For the last month or so, everyone has asked me, “So, are you going out to the Trials?” And my reply has been, “No, between finances and other things, this is not the year.”
But in a few hours I’ll be rolling into Eugene to see two days of action. How did this happen?
On Wednesday afternoon I got a text.
So I’ve got tickets to the trials Sunday Monday – want to join me?
This is from JJ, a college teammate with whom I always go to the NCAA cross country championships. A high school teacher and coach, he started doing some online coaching for a Team in Training-type program, and he was in Seattle for the goal race, the Rock N’ Roll Marathon. He managed to score a pair of seats, rented a car, and would be driving down to Eugene.
I told him I couldn’t. Besides anything else, my wife was slated to do a triathlon on Sunday and I’m always her support crew.
When my wife and her training partner came back from a ride and I told her what transpired, she told me I was insane and started looking for flights. She’s an old pro at this and could do just fine on her own. I got a flight into Portland and JJ was going to pick me up on his way. Great!
I sent JJ some e-mails with flight details but got no reply. This isn’t unusual for him, so I paid it no attention.
On Saturday, I checked in with JJ on my layover in Las Vegas.
Me: You’re picking me up in Portland around 5:30, right?
JJ: I’m still working tonight. I’m driving in tomorrow. I thought you knew that.
Me: Oh. Shit. My bad.
So I’m going to be stuck in Portland on Saturday night with nowhere to go. This could be interesting.
A few days ago, an old high school teammate sent me a Facebook message to give her a call if I was going to be coming through Portland on my way to the Trials. Living some 3,000 miles away from her hometown, she never really gets to see any of the gang anymore. So I gave her a call, told her what was up, and she generously offered to let me stay with her and her family overnight. They showed me some of the hipper parts of Portland, a city I’ve never seen before, and we went to a typically Portland eatery called Foster Burgers.
I’m now waiting on JJ to drive down from Seattle and the next leg of our adventure is about to start. And a special thanks to Jenny and Eric for taking me in.