Review: Wrappz Personalised Phone Case

wrappz-logoI recently blogged about the opportunity I have been given to create my own personalised phone case from Wrappz. I have to say that I am very impressed. Having placed my order on Tuesday my iPhone 5 case arrived in the post today (2 days later), pretty speedy huh?

The process for creating your personalised case is simple, go to the personalised phone case section and choose the make of phone that you want the case for, then select the right model. In addition to iPhone Wrappz also does cases for Blackberry, Google, HTC, Sony, Samsung and LG phones so take a look and see if they do one for the phone zoo have. Once you’ve chosen the right case for your phone you can then choose from a range of layouts for your photos. I went for one that took 3 photos, and then it was a case of following the creation wizard, loading and positioning the photos and then finalising the order. I loaded my photos from my laptop hard drive but you can also load them from Facebook or Instagram. If you don’t have a photo of your own there are also options to choose from pre designed cases and backgrounds.

I was able to checkout easily using the voucher code I had been provided but you can also pay using PayPal, or your credit/debit card.

I was impressed with the print quality of the case, which is hard plastic, and the colour representation is really good too.  It will be interested to see how well it lasts and whether it scuffs or scratches the images during general use.

image Wrappz iphone caseSo here it is, “Bacon” (my favourite running fuel), the half marathon point of my first ultra and me & the Boyf after our first ultra.

I think Wrappz is a great site for fun & usable gifts, so why not give them a go next time you need a birthday gift, or maybe even something for Father’s Day next month.  Don’t forget you can use the code FBFAN20 to get 20% off a personalized skin.

It’s the Final Threshold #MixUpYourRun

Apologies (not really), for the ear-worm if it has transferred itself to you. Yesterday was my final threshold session before Sunday’s Hugin Challenge, no more running for me until then (I am not counting my planned stint as tail-runner at parkrun on Saturday). 23 mins, with a 5 minute interval at 5:53/km pace. It felt really good, I didn’t feel exhausted, my legs felt strong and I didn’t get any heart rate related panics. I was wearing the ASICS 33-DFAs again and they feel really good. They are cushioned enough to make sure my knees don’t feel like they’re getting slammed by the hard surface of the path but they feel fast! I am really looking forward to giving them a fast 10km later in the year.

I’m going to give the Gel-Glorify another session on Saturday, I think a slow, tail-runner speed parkrun will help me decide if they are going to feel right on Sunday or if I should stick with my Skechers Nite Owls. I know it’s not going to be dark but the bright orange makes me happy and orange must go faster than my white Go Run Ride 2 surely?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I am going to run for 6 hours, I am thinking a mix and match approach to speed to stop my muscles getting locked into the same position. I am also pondering a fast interval just before the aid-station to push myself a bit, wake my body up and gain me a few seconds so a I leave the station with a walk interval to take on food and drink without choking or drowning. Whatever happens I want to keep going for the full 6 hours, even if I am just shuffling along. I’m a complete mix of fear and excitement at the moment, I wonder how I will be feeling when it is all over (and what else it will lead me to sign up for).

Taper Time #MixUpYourRun

I forgot to blog….I started typing up a post on my work laptop, then I got distracted by work and it never got finished. It has all turned a bit manic in the office recently, I am being loaned out to another project on a 50% basis, which of course means I am working at about 125% across everything I need to do. This even meant I missed out on 2 lunchtime gym sessions last week.

Last week my taper was underway and my weekday runs were relatively short and sweet. I had taken my ASICS 33-DFAs out to Basel with me and they were treated to two pre-work sessions. Tuesday was a 38 minute threshold run and Thursday a 37 minute pickup session. The 33-DFAs still felt really comfortable and running on path rather than track didn’t seem to cause any problems. I certainly didn’t feel like their low profile meant I wasn’t getting sufficient cushioning, no rattled knees or hips anyway.

Thursday’s pickup session didn’t go quite to plan unfortunately. Nothing to do with my trainers, more to do with my bodily functions. I had set my alarm for 5am and drunk a coffee (cold, preprepared, supermarket coffee as I don’t have a kettle in the hotel). This normally means by the time I leave to run just before 6am that everything is nicely awake and I am a couple of pounds lighter. It didn’t go to plan but I headed out anyway. Of course about 20 minutes in everything caught up with me and I had to make a loo stop. Thankfully Basel has plentiful public loos and I always make sure I have plenty of change with me just in case this happens. The bonus on Thursday was that I didn’t even need to use my emergency tissues as the loo was fully stocked!

Sunday’s long run was shuffled to Saturday as we were spending the weekend in London and wanted a lie in on the Sunday. I gave the ASICS Gel-Glorify another test and they really do feel nicely cushioned. We were running in Hyde Park so it was a lot flatter that the previous week’s run, this meant there wasn’t a repeat of the toe squashing I had whilst running downhill. So there is a chance I may wear these for the Hugin Challenge after all.

So that was 3 runs which definitely followed the #MixUpYourRun concept. This week calls for a short threshold session tomorrow and then Sunday is race-day! I am also going to do a really slow parkrun on Saturday, just to give my legs a gentle stretch (as this has worked well in the past). To make sure I do keep it slow I have offered to do a bit of parkrun-tourist tail-running, so I am just waiting to see if they take me up on my offer.

