Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Year so far

First quarter of the 2015 is now done so I thought I'd see where I am year to date so far.  I'm aiming for 1,000 miles over the 12 months.

Miles Ran - 374
Time - 76
MPH - 4.9

Races Ran - 11
PBs - 4 (Which was good as wasn't expecting any)
Medals - 10

Parkruns Ran - 6
Parkruns Voluntered - 4

Monday, 30 March 2015

No more off-road

Am a bit sad because had to cancel Race the Train and I can't do the Sandstone Ultra or Trail Wales Half. It's just too hard.  I know it's supposed to be hard but I think I need to accept my limitations and not do anymore long trail races. Running down a windy path when my eyes wouldn't focus was a bit terrifying and that was a good day.  On a bad day, if I can't talk, I can't move my arm or my vision goes in one eye I can push myself through it in a road race.  It's just like that last mile of a very hard race where you focus on nothing else but the finish line.  I can't get that type of focus on uneven ground  because I'm too busy trying to adjust for what my feet are doing and my brain can't keep up.  It sucks to be defeated.

I always have to find a positive.  I lose three races off this year's list which means I can add some.  Have signed up for Milton Keynes half and Liverpool Spring 10k.  Will add parkrun and do my own mini Dopey - 5k, 10k and a half marathon back to back.  If I get into Dopey it will be good practice and if I don't get in then this is the closest I can get.

Medal Watch - Manchester Marathon

Err... it's big... and I like the colour of the ribbon... (Am kinda glad i'm doing Brighton instead).  Maybe it will look better on :)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Viper 369

Today's race can be summed up with four words:

We seriously underestimated Viper.

It seemed like a good idea when I entered, three stages each three hours long with an increasing number of laps to be completed by my team of three. Five laps in the first round, then six, then 7. I figured that the 7 5k(ish) laps in the in the final stage would be an issue but I was pretty sure we'd get through the first two. I did Delamere Parkrun in 29:43 going easy, I survived the Rivington Pike fell race and Birchwood Cross Country. It couldn't be that much harder. Even when the route was revealed I though we stood a chance.  I was so wrong. 

Viper 369 Route
The first lap wasn't too bad. I was surrounded by fellow (awesome) WRC runners and even though I walked some of the first mile uphill to conserve energy I finished in 33 minutes, well within the 37 minutes needed. It was a little muddy but the majority of the route is on solid concrete. I had to go to the edge of the paths a lot because my new shoes (yes, I know you're not supposed to wear new shoes at a race but I hadn't had time to test them) didn't like the solid ground and they're pretty rigid.  The route pretty much starts off with an easy little stretch before you reach the hill of hell, named Cobra's ascent for the challenge.  I didn't hate names until today.  You think you're at the top only to turn a corner and find out there's still more to go. You get a little relief from a stretch of downhill but then it's back up again to the mast.  Down some more, then backup to the mast again before starting the descent back to the start, running through an ever twisting snake of a descent.  There's one last small uphill (which feels more like a mountain in later laps) and then it's back to the start.

Viper 369 Elevation

So I finished my first lap.  It was tough but manageable.  I didn't give it everything so I figured I could get a bit faster.  I high fived Bryan, sent him off on his way and made it back to our temporary camp site (which looked like we were refugees there for a month, we had so much stuff) just as the heavens opened. We sat under of covers whilst the second and third members of our teams and to face the rain.  Then it was our turn once more. The course got seriously muddy and then a new battle begin. My second lap was awful, the hills seemed bigger, it was raining, my shoes kept slowing me down on concrete paths and they were hurting my big toes. I spent a lot of time on my own (due to the head start Mike had given me with his amazing 22 minute lap).  I managed to make some time up on the downhill and got back in 36 minutes which wasn't the greatest but still was enough for the first stage.  Bryan ran pretty well and Mike was just a machine so we made it though to the second stage comfortably and had a good 20 minutes spare.  I then made a big mistake...

