I was checking out my timehop the other day, as you do when you have heaps of stuff to do and therefore are in desperate need of procrastination and I found a run from last year. No photo to go with it, just the entry on strava, which I have to say is excessively odd.


Do you see that one thumbs up? On Strava that’s called Kudos, and the person who gave me kudos for that run was Kate. Now if we fast forward to a year later and I have this. You’ll notice there’s an instagram picture for this one. Much more familiar territory.


I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I can now run 21km in the time it used to take me to run 14km. Or the fact that in 9 months I’ve taken 30 minutes off my half marathon time. But the fact is I have had people holding my hand from the very beginning.

At first it was just Kate, but now it’s the community she created as well. In my world, running is a team sport. The team is what gets you out the door when you really don’t want to. The team is what gives you self belief when you are wavering. The team will encourage to do things that you are scared of and they will make sure you rest when you need it. And without the team I would never have gotten off the treadmill. I am certain of that.

And when you say to the team the idea of going out and holding a 5:10 pace for 21.1km makes me want to vomit, they will tell you that you will do it anyway. And you will do it anyway, because they told you that you would. And when you do achieve a goal, no one will cheer more loudly than them, because they know how much you worked for it and what it means.

I would struggle to remember the time I did for my first half marathon now. I know it was around 2:18 or something but I don’t actually remember what the time was. I do remember crossing the finish line holding Kate’s hand. Because that’s what meant something to me.

And now when I go out for a great run I know that if I take a cool picture Emily is the one who is going to appreciate it and if it’s hilly then Taz will understand the awesome.

I highly recommend a team for learning to run. They will propel you forward, they will keep you on track, they will cheer you harder than anyone else and one day you will look around and realise it’s not a team, it’s a family.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. I so hear you on this. When I was running 10km races (and doing 20km training runs for them !!) - it was my team at the time who helped me finish those 20km runs - when I wanted to just stop and phone for a lift, they kept me going until I got home. For me running is DEFINITELY a team sport !! Have a wonderful day. Me xox I'm off to buy my Garmin either tomorrow night or Sunday - a belated birthday present because poor old A wasn't able to get to the shops before my birthday - can't wait !!!!

  2. Also in that run from last year you didn't have a Garmin (WTF?) and you weren't wearing shoes. You've come so far ;) But in all seriousness....its because of the Op Move team that I even consider myself a "runner", and its the team that I think of when I force myself into the garage to do weight training at 9pm in the freezing cold, and its the team that makes me smile when realise I haven't bought non running clothes for 12 months, and its the team who first hear about it when I bust a PB. And I bet my husband loves the OpMove team too because otherwise I would talk to HIM about running every single day. GO TEAM!

  3. Zoey Dowling

    Fantastic post Zoey! It is definitely the Operation Move team that keeps me going when it's hard - I think of various members and their achievements, I think of what they will say when I check in and say I did it and I get added motivation to take part in events because I will be able to run with them or cheer them on :D Fantastic team and so happy to be a part of it!

  4. This is so spot on. As are the comments. Meisha: I'm laughing so hard right now. The plight of the poor husbands if it weren't for OpMove.

  5. I wish I had a community like or had known a bout this group when I first took up running back in Oct 2012. My Running journey has been a solo one. While I've accepted that, there are moments where having someone by my side (besides my kids, and my now husband, by my the side lines), while running would have made me push myself that little bit more.