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Confessions of a wishful runner

A young adult’s musings about running, life, and a pair of wireless earbuds that helps keep him moving forward

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My relationship with running is on-and-off. Toxic. Addicting. A dwindling high, but not a mercurial one. Sometimes, I love it and the feelings it gives me. But half of the time, I just don’t.

Maybe it was because I still remember the smell of yesterday. Like on tennis courts where the scorching rays of the sun were burning through my bare skin. I remember taking laps in the court when I’m around the age of eight, and the conflicting feelings it gave me. I loved running in the streets, and playing Patintero and Agawan Base with kids I don’t remember now.

But the training I was put through made me wonder if that was entirely needed or if was it punishment. “Was I really supposed to run under the heat of noon?”

There were plenty of questions I wanted to ask but I couldn’t, simply because as a kid in an Asian household, you weren’t supposed to raise concerns or air your grievances.

My envy wasn’t with the people who triumphed; it was for those who tried. I was hanging out with the wrong people, being called a wannabe when you’re simply aspirational.

In high school, I was always a substitute player for Men’s Volleyball and Track and Field. Constantly moving, sprinting, speeding. Running 100-meters is a piece of cake, even if I was a kid struggling with asthma. There’s something about running and the world slowing down that made me enjoy every bit of it.

But life took a different turn. Aside from the rollercoaster of emotions throughout the years, all the running I did was rushing when I’m late, wearing heeled leather boots and dress shoes as I carry my briefcases and luggage I need for my deadlines.

Not to mention my neighborhood and the nonexistent urban planning of my city that makes it difficult to run safely lest you get hit by inconsiderate vehicles.

Maybe these were just excuses. For years, I just look at people standing at the podium, holding their medals. But my envy wasn’t with the people who triumphed; it was with those who tried. I was hanging out with the wrong people, being called a wannabe when you’re simply aspirational. With all honesty, I was a wishful runner. I wanted to run, but I couldn’t.

2022 was a game-changing year for me. Two years ago, I was in a near-death experience where my life started flashing before me after having literally no air to breathe. Yes, it was the dreaded ‘Rona. That slight peek at the Otherside gave me the courage to pursue all the things I’ve always wanted. I pursued them relentlessly, no holds barred. One by one — running included.

In May, I got my hands on the JBL Endurance RACE when it finally arrived in the Philippines. It was the moment when I felt a tugging in my chest. My heart was excited at the idea of a running companion to stick with me. At that time, all the running I could do was on the treadmill, alternating between the Galaxy Buds2 and the Galaxy Buds Live depending on the intensity.

It seemed the stars aligned when GadgetMatch was also invited to partake in adidas’s Run for the Oceans after I received the pair of wireless earbuds. Together with my team, we accumulated a total of 80kms. The sight of almost victory made me want to run more. I was delighted with the fact that I was running towards something, instead of running away.

Years ago, I wouldn’t even consider looking forward and having plans for the future. I just want to survive and get away from it all. All the growth I experienced in almost half a decade changed my perspective on running. It also brought me people who served as my guiding lights when navigating an unknown path.

Life did me wrong, but I got through it all and came out better and stronger.

JBL Endurance RACE

A month in and I’ve grown accustomed to the Endurance RACE. What seemed like a pair of wireless earbuds for running became a companion for my growth and training. In between my athletic endeavors such as Muay Thai, lifting weights, and running — the pair of wireless earbuds have been with me every step of the way.

The way it was designed, I knew it was made for comfort and durability. And for someone who’s a wishful runner, I rejoiced in how it fits my ears snugly even when I was running at 12mph on the treadmill. The only time it started loosening up in my ears was when I get sweaty from running consistently for more than ten minutes.

But throughout all my activities, the Endurance RACE helped me train gracefully, and even helped me discover myself and explore my love for running.

When I started running this year, I was re-learning my love for the activity. But in almost two months I was living with the JBL Endurance RACE, I’ve grasped what I really love about running. First, it’s sweat and the endorphins that keep my emotions in check. I feel alive and ready to take on the day.

Next, it’s the better headspace. My thoughts are cleared. That, or I get to sort the information I’m processing and come to a better solution or conclusion. It gives me the ability to focus and concentrate on the problem ahead.

Last, it’s the ability to tune out the world with music and the feeling of everything slowing down. With its ambient noise cancellation, I lose myself in my workout remixes of ‘Break My Heart’, ‘Ready for It?’, and ‘Dear Future Husband’.

