May 25th, 2012 @ The Buffalo International Airport waiting for my friend Brad, an old war buddy, girlfriend to pick me up from the airport. After making a phone to Brad on the skycap I realized three things - I do not know what kind of car she drives, what she looks like, or is she on her way. So Brad texts me a photo of two women, and says, “The hot one.” Okay…. I was still confused, “The hot one?” I had no idea on who the girl was in the picture, but there was a hot girl in the picture, and the other girl was (I will come back to this one) … So, finally Brad’s girlfriend, Katie, picks me up - Yep… she was the hot one - Kudos Brad - I would have made fun of you for a VERY long time if it was the other chick : )
Being in a car with someone you do not know is weird. I do not even feel comfortable being in a taxi by myself. When I am in this situation I usually keep my bag in front of me, and my left arm free - in case I may have to donkey punch someone into their front stirring wheel. But Katie and I was talking like old friend’s within five minutes. In fact, she had a good attitude and excellent communication skills.
Katie and I pulled into Duff’s restaurant, where they had the best wings in Buffalo, NY. Where mild was hot, Hot was extremely hot, and where extremely hot was insane. Also, it’s where I would see Brad, Candy (Brad’s sister), and Candy’s friend Pattie. After ten minutes of waiting, Brad walked through the door, and I got up and shook his hand, and gave him a hug. It has been about four years from the time I seen him last and it was good to see he was doing well physically. Brad and I caught up with each other lives, and still had enough room to joke about old Army times. It is expected to talk about old war stories when you see veterans you have served with.
After the eating, Brad took me to stay at this place for a couple of days, and in the process I seen the countrysides of upstate New York, which is beautiful, but once you have seen one countryside - you have seen them all. Once I get to his place, I immediately took a shower, and then I was ready for anything, but there wasn’t really anything to do, but Brad invited a couple of friends for burgers, and like men - we talked about women, we talked shit, and talked the future.
The next day was a different story - Katie’s Graduation Pool Party:
When Brad, Katie, and myself arrived at Katie’s graduation pool party I said to myself - “Okay Will, just eat only enough to not be rude.” In the beginning I had the chicken pasta - which helped with carbo-loading for next day marathon, but I nearly lost my mind when I seen a platter of steak on the table. It’s not like I cannot afford steak, but I rarely eat it, and there it was on the table mocking my manhood. So I decided to take the smallest, well done piece on the platter. I picked my steak and I sat down by the pool to eat. I ate everything first before the steak, but when picked up the steak, and took a bite - it was a done deal, I was getting more… And More… AND MORE… Plus a to go plate. Matters became worse when Katie’s chocolate cake was sliced and handed out to everyone. Katie came out with two plates of cake - one big piece, and one small piece. At that point I thought - “When was the last time I had cake…?” I couldn’t think of the last time I had cake, so I took the biggest piece, and it was gone within the time Brad had his small piece. I simply thought in my head, ” I am going to lose about fifteen pounds tomorrow anyways - why not?
Later on, at night - Brad’s sister, Candy, invited the three of us to go out. We had drinks, and talked. It was mostly girl talk between Candy and Katie. So I ordered my special alcohol drink, “The CAK7 special” Which is comprised of vodka, Bacardi Lemon, and cranberry juice. I said I would only have this drink and that’s it. But the drink was missing something… It wasn’t strong enough. So I ordered another shot of vodka. Brad and Katie looked at me as if they were my Marathon mother and father, and I gave them that “Fuck it” look. I was loose, but not tipsy, and I was very talkative at this point. Then Candy’s friend, Pattie, calls and invites us to another bar. So we went. When we arrived, I ordered a double shot of vodka and cranberry - You just can’t go to a bar and not order a drink… Right? You just look weird… Right? I was really having fun, and Brad and Katie had to be up early to drop me off at the Buffalo marathon. Brad tells me we have only thirty minutes and we have to go. I felt like I had a curfew - at the time. Inside I was thinking - “Dude, how many time have we been drunk, came to PT, and ran it all out.” I was sort of irate of the situation, and I said what I was thinking. He replied, “You are right mate, but we never ran a full marathon.” Then a moment of clarity sunk in - Okay he is right. So we said are good byes, and we were on our way back home.
During the hour ride back to Brad’s house, I was GLAD we left early, because I needed rest. I think I only had about three hours of sleep, but it was enough after I stretched and had about three bottles of water.
5:00am, everyone is up, and I feel okay. I ate my banana, but during the ride to downtown Buffalo, NY I forgot all of my gels. I was so mad, because I need them. But I figured I would run into some fellow Marathon Maniacs, and they would help me out.
When we got there, I had to go to the port-a-potty and “depose” of my waste. I stood in line for about fifteen minutes, and when I finished, I only had four minutes to find the 3:00 Pace group. I had fail to do so, and started at the end. For some reason, I wasn’t mad. If anything, the only person that had to be mad at someone of something was myself. No big deal.
I started this marathon strong, but I was not done with “deposing waste”. I had to go to the restroom three times on this course, and the sad thing is that this is the course I dream about - it was FLAT! To savage the situation, I just enjoyed looking at the beautiful things of the city, and I did. I eventually got gel, and in the process made my way to some beer - I know… Pathetic. I realized at that moment that I do take being a marathoner too serious. At the end of the day, I realize that, although I want to hold a record in marathoning, I will never be as fast as the elite runners - my body type, and lifestyle doesn’t not permit it. But there is one quality I possess - I recover fast. And I take that quality, and I do well with it. And at the end of the day, I am content with it. However, it is not an excuse to slack off, because I will not slack. I will still run, train, and be the best marathoner I can be!
During this marathon, I seen VERY little Marathon Maniacs. I was a little upset, because I wore my maniac gear instead of my Project 26.2 uniform, but the recognition during the run was undoubtedly the best comradery during any run I have ever had.
But let me tell you… Buffalo, NY has some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. During this marathon, I seen a bunch of ten level women there, however it didn’t surprise me to see that most of them had on wedding bands - Oh well…
During the final stretch of the marathon, Brad and Katie greeted me. Brad ran .20 with me, and let me finish on my own. It meant a lot, because Brad had a few injuries in the army that would prohibit him to run. At this point, I was physically fine, but I did have a heel spur - the very first real pain I felt during any marathon.
At the end of the marathon, Katie asked, “Hey Will, did you want to some Steak and Cake.”
I replied, “No STEAK AND CAKE, but where is the Taco Buddy at?”