AJ and I set off for Cincinnati at about 7:30 on Saturday morning. I was really looking forward to this trip for two reasons – one, I’ve heard great things about “The Pig,” aka Flying Pig Marathon, and two, it was me and AJ’s first trip together just the two of us. I’ve learned a lot about relationships over the past decade or so, and if there’s one thing I know now, it’s that how you travel with a person speaks volumes about your relationship. I was therefore excited and a little nervous about what the weekend would hold, since I somewhat like him and whatnot.
The road trip was significantly different than a drive with Kate and Kristen, as you might have guessed. Fewer energy drinks, bathroom stops, and dance parties, but fun all the same. We actually had to take almost exactly the same route to Cincinnati that we took to Louisville, so I got to point out all the sights to AJ along the way, like the giant cross that looks like the world’s tackiest water tower. And guess what? It is literally right next door to a giant porn store.
We only stopped one time in the entire drive to Cincinnati, so sorry I’m not sorry for being super impressed. I mean, we were making really good time. All of a sudden Cincinnati appeared in the distance and AJ instantly got depressed.
Yup, turns out AJ is anti-Ohio. Really, I think it’s just a mind game he is playing with one of his roommates who is from Ohio. The whole weekend he kept pointing out things that were going wrong and blaming it on Ohio. It turns out there might be something to this theory. We checked into our hotel, which mercifully was on the Kentucky side of the river, and headed over to the Expo, which I was pretty excited about.
The Expo was huge, but tragically it was one of those kinds where you have to walk through every single exhibit to get your t-shirt. This is bad news for my life. In case you haven’t figured out, I like to buy things. ALL THINGS. ALL THE TIME.
So three Sweaty Bands, one wine glass, and one stress-reliever flying pig mascot later, we had collected my packet, shirt, poster, and duffel bag. Yes, be jealous of all the schwag. We then went to the information desk to ask for tips on how AJ could best watch the race in the morning and where to go.
After the Expo, it was on to the Maniacs dinner, where I was pretty sure AJ would be completely overwhelmed and possibly stop loving me forever. There were scheduled to be 60 people there. That’s a lot of runners, and it’s really a lot when you don’t run. I was lucky enough to see some old friends and make some new ones while simultaneously accomplishing my goal of visiting a local brewery and eating an offensive amount of food. I also somehow got pretty drunk on two pints of beer.
Runners tend to talk about running, and Maniacs talk about marathons. I love these dinners because I get ideas for new races to run and I meet new people to run them with. AJ tolerates them because he gets to drink microbrews. Eventually, it came time for all the Maniacs to take the requisite dinner photo. This was particularly important to me since I knew there was little, if any, chance I would be making it to the group photo in the morning. I mean, let’s be honest.
Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, so there was a sexy party/Cinco de Mayo festival going on outside. And by Cinco de Mayo festival, I obviously mean a DJ was playing Pitbull, but close enough. I held my own dance party out doors and AJ pretended not to know me. Mostly he just made sure I didn’t try to high five anyone.
We left dinner and headed back to the car, figuring we would watch some tv and then go to bed early since I had to be up at 5. We were parked in a rental garage and trying to navigate our way out of the stupid maze. AJ stopped at an area where it looked like we could turn, but neither of us were sure. He put the car in reverse and all of a sudden we heard some loud honks and the sound of a crash and cracking metal. Yup, a valet driver took a corner too fast and plowed right into us. I know you’re as shocked as we were. I mean, valet drivers NEVER drive badly. They are super responsible. So AJ got out of the car to assess the damages and I just sat there uselessly, as usual.
Me: “Is it bad?”
AJ: “It’s REALLLLYYYYYYY BAD!”
So we followed the valet over to the hotel, where I learned that AJ’s definition of REALLLLLYYYY BAD is a barely visible dent and a cracked fog light. What a drama queen.
After the obvious trauma, we headed back to the hotel and got AJ a drink. He couldn’t stop talking about how the car accident was all Ohio’s fault, and I must say I found it highly amusing. My back had been bothering me all day, and I had a lot of numbness and tingling in my legs. Not wanting to mix Thai pain meds with beer since I was slightly drunk, I decided against taking them. Preview for tomorrow: IT’S REALLLLLLLLYYYYYY BAD. And not in an AJ way. In a T-Rex way.