It doesn’t fully filter the background noise, but I’m completely fine with it since we all need to be alert and aware of our surroundings when we’re exercising both indoors and outdoors.

When running on the road, I can simply turn off the noise cancellation with a press on the left earbud so I can hear the environment. It’s particularly helpful when you don’t notice the vehicles approaching. If someone approaches me, I can activate the TalkThru setting so I can have a decent conversation without removing my earbuds.

JBL Endurance RACE

I’m no audiophile, so I couldn’t make a comment about the technicalities of the listening experience. I get to enjoy the music and the sound it produced wasn’t even bad, to begin with. I’m honestly okay with that. But if you want to dive deep into fine-tuning your audio experience, there’s an app that’s compatible with both iOS and Android.

When I spoke with the reps of JBL Philippines months ago, they mentioned how they considered ease of usage when they revamped the user interface and user experience, along with Generation Z’s preference to tinker around.

It’s safe to say that even I, a millennial and a self-confessed airhead, can easily understand how to customize the sound parameters. There’s an equalizer with different presets for you to choose from. Jazz, Vocal, Bass, Club, and Studio. You can even make your personal equalizer settings.

JBL Endurance RACE

Finding the settings that work for you help when you’re getting into running. The sound you enjoy can help you build through the habit until you learn to love every bit of running. Sweat, shin splints, sore legs, and all.

Gestures are all easy to learn, and adjustable. It’s quite easy to learn and remember so you don’t have to keep using your phone when changing your music playback or navigating phone calls. And more importantly, it takes me a week before I charge the pair of wireless earbuds on its chunky case. After all, I only use the device during my athletic activities.

I guess the ease of use in my experience with the JBL Endurance RACE made me focus on enjoying running as much as I can. I’m at a stage where I don’t dread running anymore, and I look forward to finally having the courage to take on a race.

To date, I still can’t call myself a runner. I’m still a person who runs, trying to clock in the distance he always wanted. For now, I’m only trying my best to love running because I know I still haven’t fully embraced it.

Maybe after a few months of learning and unlearning, of sprinting more and forcing myself through inclines, I’ll learn to put all of my heart into it.

Somehow, I can just rejoice in the way the world slows down while I speed through. What I could probably guess is I’m on the right track and the stars are still aligning. After replacing my running sneakers, I got invited by friends to participate in an upcoming race. It’s tougher than the races I’ve been considering. Guess what? I’m excited.

I’m not sure if I’d get to find my way through the podium, or at least complete the race. I don’t know if life will get in the way again, and if it does, I don’t know if I could keep on running towards victory.

But on the occasion that it doesn’t, I’ll put my best foot forward in completing the race, finally call myself a runner, and celebrate the moment with pride. Here’s to hoping I get to do it.

So, if you spot another wishful runner trying their best in little ways, cheer them on. Running towards something is more difficult than running away. It’s tough out here, but it’s already rewarding.

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Razer unveils updated DeathAdder V3 Pro

Lighter, faster than its previous version

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DeathAdder V3 Pro

Razer has announced the release of the new DeathAdder V3 Pro, the latest version yet of its best-selling mouse line that aims to provide the smoothest gaming experience for users.

Th DeathAdder V3 Pro features Razer’s new HyperPolling technology that allows a polling rate of 1000Hz at 1ms polling intervals, which can be improved to 0.25ms when used with a HyperPolling Wireless Dongle.

This gives gamers an ultra-responsive device capable of a 4000Hz wireless polling rate. The separate device can also auto-switch polling rates for more convenience.

Aside from the technical improvements, the mouse also sports a new shape. It features reduced flares on the sides for better grip and hand support. The scroll wheel, buttons, and palm support have all been elevated as well.

The mouse also has lower wireless click latency than its previous version, and is 25 percent lighter. When it comes to battery life, the DeathAdder V3 Pro can support up to 90 hours. It also comes with a Razer Speedflex charging cable (USB Type C).

The latest DeathAdder is available in black and white colorways for PhP 9,590 in Lazada, Shopee, and Razer’s authorized resellers.

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New Xiaomi AIoT products include TV, Scooter, Smart Pet Feeder

There’s also a Smart Pet Fountain

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Xiaomi AIoT

A new range of Xiaomi AIoT products have been announced to be available in the Philippines later this month, including a brand-new TV, smart doorbell, electric scooter, smart pet feeder, and even a smart pet fountain.

