Shot Blok Giveaway

Everyone likes a freebie, yes? And everyone likes Shotbloks, yes? Yes?
You do, great. Then head to the bottom paragraph to find out how you could get some freebies.

You don’t? Oh – I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like those little jelly cubes of goodness.

You’ve never tried them? Well now here’s your chance.



I have used Shot Bloks on many long runs and each of my marathons. They are like eating those little pre-dissolved cubes of jelly (or was that just a “growing up in the 70s” thing? ), but 3 of them give you basically the same energy boost as an energy gel. You have to have some water to help them down, but they also contain the salts you’ll have been sweating out so they have everything you need. On a personal note, I’ve found that picking them out of your teeth for the next few miles is a fine way to pass the time on a long run.

I can really recommend Shot Bloks, so you may be wondering why I’ve got two packets to give away instead of just scoffing them myself? Well I ordered a selection of flavours from Up and Running, and by mistake they sent me these Black Cherry flavour ones. I hate anything cherry flavoured with a passion (but I love cherries -weird, huh?) so they kindly sent me some other flavours and said I could give these away.

The Black Cherry variety also has caffeine in then, so they are ideal for a boost towards the end of a race when you may be flagging.

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment after this post telling me if you’ve tried Shot Bloks before, what you thought of them and what’s your favorite method of fueling on long runs. Winner will be selected at random on 1st September 2015 from people who’ve left a comment by 23:59 on 31st August 2015.

Good luck!

Cows, barbed wire and a life lesson

Something funny happened to me on my long run today. I’m taking it as a life lesson, so I’ll share it so you can learn from it as well.

I decided I’d better fit my long run in today, and planned a beautiful 10 mile route from Chippenham along the River Avon, then along the Wilts and Berks canal to the National Trust village of Lacock. As ever, I just can’t resist taking photographs as I go:-

A previously neglected corner of Chippenham
A previously neglected corner of Chippenham
Rebuilding the top lock
Rebuilding the top lock
A boat - never seen one on the canal before
A boat – never seen one on the canal before

Shortly after this section the path crosses several fields before eventually winding down to Lacock. As I entered the first field, I spotted this:-

Cows - my nemesis
Cows – my nemesis

Look closely –  yes, cows. I am scared of cows. Well, I’m reluctant to run through a field of the bovine monsters – have you seen how big they are, close up?! After a close encounter with a pair of amorous bulls on the Marshfield Mudlark in 2013 I reserve the right to stand on my moral high ground and refuse to run near them.

I stood on the edge of the field and dithered for quite a while. I didn’t want to abandon my run and turn back, but I really didn’t want to go past the cows. Inspiration struck, and I decided to leave the footpath and make a detour through some neighbouring fields. Unfortunately this meant crawling on my belly under a gate adorned with barbed wire, running along the rough edge of a field of maize, crashing through a scrubby hedge with another wriggle under barbed wire, then around another field. Success!
I made it to Lacock and ran though the village, no doubt spoiling several tourists’ photos, past the National Trust tearooms (showing great willpower) and then headed back the way I’d come. As I crossed a field on the edge of Lacock I had to overtake a couple of walkers, the sort of walkers where the man has a large floppy brimmed hat, and the woman has sensible walking shoes and a floral top.* I said “hello”, they said “good morning” in a slightly snooty way, and I ran on.

At the bottom edge of the cow-infested field I again set off on my detour through hedges, maize and barbed wire. I was just crawling on my belly under the final gate, when I looked up and guess who had caught me up? Yes, Mr and Mrs Slightly Snooty.

“I see you braved the cows!” I called out whilst casually brushing mud off my legs.
“They’re only heifers” I was grumpily informed. I sighed, and made a mental note that it’s hard to take the moral high ground when you’ve just been spotted face down in the mud under a gate. I think that’s a good life lesson to take away from that incident.

* I’m making no judgements, just setting the scene.

Bargains bargains bargains!

Everyone loves a bargain, and everyone loves new running gear. (Well, most runners love new running gear. ) So, if that describes you, get yourself down to Lidl!

I popped down there yesterday when I heard they were having one of their regular promotions of running gear. I love their running socks and have been buying them over the last few years whenever they have them in. I stockpiled two pairs yesterday – well at £1.99 a pair it would be a shame not to.

New socks - not pink! Old legs -a bit pink

Whilst I was there, I couldn’t resist also buying this cool running vest.

Snazzy new vest - also not pink!

It was sold as size 10/12, so as a standard size 12 I was worried it would be too tight but at £2.99 I thought it was worth a try. It turned out to be nicely snug meaning it didn’t rub under my arms as I ran tonight. The material it is made from is fairly thin, but in the current warm weather that’s not a problem. It is also a really groovy pattern (and not pink), which pleases me greatly!

Lidl also have capri trousers in various jazzy patterns, and of course they have men’s running gear as well as women’s.

I have received no payment or freebies for writing this review, I am simply happy to recommend good, inexpensive kit.