Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Oh.... Now I Remember...

Can't believe my last posting was in July. Did I forget about the existence of this blog? Damn.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reviewing The Nike Lunarglide+

2nd July 09 - Out of the box, and never back in again.

5 runs, 4 hours plus and many many kilometers later, I am now ready to give my verdict on the Lunarglide+.

However, before I get to that, just to recap, I received the Nike Lunarglide+ courtesy of Nike Sales M'sia on 2nd July 09 from their office at The Curve. Promised to test out the shoes and give my honest to goodness opinion, and here I am, putting it out on the world wide web.

Since then, I have done 8 runs (training runs, not races mind you) and 5 of them have been with the Lunarglide+. At the moment I have 3 "active" pairs of running shoes, including the Lunarglide+, with the other 2 being a Brooks Adrenaline GTS9 (a stability trainer) and a Newton Stability Trainer (more like a racer to me as it is lightweight enough). If I were to summarize in 1 statement, I'd say the Lunarglide+ falls right smack between my other 2 shoes, with the Brooks as a long distance trainer and the Newtons as a short distance speed racer.

1st impressions of the Lunarglide+ are that its lightweight enough (for a heavy-set runner like me) to do 10k's and up to half-marathons. I'd doubt the durability and comfort if I were to extend the usage to beyond the 21km distance as I would prefer something with more cushioning and stability. Fact is, I'd say the Lunarglide+ is an all-rounder, a jack-of-all-trades, with the right amount of cushioning, comfort and weight for a middle distance run.

Since I took up running seriously in 2007, I had only used 3 different brands of running shoes: Brooks, New Balance and Newton. The Newton is the 1st shoe I bought that didn't come in 2E width and I'd say that comfort and fit wise, it didn't rank as highly as the Brooks and NB that I had (both 2E widths). I have pretty large feet; size US11 and 2E width and I slightly over-pronate as well. Therefore, my feet feel most at home in stability runners.

Coming back to the Lunarglide+.... Its patent-pending "Dynamic Support" midsole architecture is what makes me (a guy needing stability shoes) feel comfortable running in them. According to their Global VP, Leslie Lane (and I quote).. "Runners traditionally had to choose between stability or cushioning shoes based on their foot strike... Now, runners can choose a single shoe that will respond to all of their needs, even adjusting on the fly during a run."

With the technologically advanced Dynamic Support system, the Lunarglide+ actually combines cushioning and stability into a single pair of shoes, practically giving you the all-in-one solution (and blowing the competition out of the water??)

Technicalities and specifications aside (you can get that from Nike's website and the numerous other runners' blogs trialing the Lunarglide+), how does it perform? How does it feel on a real run on tarmac? Don't preach the superlatives if all they can do is ace lab-tests right? The verdict is on:

The Lunarglide+ works great!!

Initially I was quite sceptical. Every run I did, I tried to look for a failure point, some form of discomfort, something to complain about. I have to be honest and admit there are some minor niggles, ie shoe width fit-wise isn't really roomy enough for me and it could probably do with a little more ventilation, but overall the Lunarglide+ is everything it is touted to be. 5 runs down the road, I feel that with every run, the comfort level increases a little bit more; pretty much like breaking in. And most important of all, my feet feel great after each and every run. No pain or aches in my arch, heel or balls of feet. Sore muscles are another issue altogether tho.

There is however a BIG grouse I have, and its pretty personal in nature. I just can't accept the colour! No siree! Black shoes are just not me. The 1st time I ran in them, I felt very self-conscious and kept looking down at them. 2nd and 3rd time... same thing. I thought that the more I ran in them, the more at ease I would become. After 5 runs, still the same... I can't shake off the "people look at me funny" kinda feeling.... If it came designed in any other colour (the women's version is of silver-hue, for what its worth), I'd have no qualms shelving out the RM399 it costs to take them off the shelves. But for now, I need a little bit more time to get accustomed to the "black is cool" style.

In a nutshell:

PROS: Comfortable heel and midsole cushioning with adequate pronation support, simplistic look and design, flywire incorporated design brings the weight factor down, grippy outsoles

CONS: Not roomy enough for 2E feet (adequate tho), slightly lacking in ventilation, BLACK, BLACK, BLACK

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Down Memory Lane

What has it been? Coming to 8 months soon? Whoa... I still remember the night before the very 1st time I laid eyes on her...

It has been a real whirlwind of a ride... From the 1st few days back from the ward, where we were still inexperienced on how to handle her (in fact I was always so fearful that I would hurt her by holding her too tightly)... she seemed so fragile then..

As we went along, we felt much more at ease... learning the ropes and cleaning the poo... (oh hell it was really smelly poo... :)

At a month old, you could see that her features became more refined, she was really pretty in my eyes, even as a crying, screaming little bundle when the nurse brought her out of the OT; but now she was pure beauty.. :) Nothing in the world could come close... The little princess of my heart..

And as the weeks ticked by, my lil Ashley started to have some defining characteristics of her own... She would try to 'tell' us via her own little ways what she wanted, what she was feeling and we would play the guessing game everytime she displayed some form of emotion and action... Sooner rather than later, we got most of her needs right... :)

Life with a baby in the house was never the same ever again... No more time for ourselves, no more time for hobbies or TV watching, and definitely no more time for lazing around... Everything was centered around the lil girl and her schedules... but I never looked back and contemplated what ifs... I mean, look at her.. Her smile melts my heart and I would give up the world just to make her happy..

