Saturday, November 6, 2010

My New Best Friend Forever

I am shy. Nobody believes me, but  am. My big mouth and bossiness are equated with not being shy when in fact I often feel like hiding under the covers when meeting new people. Sometimes, this sucks as I miss out on awesome things.

Take the race expo for the Philly half-marathon this September, for example.  Even though Tebya Erkesso (the chick winner of the 2010 Boston Marathon) and Meseret Defar (the chick winner of the half the next day) were literally three feet in front of me and looked more shy than I am, I couldn't bring myself to ask for an autograph or a picture. Instead, my friend Kate pulled me toward them with all of her strength and I broke free and hid behind a pole while she snapped a few pictures of them standing there talking to other people.


Afterward we discussed what I could have said. I joked that I would have said, "Hey, Ms. Erkesso! Good to meet you. Do you remember when you ran against me at the Boston Marathon? Were you worried I would win?" I finished about an hour and a half after she did, obviously.

Yesterday, though, a bit of redemption.

I was getting ready to leave the expo for the NY marathon when a woman standing next to me said "Oh, are you here to meet Ryan Hall?" I looked to my left and there was Ryan Hall. Just the fastest U.S. marathoner ever. Nothing to see here.

"Yes, I am," I said. She took my camera and started snapping shots while I walked over to him (turns out I actually cut in front of a truckload of peeps waiting in line for a meet-and-greet, but no one yelled at me).
Hi! I am Laurie and I am shy!

Me and Ryan Hall, a Play in One Act
A short, 30-something woman in pigtails enters (Me). A tall, 20-something blond hottie runner sits at a table (RH). Me looks nervous, like she might puke. She walks to the table. RH appears confident, pen in hand. 

Me: Hello. Great to meet you! Do you like this part of your running life?
RH: Yes, it's fun to meet marathon runners from all over the world.
Me: I live in Philadelphia. Do you remember running against me at the half-marathon the past two years? I was only 35 minutes behind you. Did you see me?
RH signs Me's The ING New York City Marathon 2010 Official Handbook I'm In ING New York City marathon, because Me decided she wanted some value added to this otherwise worthless book.
RH: I knew you looked familiar.
Me: How about at Boston this year? Were you nervous I might beat you?
RH: Yes!
The end.

He seemed very nice and appreciative of the people waiting to meet him. I hope to actually see him run one day but I am too lazy to take a trip just to see him run and the rest of the time I've been out on the course, about 68 hours behind him.

Regardless, expo success! I only spent $90, on a hooded marathon running shirt and an I (Red Apple With Runner In It) NY shirt. Everyone seemed excited to be there, and what I loved the most was the fact that people were from all over the place. I talked to a few people while waiting in line for various things -- a dude from Australia running his first marathon, a mother and son from Spain, 6 Italian older dudes in matching track suits ... who needs a passport? You can just stand around the NYC marathon expo and meet people from everywhere. Every sign was in six languages and I've decided I want to do an international marathon as soon as I can swing it in terms of training and dollars.

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