"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird,
and when we find someone whose weirdness is
compatible with ours, we join up with them
and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
~ Dr. Seuss
About a month ago, a woman named Kelly reached out to me via Facebook. She explained that she'd gotten my info through my ambassador profile on Oiselle.com. Turns out, she runs on a team that is affiliated with the company, she's admittedly obsessed with their clothes and she has recently applied to be an ambassador herself. Check, check and check. Like me, Kelly is an avid runner and a mother of two young girls. In a nutshell, she let me know that she lived pretty close by, that she would be running the Boston marathon and that she would be in the same wave and corral as me. Crazy, right? But that's not all. She then mentioned that she would be running the last 10 miles of the course with a friend in a couple weeks and asked if I'd like to join them. I gave it a thought for about 12 seconds and then replied, "hell, yeah!" So, we exchanged numbers and agreed to be in touch as the day of our run got closer. This past Thursday, I told my husband my plan for the next day. In so many words, I let him know that I'd be driving in to Boston, parking by the finish line, hopping on the T with two ladies that I'd never met, riding out to Newton and running back to Boston with them. "Wait," he said, "you have no idea who these women are and you're spending the morning with them?" To which I responded, "Well... um... yea." He looked back at me and said, "Cool. Have fun." Confirming, once again, that nothing even remotely bizarre in my running-related life phases him anymore. On Friday morning, I headed off to the city, thinking, for a brief moment, that it was indeed a bit odd that I had agreed to hook up with complete strangers to go for a long run. Though, clearly, I wasn't too concerned about it. At one point, I called to check in with Kelly and let her know I wouldn't have my phone but that I had blonde hair and was wearing a purple shirt and that I'd be waiting in front of Marathon Sports so it would be easy to find me. As I waited, I had a very lovely conversation with Shane O'Hara, the manager of the store, who had just run into the city himself. Though the store was closed, he was getting ready to do an interview about the marathon and he kindly offered to let me wait in the store for my running partners. It was chilly out and I was in shorts, so I gladly took him up on the offer. Kelly eventually arrived with her friend Carmela and after a brief intro session, we headed off to the train. Stupidly, I had only brought a $20 for my T pass and, unless I wanted to carry 16 dollar coins back in my pockets for 10 miles, I was going to need to borrow a couple bucks from my new friends. Talk about an easy ice breaker. We headed out to Newton, chatting the whole way about our families, our jobs, our hobbies and whatnot and by the time we got off the train, it was not the least bit strange that the 3 of us were headed out for a 10 miler together. Our run was awesome. We tackled the entire hill section of the course, including Heartbreak, talking through some of the miles, and quietly enjoying the scenery through others.
We even stopped in front of the Johnny Kelley statue for a photo and did a brief interview with Channel 4 news in regards to how we felt about the blue and gold flowers that were blooming along the course. (Symbols of Hope). Eventually, we eased our way back into the city, ending at the finish line, which is already in the process of being set up. I got some serious chills and took a moment to myself, thinking about how unbelievably intense this scene was going to feel in 10 days. I also made a mental note to stuff some tissues in my pockets on race day. Finally, we grabbed a sandwich, Carmela treated me to a chocolate milk (bless her) and we all hugged goodbye, agreeing to find each other at the expo on Saturday before the race. And with that, I was off. With two new friends/fellow runners to boot. The running world is such weird, crazy, beautiful place. It's so different than anything else I am part of, in a good way. I often feel like I'm in la la land when I am amongst runners....a place where we are all friends, even when we are strangers, where we all support each other, and where we all feel both welcome and comfortable on any given day. Call me crazy, but I love it. And I'm guessing many other runners out there feel the same way. And to all of them, as I did to Kelly, I'd probably say the same thing..."let's run".