will be bright and colourful. Phew! ;)

Skechers' GObionic is best described as the company's most minimalistic design ever without compromising performance.

With a zero heel drop, your entire foot remains low to the ground in a natural position. 

You won't believe me if I tell you that they are pretty light - you'll have to see my earlier teaser post where one shoe is slightly more than 100gms!

The material remains lightweight and very breathable. It fits like a second skin, enveloping your foot to react and move easily.

The tongue has a slight reflective strips which I'm not sure would be very obvious once the laces are tied up properly.

The outer sole has 18 Resalyte(TM) cushioning zones which are added to the key flex points of the foot. They help to protect the bones and muscles from the impact of your foot landing as it will flex accordingly.

Ultimately responsive yet lightweight.

The generous toe box and vamp area allows the toes and foot so much more freedom of motion than in bulkier restrictive shoes.

You can even wriggle your toes freely.

Unlike the GORun Ride, the Mstrike pads here are less prominent. You won't feel them at all as you slip your feet into these shoes.

You may, however, find an odd tiny pebble or two stuck in between the grooves which won't interfere with your performance anyway. ;D

Like the GORun and GORun Ride, the GObionic has a removable insole and with a smooth comfortable interior where you can opt to go sockless if you want to.

The mesh upper is coated with 3M Scotchgard protection, making it resistant to oil and water. It also makes cleaning easier.

(Read my review next!)

A Quick Ride with the GORun Ride
Skechers GORun Ride - First Take

The Tiring Long Weekend

Friday morning, 26th October

730am - Did an easy run/walk along the Dream Trail with some of the Dutamas Runners.

love the fungi!

930am - Hsu Ann and I headed back on to Mountain Bike Trail and Tongkat Ali Trail.

Her Brooks Cascadia and my Brooks Pure Grit.

1130am - Lui Cha for brunch.

Saturday, 27th October

730am - 9am - MPIB run clinic. Did an easy 6.5km run and listened to a talk.

 Dr Effa, cardiologist and her advice.

Jamie's GOrun Ride and my GObionic. :D

Baked some healthy cookies which needs MORE chocolate chips.

6pm - Bukit Damansara Fun Run

Sunday, 28th October.

Ran an easy 8.5km because I was still very tired. Made an appointment to meet AA at Petronas at 730am so I had to show up. If I had his number, I would have told him I wasn't going to run.

Had coffee at 4pm the day before and I couldn't sleep well the night, despite being really exhausted. 

Late lunch with some friends.

 Dissected my mini burgers into half, both bun and patty as I felt it was a bit much. Didn't finish the fries and onion rings either.

Come evening, watched Taken 2 to end the long weekend. Dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant called ... er ... I forget.

I ate only half. ;P

Taken 2 was predictable.

Effects of a tiring weekend:
1. Lost my water bottle. May have left it at Guardian, Bukit Damansara.
2. My credit card was eaten by the ATM machine, because I thought it was my ATM card. 
3. Getting fluey! ;(


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Namoo On The Park, Publika

You never know what new eatery you'll come across when you visit Publika. I seem to come across different cafes each time I pop by!

With a name like Namoo, wouldn't you be drawn to check it out?

It was Sunday and we were starving.

We thought we'd eat at Lavinier's, but we suspect the place has closed down due to lack of business.

So we ended up here. =)

Not only do they serve burgers, they also had pasta.

As usual, I took forever to decide what to order!
(I wanted nachos with cheese but wasn't sure if my companion would agree. ;D)

Love the settings!

Books to be read or for decoration?

He ordered the Green Tea Latte (RM9.90).

I ordered the Hot Chocolate (RM9.90) and it was gosh, rich. :D

Just to make up for the Milo I desired for in the wee hours of the morning!

He ordered the Bulgogi Beef burger (RM22.90) which turned out to be a surprise, as we didn't expect it to come with fries.

So when they served me the Bulgogi Beef Wrap (RM22.90), I was stunned by the size of my plate.

HUGE wraps!

Well, they made us wait for more than 30 minutes for our food.

Seeing how huge the portions were, we had to cancel the Nacho with Cheese.

The bulgogi beef was sweet. It was good to note that there were layers of lettuce leaves wrapped around the bulgogi beef as well.
And I had to skip the fries as there was just too much food.

My companion even skipped one of the burger bun halves!

What's this?

Well, we wanted to try something for dessert, but I can't remember what was it already. The waitress told us that they had run out of that dish, and instead, would we like to try The King's Bing Soo (RM16.90)?

It looked like a gigantic bowl of ice kacang with peanuts, bananas, strawberries (sour), a dollop of red bean paste (unsweetened), kiwi, and mochi, and a scoop of ice cream.

It was refreshing, but after a few spoonfuls, I surrendered.

I was too stuffed!

I'd say I'll go back again to try out their rice cake burgers - I don't think I've ever had one before!

Nope, not even MOS burger.

Our bill came up to RM90 and that is NOT cheap. Well, the drinks aren't, but I'd say the wrap is value for money, although if you check out the other blogs, the size of the wrap seems to be vary. So it depends on your luck, I guess!

I wasn't too impressed with their service that day. 
It was lunch time but we noticed that the next table was served their food first when they only arrived after us.

Hope their service improves the next time.

Later visits:
Food Filler Post
Food Pictures ... Again

Other reviews:
Drops of Contentment
Eat your heart out
Eat Drink KL