keep your expectations low and i will rise to the occasion.


Monday, September 6, 2010

my brother is STILL the best kept secret in long distance running

as previous entries described, my brother and i took a trip down to virginia beach where he was set to run a half marathon. we left around 8:45pm on friday night and returned home about the same time on sunday. what transpired during those 48 hours was nothing more than a roller coaster of emotion and insane amount of hilarity.

around 8:45pm on friday evening, the trip started out like any other road trip. stop at the gas station, purchase of a few beverages and edibles to help make the drive a little more bearable and of course, turning around after about 10 minutes because my brother realized he left something at home. so around 9:15pm, road trip departure, take 2.

both my brother and i had neglected to eat dinner prior to departure. so as we took off down I-95 south, we became a little too picky about what crappy fast food restaurant we should stop at. somehow a popeye's just north of richmond seemed to attract us. i guess after being on the road for about an hour (10:15pm), we became a bit desperate. we ran out of the car, wallets in hand ready to buy the entire store out of chicken... only to find out it was closed. 10pm is that magical time apparently when fast food choices get a bit thin and we, of course, missed it. we end up eating a completely screwed up order valued at well over $20 of taco bell goodness on the trunk of my brother's car following an unnecessarily complicated trip through the drive-thru. with the wind causing quite a scene, blowing away our napkins and wrappers combined with us trying to figure which items most closely matched what we had actually ordered, dinner was brief and annoying. onward to va beach.

we get to virginia beach around 1am and immediately, our buddy we are staying with went to bed, leaving my brother and i to get comfortable (me on the large couch and my brother on the floor... there was another couch but he took interest in the floor... he was sober...?). after about 30 seconds, i somehow managed to mess up my friend's universal remote and the cable, the tv and a handful of other devices no longer worked. so we decided to stop breaking things and just go to sleep.

around 11am on saturday morning(20 hours prior to the race), we wake up and head to the beach. after trying to find food, buy towels, and return to the place where we are staying because i forgot a few things, we finally reached the beach around 1pm. at the beach, my brother and i do this idiotic thing where we like to burn first and then apply sunscreen later, knowingly. usually though, we just forget to apply sunscreen and such was the case. this whole time at the beach, during the laying out as well as the 25 block walk to 7-11 for slurpees i forced my brother to go on with me (i told him it would help get loose for the race), he and i went back and forth about whether he should actually run or not...

lets back up real quick:
1. he did not prepare for it at all
2. all our friends running it with him backed out
3. he doesnt even enjoy running a few miles, let alone 13 and change.

however, despite my best efforts, my brother becomes adamant that he will run the race. i was actually kind of proud of him. in the face of such odds and adversity, he was going to run! we go to dinner where he becomes the defacto DD. he begins to carbo-load(the act of ingesting insane amounts of starches to provide you with energy) on pasta and i begin my normal saturday night festivities with gin and tonics. as i enjoy my g & t's, i begin to try and peer pressure him into "not being lame" and just throw down a little tonight. my logic is "if he is going to feel like crap anyways, mine as well have some fun!" my brother, strong in his ways, rejects my prodding and stays committed.

we get back to the place we are staying and my brother begins getting nervous about the race. its about 9 pm and theoretically, we have to be out the door by 5am... less than 8 hours. my brother begins reading through the information he was mailed months ago. i, on the other hand, began playing beer pong with some buddies that have just arrived. all of a sudden, my brother's face goes completely pale and i hear a "oh no!"

as clear as day, spelled out on information sheet, "all runners must register and pick up their number on the day prior to the race. no exceptions."

while he and i had been on the beach, sunburning and talking about whether he should run or not, and worse yet, listening to other people at the beach talking about running the race and picking up their information, we had completely missed registration. my brother was officially disqualified at 6pm when registration closed... and we had no idea.

in an instant, my brother's dream of being the first person to not train for a half marathon and win came to a screeching halt. with that, i handed him a beer and we made the most of the situation. of course, we had to give him a little bit of a hard time because after all the build up and miscues along the way, this was just too perfect. focus immediately became going out big which included riding bikes around virginia beach(spent a majority of that time messing up the bus system... who thought it was a good idea for bikes and buses to share a lane on the street... judging by the honking and yelling, we were definitely bad at sharing), hanging out in a rooftop bar that supposedly we had to have tickets to get into(i think we just got on a random elevator and snuck in) and then ended the night by being THOSE guys at the local harris teeter at 2am. i bought a loaf of bread, turkey, bologna and mayo and i ate 6 bologna turkey mayo sandwiches... i couldnt even think about food again until the following evening.

sunday, all feeling a bit rough, we went to the beach, again using the same technique of burn first, forget to put lotion on later, the whole time still laughing about how this whole half marathon situation worked out. the best part was seeing everyone walking around with their medals earned for completing the race... they were everywhere and each one was like a dagger for my brother... classic. finally, around mid-afternoon, we drove back to dc arriving in the early evening.

all in all, a great trip. my brother is pissed but i had a fun time... sure he lost $85 but they are still going to mail him a t-shirt... see bro, not a total loss... you get an $85 dollar tshirt! although, i must say, the shirts look waaaaay better with a medal on the front.

just sayin'

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