The thought of four more laps was pretty scary to be honest, I thought if I doubled up and did 10k at once then it might be easier.  Recovery time would be longer and I figured that momentum would keep me going.  So we switched it up for stage two, Mike did a lap first, then Bryan and then it was my turn to do the double.  I changed my shoes to my Mizuno Hyate's because I know they'd be much easier to run in on the solid ground and then were.  I was able to get a really good grip on the solid ground and actually starting enjoying running.  The issue became evident when I reached the first stretch of pure mood, all I can say is I should have learnt to ice skate.  Even walking was a challenge and that's pretty much what I had to do, walk along the edge for both of the really muddy stretches.  I was doing good on the rest of the course though, I even felt I was handling the hills better but then when I got to the downhill stretch I realised whilst going pretty fast that I couldn't see properly.  

Both eyes had gone out of focus and I couldn't see where I was going.  It was pretty scary to be going round the corners without being able to see anything.  Usually I lose on eye or the other, it's not very often that both become a blur.  I wanted to give up but Bryan and Mike had given so much already that I knew i had to keep going.  I could have stopped at the end of the first lap but i think I knew in the back of my mind that if I stopped I wouldn't want to run again.  My right knee started refusing to bend too and I pretty much just lost the will, especially when I got to the mud.  I walked more than I ran in the last lap.  Cobra's ascent, the uphill timed section near the beginning of the race, became a never ending path.  I must have registered the slowest time (Mike came 4th, that's how amazing he is). When i got to the top of the hill I just wanted to sit down and refuse to move.  I probably have the record for the slowest downhill ever because it was harder than the uphill.  I was so annoyed (Although, as my husband pointed out, during bad episodes I struggle to get down the stairs never mind down a steep hill).  When I finally got to the finish I just wanted to cry.  Mike and Bryan (who were so incredibly nice to me) tried to pull it back (Bryan cut his knee up trying to get back quick enough) but were out of time to continue on to the final stage because I took too long.  After Bryan got fixed up by the very nice medic lady, we collected our medals and t-shirts and then got free donuts and hot chocolate! I hate donuts but it was the best thing ever.I really love the t-shirt too and the medal is pretty cool.  

It took me a few days to get over being annoyed at myself for Viper.  I have to say though that I would highly recommend the event. The organisation was amazing (except for a slight hiccup with registration), the people running the event were lovely and you could tell that they love running.  They did a good job of looking after us, we even had girls only portaloos. We met some amazing runners and I'm in awe of solo runners and teams of two who took on the six hours as well as the teams that completed the full challenge with some amazing times. I think the course let the event down slightly, some of the mud would have been barely passable in cross country spikes but this was mostly due to the weather.  It would be easier if the whole course was one type of terrain but that's often not easy to do.  They wanted to create a challenge that we had to work for and that they certainly did.  Sadly, due to my condition, I've decided that I need to stick to road races (off-road is just too hard if I start having a bad day) but the other events that the Viper group have organised both here and in the US look amazing.  I will gladly volunteer for them any time.

Also, I have to say that Warrington Running Club is amazing.  There's no other club like them for sheer enthusiasm and love of running (and alcohol!).  I'm second claim and run in a different club vest but they are so kind and welcoming and I'm pretty sure you could hear them from the moon.  They leave an impression everywhere they go.  It was on of my worst days ever race wise but they turned it into an amazing experience and I always have the best time when I go to events with them (although they do make me end up doing a lot more races than I planned).

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Medal Watch - Walton Park 5 Mile

2015 Walton Park 5 Miles medal
2015 Walton Park 5 Miles medal
Liverpool Running Club turns 30 this year, happy birthday LRC.  To celebrate there's a special medal for the Walton Park 5 Mile race on the 19th May featuring a running version of the clubs Liverbird logo.  I haven't done the race before but it's meant to be flat and fast by all accounts. Click here to find out more.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

London Marathon Ballot - 4th May!!!

