Kathleen and I raced the John J. Eikenburg Law Week 8k on Saturday and did about as well as could be expected, with limited training in the run-up to the race. We both placed in the top 10 in our age groups which is not great (top 5 would be more like it) but we'll take it considering that most of the city's speedier runners show up for this HARRA Spring Series event. In all, just over 600 persons finished which makes for a good crowd, but without any serious jostling at the starting line. We saw many other Striders there, and some of them did exceedingly well such as Marnie Staehle (first female overall), Sabra Harvey (first masters female) and age group wins or places for Helen Grant, Yong Collins, Alison Stewart, Karen Bowler, Jim Peiffer and Ruben Coryat. Well done Striders! The post-race food was uninspired (fresh bagels, bananas, oranges, coke and beer) but the door prizes are the best of any race in Houston. The post race awards & party setting, with a small stage set up in Sam Houston Park, is also one of the best of any of the local races. Kudos to the Houston Bar Association which has presented this race for 25 years now.
I added an extra 5 miles Saturday afternoon - wearing the Vibram KSO's - and another 9 miles this morning, also with the Vibrams strapped to my feet. I'm starting to relax wearing them; it doesn't feel as odd as the first few times, although it still looks pretty weird, I am sure. The black KSO's are about the ugliest things I've ever seen! Even so I might pick up another pair of Vibrams later today; I'm planning to do most of my runs in them in future, ugly or not.
Dinner last night (second time at this new restaurant) was at the Loving Hut on S. Kirkwood, incongruously situated right opposite the street from a WalMart. This latest addition to Houston's growing array of vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants offers an interesting selection of starters (Arigato sushi, barbecue spring rolls), a couple of very good and very filling (huge bowls) soups such as 'Fabulous' pho and an 'Exquisite' curry soup, and many entrees ranging from various veggie proteins to chow mein and 'Save-Planet' curry. There are several vegan desserts as well; we tried the carrot cake which was not bad, albeit without the icing which appears on the menu photograph.
The Loving Hut restaurant is as clean as an hospital operating theater, and the only discordant note was the weird station beaming at us from two massive HD TV screens. I think it was Supreme Master TV or something like that, with quasi-religious messages, talks about nutrition (vegan), global warming news, seemingly never-ending interviews etc. Much of the screen is obscured by a bewildering number of scrolling captions, about 6 or so different languages all at the same time. The Loving Hut can lose the strange TV station and concentrate on getting the food out of the kitchen just a bit faster and in the requested order. So far they are batting .1000 on serving our main courses before the appetizers which I think is usually done differently, at least in most restaurants.