Thursday, January 16, 2014

i try tough mudder


I thought I'd share a couple of things I'm really glad I did before, during and after tough mudder.

1. Be prepared. Our team started training four months before tough mudder. And we trained hard. It meant we didn't completely die in the arse on race day and could enjoy it all. And, because we had trained for so long together we knew each other's strengths and weaknesses, and we felt like a solid team.To check out the type of training we did click here. 

2. Ladies braid your hair. One of our trainers, Bec, passed this tip on. Trust me. Do two braids down either side of your head and you'll have no hair troubles for the entire race. Alternatively, just shave off all your hair.

3. Get some gloves. Not just any gloves. Get Madgrip Pro Palm gloves. I chopped the tops of the fingers off mine but I know others who didn't. If you're going to chop on the tips make sure you chop them below the first joint in your finger. If Funky Monkey is one of the obstacles in your race I'd recommend taking your gloves off for it. I actually dried my hands on the shirt of the tough mudder dude manning that obstacle. Worked a treat :)

4. The shoes: A lot of people opt for doing the race in old runners and chucking them out at the end. The trouble with normal runners is they hold onto the mud and by race end you'll end up with very heavy feet. Old runners also have very little grip left on the soles.

I did a bit of research and three types of shoes kept coming up again and again: Salomon Speedcross 3s, Inov-8 X-Talons and New Balance Minimus Trail Runners. I elected to go for the Inov-8s X-Talon 190s. I have to say I was really impressed with our they went on race day. They have heaps of grip, they are incredibly light and the mud seemed to slide of them. I chucked them in the wash after the race and they came up looking almost good as new.

One thing I would say about these is they don't have a lot of support. I've been running in barefoot runners for a while now so I didn't have a problem with the Inov-8s but if you're not used to barefoot runners I'd advise you to slowly work them into your running routine. And, definitely don't run on hard surfaces with the Inov-8s.

5. Fuel up properly. This means both food and water. Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to Tough Mudder (around 3 litres per day). Ensure you have about 1/2 cup of good carbs (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, wholemeal bread) with each meal during the week of the event. The day before eat smaller meals of meat and veg.

6. Listen to the dudes and chicks manning the obstacles. There's a good chance they've done the obstacle several times and also watched many people succeed and fail. They know the best way to attack the obstacle. If they give you an instruction, listen to them.

As we waited for the rest of our team to catch up to us at The Glory Blades the guy manning the obstacle showed us how the obstacle was designed to be tackled (you face you back to the obstacle and grip the top of the wall like you would an underhand chin up, then flip your legs over the top of your head and the obstacle). He even gave us a demo. I didn't quite have the strength to do it (next year!!) but it made it a lot easier for the boys to get over on their own once they'd given the rest of us a leg up.

7. Have fun. It sounds corny but it's easy to forget to enjoy this event. Just remember to smile your way through the pain.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

i try lending a hand to a stranger

Several months ago I was going for a run one afternoon. I tripped on an uneven section of pavement and skidded along on my knees and forearms. I slowly got to my feet and looked down to see blood dribbling down both my legs. I'd made a mess of my knees and had giant grazes running down both my arms. My knees hurt. My arms hurt. The palms of my hands felt like they were on fire. I felt sick.

As I stood hunched over, trying to pull myself together, I looked up to see a man walking towards me. As he came closer he didn't look at me at all. Then he walked right past me as if I wasn't even there. I sat down on the grass waiting for the shock and nausea to fade. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of person would walk straight past another person, who is clearly in need of assistance, and not even bat an eyelid. How could anyone do that? How? I couldn't fathom it at all. A simple "are you ok?" was all that was required and yet this man preferred to pretend I didn't exist. 

Fast forward to earlier this week. I was walking to work and a cyclist came off his bike about 20m ahead of me on the bike path. It was a wet day and tight corner. I could see he was conscious but not getting up. I ran up to him and asked if he was ok. He said he was but he was very sore. He looked very sore. I pulled his bike off him and asked if he had any pain in his back. He said a little. At this point I watched as the next four cyclists who came down the path immediately, without hesitation, stopped, got off their bikes, and came over to check if this man was ok. No hesitation at all. I'm sure they all had places they needed to be but they stopped without a second thought. Two of them helped to lift the man off the path and onto the grass, one helped him take his shoes off to make sure he could wiggle his toes, and the other helped remove his helmet and backpack.

The man said he didn't need an ambulance and that he would sit for a moment and see how he was after five minutes. He said numerous times he really appreciated all of us stopping and I truly believe he was being genuine.

There is something about a stranger helping another stranger that seems to have a deep impact. Doing something for someone you've never met and will probably never see again. It's a small reminder that we are all in this together.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

i try solomon's cafe

I really like this place. I really, really like this place. That's all you need to know. You can probably just get away with looking at the pictures from here on in...but if you would like some details then read on...

First things first. Here's the menu.


It's a rare thing to find you'd be happy with anything on a menu. Literally anything. I could've closed my eyes and randomly selected my dish by swirling my finger around then landing it somewhere on the menu. Instead I elected to go for the Solomon's salad of organic chicken breast, quinoa, brown rice, broccoli, almonds and seeds with fresh asian inspired herbs and spices (pictured, $28).