Medal Watch - Viper 369

Viper runners, I shared this medal back in January but at the time we thought that only the people who completed all three stages of the  9 hour relay would get the medal and the t-shirt.  The amazing guys at Viper have now confirmed that everyone will get them and so we can all smile with glee because we'll be owning this in 3 days! 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Physio.co.uk - Highlight of Run Expo

Yesterday I got to watch the guys at physio.co.uk perform some free analysis on runners at the expo.  I was so impressed with what I saw that I made them number one in my Expo ten ten picks but I couldn't have a go myself because I wasn't wearing trainers.  Today, on my return visit to EventsCity, I made sure i was appropriately dressed (i actually got off the train a stop earlier and ran 2 miles to the expo and back as punishment for sleeping through parkrun).

When I turned up at the booth I only had to wait a few minutes for my turn.  It's not too daunting or taxing.  You need to run up and down a straight track (I want to say 10 meters but I'm rubbish at judging distance) whilst you're filmed from the front, back and side.  After that it's a few flexibility checks whilst you lie on a massage table, some lunges and a couple of box step ups (no where near the size of the massive box at Strength & Conditioning thankfully).  It takes about 10 minutes and then you get to sit and get some feedback.

If you've never seen yourself run in slow motion I have to tell you it's pretty cool.  I hate looking at photos of myself but I could sit and watch my legs moving in slow mo all day.  It's kind of like watching yourself take flight, even my legs kinda look pretty and I'm a rubbish runner.  Imagine how good it would be to see the really good runners fly like that (maybe I need to start watching athletics on TV, do they show slow motion running? Figure skating is the only sport I watch).  Apparently my running form is pretty good from the side, especially since I've only been running a year and don't have a clue what I'm doing.  My lead foot falls slightly in front of my centre of gravity but not so much for it to be an issue and front knee and back kick are both at a good level. 

Image owned by Physio.co.uk
From the front it's a whole different matter.  I've never heard of catwalk running before but that's what i do.  My legs scissor so that each foot falls directly in front of the other and each foot was actually coming around the other leg because of weakness in my gluteus medius which google tells me is in the outer surface of my pelvis.  Both of my feet pretty much stayed in contact with the center line the whole time and I could see my hips swinging up and down. Top tip to improve it is to put a line down the middle of the treadmill and not let your feet touch the line whilst also focusing on exercises to strengthen the muscle.  I knew that this was an issue, especially when my movement disorder is in full swing (my right leg refuses to go outwards and I have to run on the outside of my foot.  Would be interesting to see what it looks like then).  You now know more about my running style than you ever needed.

We spent about 10 or 15 minutes chatting about my results, I left with some helpful advice for free and I wasn't at all pressured into signing up for a full consultation.  It was a very informative session and I was very impressed.  As it's just a taster, the full consultation goes more into the physio side with specific exercises and a lot more detailed testing plus you even get a dvd of your running.  There's only one day left for the expo now but if you are visiting tomorrow then I would try and get an analysis done.  It's well worth the time and they really are very nice guys who just want us all to run our best.  If you visit the expo then you can also get a full running biomechanics analysis for £100 instead of £150 which really is a massive saving. Click here for more information.

Medal Watch - Expo Special

This is the medal for Badass Mucker 10k on the 6th June in Lancaster. You can save £5 plus the fee for entering at the expo. £40 for the race with free head gear and a t-shirt to walk away with then another tshirt plus the medal when you finish. Shame I don't like mud cos it's a great medal. http://badassmucker.com/

Expo day 2

I missed a few people yesterday. 

