Project 1:59: We're Breaking 2

Photo by Anna Jackson

Photo by Anna Jackson

Running keeps us sane and healthy.

It gives us a way to connect with both an incredible community of people and to the world around us.

But most importantly, it reminds us to chase goals that scare the shit out of us.

Maybe it's becoming a runner or completing a distance that you thought was impossible. With each milestone comes a stronger understanding of who you are and what you're capable of. 

It's inspiring.

And painful.

Terrifying.

And addicting. 

Running my first half marathon was a harrowing experience. I was undertrained and terrified that I wouldn't make it to the finish line. And at mile 11, I almost death marched off the course. But right as I was about to give up, another runner ran up beside me and told me that she was struggling. She said me that we'd been running near each other for most of the race and asked if we could run together. I told her I didn't think I could do it. But together, we made it to the finish line.

The same thing happened during my first marathon. Again, undertrained and overwhelmed, I panicked at the half way mark. Fighting back tears, I stopped to walk when another runner grabbed my hand and told me to run with him. He asked me if I was OK and then told me everything that I needed to hear. He reminded me that I wasn't alone and that I needed to believe in myself. And when he saw my fear turn to hope, he told me to have fun, and left me to finish the race that changed my life.

Here's the thing about running, despite the fact that it's a solo sport, there's strength in numbers. When I think about my proudest running accomplishments, they all happened because I had the support of a friend or a complete stranger who stepped up when they saw me struggling. 

Because that's what runners do, we support our people because we all know what it's like to spend months working towards a goal only to give in when the pain and doubts scream louder than your desire to succeed. It's devastating. And frustrating.

But when you have someone to lean on and support you when the pain makes you lose sight of your goal, everything changes.

Look, I get it. It’s hard to put yourself out there. It takes courage to tell your friends and family about an intimidating goal. It's hard to admit that you want it. I get it. The fear of failure is impossible to ignore.

But the only way you'll fail is if you fail to try. 

You'll never know what you're capable of unless you set out to find out. That's the point of an intimidating goal. 

And for so many runners, that goal is to break 2. 

It's a goal that according to Strava data, only 31% of women and 67% of men achieve. 

The first time I tried, I came really, really close. And the next? I bonked. And then I bonked again. It took me over 2 years before I finally broke 2.

Because the second we decide we want something we aren't sure we're capable of, a wall goes up. And every time we fail or fall short, that wall gets taller and stronger.

But the day I broke 2, I didn't do it alone. I had the help of my best friend Irene and my sister Samantha. Together, we were running the Disneyland half and even though we didn't run the entire race together, they set me up to succeed. They kept me smiling. And present. And most importantly, they helped me believe in myself.

And the second I crossed the finish line, that sense of accomplishment was unparalleled. It made every single failed attempt worth it because not only did I not give up, but I didn't have to do it alone.

And thanks to Strava's Project 1:59, you don't have to do it alone either.

Here's what's going to happen, myself and four other bad ass ladies are going to pace a giant group of runners to break 2 during the world's largest half marathon, the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon. Why? Because we're stronger together and we want to see you make your impossible, possible.

We aren't just going to pace you to your sub 2. We're going to build you up, remind you that you're a badass, and make you smile when everything hurts. Because breaking 2 isn't an easy feat! It requires persistence and patience. Courage and a desire to kick ass and takes.

And for those of you who aren't running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half but still hope to break 2, you can still join others from around the world who are ready to step up the pace, and challenge yourself to go beyond. Here's how...

Step 1. Join the Project 1:59 group on Strava.

Step 2. SHARE YOUR STORY.

Head over to the Project 1:59 discussion board and let us know what breaking 2 means to you. We're all running towards the same goal for a reason. We want to know yours.

Step 3. Share your tips, tricks, jokes, doubts, and fears.

Have a mantra that reminds you to dig deep and keep fighting when you want to pull back? Struggling to believe in yourself? Or maybe it took you 28 tries but you finally broke 2! LET'S TALK ABOUT IT. Get on those message boards and let us know how you're either planning to break 2 or how you finally did it! 