Here’s a quick rundown of the new products which shall be available starting on August 20, 2022 on Xiaomi concept stores, Shopee, and Lazada:

  • Mi TV P1E 65”
  • Xiaomi Conference TapCast
  • Xiaomi Smart Doorbell 3
  • Xiaomi Electric Scooter 4 Pro
  • Xiaomi Smart Pet Feeder
  • Xiaomi Smart Pet Fountain
  • Xiaomi Air Purifier 4 Compact

Better productivity

The Conference Tapcast is a plug-and-play device that can be connected to TVs, projects, and monitors for a wireless screencast. It will available for PhP 5,499 with a free Bluetooth speaker worth PhP 899 for early bird buyers.

Speaking of TVs, the Mi TV P1E 65” serves as a 4K HDR10 display with 60Hz MEMC technology for smooth visuals and great connectivity.

The TV features Dolby Vision and Dolby Audio support, and comes with Android TV 2 for endless content. It also has Chromecast built-in for direct streaming from other devices. It is priced at PhP 33,999 and comes with a PhP 1,000 discount from August 20 to 21.

Safer, cleaner homes

For home security, the Smart Doorbell 3 comes with a built-in 2K camera and infrared lights for clear video even in the dark. The camera offers multiple views such as ultra-wide and diagonal 180 degrees, plus AI motion detection.

The doorbell also has an intercom for visitors. The device runs on a 5,200mAh built-in battery that is rechargeable via USB. It will be available for PhP 5,199 with a free Mi motion-activated night light 2 until supplies last.

The new Smart Air Purifier 4 Compact filters up to 99.97 percent of small particles with its 3-in-1 layer-by-layer filtration system. It also has real-time air quality monitoring, while adjusting settings is a breeze with its control buttons and indicator light.

The air purifier will sell for PhP 4,799 and will come with a free filter worth PhP 1,299.

Smart solutions for fur babies

For families with pets, Xiaomi also released the Smart Pet Food Feeder and Smart Pet Fountain, which feature 24-hour automatic pet feeding and healthy water housekeeping.

The Smart Pet Feeder comes with a six-grid dispensing structure. It can be controlled wirelessly using the Mi Home or Xiaomi Home app. Owners can set the time or quantity of food it dispenses.

On the other hand, the Smart Pet Fountain provides clean running water to pets, thanks to its four-stage deep filtering. Like the pet feeder, the fountain can be paired with either app.

The Smart Pet Feeder will retail for PhP 5,199 while the Smart Pet Fountain is priced at PhP 3,299. As an introductory deal, customers may also get a free Mi 360 camera (1080P) worth PhP 1,799 with a purchase of each item.

Xiaomi Electric Scooter 4 Pro

Rounding out Xiaomi’s newly-released products is the Electric Scooter 4 Pro which comes with more power and speed than its predecessor. It features a dual-braking system, self-sealing tire, energy recovery, and a magnetic charging port.

The electric scooter with an aluminum alloy body can go for a maximum speed of 25 kph and can take you up to 55 kilometers on a full charge. It can be bought for PhP 35,999 with a free Mi Commuter Helmet for early bird purchases.

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Kim Kardashian made her own Beats Fit Pro

It’s skin-colored

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There’s an unwritten rule about interacting with people you meet in public: If you see someone wearing headphones or earbuds, they probably don’t want to be bothered. With the size of over-ear headphones and the color of earbuds, it’s easy to spot these telltale signs in public. However, if you’re really feeling your look today, you might not want your gizmos to take away from what really matters. Enter the new Beat Fits Pro from Kim Kardashian.

If you’ve tried a pair of Beat Fits Pro already, then you already know what these sound like. However, the collaboration’s draw comes from more than just audio quality. Compared to other accessories with sleek colors, the Beats x Kim device is meant to match the color of your skin.

With most ear gear using black, white, or purple, a nude pair of earbuds is unique. According to Kardashian, it’s meant to “blend in or stand out.” A lot of technology, especially AI-based ones, are (rightfully) taking a more conscientious approach to skin color sensitivity.

The new Beats Fit Pro model will have three colors: Moon, Dune, and Earth. The three colors goes through three stops in the spectrum of skin color. Though it can certainly have more options, it’s a good start towards color sensitivity.

Apple will release the Beats Fit Pro x Kim Kardashian collaboration on August 16 online through Apple’s store. Meanwhile, the device will debut in-store starting August 17 in ten select locations around the world. It will cost as much as the regular model — US$ 199.99.

SEE ALSO: Apple launches Year of the Tiger-themed AirPods

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