Months down the road, her progress report card started filling up... turning herself over, exploring the ends of her toes, starting to sit on her own, making herself heard... Oh she practised everything to perfection... even the "Daddy, I want you to carry me now" look... :)

Fast forward to now... Ashley's a real handful these days.... crawling and pulling at everything.. I find her to be a real busybody.. She has this determined look when she has her sights set on a target..

I like to let her 'loose' and let her explore the world around her... Why stifle her creativity? I let her touch, let her feel, let her experience her environment (within safe means of course) and let her learn thru her own senses of what her surroundings are like..

As with most babies, she has her favourite 'companions' when she lies in bed with sleep nodding in the horizon... For her, its her lil bunny and her moo-moo blankie... I just love seeing her with them..

Lately, she has also really displayed the full array of her emotions... she frowns, she frets, she throws her tantrums...

.... and at the other end of the spectrum, she laughs her head off at times... Her laughter is so very infectious that we cannot help but get carried away as well... oh her laughter is music to my ears...

What can I say? I'm in love with her. So too is Jac. Look at her. Wouldn't you be?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Nike Lunarglide+ . . . Our 1st Night..

10:09pm…. My skin was tingling, anticipating, I paced back and forth, unable to focus my thoughts. I was bursting with energy inside, but I had to hold my emotions in check. It was time. I called out to her. “Betty, I’m ready.”

She stared back at me unwaveringly. Her curvy silhouette in the half-darkness beckoned me over. I relented almost willingly. As I drew closer, I could make out laces hanging delicately off her hips ever so sexily, just waiting for my touch.

I caressed her curves. She lay there motionless. As I stepped back to admire her well sculptured bod, she could hold back no longer, “Take me. Now.” I needed no further prompting. As I pulled at her laces, my heart skipped a beat. It was pure beauty, a work of art moulded by the fingers of the Divine.

Pulling her hips apart slightly, I eased myself inside her, taking care to be gentle. I slipped inside with some resistance though, as I am pretty well-endowed, a size 11 if you want the details. The fit was just right, a little snug, just the way I like it. I positioned myself and whispered to her, “Are you ready?”

From my years of experience with different models, I knew that everyone of them responds differently. However, none have expressed disappointment when I have started off slowly, in a rhythmic mantra, taking my time and warming up the body temperature. I knew then as I started off that at the end of the session, I would be gasping for breath, and that thought alone brought a smile to my face.

I started to push the pace... I pounded her harder and faster and she responded in kind. She could take my full body weight on her and she could still make me comfortable and keep me going. At times, when I slowed the tempo so that I could gather myself and take a breather, she would plead with me to pump her harder, make me work and sweat all over her.

I took her to the ends of the earth and back (OK more like round the housing area). Every time I thought it was going to end, she would make me comfortable and I would continue to hammer her. Her well-endowed and rounded ass was firm and provided me with a sure grip, propelling me forward with every motion. I really believed I could go on forever.

However, all good things must come to an end. 34 minutes after we became one, we reached the climax; a lung-busting finale that lasted nearly a minute! I was totally spent.

Tucking her into a cozy corner, I left her to rest while I proceeded to clean myself up. “Betty, I really think that we are destined for great things together. Tomorrow, we’ll do this again.”

For what its worth.....

The relevant body parts...

*Alright, enough already. I promise to do a proper review in a couple of days OK!!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Nike Lunarglide+ . . . A first cut look.

Yes, my dear readers, this was what that phone call was all about... :)

Got a call asking me to drop by Nike Sales (M) office at the Curve to pick up Nike's latest running shoe model: Nike Lunarglide+ for review and testing purposes. FOC of course. :)

Seriously speaking, I have never really been a die-hard fan of Nike running shoes. I am of the impression that Nike has only very limited models that cater to serious runners, with more emphasis on the lifestyle market. This comment is probably only valid in Malaysia, as I hear our southern neighbour benefits from excellent Nike Running campaigns. I seriously hope this opportunity to test out the Lunarglide+ changes my perception and makes me a Nike believer once again.

Met up with Andrew from Nike and the collection was a really quick one. Tested it out on the spot to ensure the fit was alright, a quick chat and I was out the door after promising to give an honest review and feedback after I was done trashing the shoe on the streets (aha).

I won't go into the technological details of the shoe. Nope. That you can read from Nike's media release or even get all the nitty-gritty details from Nike's website.

My review will touch more on how the shoe fits, how it feels out on the road, how it holds up on a long run, how it pushes the limits during speedwork, and how is the durability factor. But before all of that, let me review the one thing that makes you walk into the store when you see it on the display window. The Looks.

Black sports shoes just don't cut it for me. Its a matter of personal preference, as I know of many people who think that black is cool and would not buy any footwear in any other hue. Me, I prefer my runners in anything BUT black, and it is irony that this pair comes in Black/Orange with tinges of silver.

Design-wise, I'd say its simple and uncluttered, not really an attention grabber that screams "Look At Me!". However, that orange hue on jet black is bound to get a couple of stares and 2nd looks too. Jac doesn't really agree however, and thinks that the colour and design is just not to her liking.

Cutting to the chase, and to keep this intro short and sweet, let me just say that since the Lunarglide+ and myself are going to be a couple for a while, and we are going to share some sweet and bitter moments together, do some travelling on the road together, spend quality time together; I need to give it a name.

And since Jac calls it UGLY, I guess I'll call it BETTY.

Therefore my Lunarglide+, you are henceforth christened Ms Betty.