My Rock 'n' Roll half marathon race weekend last month was EPIC. Not only did I have a great race, but I got to meet some of my very favorite online friends in real life (IRL!) It was akin to meeting the cast from your favourite T.V. show. The one that you've watched forever so you feel like you know the people, yet you would still be completely starstruck to be sitting amongst them.
The switch from online friend to IRL friend can be tricky. After all, everyone has their online persona.
The first person I met was Adrian from Happy Girls are the Prettiest Girls.
She writes one of the first blogs I ever followed and is among my very first bloggy friends. When she first emailed me to ask for hotel recommendations for the race, I offered Casa de la TriGirl.
Once we both agreed that it totally wasn't weird to invite a sort of stranger to stay in your house, or to accept said invitation from a sort of stranger, the plan was set.
Adrian flew in the day before the race, and I recognized her immediately.
She kinda gets that a lot. Like, a lot a lot.
We drove straight to the race expo and chatted the whole way. It wasn't weird, for the record, and it took my mind off driving on crazy overpasses and into the middle of downtown on a weekday in the pouring rain, which apparently means that suddenly no one knows how to drive (because you know, it's not like it doesn't rain here EVERY DAY!).
After checking out some free stuff at the expo,
we met more bloggers for lunch at a nearby restaurant. As we rounded the corner, another familiar face that I had only ever seen online was grinning at me.
It was Megan! And her boyfriend Ryan was right beside her!
It was like a celebrity sighting; like Brangelina, but Rygan...Myan? Anyhoo, like that, minus the multicultural children, and the weird tattoos, and the creepy beard that Brad sports on occasion. Plus, Megan totally gets along with her dad and has even turned him into a runner!
Along with them were a few more familiar faces: Megan and Kevin, and their baby, Charlotte.
Those blue eyes were soooo big!
Erika and Julia were there,
(I just love the pigtails)
along with some of Erika's friends.
Then more local bloggers joined us: Lindsay, Nicole, Tasha, Lauren, and Stacie!
After some more expo-loring (get it? expo and exploring?) it was time to go home. Adrian had brought me a bag of gifts that was fantastically awesome.
The next morning we raced, and that evening, we went out for sushi.
We had a great time getting to know each other better, and after dinner we went to a pub. We sat around in a little side room with flamingo beer bongs and mustachioed guitars hanging on the wall. Suddenly, Erika noticed that Ryan had attracted some unusual attention.
Megan shooed the (presumably drunk or otherwise altered) woman away and asked Ryan what that was all about. He replied matter-of-factly,
Touche', Ryan. Touche'.
The next day, TriGuy, Adrian, and I went out for breakfast, then we went downtown for some sightseeing. We met up with Erika and the Megans, with the menfolk and childfolk in tow. We did the regular, fun touristy stuff, but one of the highlights of my day was watching Megan walk backwards while she was talking, and knock over a magician's table with his magic trick movies on it.
It proved to me that she is exactly who she claims to be on her blog...and that we are most definitely kindred spirits.
I couldn't have asked for a better weekend, and the only sad part was having to say goodbye to so many good friends that I had just started getting to know. Perhaps it's time to start looking for more races...
UPCOMING POSTS: MORE RACE REPORTS, YOGA (for real), LONG RUNS