Remember, we're stronger together.

NO REGRETS. NO EXCUSES.

Welcome to project 1:59.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

BQ Or Bust: The Final Episode

When I decided to chase down impossible and try to train to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ), I didn't want to share the "best of" highlight reel. I wanted to show the doubts, the fears, the nerves, and what it was actually like for someone like me, someone who doubted that they'd ever be able to actually survive a track workout, to try to BQ.  

Once I started writing about the experience, I caught myself picking and choosing what to share. I immediately starting hiding how I'd give up moments into a workout. I didn't want to hide, I just couldn't help it. I was insecure. And afraid of being judged because I'm a voice in the running community. I'm supposed to be better than that. (This is stupid and something I used to tell myself. OK STILL TELL MYSELF. I'm human. I'm working on my inner critic.)

I didn't really know much about shooting a vlog. I didn't understand how difficult it was to record on the run and then spend a few hours editing a five to ten minute video. When sleep is the most important element of training, a daily vlog when you don't know how to daily vlog probably isn't the greatest idea. But, shooting the daily vlog was the best way to get absolutely real, raw, and vulnerable with all of you and I don't regret it for a second.

SO MUCH has happened over the last year. I had to move out of my apartment. I couldn't find a new one. I didn't get enough sleep and I spent so much time stressing about making ends meet that I almost quit blogging entirely. Because I was so stressed out, my grief was difficult to manage. It's impossible to condense the sheer magnitude of what I experienced over the last year into one video, but I wanted to try to share some of the moments that really stood out to me. 

The moment I met my coach Josh for the first time. The first time I ever really told anyone (my PT Mike) that I wanted to try to qualify for Boston. And the first time Dr. Bob told me about making the decision not to suffer. Or a few of the very many f-words that got bleeped (or made the cut) along the way.

The last year has been anything but easy. And the only thing harder than trying to BQ was trying to film myself trying to BQ. But a few weeks ago when I started watching the BQ or Bust vlog again to try to pull clips for the final episode, it was amazing to see that the mental struggles I'd already fought through were rearing their ugly heads once again.

Doubt.

Pain.

Fear.

Self-defined limits.

A fear of failure.

A fear of succeeding. (I've yet to talk about this and it's the only piece of the experience I didn't open up about. But I had/(have) a real fear of actually succeeding. Sounds stupid, but it's still something I'm trying to wrap my head around.)

And redefining success and failure for myself.

Last year, Dr. Bob gave me the gift of no regrets, no excuses and it's something that has bled into my everyday life both professionally and personally.

So often we step just outside of our comfort zones and convince ourselves that that's good enough. But BQ or Bust taught me what it's like when I live the life I deserve to be living instead of the one that I've convinced myself that I'm happy with. Every day was terrifying and a tiny bit overwhelming. But personal growth will not happen unless you challenge yourself. Sure, it will probably scare the shit out of you and you'll doubt yourself every step of the way but there will come a point where you'll look back and feel devastated that once upon a not so long ago, you struggled to believe in yourself.

Impossible goals are the best kind of goals because they show you what you're capable of. It doesn't matter whether or not you do what it is you set out to do. All that matters is that you had the courage to show up every single day and give your best effort. 

Am I devastated that I didn't BQ? Yes. Am I heartbroken that I didn't have the race I worked and sacrificed for? Absolutely. But this ache I feel is human. You can't hide from it. And knowing that I had the courage to go for it is infinitely easier than how it feels to give in to fear and hold yourself back. 

There's a line in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that I think about whenever I start to give in to my doubts, fears, or insecurities--

"Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe."

This is the beauty of no regrets, no excuses. As long as you give your best effort, whatever that means to you today, you absolutely cannot fail. It doesn't mean you won't feel pain or disappointment, it just means that you won't have to look in the mirror and see someone who is too afraid to believe in themselves.

There can be joy in pain. Or pride in disappointment. There are too many grey areas in our lives for it to be so black and white.  

I'm allowed to be disappointed that I gave up on myself so early on during the London Marathon. But I'm also allowed to be proud that I didn't give up and went on to kick ass in those final 3.2 miles. 

