Sunday, December 20, 2009

Visiting the Northeast

I'm just wrapping up a nine day visit to the northeast as I sit here in Syracuse airport updating my blog. This part of the trip could be compared to being at like mile 75 of a 100-miler. I'm almost home but still have a solid 6 or more hours of traveling to go. From here we head to Newark...hopefully we will not run into any weather causing delays or cancellations. Then it's across the expansive country to my new home of a little over four and a half months.

This trip gave me a relative break from the computer, Internet, blogs, facebook, school, etc., and my eyes needed a reprieve from staring at a screen. I can't say I was completely cut off...I mean I checked a few times at coffee shops and on my phone, etc. but for the most part I just enjoyed the company with family and friends. My last couple days of the fall term consisted of final exams wrapped with back to back 15-milers around them and a red-eye flight Thursday night after my last exam. I like to try and tire myself out for these long flights so I can try to get some shut-eye. It often works but I also have to get up and stretch out every once in a while.

Friday morning I landed in Syracuse and was picked up by John O. and we headed east on I-90 to southern Vermont. John and I both love to bowl so we started a tradition of bowling a few games every time we see each other. So in Utica, NY we stopped and I was almost able to get that elusive 200 game but had to settle for a 173. After that we enjoyed a nice lunch and then it was off to the B&B in Vermont. There we would prepare for a good friends surprise 40th birthday party. Our friend Doug F. thought he was just going for a romantic weekend with his fiancee at this bed and breakfast. Little did he know that 50 or so good friends and family bought out all the rooms and were hiding in the back den. When he entered....well....all I have to say is that it was classic! :0) We spent the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning was such a memorable weekend! My face hurt from laughing so much and it was great talking to and meeting everyone. Sunday afternoon we were off to Ithaca, unfortunately, in a freezing rain storm. I counted 11 accidents in our 3.5 hour commute!...but we made is safely. I must say...I don't miss that kind of weather!

The next six days I was staying with my brother and his family who live completely off the grid in central New York. Yep, solar panels, wood burning stove, gravity fed mountain spring flowing into a timber framed home that was built by my brother Jamal. It's always so relaxing and refreshing to recharge my batteries on Nobles Hill. I met my niece Amani who was born 11 days after I moved to Oregon and thoroughly enjoyed the company of my other two nieces Lydia and Makana and my sister-in-law Daura. It was also a treat to visit with the rest of the Nobles Hill gang that included Rob, Shena, Nimah, Alden, A.J., Nick, and Maggie. Tuesday I met up with some friends on the Finger Lakes Trail up around Connecticut Hill and got in about 10 miles with Nancy K. and Mark T. I took Wednesday and Thursday completely off and had to remind myself that it's OK to do that while on vacation. Friday I had a beautiful eight mile run as the sun set over to the location of the annual solstice party. There was a ceremony that kicked off the winter by lighting a huge bonfire and we danced the night away to some jammin' live music. My last morning in the Ithaca area I joined some Finger Lakes Runners Club members (Karen G., Shelly M., Jim M., Mark T., and John W.) for a 15-miler through downtown and Stewart Park (three loops of the 5 and 10 course). The final five mile loop Mark and I picked the pace up to about 7 min./mi. pace and it sent me on my way to the airport...again...fatigued. I feel so blessed to have such an awesome family and great friends. Well...the journey continues and we'll see you guys next time! :0)

I also was notified that I will be representing Team Inov-8 for the 2010 season and I'm super stoked about that. This is my second year on the team and I really think that Inov-8 has some great momentum going. The products are top notch and I'm excited to try out some new minimalist shoes and packs, etc. The 2010 team is posted HERE

I'm really excited to be home with my wife and I hope everyone has a love-filled holiday season.


Dan said...

Congrats on getting on the Inov8 team once again. Enjoy your R&R

shel said...

sounds like you had a nice trip! congrats on being on team inov-8 again. looking forward to those minimalist shoe reviews!

AnthonyP said...

Happy holidays Yassine!

Yassine said...

Thanks Dan, Shel, and Tony! I hope you all enjoy the remaining days of the year and look forward to a great 2010! :0)

Ultra Chris said...

Nicely done, Yassine. I can't wait to see what you're up to in the new year. And congrats on all of your 2009 accomplishments. Hope you'll be back at the Fifties again soon!