I wanted to write something really funny about running. I like to joke a lot on a run – the fart stories make the miles pass quicker and the laughter helps me forget the pain. So much of running is spent in this solitary environment – just you and your thoughts (and maybe a murder podcast if you’re trying to keep the pace slow).

Instead I ran my first race in a couple months this weekend and have spent the next 24 hours thinking about my team. I thought about the miles I ran with my sister-in-law, who was also racing beside me, and the hours we’ve spent sharing stories about our children, and how they fail to sleep at night, or the funny things they said most recently. I thought about how at the start, I got to talk to another teammate, wearing the same Oiselle singlet as me, and how her presence helped calm me. Although within the first 400m of the race I wished I had actually put on the no-tie shoelaces onto my shoes as they had already come untied. Next time Lindsey, I promise to try them out finally. After the first loop I thought about another teammate and how she had once again predicted a faster pace than what I thought was possible. She’s also the one who has seen me emerge from the dark woods yelling triumphantly that it was only a fart! Gas is gas, but it’s never to be trusted after three miles. Or maybe two depending on what you ate earlier that day. And then I got to think about another teammate (coughSophiacough), who came sprinting half-way down the BIG hill only to be greeted with a hurried ‘I hate you’, and then she turned around to run back up this BIG hill and continued to pace both of us through the end of the race. I told her I was so grateful she was there while we were still busting it up that hill. Maybe she ran a step or two ahead of us the entire way, which normally would drive me crazy, but this time I was just grateful to see someone familiar making it look so easy.

After the race I was done pondering. I was sweaty and salty (so salty) despite it being February. On the walk home it was back to the usual – joking about chafing and children coughing directly in your mouth. The pain of the race had faded so quickly, but the camaraderie and willingness to endure the insanity of running with each other had not.