Sometimes I date…

This is my all-about-Dan post.

Where to begin? We met on a hot August day. Nah, I’m kidding. Though it might have been August. Telling about how I met him is parallel to how our Tuna 200 team was created. We were looking for extra people, and I guess Sarah posted it on facebook. And Dave, a guy she played kickball with for a season, decided he had always wanted to do a relay. And talked his best friend, Dan, into signing up with the other 10 strangers.

So, we all met one night after work to divide the legs. I guess that’s how we met. Though that part isn’t too exciting. I remember first impression- he seemed shy and humble about his vet status (he had done 2-3 relays before?). Dan and Dave were the outsiders- of the 12 on our team, 9 had trained together for 4 months in the spring, including 3-4 runs per week. Honestly, I remember telling Dan “Sarah will be here soon” (as if he knew her, not realizing he was not Dave, and did not know Sarah). And him looking at me blankly, like “ummm okay.” (Probably thinking Sarah’s the team captain right? Why is she singling me out to tell me this?)

Dan and Dave are quite the pair. Dave is younger, energetic, and talkative. On the other hand, Dan is more reserved; he holds back and listens before he talks. So you can see why they’re best friends. And they really bring the best out in each other.

Well, Allison and I wanted to get to know them since we’d be spending 24+ hours in a van with them, running. So we invited them (and all the other relay runners) to a tempo run, which soon became a standing tradition for me and the boys. I didn’t really get to know them over night. I eventually ended up going for a 8.5 mile run with Dave (look back). Then, that Saturday, I met the boys for a drink.

That night is when I started realizing I may like Dan (which for me, was a problem- we have mutual friends, and still had like a month until our relay race, and I tend to mess things up really quickly, so I did not want to like him). We talked a lot that night. Though I wasn’t like “OH MY GOD! I LIKE HIM SO MUCH!” … I was thinking, “yeah, maybe I do like him…” I did a few more runs with the boys.

Then, I had a few lone runs with Dan. D’oh!  I could swallow any thoughts or feelings in a group. The first lone run with Dan was miserable, as in kind of hilly (and my third run in 24 hours), and I could feel my legs cramping up. And he runs about 1-2 minutes/mile faster than me (my “easy” pace is 9:30; his “easy” pace is about 8:00). The next one- it was supposed to be me, Dave, and Dan. And Dave cancelled (again!). But I still needed to get in a somewhat-fast 8-10 miles for the day, and Dan had been itching for a longer run. So he planned it out. And we met at his place. I didn’t write about this at the time, because, well, because I wasn’t sure if he felt the same way as I did.

But, it was a great run. Like, one of those runs, where you are easily going 30-seconds faster than your easy pace, but don’t even notice, because the conversation is flowing. And the person you’re running with is challenging you with hills and speeding up slightly, then falling back some. We ran 8.7 miles, at 8:45 pace. Much faster than usual for me. And then, we walked around a bit. And got some water. I think it was also this like perfect September weather- and was just getting dark as we got back toward his place.

And I knew I was bitten. And I had 2 weeks until Tuna200, so I basically made sure I avoided him, as I may do something incredibly stupid before spending 24+ hours in a van with him, and 4 other running friends.

It sounds silly, but even being around him (and Dave) during the relay made me feel more at-ease. The two of them were like my family, we all took care of each other.

So, after the relay…

I was sick. And in a stick-to-my-training-plan-so-I-don’t-fuck-up-the-past-five-months’-training mode, so no unplanned speedwork, no longer than 6-mile runs on weeknights. And then it was Dave (a different Dave)’s birthday. And he had met Dan and Dave, and liked the idea of not being surrounded by girls on his birthday, so he said I could invite them. And Dave (Dan’s bestie) was out of town, so I hesitated at inviting just Dan out. But decided it was okay, and little bit of a bold move, but I’d see if we could hang out just the two of us.

And with some liquid courage, moves were made and accepted. I don’t mean to be vague. But it all happened so fast, that I’m not sure who kissed who first. Though, I think I was definitely being flirtatious and a little handsy.

And I spent the night at Dan’s that night. Well, we didn’t really sleep. But I’ll be classy. Honestly, we talked a lot (too). About how I really liked him, but didn’t want to fuck up any friendship, because I also really liked him as a friend, and how he really liked me, but he totally respected me and didn’t want to make any moves, and feel like a dick because I wasn’t interested. He reassured me it was more than a one-time thing. And I think he wanted to make the walk of shame with me through the marathon to prove a point, that he wasn’t ashamed, and didn’t want to hide “us” from our friends.