Zero Point Compression. Had a fitting and really love the feel. There's grades compression through the sleeves rather than some cheaper versions that just suck you in and are sized based on calf. Lovely range of colours and at £20 for sleeves and £30 for socks there's a £5 saving on each at the expo. http://www.zeropointcompression.uk/

I also spoke to James the director of eglove. Really great product that gives you the extra benefit of grips on the palm and fingers which cheaper versions lack. Very impressed, they'll be on next year's Christmas List, especially if I get into Dopey and need to take photos whilst I'm running. Saving of £10 at the expo, now £15 a pair. http://www.eglove.co.uk/

Met the awesome Rodney and Drew at Aftershokz. If I'd met them yesterday they so would make made my top ten finds but they're hidden away in the bike stuff. I tried their earphones that I've been researching for a while. They're the only ones that races endorse because the sit in front of the ear through bone rather than in the ear so you can still hear what's going on around you. It's much safer for you and all other runners around you. This is my basic understanding but my full review will provide more detail. I tried out a pair whilst the stage behind us was having a very loud rave or something and the sound was smooth and clear. Lo bought a pair so wait to try them out. There's quite a good expo discount. http://www.aftershokz.co.uk/

*Updated* Viper 369 Strategy Planning

There's less than a month now until I'll be facing the Viper 369 challenge as part of a team of three.  It's a relay race with a distance in Delamere Forrest.  You have to complete a set number of laps each round of a three hour period to progress to the next and you don't get the medal and t-shirt unless you complete in the challenge within the time frame.  *Update* Actually we all get the medal and t-shirt now so happy days!

The rounds are as follows:

Viper 369 round breakdown
I think the key to completing the all three rounds is making sure you don't tire yourself out in the first two.  Taking the 5 minute grace period for each round, it's a 37 minute 5k in round 1 and 30:50 in round 2 (I've assumed a distance slightly over) which both sound pretty reasonable until you get to the 26:26 times required for stage 3.  Only two runners need to run twice in the first stage whereas someone has to go three times in the last one.  I'm thinking you save your faster runner for the end and give them only one lap in the first three hours to save their legs for when you need the faster times.

I seriously need to do some hill training! Uuurrrgggghhh!

*Further Update* The route has now been revealed and I hope you like hills.  I've mapped it on strava to get the elevation.

Viper 369 Elevation
Viper 369 route

Friday, 20 March 2015

Run Expo Top Ten Picks.

For my main expo blog please click here.

Before I get to the top ten running finds from today's expo I wanted to mention a few companies that I loved but didn't make the list because they're cycling rather than running.  These are in no particular order because I don't know enough about cycling or triathlons to have an opinion.

  • The Triathlon box. Not the cheapest at £99.99 but it has been filled with a few freebies.  http://www.triathlonbox.co.uk/
  • Indicataz by http://www.pedibal.com/.  a remote controlled light up sign on bags, vests or backpack attachments that you can use to indicate to cars behind you which direction you are planning to go or if you plan to stop.  The bag is usb charged and lasts up to 20 hours of use whilst the remote control is operated by watch batteries.
  • http://fatladattheback.com/ for their really well designed cycles clothes that are suitable for everyone.
Right, so on to the top ten(ish)

10.1 It's the fat lad at the back again.  Yes, i know it's cycle wear but from April they'll be branching out into running clothes so they're kinda in the top ten but not quite yet.  They're the fat lad at the back still for now. http://fatladattheback.com/ 

10. Stinkfree sports detergent from 2Toms http://www.2toms.com/.  I've been looking for a sports detergent for a while and this one seems really good.  It has a great smell too.

9. Individual race signs from Running Memories.  i love the idea that my Berlin Marathon medal (when I get it) can have it's old little display that's personalised with my finish time.  Maybe I'll have six of these eventually if I get to run all of the majors.  There's so many colour options and £7.49 is not a bad price. http://www.running-memories.co.uk/#&panel1-1 

8. Now, this might seem a bit dull for some but I'm really into elastic laces on my running shoes at the moment.  I always end up fastening my shoes too tight or not tight enough.  i already have one set of Xtenex laces on one lot of shoes but they were expensive and there wasn't many colours.  Their tribesports have them at the expo in a full range of colours and it's £14 for two pairs £20 for 3.

