This is a really hard post to write.
I have all the feels going on at the moment. I have cried until my eyes are red raw and I have weighed up my options over and over again. But in the end all it took was Zoey giving me permission to set myself free, because I wasn’t able to do it for myself.
I’ve pulled out of the Great Ocean Road marathon.
And the Gold Coast Marathon too.
All the marathons.
After months of training and nearly a year of looking forward to 45kms with my beautiful friends Zoey, Emily and Lee, I have dropped back to the half marathon. If dropping Comrades was hard, this decision was absolutely heartbreaking.
I could tell you it is because of all the training I’ve missed, and certainly that was the crux of my concern to begin with. Having lost a fortnight whilst adjusting to my anxiolytic medication and then another fortnight to the flu; battling to fit in my long runs whilst my children adjusted to having moved across the state, starting at new schools and kinder and coming to accept that the separation between their father and myself is permanent; fighting to stay on top of my own mental health whilst managing a household and attempting to continue to build my business as well… all of these things played a part certainly.
But the truth is a lot simpler and a lot sadder than that.
I just don’t want to do it.
I absolutely want to share the experience with my friends, and prove to myself that I can, and cross that finish line with them.
But I don’t want to run. Not like that. My heart just isn’t in it any more.
For a little while now I have been waking up on gym mornings and punching the air, super excited to get there and start lifting. I’d wake on long run days and from the get go it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was still loving the feeling of achievement at the end of the run, and the zen of getting in the zone… but the time it was taking when my time is so incredibly limited already, together with the feeling that it was becoming a chore rather than a desire, meant that the enjoyment had gone.
Zoey knew all of this before I was willing to acknowledge the truth and as always had the grace to let me figure it out and then gave me an easy out. Well as easy as a decision like that could ever be, which is not very easy at all. But the fact is the entire point of Operation Move is that we want women to move in ways that they love and which make them feel strong and empowered… not because someone else is doing it no matter how much they admire and love those someone elses.
I still love to run. But when my week had nothing shorter than a 12k in it and every run felt like it was for an outcome and not for joy, well the joy was lost I guess.
Having not run at all for a fortnight, I hit out on a long run this week and knew from the outset that I wanted to run a half marathon, just for fun. And it WAS fun. I enjoyed every step even though it was challenging. I loved doing the distance that I WANTED to do and that my body felt good doing. I loved not feeling like death that night as well, and still being able to look after my kids and run around the park with them rather than put my legs up and sulk. And I knew I was doing the right thing.
So the decision was made and I cried a lot, probably not nearly as much as I will watching Zoey, Lee and Em cross that finish line in May. But you know what? I’ll have run a half marathon with some beautiful OpMovers and enjoyed it. I’ll be waiting with water and coffees and all the hugs for my friends, and I will be so proud of them for doing it.
And I will be proud of me for not doing it.
I guess sometimes leading from the front means taking a step back, and I’m not the same person I was six months ago. And both of those things seems pretty fine with me, actually.
If you’d like to learn to run for the love if it because it is what YOUR heart desires, our May e-course is now open for registration. Find out more here.