I'm not giving up on my goal to BQ.

I'm not going to stop running.

I'm just recovering.

You can't run for life unless you take care of yourself. I want nothing more than to go out and find a marathon to re-try in a month. But I know how terrible of an idea that would be. My tank is empty. I need to recharge. It takes great courage to employ patience. And that's what I'm going to do.

Thank you for joining me over the past year. It's been one HELL of a ride. Today, that once impossible goal doesn't feel impossible. I know I can do it. It's just a matter of time.

This final episode of BQ or Bust is dedicated to everyone who has the courage to chase impossible goals.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

What The Hell Happened During The London Marathon

I don't know where to start.

And while I figure out what to say, I'm just going to take this opportunity to say thank you.

Thank you for your support, your words of wisdom and guidance, and for sharing your stories with me so vulnerably over the past year. 

I have so many thoughts swimming around in my head and whenever someone asks me how I'm feeling, I can't bring myself to say anything besides disappointed. I'm really, really disappointed and I know that I shouldn't be, but I'll explain soon. Until then, I'm giving myself permission to feel whatever it is that I'm feeling. 

Thank you for joining me on this wild ride. Thank you for setting huge, impossible goals alongside me.

I'm not giving up on this impossible goal just yet. Just taking some time to brush myself off, tend to my heart, and pull myself out of this funk. 

It wasn't the race I wanted but I think London was absolutely the race I needed. 

It was really hard to get to a place where I was brave enough to admit how badly I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I've never ran with the strength and confidence I have right now. And to have it all derailed because of a tiny injury is heartbreaking. 

I let my entire experience go to shit because I felt embarrassed that I disappointed you all. It took me 20 miles to find this smile. 

We'll talk as soon as I'm ready to get really real about what the hell happened. If I were to do it now, I don't think I'd be able to do my heart ache justice. BUT, I am proud of the day. I'm amazed that I didn't quit and walk off the course. That was a huge win. 

And this happened so...it wasn't a bust.

Kelly + Prince Harry Forever. 

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

Running Unapologetically, My Road To The Boston Marathon

One year ago, I experienced my first Boston Marathon.

KellyKKRoberts Boston Marathon

I remember standing on the sideline, holding my race day sign, and thinking about how different the race felt. Every single runner was radiating joy and gratitude on an abnormally warm spring day. The smiles here felt warmer, the cheers were louder and the high fives were more energized. My heart raced all day and as I fell asleep that night -- I couldn’t put into words what I’d experienced.

Before watching that Boston Marathon that day, I had run 5 marathons and had cheered runners on at a few more. But I completely underestimated how inspiring it would be to witness the Boston Marathon in-person.

KRoberts Boston Marathon

There’s something different about the people who toe the line of the Boston Marathon. They don’t just run, they run unapologetically.

KRoberts Sarah Attar Womens Runing Bobbi Gibbs Boston Marathon

Before Patriot’s Day 2016, I’d look at a Boston Marathon qualifying time (BQ) and think, “I could never run that fast”. Just five months prior, I had accomplished a years-long goal of breaking 4 hours and that feat was one of the hardest accomplishments of my life. In order to qualify for Boston, I’d have to run a marathon 25 minutes faster.

Did I think I could run a BQ? No. And while I was afraid of how difficult it would be to shave 25 minutes off of my marathon time, I was really afraid of how ashamed I’d feel if I put myself out there and then quit a month or two into training.

But I promised myself that I would at least try to do anything I didn’t think I was capable of accomplishing after I ran my first marathon. And when I caught myself telling my friends that I’d never be able to take myself seriously enough to BQ -- I knew I had to try.

I understood that the process would be physically and mentally difficult. I knew that it was going to be the fight of my life. What I didn’t know was just how hard it would be believe in myself.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to run your first 5K or if you’re trying to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time, we’re all fighting to push through the exact same doubts and fears.

