Sunday, February 17, 2019

New York Trip!

On Thursday, October 4, Sammy and I left for our trip to New York!  Here is what happened.  Many months earlier, Faith had invited me to join her Ragnar team for a trail race in New Jersey.  I'm a sucker for a good team race, so I said yes.  A couple of months passed, our team jokingly got the name "Mountain Knights" when Faith's friend Kris Mountain suggested that we name the team after him, and I said that my name was a team-worthy as his.  Rene Hernandez, my Salvadorian brother, and friend from high school became our team captain. Then Faith got pregnant and abandoned our team, but I was committed, so Sammy and I headed off.  
 Does Sammy seem a little bit pleased to have his mom all to himself? 
 Jorge picked us up at the airport and drove us to his house. We got there pretty late, but Sammy stayed awake almost all of the way there.  In the morning I abandoned Sammy with Faith and Jorge and took off with Kris to New Jersey to race like crazy people.  I was happy to meet up again with Amy Perry, who I had recruited for our team.  Two years earlier she had recruited me for a Ragnar team, then gotten pregnant and abandoned me.  If this is starting to seem like a pattern, I think it is.  Amy had since moved to New Jersey, so this race was practically in her backyard. 
 It was so great to see Rene again.  He is working in New York City as a counselor at a boarding school.  He brought two of his students with him.  Tariq was one of our runners and Louis came as a volunteer/ to get a camping experience. 
 Kris was out to prove that a bicyclist does not have to train as a runner to be able to succeed in a long distance race.  He did very well.  This course was pretty grueling.  Trees on the east coast grow thin, spidery roots that want to grab your feet and trip you.  A lot of the trails ran straight through rocky stream beds, many of which were full of water.  The weather was drizzly.  The course had been altered due to flooding, but the wet, combined with the feet of hundreds of runners, turned portions of the trail into slippery, suck-your-shoes-off mud, made more treacherous by the invisible strands of roots obscured in the muck. 
 Amy brought us some dollar store Knight decorations (we were already on a mountain) to make our campsite more festive.  We never replaced Faith on our team, so we were a team of 7 runners doing legs for eight.  Three of us picked up a fourth leg to make up the difference.  My first run was supposed to be my seven mile leg followed immediately by Faith's 4 mile, but I slipped and smacked my knee, so Rene jumped in for me on Faith's leg.  I ended up running his four mile leg in the middle of the night in exchange, since he was already picking up Faith's 7 mile leg. 
The first weekend in October is General Conference weekend, when the leaders of our church broadcast sermons and announcements all over the world.  I didn't have good phone service, but someone texted Rene to say that there had been an announcement that church meetings, which have been held for three hours every Sunday since before I was born, were being changed to two hours.  Since we have joked about two hour church being announced every General Conference since I was a kid, I thought it was a joke, so Rene looked it up, and, sure enough, two hour church was legit!  Missing the exciting announcement is my consequence for running a race instead of watching Saturday conference. 
 We were all hobbling around by the next morning.  I broke up my fourth and shortest leg by taking selfies whenever I lost motivation.  I spent most of this run marveling that my legs were still working at all, and rejoicing at how much easier it is to run in daylight, even on mucky trails, so I finished pretty strong.  My feet hurt. 
  Our medals fit together to say, "We are Ragnarians. We believe. . . Together we ran Ragnar. Together we can do anything. . . Campfire makes the best cologne. . . Sunsets are better when shared. . . Mud and dirt are good for the soul. . . Sleep is overrated. . . Sore legs don't last, but memories do. . . s'mores and adrenaline can get you through anything. . . There's a badass inside all of us. 
 Here is our amazing team: Me, Mitchell, Amy, Rene, Louis, Tariq, Kris, and Stephen.  This was so great.  Is anyone up for Ragnar Trail Cascades next summer?
 I was exhausted and sooooo ready to get a shower back at Faith's house.  Sammy was delighted with our Mountain Knight swords. 
The women's session of General Conference came on after I got to Faith's house. I tried to watch, but I think I was asleep even when my eyes were open, which wasn't much. 
Miraculously, I could walk the next morning.  I got up and made cinnamon rolls.  Uncle Fred and Sarah came from New York City to watch conference with us.  They were only a couple of months away from welcoming a sweet little addition, Miss Lucy, to their family.  I'm so glad we got to see them.  We are going to miss meeting up with Uncle Fred every time we are in Tucson. 
 Sammy monopolized Uncle Fred.  It was lovely to sit and watch conference, but my legs objected to inactivity after all of the running. 
 Meanwhile, back in Washington, it was all silly shenanigans with Daddy in charge. 
 Also board games. 
The kids did quiet activities while they listened to conference. 
 They sent me pictures of their amazing creations. 
 I'm more impressed to see B and Jared collaborating than I am about the fabulous block tower.  It's a General Conference miracle!
 Monday afternoon I reorganized Faith's kitchen because I'm a bossy sister.  Then she took us to an apple farm to play and eat apple cider donuts. 
 I think we brought this damp weather from Washington with us. 
 Faith really lives out in the country.  I had never been to her house before, but I had pictured it being a little more suburban. 

 We had some daylight left after donuts, so Sammy pressure washed Faith and Jorge's house. 
 I started dinner, but, with all of the other things we did, I started it pretty late. Jorge invited us for dinner at the pizza place where he works, and it was obvious what Sammy wanted.  We left the meal I had started for Faith to eat for lunch the next day. 
 And that was the end of our whirlwind trip to New York.  Jorge is our hero for driving us clear back into the city to fly out of JFK Tuesday morning. It was quite an undertaking.  We miss you, Faith and Jorge! 
 Sammy dozed off on our way home from the airport. 
 Sometimes we need a vacation after our vacation so we can recover from the pace of vacation.

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