Mala (and Derek too) had warned me that she liked to listen to music while running. Earbuds in, we were awash in our own thoughts when the race started. (It was actually a bit strange to join a race that was already in the middle of being run. A slew of people spilled onto the roadway where marathoners were pacing along, and it felt a bit like a really uneven merging process.)
One of my favorite things to do is eavesdrop on the conversations of other runners while I run a roadrace. It’s an excellent time hear gossip about people you’ve never met and never will meet, to listen to what other people are thinking about (it seems runners like to listen to NPR) and to consider what I might be chatting about were I to be chatting.
At mile six and a half, we ran by Derek’s house (the inspiration behind running a half marathon, thank you very much). The nice thing about a runner who has come out specifically to cheer you on is that they tend to be rather mind-reading in what you might want when you see them. Like water. And a really cute dog to say hello to.
As we kept running from Derek’s, Mala pulled out her earbuds and we started talking. Long runs are the exact right time for long talks, in my humble opinion. Long talks about the past, about leaving the past behind and being future focused, about what is happening in the moment. Long talks about that really bond you together with someone and create a perfect space to belong in, that defines friendships. My friend Kristin and I are excellent friends outside of the runningsphere of course, but in the runningsphere is certainly where I think we figured out how to truly be friends and thus truly became friends.
Anyway. Mala and I told each other stories for awhile and somehow came to be discussing what I thought was a very hot-talk topic: Is Rachel McAdams attempting to be Scarlett Johansson?
This discussion point became so intriguing to me, I started asking the solo runners around us if they had an opinion. Which, in retrospect, was probably incredibly rude. I mean, we’re running. I don’t think having a debate is high on most people’s list. Nor is critical thinking. Nor are celebrities, unless there is a celebrity holding water nearby. Something to remember for my next run.
(By the way, I don’t think Ms. McAdams is trying to be Ms. Johansson.)