7. I think the Unilite senor lights are a very clever idea.  All of the Unilite head torches are really good quality and reasonable priced but I love the innovation of the sensor allowing you to turn off the light quickly even when you can't feel your fingers. http://www.uni-lite.com/

6. Not so much as something to buy this one but something to do.  Can you judge how far 1k is whilst cycling?  There's £150 worth of vouchers for the person who comes closest at the Dunns River Nurishment stand and it's a lot of fun so certainly one to try.  The drink samples are nice too.

5. Whilst you're doing competitions you might as well go try and win with the Always Aim High guys too.  There's some great prices worth £100 to be won every day of the expo plus a grand prize worth £1,500 and all you have to do is give them a contact email. http://alwaysaimhighevents.com/

4. 2Toms blister shield.  Just give it a try on your hand and you'll be amazed (there's also sports sheild too but I didn't want 2Toms to take over the top 10.  It was hard choosing between the three products) http://www.2toms.com/.

3. For the history lesson alone Matthew Crehan makes the top three.  I now know all about Steve Profontaine and plan on googling to find out a lot more.  I love the idea of running as an art form and would the art work is beautiful.  I'm going to start buying Athletics Weekly magazine now so i can read the comics and i'll be buying The Art of Running; The Steve Profontaine Storyhttp://www.steveprefontaine-comic.com/

2. The Flipbelt.  I jumped around, it didn't move.  I filled it with everything but the kitchen sink, couldn't feel a thing and it didn't move.  It's comfortable and it works.  I even forgot to take my phone out before i took it off but the phone stayed nice and safe inside.  Yeah, there's not really a saving but you get to try it on, check you have the right size and have a go.  I was quite dubious of it until I saw it in person.

And the winner is...

1. Physio.co.uk free sampler session.  I only saw a bit of one ladies session but it was quite in depth and there's pretty sound science behind it.  From my understanding it's far more comprehensive and effective than gait analysis.  A saving of 33% off a full session is quite a saving too. http://physio.co.uk/
For my main expo blog please click here.  I didn't get to some people on the first day so they weren't included when i decided the top ten.  You can read about them here.

2015 Run Expo Manchester - A day at the expo

For my expo top 10 picks please click here.

As many people are no doubt aware, EventCity is Manchester will be home to the Run Bike and Swim expo for the next three days. I'll be blogging live from the event, updating this page as I go, letting you know what to expect from the weekend. I'll also be letting you know my top running finds. 

Overall the expo was heavily favoured towards cycling and triathlons.  There are some interesting stalls for running there but it pales in significance when compared to the amount of the expo dedicated to all things bikes. There was only a couple of clothing companies, a hand full of race organisers and no shoe companies at all.  

All stands that I talked to took card payments but there is a cash machine at the entrance.  There's also quite a few toilets and a couple of places to sit to eat and drink.  There's three presentation stages but I didn't really pay much attention to them to be honest.  Tomorrow and Sunday has quite a few talks happening, including Jo pavey.


For more information about the expo click here.


8:14am - Dog crazy, knows I'm going out.

8:59am -Waiting for the train. Separate issue really but love that Warrington Central has installed them ramp things that make it easy to get your bike up and down the stairs. 

9:50am - If you want to travel by train it's about a 20 minute walk from Humphrey Park. Ignore Google maps though when it tells you to cross in the middle of no where. Carry on to the subway at the junction. 

10:10am - Having a catch up and a stroll around with Keith. Place is massive. 

10:20am - Running Memories are here with their medal displays. Free delivery if you order from the expo saving you £4.50. Really like the little personal displays for individual races which are £7.49. Can pre- order for future races, speak to Richard he's very nice. (P.s. Oulton Park medal is even better in person, will be doing that next year). Cards and PayPal accepted. http://www.running-memories.co.uk/#&panel1-1 

10:39am - Talked to the lovely Phil and Michael at Flipbelt. Got to try on a belt, love them. So comfortable and it doesn't move.  Have a try, take a selfie and share it and you could win your own belt. More details coming later. There's no expo discount so it's still £25 but you save on p&p plus you get to try them on for size and run around. Can pay by card. http://theflipbelt.co.uk/

11:20am - Lovely cup of tea and beacon butty with some great company. Most stalls and the cafe take cards. 

