March 11, 2009

Recognized by a fan

In New York, people don’t talk to each other on the streets. This trait is learned very quickly as a result of the crazies. One particular breed of crazy is the comedy club promoter. They typically hang out in tourist areas, though not always, and usually have some kind of original catchphrase, like, “do you like to laugh?” If you say yes, they will give you a quarter card. If you try to be clever and say no, they will chuckle and give you a quarter card anyway. The correct way to respond is by staring straight ahead as if you did not see or hear them. This tactic, while seemingly cruel, is also useful when the homeless approach you. It’s not that I don’t want to help – it’s that the chances of having a homeless person attack you increase infinitely if you talk to them (see: fist fight I witnessed on the subway last week when a guy actually responded to a homeless person insulting him). However, today I broke that cardinal New Yorker rule.

I was downtown in the financial district meeting Boyfriend for breakfast (update: the route yesterday was about 6.5 miles, not 8, and he successfully completed it with a minimum of soreness and a maximum of walking). As I stood on the streetcorner (waiting to cross the street, you perverts – I’m not that desperate yet), I was approached by a guy maybe just a few years older than me. “I know you from somewhere…” he said, staring at me. I looked him up and down, making the snap judgment that if he was wearing a nice suit and was approaching me in a highly populated area, he probably wasn’t crazy. He also looked just slightly familiar. I wondered if he was a former colleague that I hadn’t known very well, and decided to introduce myself.

“Hi, I’m Laura,” I said, offering my hand to shake.

He snapped his fingers in recognition. “THAT’S it! You’re the marathon girl!”

I got pretty excited that my running blog now has me getting recognized on the streets of New York, and briefly wondered if I should invest in a better wardrobe… you know, for the paparazzi pictures. Then I noticed he was still staring back at me expectantly, so I tried to think how to respond. How much credibility would I lose if I pointed out that the marathons I’ve been doing lately aren’t really 26.2 but more of the America’s Next Top Model on VH1 variety?

Before I could respond, he prompted me: “Yeah, we met at the Disney marathon! We were on the bus to the start together!”

My brain finally clicked in recognition, and I chatted with him for a few minutes and gave him my contact information before we parted ways. I will admit that it was cool to have such a chance encounter in a city of 8.5 million, but with my delusions of fame and fortune dashed, I couldn’t help but be disappointed.

Maybe I ought to start doing something noteworthy like actually running marathons again.


34 thoughts on “Recognized by a fan”

  1. Ha! That’s so fun – now that I’m in Portland, I run into people I know more often than I like, but in LA, it happened maybe once!

    I was thinking about you the other day (but not in a street-corner stander kinda way) and thought that you should tell me when you’re going to do your South Dakota marathon – because I would totally come run that with you – I know no one else in the whole world who would do a marathon in South Dakota. 🙂

  2. Hahaha, aww that’s so funny!! That’s cool that he recognized and remembered you though, you must have made an impression on him 🙂

  3. Hilarious post….I love how he referred to you as the “Marathon Girl”….If I was you, I would have thought I finally made “A List” Celebrity Status as well…

    You are on your way!

    – Gillian (

  4. Lol!! What are the odds 🙂 I think the strangest encounter I had was when I was hiking in Cinque Terre (on the west coast of Italy) and I bumped into this guy I knew back in high school in the states!! (I had since gone to high school in Canada as well). It was soooo random!

    And I have to confess…I am afraid of homeless people as well…One of them followed me shouting at me one time because I had ignored him!!

  5. Hey, you’re famous in our world, Laura! It’s ok that you haven’t been a “run a holic” lately. You’re getting your life in order. By the way, let us know when you’re selling autographed pics!

  6. I have been reading for a while, first time comment-
    As I fully admit I am a blog ‘stalker’, I sometimes worry if I recognize someone in Central Park I may talk to them like an old friend! ha.

    Now that I have outted myself- If you’re ever looking for a running partner or someone to motivate you to run, let me know!

  7. HA! Wow, that is totally random. I seem to have complete strangers come up to me all the time thinking that they know me. I feel like I must have a very average face or something. Too cool that you ACTUALLY were recognized!

    PS. Is is bad that I said “that’s what she said” in my head when you talked about being on the street corner even though I knew exactly what you meant?

  8. I’ve had a similar run-ins here too. People from high school just come out of the wood work. Actually, I took a look at facebook the other and realized that most of my friends from back then are now in the NYC area.

  9. LOL- That’s great! I shamelessly plug my blog at races now. “Hi. I’m Denise. You should read my blog, Run DMT.”

    Since I can’t afford fancy embroidered running gear, I think I’ll start writing “Run DMT” on the back on my leg, like they do for triathlons.

  10. Aww nice! See, you’re famous 😉
    On the comedy club promoter thing…BF and I were in NYC last month for the first time, staying in Times Square, and they were EVERYWHERE!! At least they’re friendly and not hateful. We used the “stare straight ahead” tactic and it worked very well.


    hasnt happened to me yet…and Im always such an unorganized scattered mess Im glad 🙂

    have a great weekend,


  12. If it makes you feel any famouser I was discussing the NYC running blog community phenomenon with a friend, and I mentioned that I’ve actually met people from here, and came to find out that she’s actually an avid reader of yours. It actually made me feel slightly cool through association. Slightly. Don’t let it go to your head through marathon girl.

  13. Very entertaining post! I see how you might’ve thought his reference to you as “Marathon Girl” was a sign of celebrity status, lol. They always say “It’s a small world,” but what a coincidence, in NYC of all places!

    And also, I say go for the marathon again. Who knows, maybe you’d develop a band of “followers” similar to the man you mentioned. 😉

  14. first, I really like your blog. I’m working on getting more fit myself and love reading about what other people are doing and just about 20 somethings and how they are surviving.

    I have a newbie blogger question though, how did you get multiple pages like your PR and running pages? I would like to add a page to my blog, but can’t figure it out. Thanks so much for your help in advance.

  15. To everyone: I suck at posting. Hopefully will be getting my act together tomorrow.

    To Lo: I can’t get to your blog to post there because it’s invite-only, so hopefully you see this! To make multiple pages, I just made regular posts and then backdated them to 1985 so they wouldn’t show up in my main posts. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to get 1985 to not show up in my archive list, but other than that they’re fairly well hidden!

  16. Thanks so much Laura, sorry that my blog was hidden. I think it is viewable now, but I’m still figuring it all out. I appreciate your help! Hope to read more about running and training.

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