Monday, April 25, 2011

Running weekend

It was a pretty nice Saturday. I set out mid-morning for an easy 8 in the country. Since it was supposed to rain on Sunday, I wanted to get in a decent length run for Saturday. There were some clouds spitting a bit of intermittent rain. As I crunched along the gravel of Queens road heading into the country, I passed another runner coming toward me. I always find it odd when people come toward me on this run, because it means they have just ascended one of the steepest hills around. I don't mind hills, but this one is a monster. Other than that one runner, I would see no one else on my jaunt.

I did encounter a quick bout of pea-sized hail which surprised me. I also had one of my first run-ins with a dog (a pretty Weimereiner). Both of these incidents ended without injury. And, as usual, the run was really pretty.

So Sunday came around, and rather than the rain that had been predicted, it was beautiful. So I set out on a 9-ish mile run. I almost never do run more than 6 or 7miles back to back. but it was such a pleasant temperature with very little wind. I don't have anything to really report about the run other than to say it was a nice easy way to begin the week's mileage count. I am taking today off from running to make sure I don't overdo it on training.

In other news, the first week of the new job went well. The demo that Marisa and I did on Friday evening went better than any demo I have ever seen. I am not sure how many hundreds of vegan veggie burgers we sold, but I'd be shocked if it was less than 400 in the 2.75 hours we were there. It was an interesting experience - never having done a demo before - to meet with the end-use consumers and learn their reactions to the product. After all was said and done, both of us feel as though we made the right decision to take the positions running the Natural Product sales for the new company.

And finally, Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona Open yesterday. It set a record for most consecutive wins at two tournaments (Monte Carlo was the first). For the second week in a row, Rafa defeated David Ferrer in a final. Both are looking good for the French. It is going to be a good summer of tennis. Djokovic skipped the two tournaments, so we'll all have to wait to see how he looks on clay.

See you next week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vegan Veggie Burgers and Half Marathons....

Marisa on the field at the KS Half Marathon

So last week I said there'd be a big announcement. Well, here it is: After 17 years for me, and 7 years for my friend Marisa, we have switched jobs. The two of us have gone from selling more wheatgrass than anyone on the planet, to selling the best-tasting (IMHO) vegan veggie burgers on the planet. For all my readers in the Lawrence/KC metro area (and even Manhattan, KS), you can find the first great- tasting burgers in the frozen natural products section of a lot of stores in the area. Initially look for a yellow label that says 'The World's Best Veggie Burger.' In late May, the labels will change as a new addition will join the line - a Spicy Adzuki Bean Burger (also vegan).

If you want to try the World's Best Veggie Burger, stop by the Whole Foods at 91st and Metcalf between 4 and 7 pm this Friday, 4/22. You can have a sample and learn more about the burger(s).

Now onto running. My knee is all about the run again. I have had no issues, and have been able to knock out some serious mileage again. On Saturday I undertook my new favorite 8-10 miler that gets you out into the country fast. I was knocked out by the purples and greens I encountered as I kicked it along the gravel. It was one of those pure joy experiences.

The next day I got up early to wish Marisa's husband, Chris, luck in the KS Half Marathon. Chris isn't someone who really needs luck. Last year he placed in all but one of the races he entered. But I still turned up to bask in the reflected glory of a serious runner.

Chris Ford coming down the home stretch at the KS Half Marathon

As it turned out, he finished in a better time than last year and 21st overall, but just out of the medal category for his age. That made the experience a bit bittersweet. Still, it was some nice personal progress for Chris on a course that sure seemed more interesting than last year's.

Chris Ford hanging out after the race

I hope to see some people out at WF Market tomorrow night to try out the new burgers.

I'll have more to post next week.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chillax (an oddly appropriate word)

Just got back from the FLA and NJ trip. Ran around a half mile parking lot a bunch of times in New Jersey. While that state has, I'll admit, some nice places, whenever I've been there on business or just passing through, it seems like the singularly ugliest place on the planet. The people are always nice, though, and we had an excellent trade show and some great vegan food at our fav NJ sushi bar and at a vegan bakery in Rutherford.

We then flew to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It is situated on the Atlantic coast between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. You have seen it before, because its main golf course is where the Players tournament is held. It is the famous course with the hole that is surrounded by water.

I'm not a fan of golf. I'd describe it more as a game than a sport. I also am not a fan of golf culture and clothing. However, as I relaxed into the place it occurred to me that the people who go to resorts like that are there to relax. That might seem like a given. But it is actually something a bit foreign to me. Whenever I have time off, I want to go somewhere to see something, learn something about the world of art, literature or history. I want to be challenged physically and mentally. I don't want to go somewhere and just chill. But that is what happens at a gold resort. People chill. And I've got to say that, while I don't do that, I respect it. How much great literature is based upon this type of behavior? That was a rhetorical question, but the answer is - a lot. People used to go to the beach to read and chill, eat well, spend time with the family, and simply slow down. I don't do that enough (or really at all). And I'd like to.

So, my plan is to try to take a vacation for a few days sometime this year and just relax by a pool, stream, ocean, mountain, or desert somewhere. Just don't ask me to play golf....

In Florida, I did wake each morning and knock out a 5 miler along the beach. What a pristine part of the coast - not yet overrun by development. Jacksonville was a nice city. Ponte Vedra has the best beaches in Florida (and I've been to a lot of Florida Beaches). And St Augustine is an absolute jewel of a city. While Florida would never be in my top 20 places to be, I could actually live comfortably in any of the three places where we visited. I'll try to have pictures next week.

Also next week - THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. Til then...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Has Sprung

Magnolia tree in my parents' yard

What a great week. The hyaluronic acid that I've been getting injected into my knee began to do its job. As the week progressed, the pain diminished and my runs got longer. I am still keeping a slower pace than normal and doing no run over 5 miles for the next 8-10 days. After the third shot tomorrow, however, I should be good to go for up to 6 months before I have to do it all over again.

On Saturday, I went to KC with Marisa and Chris Ford. We chowed down at Fud (pronounced 'food'), a vegan restaurant next to the Blue Bird Cafe. Food, Eden Alley, Seed, and now the coffee shop and bakery on 39th street near State Line (I can't think of the name of it), all have great vegan dishes. And more restaurants like the Blue Koi are pretty vegan friendly. KC has come a long way.

I'm gonna do a bit of running in Florida this week. I'm attending a trade show at Ponte Vedra (some sort of golf resort near Sarasota, I think). There should be some very fast runs, because if you think Kansas is flat... You've never seen flat until you've seen to Florida. But I like hot, sticky, flat running, so I'm looking forward to it.

Not much else to tell.

Until next week.....