I'm someone who loves trying on new stuff. Especially new stuff that will make my running more enjoyable. Be it a new gadget, new shoes, new hydration bag, new socks, new headlamp, etc. I noticed this ad that appeared in the Running Times for a while: CEP : the intelligent sportswear. In a particular ad, I was attracted by the tagline: Josh Cox has been cloned. Not that I was a big fan of Josh Cox. In fact, I don't even know who he is except that he is an American 50k record holder - a claim that printed in the same CEP ad. :p But I like the fact that he has been cloned and what he said, "Training is the easy part. It's what I do with the other 18-20 hours per day that matters. Recovery is key." This sounds interesting. And what's even more exciting is that the custom compression for faster recovery, which requires 41 exact measurement, can be delivered within a week of measurement for a price of US$289.95! (The price includes 2 pairs of full length tights. The thigh length tights cost US$239.95 for 2 pairs). I thought it was a good deal.
Since I was going to USA in Nov 2011, I decided to email to the nearest CLONE dealer in St Louis. I got a favourable reply soon after. This was what I had to do. First, I would drop by Little Shark, one of the many CLONE dealers across the USA who had qualified staff to take my measurements. Then they would fax over the measurements to Medi USA. The tights would be ready in 10 days. I met Natalie Carroll inside the Little Shark Retail Store on the 2nd day of my trip to St Louis. She was very friendly and explained to me exactly what she would do. After changing into the shorts, she started marking my thighs and calves where she was required to measure the circumferences of those parts. Then she used the measuring tape to measure and record onto the order form. It took roughly 50mins for Natalie to finish measuring and recording all 41 measurements. And she kept assuring that it was normal for the reading for both side of the legs to be different.
Marking and Measurement of my Thighs and Calves
The Entire Process Took 90 Mins
The Completed Clone Account & Order Information Form
After paying for my order (S$360.00 @ US$1.00=S$1.23 + taxes), I left Little Shark. My product arrived exactly 10 days after I confirmed my delivery address in the USA in a classy black box. I was excited as I didn't anticipate that it would come in such a nice packaging. The box looked like it contained more than just the CLONE Recovery Tights. And it did. Inside, I found a pair of gloves, a washing net, a small packet of Medi Day Gel, Medi Night Creme, a 2 Fluid Ounces CEP Wash Medical Compression Garment Detergent, a product guide, and my custom-made tights! Yes, Ripley (the runner, not the Alien) has been CLONED!
Complete CEP Package
I read the instructions carefully. Using the slip-on "sock", I slipped into my CLONE tights easily. It was fitting, except for the area around my right foot which seemed a little loose. (Lucky it was my foot!) Natalie told me that I could still make changes to my 2nd pair of CLONE. The material felt like my other CW-X rights. Not too thin nor thick. However, I had to be careful when pulling up the tights as the surface was not of smooth type. I.e. you might pull off the thread if you accidentally scrape against it with your rough fingernails. (Okie, I was told that the material used by CEP is much tougher as compared to other brands but I would still try my best to handle it with care). And so, for the next 6 days, I wore my CLONE tights "at night while I sleep". I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed. One big difference was that I didn't feel the little aches when I took the first few steps in the morning. My legs felt springy and light. It was a good investment. I decided that I should wear the CLONE tights after my races so help me speed up recovery as well as when I would be on the plane since wearing it could "prevent a DVT and assist in blood flow". In the recent Bataan Death March in Jan 2012, which I ran a little more than 82km, I changed into my CLONE tights when I got back home. By the next day, I could probably go for another 50-miler although I went to watch Kate Beckinsale kicked ass in Underworld Awakening. While I know I would not be 100% recovered for another few more days, my CLONE tights had definitely played an important part in getting me back faster. Unfortunately, the product is not available in Singapore. For those who are interested and will be going to the United States for holiday or work, check out the CEP Compression :: The Intelligent Sportswear. Meanwhile, I'll continue wearing it after my races, before I request for my 2nd pair of CLONE. :)