I had a nice surprise out on the lakefront this morning while trying to get in a 14-miler: I ran into my blog friend, Paige! We've been reading and commenting on each other's sites for months now, but I'd never met her before. I always figured if I did run across her, she'd be easy to spot, because she's got her some long, blonde blonde hair. Well, I was right. I caught sight of her down the path as I emerged from a tunnel under Lakeshore Drive.
She wasn't running, though. Instead, she was out with her dog Charlie picking up trash in the grass nearby a popular dog-running spot. She was, of course, wearing one of her Atayne t-shirts. It took her a second, but she recognized me as I introduced myself, and we exchanged pleasantries. It's an awkward quandry that is, in the history of time, unique to my generation, that one can have acquaintences who you are rather familiar with, and communicate with, but whom you have never actually met. To know someone and be strangers at the same time. (Well, aside from any Hemingwayesque metaphors).
Paige has been alluding to her intention to move east on her blog for some time now, so, I suppose, today could be the one and only time we ever meet - unless we ever happen to be at the same race somewhere (which might also yield me the chance to meet her Mike as well).
SO: It was great to meet you today, Paige! I hope you'll tell Mike I said, "hello"!
I had another fun encounter a mile further down the path. There was a family out for a walk together. There were three brothers, aged maybe 6 to 10. Like most cool city kids, none of them had on belts so that they could wear their jeans down below their hips. This didn't keep any of them from taking off for a run down the path, though, and they all had this funny motion that accomodated the need to hold up their pants with their left hands while they raced each other down the trail.
When I caught up to the oldest brother, he put in a little burst to stay ahead of me and "raced" me down the path for a hundred yards or so. (His left hand still securely held the waistband on his pants.) He didn't talk to me, but he kept his eyes fixed on me and anytime I got even with his shoulder, he put in another burst. Every time, I'd just hold my even pace and let him stay in front of me as long as he wanted. I held his eye contact and smiled back at him, so he'd know I was in for the game. Finally, I said to him, "You're pretty fast, man!" And without flinching, or changing his expression he said back to me, "I know." I don't think I ever had quite that much moxie when I was 9 years old.
It was a fun morning!