And the next weekend, I was in Richmond for the marathon (but he came over Wednesday night to help me carb load at Mellow Mushroom). And I went to his place Sunday night after the marathon, to unwind and get a little stretch and massage (and he is genuinely interested when I recap my “and then, at mile 23. oh my gosh!” stories). And then, the next weekend, he was in Chicago, visiting his sister. But he came over that Wednesday night. I told him he was going to have to take me out on a real date. And he didn’t even blink, like Of course! I was planning on it!

And then, I saw him last Wednesday (before Thanksgiving), and we did the Turkey Trot “together”, in that we stood together before, and looked for each other after we finished (I maintained 8:30s- miraculously, while he maintained 7:00s). Can I just say I am awkward? I met Dan and Dave at packet pick-up Wed night, and then the three of us went to grab a beer. That was the first time I’d seen Dave since Dan and I started dating (and Dave knows all the details). And at one point, Dan totally moved his chair so it was next to mine, and I think I recoiled. Like the idea of being PDA in front of Dave just threw me. But then! Thursday morning is was like 30 degrees, and I (stupidly) was wearing a tank with arm sleeves, so I was a little cold, and just kept snuggling into him for warmth before the race. Apparently my need for warmth supersedes my need to not be that couple

So, Saturday, he took me out. On a real date. I met him at his place, because he basically lives in downtown Raleigh (I live in the suburbs; it’s closer to work). But he was all dressed up, like dress pants, button down. The works. And had gotten me flowers (and put them in a coffee mug in the sink- he didn’t have a vase).

(I hate roses)

We went to this nice small-plate/ tapas restaurant, where I ordered a $20 glass of wine. Oops! (Talk about awkward moments. I’d been reading the wine list upside-down, and was asking the waiter for a spicy red. And glanced down and saw they had a Spanish Tempranillo, and began saying it as I basically had a stroke when I saw the price. There were no other Tempranillo’s on the menu, so I couldn’t play it off as anything else. And Dan just started ordering his wine, without blinking. Probably because he didn’t see the price, until the check came. But, then, he knows me. And knows I wouldn’t purposely order the most expensive wine, or even knowingly do that). But dinner was great! The fish tacos were the best thing on the menu- with a wasabi guacamole. Delicious!

What? You don’t want to read about the food?

Also, it was like 28 degrees that night. So I was snuggling into him as we were walking back to the car. And he said ‘See? You do couple things’ and I replied ‘Yes, when it’s cold :)’ So, I would love to say that he dropped me off. And I gave him a kiss goodnight, etc. But that did not happen. I had already stayed the night several times, so Saturday was no different. And for the first time in spending the night with him, I slept through the night. It was great! One of those forget you are sleeping until the morning sun hits your eyes. And I woke up next to someone who genuinely cares about me. It’s been a little bit since that’s happened for me.

And we had coffee. And bananas. I’ll have to remind him to stock up on eggs/sausage/cheese/something that can be cooked in the future… And then, I was off to Sheryl’s studio for the best yoga ever. And back home.

My GBF (gay best friend), Josh, is in town for training for work this week. So, Dan and I are meeting him at my favorite Mexican place- Chubby’s. Thursday, we are going to see fun. And Saturday, he is hosting a Holiday Christmas Party, which my presence has been requested. Oh, and next Sunday is a Holiday Game Night, my friends do at every major (and minor) holidays, which he was invited to. My friends have basically adopted him as one of us. He just fits in my life. Which is nice.

My walk of shame, thru a marathon

Yes, you read that right. I am going hold back some details, because, well I have class (BAHAHAHA! No I don’t! I just can’t remember all the details).

Saturday night was my old friend Dave’s 25th birthday. Given that he is the youngest of our group, we felt it necessary to go out. He did as well. This Dave is not the Dave I run with. He’s a Dave that hooks up with one of my best friends, and the two of them are head over heels for each other, but she refuses to actually call them a couple. But, everyone else just presumes they’re a couple. Anyway, not the point. The point is- I invited Dan (guy I run with) out with me. He had met the gang before.

Dan was meeting some friends at the Borough. [There are three gay bars in Raleigh; the Bears go to the Borough, the Queens go to Legends, and the Twinks go to Flex]. Some of Dan’s gay friends were there. One I already knew (and loved! Someone said something really awkward and he looked around and took a long sip. I knew we’d be besties!).

Oh, and Dave was wearing a tie for his birthday. This Dave used to have dread locks and smoke pot all the time, and I kid you not- was a member of the drum circle in Asheville. So if he’s wearing a tie, all us girls decide to wear dresses. I didn’t tell Dan. But I was wearing my sequin mini skirt, black tights (with rhinestones up the side), and 5 inch heels.