It was eerie how similar trying to BQ was to what I experienced when I was first becoming a runner. Regardless of how trivial or inconsequential becoming a runner or BQ-ing was in the grander scheme of things -- they both felt equally overwhelming. Failing and quitting was always an option and for months, my doubts were louder than my desire to succeed.  

But, there’s something to be said for having the courage to step so far outside of your comfort zone that everything is foreign. Sure, it’s really scary and harder to navigate because you don’t know what to expect; but it’s liberating to know that if you give your best effort, incredible things will happen.

(Can we acknowledge how strong my calf muscle is right now? Who knew so much joy could be obtained by seeing your strong calves?) Photo by Banga Studios

(Can we acknowledge how strong my calf muscle is right now? Who knew so much joy could be obtained by seeing your strong calves?) Photo by Banga Studios

Today, I understand why Boston Marathoners run unapologetically and with so much joy and gratitude. It’s because they’ve all had the courage to fight through the endless barrage of doubts and fears that come with trying to make an impossible goal possible.  

It’s absolutely true that the things worth doing will be the ones that scare the absolute shit out of you. The last year I’ve spent dedicated to running my BQ has been anything but easy. I’ve doubted myself into oblivion but I’ve proved to myself time and time again that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.

But the surprising thing I’ve learned is that my BQ is no longer about running a specific time. It’s about running unapologetically and knowing that I did everything I possibly could to show up to the starting line of the London Marathon the strongest version of myself possible. And I don’t just mean going 100% when I run. That means forgiving myself when I need more time to recover and rest. Getting enough sleep. Reaching for foods that don’t just taste delicious, but fuel my body. (Can we just take a second to acknowledge the new CLIF Nut Butter Filled Energy bars? HOLY MOLY, if you’re looking for a pre-run or post run bar that tastes like heaven, go grab a chocolate hazelnut butter CLIF BAR. They’re life changing.) And doing the not so fun parts about training like planks, squats, and strength training.  

There’s so much more to running down an impossible goal than just running faster. It’s why I decided to stop saying “fast” and “slow” when I talk about how I run and use the word strong instead. Or why I ask my friends who tell me I look skinny to instead tell me that I look strong. Strong is a feeling I’m working towards. It makes sense to me. And it keeps me motivated to keep fighting when the going gets tough and you start to doubt whether or not you will succeed.

There’s nothing worse than limiting what you’re capable of or feeling like you want to quit on yourself. And I know I’m not out of the woods yet, but being able to spread my arms wide and proclaim that I believe in myself is a feeling I hope I will never, ever forget.

Whenever you find yourself saying that you could never accomplish something that feels impossible, ask yourself what you stand to lose if you just find the courage to try.

KRoberts bq or bust CLIF BAR

To hell with realistic goals, I say keep it impossible and dare to fail giving it everything you have. Will it hurt like hell? YES. Will you doubt yourself every step of the way? YES. Will you look back and wish you would have believed in yourself sooner? HELL YES.

No regrets, no excuses.

Here’s to running unapologetically.

*Sponsored by CLIF BAR. (PSA-- I’m serious when I say that those new Nut Butter Filled CLIF BARS are the most delicious things on the face of the earth. Go try the Hazelnut ones. Go get them right now. They will blow your mind.)

*Sponsored by CLIF BAR. (PSA-- I’m serious when I say that those new Nut Butter Filled CLIF BARS are the most delicious things on the face of the earth. Go try the Hazelnut ones. Go get them right now. They will blow your mind.)

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

The Flat Stomach Secret That Will Change Your Life

Growing up, these are the women I aspired to look like.

It killed me that my body didn't look their bodies. And as a young girl, I didn't understand what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle. So I did what girls who desperately wanted to be skinny did, I crash dieted, used diet pills, and built an unhealthy relationship to my body image. All in the pursuit of a flat stomach.

See that cutie on the far left, that's me.

Fast forward a decade, a 75 pound weight gain and subsequent weight loss, and here I am today.

Not before and after pictures. Just me in two different stages of my life. 

