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If you follow our social media or have read this blog for a while, you already know that since the Sydney marathon I’ve not been running long.

In fact the greatest distance I’ve done since September is 10 kilometres and that was mostly a walk with some gorgeous OpMovers anyway.

I’ve spent the past twelve weeks in a program designed to build muscle, reboot metabolism and increase strength. But bulk gains mean no endurance running, because doing so would be counterproductive. I’ve done sprints, tempos, fartleks and the like, but only one naughty easy 6k that I snuck in because I felt like I desperately needed it for my head.

I went from running 40 – 50kms a week to 5, and it was a hard adjustment to make. Luckily my personal trainer is about the best guy I know right now, and fun to hang out with even when he’s making me lift up really really heavy things. Otherwise I don’t know if I’d have lasted this long without losing it a bit. It could well be argued that I have anyway.

Not doing easy runs meant that I lost my zen time. My processing and having ideas and learning and being ME time. The past few months have been the most challenging of my life on a personal level, and I’d given away my best strategy for dealing with things.

But in the process, I was getting physically stronger through lifting. And that strength translated to increased self confidence, which in turn led to the understanding that I am emotionally stronger than I ever believed possible. I don’t think I’d have learned that, had I not stopped running.

So now I’m at the end of this particular program, and this weekend I’m heading to the Gold Coast to watch my endlessly patient, eternally giving and downright brilliant Zoey run her first ultramarathon. While I’m there, I’m taking on a 15k myself.

I don’t know how I feel about it.

I have missed long runs so much, but I don’t know if I have it in me. Logically I know that my legs still work and will take me 15kms one way or another, even if I walk some of it. But running isn’t just a physical thing, it’s an emotional one too. This will be my first real run since my world shifted forever, and I have a fear that all the emotion of the past few months will come tumbling out and stop me in my tracks.

I have no time goal. I’m not setting myself up for anything other than crossing the line.

But I’m as nervous as the first time I pulled on my trainers and decided to learn to run. More so maybe, because this particular run marks the beginning of what will be an epic 5 month training program encompassing strength and power work with my PT as well as a LOT of long slow kilometres as we begin the build for Comrades.

So if I pop up on your Instagram or Facebook this weekend looking all bright and confident in yet another half face selfie, chances are unless it is Sunday afternoon, I’m freaking out a little on the inside.

Thank goodness I know I’ve got my team. I know you’ve got my back. Because this feels like the first step of a brand new life for me, and it is exciting and terrifying and I just want to get it right this time.

Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. Zoey Dowling

    I honestly believe you can do this. Your body is strong, the distance isn't a worry at all. There'll be emotion, let it come and then breathe it away. You and Zoey will have so many cheerleaders right there on your shoulder. If you want to go far, go together Xo

  2. Zoey Dowling

    I honestly believe you can do this. Your body is strong, the distance isn't a worry at all. There'll be emotion, let it come and then breathe it away. You and Zoey will have so many cheerleaders right there on your shoulder. If you want to go far, go together Xo

  3. And my shoulder will always be there if you need it. Challenges in our life are sent to test our ability - and we increase our strength and ability to meet the challenges. Life is about learning and dealing with the new - often we don't like the new but it's a challenge to be faced and conquered - you can do this because you ARE strong. You are stronger than you know or realise. I doubt your nerves are worse than mine about Sundays race - maybe made worse because of the great run that I had last night - I wish I could bottle that and bring it out on Sunday - then I wouldn't be nervous at all !!! Have a wonderful day xox

  4. And my shoulder will always be there if you need it. Challenges in our life are sent to test our ability - and we increase our strength and ability to meet the challenges. Life is about learning and dealing with the new - often we don't like the new but it's a challenge to be faced and conquered - you can do this because you ARE strong. You are stronger than you know or realise. I doubt your nerves are worse than mine about Sundays race - maybe made worse because of the great run that I had last night - I wish I could bottle that and bring it out on Sunday - then I wouldn't be nervous at all !!! Have a wonderful day xox