Brace yourselves, people. You’re in for a week of blog posts, because my happy ass decided to cram so much stuff into this weekend that it will require not one, not two, but indeed THREE parts to explain, thereby making this my most epic race weekend report of all time. As previously noted, I accept T-Rex items as gifts of gratitude – please do not hesitate.
Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30 am to
force AJ out of bed prepare to leave at 6 am for the 8 ish hour drive to Wilmington, Delaware. You know you have life issues when you wake up an hour and a half earlier on the weekends to get to your marathons than you do on the weekdays to get to work. We left promptly at 6 thanks to my cajoling, and I generously agreed to drive so AJ could sleep on the way. I mean, he wasn’t running this weekend or anything, so I figured it was the least I could do. I know. I am SUCH a good girlfriend.
We rolled along I-95 to Fredricksburg, Virginia, keeping ourselves entertained by Mad Men – our current Netflix obsession – and of course the occasional glance back at the road. It got to be around lunchtime, so I decided to search and see if there were any Moe’s in the immediate vicinity, since baby has needs and those needs include primarily burritos. Lo and behold, Google maps showed that there was INDEED a Moe’s located just off the highway! Phenomenal! So we drove to the little dot on the map where we were told to go. And there was no Moe’s. We drove past the dot, around the dot, and through the dot, but still, there was no Moe’s to be found. Only crappy Chipotle. I don’t want to say I almost had a breakdown about it, but I didn’t not have a breakdown about it, if you know what I mean. After about 15 minutes of searching in vain, we settled on Chipotle, which also makes “burritos.” It was such a disappointing experience. They didn’t even have sweet tea. Virginia, you used to be in the Confederacy just like the rest of us. Please get your shit together.
We ended up arriving in Delaware a little after 3 despite hitting DC traffic and having the states of Maryland and Delaware try to claim our future first-born child via tolls. AJ’s childhood best friend, Tom, and his girlfriend, Brieann, would be arriving from New Jersey to have dinner with us and keep AJ company during the race the next day, and the timing couldn’t have been better. I had already spoken to Anders and the four of us headed over to his host family’s house to pick him up so we could go to the expo. We needed to stop for gas, and after driving in seemingly endless circles, we found a gas station.
Right in front of the gas station stood literally every “hood” stereotype I have ever seen or heard of. This picture really does not capture the true essence of the situation. So rarely do so many characters congregate together right in front of my eyes. We had the following individuals:
- Jacked male who looks like 50 Cent (ps, remember 50 Cent?) and is going up to car windows to “give directions” and/or sell drugs
- Skinny family outcast wearing tight jeans and hipster shoes
- Man with full afro and afro pick stuck in it
- Old grandmother sitting on the porch
- 20-something mother of 5 children who is also pregnant – leading said children across the street
- Morbidly obese white woman with excessive tattoos and greasy hair who comes out occasionally to yell at everyone
- Skinny white girl sitting on lap of jacked male when he is not selling drugs
And the list goes on. I think they noticed me taking a picture because all of a sudden everyone got off the porch and stared at the car. Shit got real uncomfortable real fast. Fortunately, we were done getting gas at that point and started to make our way to the expo. Except google maps told us the wrong place to go, so we ended up all over the city of Wilmington desperately seeking packet pickup. Eventually we made it and the best thing ever happened.
I was recognized in public.
Yes. Fact. That really happened.
Woman: “Hi, are you Danielle?”
Me: ” Yes…”
Woman: “Hi, I’m Sandy! I recognized you from your blog.”
OMG/JESSIE SPANO FREAK OUT/WAYNE’S WORLD/PARTY TIME/EXCELLENT. Don’t worry, I totally played it cool. I was all, “oh, really? So nice to meet you!” I didn’t offer to autograph anything, contrary to the title of this post. Seemed unnecessary. (For the record, the day someone asks me to autograph something would be the new best day of my life.)
Sandy is a Maniac who has been following my blog, but we had never met before. It turns out she was coming to the Maniacs dinner I had planned at Iron Hill Brewery. Interesting fact: I hate planning things. It makes me really nervous. I always feel so much pressure, like it will be my fault if people don’t have fun. Or what if they don’t show up and it’s awkward? I think my palms were sweating. Fortunately, everything is fine when beer is involved, and everyone had a great time. In addition to Sandy, we had Anders, Charli, and Stacey who formed the Maniacs contingency, then Charli’s husband Jorge, AJ, Tom, and Brieann.
Dinner involved the usual discussion of upcoming races, which the non-runners tried to ignore. It also involved me sadly being informed that the Iron Hill Brewery does not sell pint glasses despite photos clearly indicating otherwise on Zagat.com. Ugh, so bitter. But the best part of dinner actually occurred after dinner during the amazing entertaining and mildly awkward photo shoot in which Anders made Sandy pose by the river in a variety of simultaneously awesome and amusing poses.
I would say we then headed back to the hotel, but the four of us decided we hadn’t quite had our fill of getting lost for the day, so it was time to search for a sports bar to watch the all-important hockey game with the 3 other hockey fans in the world. Note: I am not a hockey fan. AJ pulled up the location of a “bar” on google maps and promptly drove us to a steel manufacturing plant, which is, um, not the same. After driving in circles, we eventually settled on a liquor store. I have to say, the main perk of being in the Union was that the liquor store was open after 7 pm. Amazing! And luckily, all of our hoodrat friends came out to visit too. So instead of going to a bar, we all camped out in me and AJ’s hotel room while the boys watched hockey on the computer and I awkwardly fell asleep at 10pm curled up in a chair wearing a bathrobe over my clothes. One more stereotype fulfilled.
In part 2, I will attempt to run the Delaware Marathon without paralyzing myself. Stay tuned.