Former president of the I f*cking hate running club, a 3 hour 41 minute marathoner, and a US size 8-10. The closest thing I have to a flat stomach is what I call Loch Ness Monster abs; abs that appear in a few photos and are no where to be found in real life. And I love my Loch Ness Monster abs because I work my ass off for the strong body that I have today. The big difference is that I'm not motivated to lose weight or try to hit a number on a scale, I'm motivated by impossible goals to redefine what I'm capable of.

Today, I don't feel embarrassed by my belly rolls, love handles, stretch marks and cellulite. You see, running taught me the flat stomach secret that changed my life. 

This body can run a 6 minute 39 second mile and 3 hour 41 minute marathon. See those body rolls? I'm not ashamed of them because I'm strong as hell.

That I don't have to have a flat stomach to be strong and healthy.

HEALTHY. A word we rarely see the health and fitness industry promote despite the fact that it's literally what the health and fitness industry is built on. But health doesn't sell. A healthy lifestyle that takes months to adopt isn't as exciting as "Lose 20 Pounds in 4 Weeks" or "Miley Cyrus' Flat Stomach Secret". 

Ladies, when are we going to start speaking out against the idea that a flat stomach is something we should spend our days aspiring towards? 

I don't care what the number on the scale says or what size you are, the only thing you should be working towards is the strongest, healthiest, and most confident version of yourself possible. You don't need a six pack to be strong as hell. Strength doesn't look a certain way, it feels a certain way.  

My favorite part about the body positivity movement is that it puts an emphasis on embracing and loving the body you have. Because if there is one thing I've learned from losing over 75 pounds, it's that you'll never be happy unless you learn to really love where you're at today. 

But loving the skin your in is just step 1 of the process. Step 2 is doing everything you can to put your strongest foot forward. 

That means setting eating healthy foods that fuel your body and setting goals to redefine your limits. Like running a 5K, half marathon, a triathlon, or finding a dance class that you love kicking your ass in. Working out shouldn't be something you do to lose weight or look a certain way. Is it shitty to get started? Sure is! But if you can stick with it for a few weeks or months, the strength you'll build will help you realize that you don't need a flat stomach to feel proud and empowered by your body.

The best kind of confidence comes from knowing that you can do really hard things. That you're doing everything you can to work towards a stronger tomorrow.

We'll never see the health and fitness industry change the way they talk about women's bodies unless we tell them to. All my life I've been told what strength looked like and it never looked like me. I may not have a flat stomach, but today I know what strength looks and feels like. And it's what I see when I look in the mirror.  

Enough with the flat stomachs. Enough with this idea that unless you're a sample size, you're not fit. 

Sure, it's one tweet. But Shape Magazine has been empowering women of all different body types with their #LoveMyShape body confidence campaign. So what the hell happened? Maybe it was one overworked social media manager who didn't think twice about a late night scheduled tweet. But it's frustrating to see a publication who has been doing so much good promote flat stomachs.

 I refuse to stand by and let another generation of girls be led to believe that their worth is tied to their weight or dress size. What about you?

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

How To Deal When An Injury Derails Your Training

The past two months have been wonderful. I finally started trusting myself and what I'm capable of, and I really started embracing my strength. I stopped panicking (for the most part) before my scarier runs. I started to believe in myself. And I embraced pain like a Real Housewife embraces a new housewife, I tolerated it but I sure as hell didn't like it. But I dealt. And the best part is that I've gotten really strong. 

So I took off to run a friend of mine this past weekend and we had a strong as hell long run. I surprised myself because the entire way, I doubted that I could run that fast. And when we finished, I felt like I could do the entire thing again. It was a best case scenario for my mental game going into my last week of training before tapering for the London Marathon.

Then came Monday and a 60 minute easy recovery run. I took off, made it up the block, and realized something was wrong. My piriformis muscle, which always gives me a hard time when I train as hard as I am, was acting up. (This is why Finish Line Physical Therapy said we should be doing these 9 exercises every day.) I tried to make it a mile to see if the stiffness and pain would dissipate once I warmed up and stretched. But it didn't. I was in a lot of pain and I made the really hard decision to call a car, go home, and rest.