11:50am - Really impressed with Unilite. Really great head torches and there's a discount of between 10 and 20% on retail prices depending on the model. The best ones are the ones that can be turned on and offer by a quick hand swipe thanks to the sensor (good for bottom challange people like me). The Sensor head lights are £25 or £30 depending on amount of power. http://www.uni-lite.com/

10:08am - The lovely Salaine at Less Bounce just shared her lovely products with me. Am loving the pants, crop tops and vest, beautiful colour combinations. Yes they're base layers but no reason not to be pretty. Prices start from £12 for the pants which are stretch comfy fit and wicker. You can negotiate a discount if you're buying a few of the base layer products.

I was in pretty colour heaven and then I found the Shock Absorber bra with a built in heart monitor strap. New to the UK, they're compatible with most heart rate monitors. I tried on one and love it. They're normally £40 on the website but there's £5 off at the expo. Will be testing it out at Trimpell 20.  http://www.lessbounce.com/

12:25am - Spent some time with the very entertains guys at CEP. Loving the new colour socks they have available at the expo and really like the new no show socks. Designed with the same CEP technology but contained with a small cute sock that's not meant to be seen for once. £13.50 which is quite a good price for a CEP product. http://shop.cepsports.co.uk/
They're also trying to trend #besuperior. Can get your photo taken in their thrown and then get tweeting it.

12:40am - Starting to flag a little so good time to head over to High 5. There's tasting stations with all their products including the gels and you can buy a bottle and get it filled all day with High 5 for £2. Product prices are pretty much the same as Wiggle so not losing anything buy buying them here plus they have the fulll range of flavours. The race box is £5 which is ok but not really cheaper than going else where. Really like the caramel sports bar but not sure I could eat it during a race. http://highfive.co.uk/

12:57 - Collected some free socks from 
ashmei that I won before the expo. Beautiful products that are 100% natural. They look and feel amazing. Fell in love with a running jacket but at £100 will have to win the lottery first but is amazing quality.  Maybe next Christmas. They're also the only people I've seen who actually do their compression socks in both calf and foot size. They do take cards though if you're looking for a spurge. I'll let you know how I get on with the socks. http://www.ashmei.com/

16:42 - Technology failed me. EventCity eats phone battery I'm sure so had to visit The Melville for a pint and to charge my phone (the lovely  barmaid personally led me to where the sockets are and had a nice chat with some jolly old men). I had to resort to pen and paper (the horror) so will add everything else now. 

Before my phone went black I visited the 2Toms stand (named after two blokes called Tom).  I met Adam who showed me the wonders of blister shield, rub the powder into your hand and it literally repels water (I tested to make sure it was just water) and the powder stayed in place. It creates a barrier between your clothes and skin to prevent friction. We then moved on to sports shield, a very thin and light product that prevents chafing. I had to applied to two fingers and there still no friction when you rub them together even hours later. You can also apply it directly to your clothes. The last 2Toms product that impressed me was the  stinkfree sports detergent. I've been looking for sports specific washing detergent for a while. I got samples of all three products so I'll let you know how I got on after Trimpell 20 on Sunday. http://www.2toms.com/

The next stop was Always Aim High. I'd heard of them before but I'd aways thought that they only did Tri events. Turns out they also do three road races each year, including Rugby Half Marathon on 12th July, Snowdonia Trail Marathon which has sold out this year and the Anglesey Half Msrathon which will next take place in March 2016.  I quite like the idea of doing the Anglesey Half next year. If you sign up for any of the races at the expo you can save 10%. They also have sweets (!!) and free High 5 sample packs. They're doing a great completion each day of the expo, sign up to the expo and you could win a massive pile of goodies including a pair of Solomon trainers. The daily prize is worth £100 but there's a grand prize valued at £1,500.  I told them my theory about maybe getting more women if they show the medal beforehand, they seemed pretty interested.  http://alwaysaimhighevents.com/

