Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vega, River Trails, and The Candle Cafe

Vega Schwag Bag

Since I'll be in the air tomorrow at the time when I normally sit down to write this blog, I thought I'd just file my weekly report a day early. I'm in Baltimore for Natural Products Expo East, the second largest industry trade show in the US. It has really been a nice place to be. The weather has been hot and rainy. But the Inner Harbor looks beautiful, and has provided a nice backdrop for early morning runs. Speaking of which: yesterday I did a three mile run with Brendan Brazier and the Vega team. Vega put on quite a nice running event for the 10-15 of us who were there to do the run (see photo above). I have always liked their vegan protein products, and had the chance to try several of their other powders as well (pre and during run drink mixes). I have some of their bars, and will report on them after taking them on some longer runs. A couple of friends From Flora, who had been on the run with Scott Jurek earlier in the year were also in attendance. Brendan is a nice, unassuming person, who does seem passionate about the products. The event was a nice combination of low-key presentation meets high-energy output (the run).

On the run, I mainly ran with a woman who works for Health Force. She was the fastest Vibram-wearing runner I have ever encountered. We knocked out a nice pace on the way back as she told me she has always run barefoot or in Vibrams. At 45 she looked great. Her feet truly did hit the ground so lightly that I was a bit surprised. I am used to hearing people in the five-fingered shoes kind of slapping along. But my running partner made no such sound.

Someone else I met on the run was a supplement-buyer for a natural products store in Pennsylvania. He was about 60 and looked like a runner. After the run, he asked if I'd join him for a Saturday run. I did so this morning, and have to say that it is rare to meet someone who falls into a running rhythm that matches your own. We popped along the water front at an 8-8:30 pace, all the while engaged in a conversation about supplements, supplement companies, supplement suppliers, and (well, you get the idea). Super nice guy and super fun run. He and his wife also own a really good organic chocolate mail-order company (

Now let's go back in time to Monday. Chris Ford (who is totally going to place in the Nash Dash) and I knocked out the Riverfront trails in an evening run (something I never do - being almost exclusively a morning runner). We were joined for the first half by my other running buddy, Eric Henry. A few miles into the run Chris said - "Hey, let's take that new section of trail. It looks short." Well, it wasn't. It also was soul (sole)-sucking sandy. It was nice to do for a change, because it does go right along the river. But I think that I shall forego that section of the trails on future runs. Chris seemed to concur with my sentiments. We trotted in the rest of the way, avoiding the pedal-pushers who frequent those trails. Still, a great way to spend an evening...

Final note: At our booth yesterday, the owners of possibly the best vegan restaurant in the US, New York's Candle Cafe, stopped in to try our vegan burgers. They liked them (thank God). Marisa and I had met with Bart and Joy at the Cafe a few years ago. We also both own their cook books, and kind of view them like rock stars. They have a new vegan cook book coming out shortly. Look for it online or in a store near you. It was one of several wonderful moments from the show.

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