It sucks when things don't go according to plan. It sucks when you spend months working towards a goal, get really close, and then have to bench yourself because you get sick or injured.

Now, this is a best case scenario. Nothing is broken. I could have push through the pain if I wanted but I've been through this enough to know when to sit back and help myself to a serving of humble pie. So with the guidance and support of my Coach Josh, I've been hitting FlyWheel, stretching my ass off (literally), foam rolling like it's going out of style, soaking in epsom salt baths, and resting. 

And yesterday, even though I know everything is going to be OK, I realized I was having a hard time trusting the process. So I called Sports Psychology wizard Dr. Bob for some insight. (Have you subscribed to the Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast on iTunes or Google Play? Check it out for short pep talks about life with a side of running.) 

Look, shit happens and yes, it really sucks when it does. But it's like Dr. Bob said, give yourself permission to freak out because you can't predict the future. It's impossible to know how your set back, speed bump, or detour will impact your goal. But as long as you do everything you can, you'll be ok. I would much rather be out there crushing my tempo runs and mileage this week instead of laying on a foam roller. But yoga, foam rolling, voodoo banding, eating REALLY healthy, and resting is everything I can do to get myself ready to race my face off. So that's what I'm doing.

Trust your strength and know that these set backs, speed bumps, and detours happen to all of us. Always expect the unexpected. Yes, they suck, but it's all about how you handle them.

So chin up. There are healthy miles are ahead. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

You Have To Believe In Yourself

Had I known eleven months ago what I know today, I can't help but wonder what would have happened during my first BQ or Bust attempt.

I knew that training to run a 3 hour 30 minute marathon was going to be exceptionally difficult physically. But I wasn't prepared for how hard it was going to be mentally. Just this past weekend, I had my last shorter long run (I say that delicately because I know a 14 mile long run for some of us is insanely far. But when you're 4 weeks out from a marathon that you've been working towards for 11 months, 14 miles is a welcome relief from 20 miles. Distance, pace... it's all relative.) I was planning to run with my friend Jeanie who is not only a  strong runner but she always helps me believe in myself. 

Last week, Jeanie told me that she wanted to run 8 minute miles and immediately, I caught myself defining myself. I didn't think I could run a normal long run that fast so I said that I would stay with her as long as I could. And then I actively worked towards having a good attitude about it. 11 months ago...hell, even 2 months ago, I would have panicked. I would have allowed this fear of "I can't do that" and "that's terrifying" to keep me up at night. And then I'd feel like crap because I'd scare myself out of trying.

I see this all the time, both in myself and from the emails that get sent to me from readers, even though we put in the work, the hardest part about climbing self doubt mountain is believing in ourselves. To not only say, "I don't know if I can do this but I'm going to try" but then take the next step to say and believe, "I don't know if I can do this but I've worked my ass off to get here so I bet I can".

Why is it so difficult to trust that our training is actually preparing us? That's why we do it, right? To build the strength and confidence necessary to kick ass and take names?

I hate that I struggle to believe in myself. This entire training process, Josh has been trying to find a way to make me care more. And after I ran the New York City Half Marathon this past March and couldn't care enough to push the final two miles to run sub 1:40, he told me that he wished that that would make me angry. Because it was frustrating that I didn't care more. And I was a little disappointed, but he was right, I wasn't caring enough. 

But watching myself actively work to not believe in myself, that pisses me off more than any failed BQ attempt or missed goal. Because at the end of the day, if there is one thing I know how to do, it's believe in myself. My livelihood depends on it. My heart and soul depend on it. Listening to myself doubt whether or not I believe in myself lights a fire under my ass like non other.

No more.

No more pity parties. No more giving in to uncertainty. 

It's no longer fake it until you become it. Because I know I can. I've done the work. I've seen the progress. Now I have to trust that I'm there. 

Try it with me. 

No regrets, no excuses.

 

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.

To Empower Girls and Women, We Have To Show Them Their Strength: GOT Bras

I was 12 years old when I got my first sports bra. My friends and I had decided to go as the Spice Girls for Halloween that year and despite the fact that I wasn't very sporty, I could still do a backhand spring. Because I fit the bill, I was nominated to be Sporty Spice.