This is a big call, but I'm going to put it out there and say this is one of the best salads I ever had. Ever. It was fresh, a little bit zingy and generous. Highly recommend this one. I was dining with my sister who opted for the entree sized sweet potato gnocchi with a citrus and coriander pesto, served with a side of salted coconuts and assorted seeds (pictured, $18/28).


I've never been a great lover of gnocchi, so I have to admit I was a little sceptical about vegan gnocchi. I did sample one of the little pieces of gnocchi. And. I. Was. Wrong. These fluffy little morsels were delicious. They had a very light breadcrumb coating and were given a good boost of flavour by the pesto. My sister thought they tasted "a bit bready" but I thought they were delicious. We also shared cripsy beetroot chips (pictured, $6).


Looking around it seemed like every other table had ordered beetroot chips. For good reason. They are light, crispy, flavoursome and go well with the fresh orange and salt that accompanies them. 

It's easy to see what these guys are about. Healthy food. Nourishing food. Unprocessed food. It's also worth mentioning that everything on their menu is organic, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. The staff are exceptionally friendly. Even the chef thanked us as we walked out. The space is that shabby-chic-mixed-with-industrial-cool type fit out. I really like this place. Alot.

Oh, and apparently they do a great brekky.

Solomon's Cafe
487 Beaufort St
Highgate, WA
6003
PH: 08 9328 7995

Solomon's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 22, 2013

i try smiling more

My sister told me a wonderful story the other day. It made me smile from ear to ear and i'm sure it will make you smile too...

Here's my sister's recollection:

"I first noticed them because we were walking out of the car park and this guy just, I don't know, he just looked at us and smiled as we walked passed. It was a bit weird. We were in the Perth Cultural Centre and we were going to the Perth Festival Gardens. Then we passed a woman and she looked at us. When I say 'looked at us' she really made eye contact. Just like the guy before. It wasn't like when you walk pass someone and happen to catch their gaze for a moment. And she had a big smile on her face like the guy before as well. I thought, 'that was weird'.

Then I realised she was wearing the same stuff as the other guy as well. Black t-shirt, had some writing on it, I can't remember what it said, and black pants. After we had been to the Festival Gardens we headed to Bivouac and there was a lady standing on the corner of James St and William St. We walked passed her and she did the same thing again. She looked intently at us and smiled. I just did a big smile back and she squatted down and made a mark on the pavement at her feet in chalk. I looked at it and said, 'oh, she's collecting smiles!' On the pavement it said 'smiles' and had a tally and then it said 'one wink'."

I couldn't help but smile thinking about someone collecting smiles. It made me realise how much impact a smile can have and how people don't smile enough. So, I've decided to try to smile more. Proper smiles. At my friends, at my family and at complete strangers. I've been doing it for a week now and
Some people don't smile make. Some do. I don't care either way. I've found that even when I feel rubbish and not at all in a smiling mood, when I do smile I still feel better. Even if I'm only smiling to myself. Try it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

i try samudra

Samudra can be found in Dunsborough, Western Australia. It's worth a visit if you find yourself in the South West. It is the kind of place where you can feel your body thanking you for the goodness. I've eaten here on a few occasions. The service is always prompt and friendly. The atmosphere always has a  certain 'have a seat, whatever, relax' kind of feel to it. On this occasion I was with Dr Gab. She was visiting WA en route to Darwin. We strolled into Samudra for lunch.

Dr Gab and I decided to share three dishes. The first was one of my favourites on the Samudra menu: The Power Pizza. It is made up of a dehydrated chia seed crusty base topped with tomato marinara sauce and spinach pesto; mushrooms, avocado, soy marinated onions and cashew cheese (pictured, $12.50).


The pizza is small but the dense dehydrated base is quite filling. The sauce is delicious and I was surprised how much I liked the soy marinated onions. It is a really fresh, tasty, light dish. Dr Gab and I also had the Kombi Kofta: Tamari soaked mushroom and nut kofta balls served on leafy greens with a tzatziki dip (pictured, $12.50). 


These were very delicious. I was sceptical but these little balls were nom nom nom. They were a little crumbly but I didn't mind. It meant I couldn't just inhale them. My only problem is that they aren't bigger. Definitely worth a try. For our third dish we got the Kombi Breakdown: A gujarati lentil dahl, with cumin, coriander, fenugreek and mustard seeds, ginger, garlic, chilli and turmeric served with quinoa (pictured, $14).


This had all the characteristics of a decent dahl, although, it seemed a little watery. I liked the addition of quinoa instead of rice. The flavours were subtle and given a little kick with a squeeze of fresh lime. Probably a good choice for the less adventurous. However, when I go to a restaurant as a general rule I tend to order dishes I would probably never make at home. This is something I feel I could easily knock up myself for less than what I'd pay for a daily newspaper.

I return to this place every time I go down south. It's always delicious, healthy, fresh food in a really relaxed, no-fuss environment.

Samudra on Urbanspoon

Follow me on Instagram: @mirandamc