Run long #MixUpYourRun

Sunday was long run day, 5 minutes at 7:57/km, 70 minutes at 6:54/km. I plotted out a route to cover the 10.8km, laced up my ASICS Gel-Glorify and headed out nice and early at 8am. I generally run at this time on a Sunday as it means there’s plenty of time later in the day to get the weekly shop done and squeeze in a recovery nap or two.

The Gel-Glorify feel completely different to the 33-DFAs, you can feel straight away that the drop isn’t as great and the heel cup is really padded. I was looking forward to giving them a good session to see how they performed. Being so early it was a bit frosty, and they felt slightly skittish in places. That’s no different to any of the other trainers I have run in though, so no complaints there. The first 5km was mostly uphill. The first section on pavement, the second frozen grass. All felt good, the heel was holding well and I had no numbness issues. A very positive start to things, although it could be that I was slightly distracted listening to The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters. The downhill section started and almost immediately I started to feel pressure on my left big toe. Not so much on the end but on the top where the nail sits. Of course once you notice something like this it just sits and nags in the background. It wasn’t painful, there was just pressure there. I could have stopped to readjust my lacing but that would have meant stopping. I was feeling strong in my run and didn’t want to do that, onwards I pushed. It didn’t get worse over the next half of the run but I did get some slight tingliness in the balls of both feet.

I have a feeling that the ASICS Gel-Glorify may be a touch on the narrow side for my feet. The Boyf is a massive ASICS fan, and from our experience with snowboard boots it is pretty much guaranteed that if a boot make fits him then it’s too narrow for me. If a boot is comfy for me, it’s too wide for him. I am going to give them another session and see if lacing them slightly differently holds my foot better so it doesn’t end up pressing on my toe, but at present I don’t think I’m brave enough to wear them for my upcoming Hugin Challenge. Having managed to avoid black toenails so far I am not sure risking them on a 6 hour run is the right thing to do. That said apart from the toe niggle they were really comfy, I really want to like them and have them work for me so I am not going to write the off just yet!

Check back in for further posts on how I fair on the long run with the Gel-Glorify, and why not check out your closest Intersport and try on a pair to see if they suit you!

Run natural #MixUpYourRun



Yesterday’s run in my TrainAsONE schedule was for a pickup session, so as this required a a range of pacing (and because the Boyf fancied some intervals) we decided to head to the local track to be able to run without the pressure of dodging the post-work crowds around town.  We then had a pre-run flurry of chaos when he decided that rather than just getting some iPhone shots for me he’d dig out the camera and do it properly.  I’m glad he did, as I think (and hope you’ll agree) that he got some great shots of me.

The 33-DFA trainers I have been sent fall into the “Run Natural” category of ASICS trainers, they are light, low profile and very low to the ground.  With a 4mm drop, and low midsole the idea is that they encourage you to run in your most natural position.


You can read the full details about these trainers on their website (33-DFA Women, 33-DFA Men).  Thankfully these are the same heel drop as my Skechers, so I was able to dive in with a relatively lengthy session in them.  If you don’t currently run in minimal trainers then be warned, it can be a shock to your calves, so make sure you build up your time in them slowly!

The Boyf got the photos out of the way first, it was great fun shooting with him again and even more fun running over the top of him whilst he lay on the track to get the angles.  I ran short sections whilst he made sure we had a good range of photos and then we got cracking with the session.  I was dressed in the clothing that ASICS had sent through, with additional SKINS underneath because it was hovering around freezing and I had no intention of running as an ice-block.  I still had numb hands though, despite my eGloves. but after about 4km they were back to being toasty as well.

The 33-DFAs were really comfortable and fitted well on both feet (once I had worked out that the reason the right foot felt a bit cramped was because I had failed to take out the insole before putting my custom footbed in!).  There were no hotspots or pressure points and I soon settled into the session.


Run [Pickup]
Total 54 minutes (~ 8.0 km)
Consisting of the following workbouts:
1. VERY_EASY: 5 minutes at 7:57 mins/km pace (~ 629 m)
2. EASY: 24 minutes at 6:54 mins/km pace (~ 3.5 km)
3. FAST: 16 minutes at 6:18 mins/km pace (~ 2.5 km)
4. EASY: 9 minutes at 6:54 mins/km pace (~ 1.3 km)

I really enjoyed the run and the kit all felt really comfortable, no rubbing anywhere and I felt warm without being over-heated.  Over-heating is a big issue for me so I may test out the clothing in the gym this week to get a feel for how it performs when it isn’t freezing.  I could feel a little bit of calf tightness as I ran but that could well have been the cold, they aren’t feeling tight today so even if it was the slightly lower sole profile of the 33-DFAs then it certainly has’t had a negative effect on my legs.

MixUpYourRun-1869.jpgIt will be interesting to see how they feel on tarmac rather than track, and will give them a session along the Rhein this week to see how they handle a slightly rougher and harder terrain.

One final thought on the colour, yes these are pink, I know a lot of girls, female, runners, women (however you think they should be referred to), dislike pink.  I like it especially when it is bright, “hot pink”.  I am a lover of bright colours and especially of stuff that not only makes me stand out from the crowd but also visible at night.  So from my perspective the trainers and the jacket are an absolute winner.  For those of you who are not so keen then you’ll be pleased to know they have other colours as well (very bright, slightly less bright).  33-DFA