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. 

Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. Glad you made the right decision for you. Enjoy the half. xx

  2. good on you for listening to your heart, I don't know anyone who is the same person they were 6 months ago. We change, we grow and we evolve. Enjoy x

  3. Kate, you are always amazing. Congrats on making a hard but good decision, and for living up to what you are promoting through OpMove. It sounds like things are going well now, and I'm so happy for you xx

  4. What is right for one is not always right for the other. Well done on acknowledging that. Good luck with your half! You'll kill it, and then it will be amazing to have someone cheering the full marathoners over the line!!!!! Have FUN!

  5. Beautifully written Kate, good on you for your honesty and following your own path and not what you think it should be but infact what it needs to be right at this point. Never say never, and this may be a change that leads to something you hadn't even anticipated yet. Alli. xoxo

  6. I can relate to that feeling. I haven't run since my half marathon at all. I spent the rest of last year beating myself up about it, the start of this year trying to convince myself this year I can do it and by March I'd found acceptance. Acceptance that I just didn't want to. I've well and truly had a break now and I'm looking for something. I don't think running is it (for the time being). I played my first game of netball last weekend and am excited to be a part of a team, looking forward to that commitment to move. Still in search of that fitness / happiness combination but I think I've reached the point I'm prepared to look. Good luck Kate.

  7. It takes a very strong women to acknowledge and follow through with the choices you have made. What a strong example you are x

  8. I think this is such an important post. i want all the world to read it. i think it is important because of this. you are enough. every decision we make every single day as mums is scrutinised. perhaps scrutinised the hardest by ourselves. i love that in the end you chose you. over feeling guilty, you chose you. the best decision of all. congratulations. you just won the marathon. xxxxxx

  9. You nailed it when you said you aren't who you were 6 months ago. I used to love my running, now I love my crossfit and I'm sure in a couple of years I'll transition into something else. I've learned to make peace with the fact that I love variety and not to agonize over the fact that I liked to move on while others were happy to stay doing what they did. Nothing is as constant as change (a poet said that, not me!) and its now my mantra. So proud of you and Zoey. You two are an inspiration xx

  10. Geez, I wish I could articulate what my brain wants to say properly in words...I'll just sum it up... I totally get it, I really really do. Big love xo

  11. Just like your other post failure is not failure (only if you let it). The decision you made is the right one. Why continue on doing something that will end up making you hate the thing you love. Love what you do, and do what you love. Life is all about reassessing and making compromises, no shame in that.