Until Sunday morning I hadn’t run for a week. Between travel and my work schedule (5:30 am all week!) I just couldn’t run a single mile. That made me feel somewhat of a fraud when I showed up for my RRCA (Road Runner’s Club of America) Coaching class on Friday. Well, not really, but that sentence sounded kind of fun when I was writing it out.
So, moving backwards for the week, I finally ran on Sunday. I didn’t get out until after 6:00, so that meant it was hot, hot, hot! Between LA and San Diego, (and sitting in my air conditioned work) I have not been running in the heat and it practically killed me. Well, maybe not, but it was hard. I only managed six slow miles, and even with that I needed to find shade a few times. But I will be back to my more regular schedule this week, so hopefully things will get better.
As I mentioned, I was at the RRCA coaching class on Friday and Saturday. I’m going to write a full post on the experience, but I will say that it was very informative, well run, and the instructor knew his business. He was also quite funny and he moved like he had just been to a Bo Eason presentation. I left home at 5 am on Friday to be in San Diego by 8:00 (I was on time, which was good because Randy, our instructor, made the latecomers sing when they walked in). I plan to take the online test this coming week, but presuming I pass I will be an RRCA certified coach soon!
Since I was spending the night in San Diego, I asked Nathan and Sarah if I could sleep on their couch. I did have an ulterior motive beyond saving money on a hotel. You guessed it! Samuel!
Finally, back to the IDEA World Fitness Convention and my vegan eats. My eating was pretty erratic while I was at IDEA, which is unusual for me. I generally need to eat every few hours. Wouldn’t you know it would be a fitness convention that would throw my normal eating patterns by the wayside.
On the first day, I brought a lot of snacks from home, including a bag of almonds which turned out to be a lifesaver. As expected, there were not a lot of options available at the convention center itself. For the most part they served a lot of over-priced, over-processed food, and the one vegetarian item I saw (aside from an iceberg lettuce salad) was a portabella sandwich, which appeared to get cooked on the grill right alongside the burgers. Sorry, but no.
So, on Thursday, in additions to my almonds, Clif Bars, and bananas, I was really happy to discover that Daiya had a booth at the expo. Not only that, they were steadily serving up samples of their new flavored cream “cheese” spreads and making quesadillas using their vegan shredded cheese. I visited the Daiya booth a lot. I’m actually surprised they didn’t ban me, because I was filling up on their yummy food throughout the weekend.
I also spent a lot of time at the Vitamix booth. They were busily blending up all kinds of smoothies and juices. Boy, I wish I could afford one of those (Santa are you listening?).
Dinner on the first night was the buffet at the InspiRED party. The party was fun, but the food was just okay. My choices were salad and pasta marinara, tasty enough, but not worth photographing or writing too much about. We did take a fun picture before the party, though!
Before I checked into my hotel on Thursday night, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some coffee, fruit, water, and snacks. Oh, and some wine. That tided me over for breakfast for three days (not the wine!). On Friday I knew that I needed more than almonds and Daiya, so after checking out the food choices at the convention center food court I walked to a place called the Tierra Cafe that I first visited a couple years ago during the IHRSA convention. It’s about a mile walk, but worth it. I ordered a burrito that was so huge I could only eat half.
I loved that even though the Tierra Cafe was a vegetarian food stand, my burrito was served on a beautiful ceramic plate.
After a long Friday of lectures, workshops, and wandering the expo, I had plans to explore restaurants near my hotel (which was in Silverlake, a little west of downtown Los Angeles), but I was so tired I just finished the second half of my burrito and went to bed early.
Somehow on Saturday, after a run and breakfast at the hotel, I didn’t ever make it for a “real” lunch. Instead I subsisted on my snacks and the Daiya booth. When I got back to the hotel though, I was starving. I finally decided to check out the restaurant that is on the first floor of the hotel, the Vegan House. How perfect is it that my hotel has a vegan restaurant on the property?
I ordered the Green Curry with tofu (they also had faux meat choices) with rice and a spring roll. I decided to take it up my room (that’s where the wine was). The curry was very good, with lots of tofu and veggies and a nicely spicy sauce.
On Sunday, I finished up my hotel food and headed home. It was lunchtime when I was getting close to the Palm Springs area, so I decided to take a little detour and stop by Native Foods in Palm Springs for one last meal on the road. The Chicken Run Ranch Burger was on special, and the soup was Corn Chowder, so that’s what I ordered. It was the best food of the weekend. It’s always good to get home.
That wraps up my IDEA Convention recaps. If you missed the others here they are:
Do you have any great foodie discoveries lately?