Vapiano by Akira

Vapiano is an Italian restaurant in Melbourne and its in Flinders Lane. Here they are a big place and are near the corner of Queen and Flinders Lane. But you can also enter via Collins st.

I have been there waaay too many times. And every time I am given a card which you use everytime when you order a meal. When you order a meal they scan your card and then you go downstairs or upstairs (Collins st side) to pay. The staff there are very friendly.

Back in 2010 things were a lot different. RMIT Newintstudents didn’t like their pizza or pasta much and there wasn’t a fanatico club then. Now the pasta is a lot better and their truffle pizza was too salty. Nowadays we are both members of the fanatico club so we either receive meals for free or at a discount.

With their pizzas you order it and then they swipe your card and then you are given a buzzer. When it is ready then they buzz you. It is the thin crust pizza. I have had their vegetarian pizza before and it was yum.

They also have a good range of Italian wines for you to choose from.

Here I have enjoyed their pastas and they even do takeaway ones. Their bread is pretty good. Its souradough and its soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. Their oils are also great. These are the good extra virgin oil. Their pastas always fill me up. But their linguini always gets stuck together.

You can add toppings to your pasta or pizza for an extra $1- $5 each. Sauce is free.

Do come on by for your pizza and pasta fix after your race or training

 


How to use Melbourne’s public transport system to get to your race effortlessly

By Akira

Melbourne Marathon is one of the biggest sporting events where many people from all over the world get together and race. If you are getting to the marathon from the suburbs it is vital to know how to get there on time.

Melbourne has the trains, trams and buses but on Sunday mornings they are not frequent. Some may run one every hour so it is important to look on the ptv website. It is important to come to Melbourne a few days to up to two weeks before the race to get yourself accustomed to our transport system.

Melbourne has the all night network for all trains and some trams and you can check the PTV site as to which ones run at night.

There is the free tram zone within the CBD but during the race some trams may not run through the zone. But if you are outside the zone then you will have to purchase a MYKI card for $6 or take a taxi which is even more expensive.

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If this is your first time in Melbourne a good idea would be to purchase a MYKI from the train station, 7-11, PTV  Hub in Southern Cross station or at one of the many retailers with the blue MYKI sign. It is not recommended that you buy one from one of the many unstaffed MYKI machines as many visitors to Melbourne get confused and don’t know how to use them. If you don’t have a MYKI and the authorised officers got on your tram, train or bus then you could face a fine of $229 or the on the spot fine of $75 (they will scrap this as of next year). Whilst most have been pleasant to deal with, there are some which are known to be abusive to passengers.

It is $7.80 per day (zone 1 and 2) and you can travel as many times in the day that you like. On weekends it is $6.

As for the touching on if you need help to do this just ask one of the other passengers (on a tram that is) or the customer service staff at a staffed station. If you can, try and go to a staffed train station as they are safer in the early hours of the morning. Oh and if you have a defective MYKI you may be able to get it replaced.  It might mean that someone may have to drop you off there. On a tram or a bus sit as close as you can to the driver.

You don’t have to touch off on a tram but on trains and buses you do. One beep means you have touched on, two means that you have touched off and three beeps means that it is negative (not touched on or off and you need to put more money on it).

If you need any help with using the system don’t be afraid to ask the friendly staff or other passengers to assist you.


St Kilda Esplanade market by Akira

This market is one of the best markets in St Kilda. Here they have food, clothes and artworks. on a very peaceful and lovely Sunday you can find punters and tourists alike wandering down the market to find that perfect gift for someone. You can also find dogs as well.

 

Here they have the finest foods on offer. Here we tried the sauces and honey on offer. The honey was from Paul’s Honey and the people at the St Kilda visitors hub were promoting them. The people that are there are the friendly volunteers and you can apply to volunteer there yourself.

Here there were a few food trucks. Last year when I came there was no such luck. They change all the time.

Do take the tram from the city to the market. The route number 96, 3, 3a and 16 all service the esplanade  where the market is and it is only $6 for the tram trip as the market is free.


STREAT cafe by AKIRA

STREAT cafe is a a social enterprize which helps the homeless. I have been there a few times but not for a while. Since I am assisting the homeless I thought that this would be a great idea to write about the place. Kinfolk is another.

They are in Melbourne Central shopping centre in the city on the ground floor. They are open on the weekends. They do takeaway as well as eating in. The menu for food is limited and its whatever is there in the cabinet.

The place is run by lovely staff and volunteers all of whom are friendly.

Here all the profits goes towards the homeless and a coffee and crossaint is $6.80. I got a watered down latte (that’s ok as who needs all that milk when they are trying to lose weight fast) but that bitter flavour was there.

My crossaint which was almond by the way was simply good. It was not too sweet which is great as some of us and maybe yourself cannot have too much sugar.

 

Do come on by for your breakfast fix in the city and help those that are less fortunate. You can also help by donating here.


Week nine of the Melbourne Marathon by Akira

This week we have been learning lots on YouTube about running pace and foot strike without injuring ourselves. Too often runners do the wrong foot strike and here we have found some interesting video on it. Most people either land on their toes or heels injuring their foot.

This week we also went back to Vapiano and had their truffle pizza for free as part of their fanatico program. It tasted really salty with all the ham on there. Did we really need all that salt??? This would have been better as vegetarian mushroom pizza and then people can add stuff to it like olives. The olives were good though. It also had too much cheese on there. The pasta was fine and we also went to Sauced pasta bar on Burke Road in Camberwell.