I sent Megan a picture while she was working…

So we met up at the Borough, I ordered a Big Mama (most lesbian drink on the menu… not that I’m lesbian, but all the others had that weird combo of gin or scotch with fruity mixers). Then we made conversation, as I quickly killed the drink and we headed to meet up with Dave’s birthday gang. On the way, I got the traditional ‘So Megan and Dave aren’t together?’ and quickly briefed Dan on the situation. Megan (my oldest friend- like since I was 10) was working an event until 10pm in downtown, so she came over soon after. We moved the location a few times.

And then someone suggested Tequila. I don’t think I drank anything after that, but maybe I did? Either way, since I couldn’t remember I told Megan I would stay at Dan’s. (Dan and I had also made out a little at the bar. What?! It was only a little bit. A couple kisses really.) Then, I stayed at Dan’s. That’s all I’ll say about that.

But, I had agreed to cheer on the City of Oaks Marathon and Half Marathon in the morning, at Sarah’s. She lives at mile ~25. We were meeting at 8ish.

Dan’s: mile 1 (yellow), Sarah’s mile 25 (green)

Dan is great. Have I mentioned that before?

Because I’m not used to that. I was all like… Oh god, I have to go (Allison and Sarah had been texting, then Allison called, and soon found out why I would be “late” and “walking” which she didn’t understand before hearing me). I asked Dan for a hoody (it’s cold outside). And he offered to give me a full outfit. Still wouldn’t fix the 5 inch heels, which were the major problem (and pants would have been big). And I calculated the distance- 1.8 miles.

So I was downstairs yelling up, “OK! I’m Leaving Now!” (Thinking Gosh he’s not going to even walk me to his door? Wow, what a jerk <- I date stellar guys). He yelled down Hang on! I’m trying to find my beanie! And came downstairs. I’m coming with you. (Btw- he left the beanie in Megan’s car) He was shocked I thought I was going to walk alone ~2 miles, especially when meeting fellow Tuna runners, who he knew.  We stepped outside, walked out to the main street, and Dan said “I could drive us closer” and I jumped on that. So we drove to the middle, but I still had to do the walk of shame from the finish (26.2) to mile ~25.

Dan went into Cup of Joe’s quick, then we saw Jarod (finished in 1:42?). And Carrie (1:43?). And there I am- sequin mini skirt, rhinestone tights, 5 inch heels, and a hoody. Yelling! Like a crazy person. And my friends running the half started pouring in. We rushed to Sarah’s and she handed me a “FREE BEER AHEAD!” sign which had “WALK OF SHAME” written on the back. And we all laughed about it.
[Our other signs- “Chuck Norris never ran a marathon” and “In our mind, you’re all Kenyans” <– Some woman said But I really am a Kenyan as she ran past. But most of the people got a kick out of the signs]

I had so much fun cheering people in though! The last mile- best spot for a spectator. Really. You see the fog start to lift. And one of our Tuna team-mates, Andrea. That girl rocked the half. Shaving 13 minutes off her PR (2:21 to 2:08). She ran the last mile in 8:30… And then the full marathoners started trickling in. And we just kept yelling and yelling for them.

Basically, I was stocking up on race karma. I totally believe in race karma. If I see someone struggling, I cheer them on (even if I’m hurting too), because I would want that if I was hurting that bad. If someone needs water, and I have some, I share. If they looked like they were hurting at mile 25, I reminded them of the cool space blankets, and the medals, and months of training leading up to this moment. And the stale bagels. And tried to make them laugh “Start practicing your photo finish! You only got a mile left to perfect it!” or Time to fix your hair or (when a speedy full marathoner was passing a slower half marathoner) Trip him! He’s going too fast!… Making us all look bad! Which usually made both people smile.

So now, on Tuesday, I still have to whisper because I have no voice. And Dan and I are going out to help me begin carb-loading tomorrow night. I can say more on all that later. For now- I’m focusing on stretching my legs, foam rolling, and wearing 2 inches or less on my feet this week.

Something I never knew until cheering people on- wearing something unique DEFINITELY helps! We cheered our hearts out for Wonder Woman and Gold Shorts Guy (who turns out is one of Dan’s friends, and dropped by later). We yelled for shirtless guys (in 40 degree weather?), and people with their names on their shirts. So I plan to do something- write “Candy”  on my arms/ legs. (No one ever pronounces Chandi right, and at mile 23, it would annoy me more than encourage me if they say it wrong, so I’ll embrace Candy- my “stripper name”).

FOUR DAYS! I keep wanting to go to Fleet Feet to get things. But I would just keep buying, and probably not need any o it.