Sporty Spice

And I was excited. Sporty Spice always wore a sports bra, comfortable pants, and adidas shoes. Not only was I going to be comfortable, but my outfit put me in the best position possible to run and get the most candy. 

I asked my Mom if she could help me find a Sporty Spice outfit and even though she was a little disappointed that I didn't want to be something she could make, she agreed to take me to Target to find my first sports bra and some cheap track pants. My Mom found me a bright blue sports bra and navy track pants with piping on the sides that matched my sports bra on the sale rack. I envisioned how cool my friends and I were going to look as I ran towards the dressing room. 

I excitedly wiggled into the sports bra and pulled on my new Sporty Spice pants and felt my heart drop out of my chest when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I didn't see a strong Sporty Spice staring back at me. I saw an awkward tween with a chubby belly, little love handles, and flat chest. 

Going through elementary school, occasionally I'd get teased by my friends whenever we'd get into a trivial fight. They'd call me hippo and when it would happen, I'd try to brush it off. I loved running in elementary school and I was still one of the fastest in our class. Whenever I'd feel self conscious that they called me hippo, I'd remember that I was still faster than they were. 

But that changed when I got to middle school. I wasn't as fast as I was in elementary school and for some reason, running was a lot harder than it used to be. I was slow and I could barely run a mile without having to stop to walk. And that day, looking at my reflection in that bright Target dressing room, it was the first time I remember feeling like I did look like a hippo. 

I didn't have the heart to tell my Mom that I was too insecure to wear only a sports bra and be Sporty Spice, so we purchased the outfit and once I got home, I quickly asked my friends if I could be a different Spice Girl instead. 

KRoberts sports bra

I wouldn't find the courage to ditch my shirt along with my insecurities for another 15 years but when I think back to 12 year old Kelly, standing alone in a dressing room, looking at her reflection and feeling ashamed, my heart breaks.  

I wish I would have kept running. I used to think that in order to be a runner, you have to be born a runner. And because running stopped being so easy for me, I convinced myself that I wasn't athletic and that sports weren't for me. And I regret that decision wholeheartedly because I would have learned that my body and my weight wasn't something to feel ashamed of. Or how rewarding and empowering it is to be active for the right reasons. 

And while I can't go back in time, we can help young women today feel strong and empowered by their bodies for what they can do instead of feeling insecure about what they don't look like. 

Today, Oiselle launched the GOT (Girls On Track) Bras charitable donation program. The GOT Bras mission is to help girls stay active and see physical activity as lifelong pursuit. Oiselle is planning to donate at least 2,000 sports bras in 2017, and to share educational content about how to accurately choose and fit a sports bra, and understand our changing bodies. Then in 2018, they plan to increase donations and produce "first-bra" designs just for girls.  

Image by Oiselle

Image by Oiselle


Receiving a sports bra at the right time can make a difference in how young girls view sports from that point forward. Oiselle’s goal is to remove the barriers in that formative moment, and to encourage lifelong sport participation. The lifelong benefit of sports has been well documented, driving higher rates of physical health, educational and professional success, spiritual well being, and reduced rates of health problems and illness.
— Oiselle, GOT Bras

Getting your first sports bra can be a really uncomfortable subject to breach! Not all girls have a parent or guardian there to help them understand the changes that are happening with their bodies. Because so many girls feel self conscious about their boobs (myself included), it leads to a decrease in participation. 

Getting to be apart of this program gives me hope that we can help teach the next generation of girls that their bodies are strong and capable and that there is not a single part of it that they should be ashamed of. 

The reason I love running so much is that it gives women a way to see how strong they really are. And to help give that gift to young girls who will go on to have a healthy and active life knowing that they can do anything they put their minds to? That's just icing on the cake.

So get excited because GOT bras is shaping up to be one hell of a program! It's just taking it's first steps now, so CLICK HERE and take a second to read more about the future of GOT Bras!

OR, if you know an organization who would make a great partner, share your nomination with Oiselle by CLICKING HERE.  

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.