This week we also joined the Crosbie crew to learn how to do better running in time for the race. I really liked reading Tim’s posts on running well. Tim has had a lot of expereince in running well.

I didn’t sleep so well on one of those nights as it was so windy. Hence I was a bit grumpy.

On the 12 km long track on the Sunday morning I was struggling on the uphill parts. Need to work on that core.


Guzman Y Gomez

Guzman Y Gomez is a Mexican fast food chain that serves runner friendly burritos. I have always liked their naked burritos and as such love going there for a meal. Service there can be a bit sloppy sometimes. Some of the staff smile and some don’t.

Here depending on where you go food can be hit and miss but I have always liked to buy their fish burrito as it is very healthy for you and contains all the essential oils you need as a runner. Here I also added guacamole for an extra $3 as another healthy fat for a runner.

You order and pay and then they will serve your meal within 4-8 minutes depending on eat in or takeaway.

The place is clean and you can help yourself to condiments at the self service station.

Do come by to Guzman Y Gomez and they are located all over Australia.


Week eight of the Melbourne Marathon by Akira

This week we have done 12-13 kms of 21kms and am finding it hard now.

This week my friend Katherine found it really hard to get her period. In kms 9-12 she found it really hard to maintain good fat levels hence the maybe skipped period (acutally it came on Sunday- the 37th day)  On myfitness pal it said that she had been having 50-83 g most days a bit on the low side. She found it hard to get warm.

Then it was cold one night and she could not sleep. The next day she burnt 700 calories and so did I. We both had pasta that night- I had the pollo and she had ratoutuille  with olive oil, salami and prawns. We had it at this place called Vapiano where they give you a card and then you swipe it everytime you order a meal. Our meals were free ( we have both joined the  club- this is a foodies club at Vapiano where new specials come and go) except for the extras and her red wine which she wanted to go with her pasta. It actually brought out the best in her pasta.

Then on Sunday she ran really slow due to her period and found it hard to catch up. In the end we went to St Kilda Esplanade market where there lots of dogs and goods.

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GU Energy gels, hydration and lollies

Guys it is super important in a race to have enough energy, hydration and sodium in our bodies to be able to race well. Now Sole Motive a store in the city has everything that I could ever want and it was there that I bought my first gels.

The gels are $3-$4 depending on where you buy them. They contain lots and lots of sugar and slow releasing energies. These are good for runners who need a energy hit such as 10, 21 km and marathon runners. They are from the US. There are some caffeinated ones and some non caffeinated ones. Choose wisely or you’ll be bouncing off those walls.

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Take these 15 minutes before you run with water and you are good to go. Do try them out in training especially on a longer run. And then after every hour or two take another with water.

I also got the hydration tablets for $12. The bottle contains 12 tablets, therefore it is $1 per tablet taken. Here they have that fizzy feeling like berocca but it is not. They have no caffeine and helps me to replace my sodium levels. As a runner training for the first big event you need to replace your sodium and fluid before, during and after training.

 

 


10 things I liked about this year’s Good Food and Wine Show by Akira

Here are some of the great things that I loved about this years show. It was held in the same place in the first weekend of June

  1. This year the show focuses on being healthier- Here many of the stallholders had some healthy products for everyone to try.
  2. The Nudie stall- this stall focused on water and juice. I really liked trying their juice samples
  3. For the first time ever there was a Chef’s table for everyone to participate in- think free soups and ice creams and unlimited servings of bread. I really loved Maggie beer’s ice cream as it was not too sweet and very yoghurt like.
  4. Unlimited wine sampling- for a mere $6 for a tasting glass to keep you get to sample lots and lots of wine for free. I also loved smelling the wines.
  5. Loved watching the Dan Murphy’s class and not have to pay a single thing. By the way the line to the cellar door was long.
  6. The education on beer and how to pour beer correctly by Kirrily at the Good food theatre which is free with your admission ticket. This year there was some free beer for the lucky participants. Beer should be poured in two rounds with the foam on top.
  7. More education on cooking mushrooms- its a great way to get us to eat healthier more often. In fact the mushroom stall had a gorgeous looking pasta dish.
  8. The food truck park was a lot bigger than last year.- it had a fair few more stalls such as Pho nom and Lekker Lekker and the Mebourne martini was there
  9. Loved the Cheese alley- lots of awesome cheese to try for free. And because it was the last day everything was on special.
  10. Loved the Barossa area- that was really cool.

Do come along to next years one if you can. Oh yeah in the end we had to pay for our ticket, but we had a blast.


Week seven of Melbourne Marathon by Akira

This week we did a lot of reading about how to run hills and it said that you have to run them at a slower pace. Checked out the course map and it said no Anderson st but Birdwood st will be featured which is a hilly part.

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Watched the London marathon and although we are not elite we learnt that it was hard without the right balance of nutrition. We are at the 12km point now and boy is it getting hard. I literally had sore legs this morning as I got out of bed. Without the energy gels getting to my recommended 300-400 g of carbs is quite hard.

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Going to the Hamodova cafe which is a part of Couch that feeds the homeless and one of them had mental problems. I guess homelessness is what causes some of the mental problems within people.

Had to do a wee outside (not in the toilet). I know its not pleasant but had to be done. I have read online that this is quite normal to do that when there is no bathroom (or a huge line to one).  I wasn’t perfect the first time as I had some pee on my pants (not much though) but still. Will have to perfect it come race day.