Driving to Columbus

Friday, May 4th

I’ve never been to Ohio before.  The furthest that I’ve personally every driven east was to Bloomington, IN to visit my cousins at Indiana University back in the late 90’s.  I must admit that this was rather exciting.  My brother rented a car, a 2011 Dodge Avenger, and off we went.Photographed by Matt Kazmierski

My youngest brother, Joey, is 10 years younger than I.  I would say the relationship that I’ve had with him has been different than with my other two brothers.  I’m really not sure why.  It could be that the ages of my other two other brothers and I only span about 5 years.  It could be that I had protective posture of him because he was the ‘baby’ of the family.  I remember when I was in college and shortly after, I would come home and spend time with him whether it be going to the store, going out to eat, or going out to a movie.  I attended some of his high school performances when he was involved in swing choir and the variety show.  I also attended one of his cheerleading competitions at Northern Illinois University.  Without even knowing it at the time, I was intentionally investing in our relationship.

This ride to Columbus, OH was estimated to take just under 8 hours.  I don’t think that I’ve ever spent that much time with any of my brothers in one place where we were each other’s captive audience.  Joey took the first shift in driving.  As you can imagine, there was a good amount of ‘runner talk’.  Since, Joey was one of the major influences in my starting to run, I had much to talk about.  We discussed topics as it pertained to nutrition, hydration, shoes, apparel, the Chicago Marathon, the New York Half Marathon, the New York Marathon, cross training, and the list goes on.  I was surprised about how fast that first driving shift passed, not only because he was driving but also because of the conversation that was taking place, the laughter that had been shared, and the bonding that was occurring.

Near Indianapolis, we decided that it was time to each lunch.  As we pulled off we knew that we needed to nourish ourselves with some healthy food since we would be running 13.1 in less that 24 hours.  Well, it was a no brainer when we saw the Chick-Fil-A sign.  Mmmm…so good!

It was my turn to drive and take the second half of the trip.  I’m not sure what happened, but the amount of ‘runner talk’ greatly decreased as our conversation revolved around childhood, growing up, getting married, having our own families, work, the challenges we face, and the like.  I guess you can say we talked about life in general; something that we really have never had an opportunity to discuss one on one.  Time flew by again, but even faster!

Before we knew it, we were pulling into Columbus looking for the hotel where we would attend my first health and fitness expo.  I was giddy with excitement!  It was here where we would pick up our racing bib, shirt, and other race materials.  You could feel the energy in the room as fellow runners were also doing the same thing; a community of people just as crazy as I am!   We’d visit the different vendor booths to check out running gear, shoes, apparel, etc…  I walked through the expo with a permanent smile and eyes wide open just soaking it all in.  Afterwards we checked into our hotel, went out for dinner to carb up, and then came back to get some rest for 6 AM EST was coming fast and furious.

This day had to have been one of the best days that I’ve spent with my brother Joey!

Stay tuned for Race Day!

Tony

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