The Dunns River Nurishment stand has a competition too but you have to work a little harder. You need to cycle 1k on their bike, using guess work.  The closest person wins £150 worth of vouchers. I got 1.4k so not even close but I did get to try their drinks. Both Strawberry and Vanilla are delicious, I'm not keen on chocolate. There's a bit of a discount on the drinks with 1 for £1.50 or £2.50 for two. They retail at around £2. It's a great after run drink because it replenishes vitamins and minerals.  You'll need them after cycling the 1k. http://www.nurishment.co.uk/

image owned by M Crehan
If you love running and you love comics then you really need to talk to Matthew Crehan. He's created a graphical novel called The Art of Running; The Steve Profontaine Story. It's released on the 30th May for £12.99 but you can pre-order it from the expo for £10.  Matthew told me about growing up around running and athletic, his mother is an Olympic Athlete and his father a coach, he is very passionate about running and it comes across in the beautiful art work. He's also responsible for the return of the Alf Tupper comic strip in Athletics Weekly magazine. http://www.steveprefontaine-comic.com/

I had a quick talk with UK Run Chat who told me about their move outside of the virtual world.  They've got a range of products now and they're having four training weekends across the country.  Check out the website for details http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/.

Physio.co.uk are certainly one to go and see.  They're a long established company who provide a running biomechanics service for runners.  It helps with injuries or to get rid of niggles and reduces your risk injury.  You can watch slow mo video analysis of some of the sessions they've conducted and it's amazing to see running form issues slowed down.  A full assessment is normally £150 but you get a third off the price if you attend the expo.  They're also doing taster sessions that take around 20 minutes.  You get to watch your video and get feedback. http://physio.co.uk/

Image owned by zaazee.co.uk
Zaazee are another company that I've seen online but the photos don't do the clothes justice.  They look more like workout than running clothes online but the material used is actually really light and moves easy.  It's soft too touch too and is made from stretchy supportive material called Supplex.  I really love the vest tops especially the cross over detail.  They're £38 but there's a 10% discount at the expo.  There's some very pretty capris pants too from £50 to £70  http://zaazee.co.uk/

I'm not a triathlete and I don't think I'm ever going to be but I spotted a very pretty pink box do i had to find out what it was. The Triathlonxox is a lockable storage container for triathlons that can rest on your bike for easy access and has a space for everything you could possible need, including a specific section for your wetsuit and other wet stuff with drainage points.   There's no discount on the actual box at its normal price of £99.99 but would normally pay an extra £10 for delivery.  The box had also been filled with a few freebies for you too. http://www.triathlonbox.co.uk/

Great Run (had to resist writing BUPa, it's Morrisons now of course) are giving a free Great Run Puma t-shirt for anyone who registers for one of their races at the expo.  They also have a pongo game that can win you some great prizes.  I scored zero! Thanks to Rob who took and sent me this photo after my phone died. http://www.greatrun.org/

I hate beetroot, like seriously hate it, but I tried the Beet It juice and energy bar and they actually tasted pretty good.  I was already to hate them and really wasn't looking forward to trying them.  RRP is usually around £2 but cases of 15 shot drinks or bars are £15.  Amazon are charging £23 for the same so that's quite a reduction.  I might consider giving them a try in future, don't want to change my current routines yet until after Brighton. http://www.beet-it.com/.

Image owned by fatladattheback.com
I pretty much avoided the cycle and tri products most of the day but oned company caught my eye just before I was ready to head for the door.  I saw a very nice cycle top at Fat lads at the back, a company that aims to create cycle clothing that fits everyone rather than just the super thin.  The clothes are very well designed and have great colour combinations but they're still very technical.  The really really great news is that in April they're going to launch a men's running line with women's clothing following after.  Can't wait to see what they come up with and hope I get to wear some of it. http://fatladattheback.com/

For my expo top 10 picks please click here.