Introducing the Run, Selfie, Repeat Podcast

IT'S HERE! It's finally here! Exciting news podcast lovers, because the Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast is officially live! What is a podcast? GREAT QUESTION, it's this audio feed that is super complicated to figure out how to put onto the internet and then distribute to multiple different apps and feeds. BUT, so far, it is going to live here in the "Podcast" section of Run, Selfie, Repeat, iTunes, and Google Play.

Now, what can you expect from this Podcast? WELL, you can expect weekly talks with author, runner, funny lady, and Run, Selfie, Repeat creator Kelly Roberts (that's me) about life, liberty, and the pursuit of our happiest, strongest and most vulnerable selves. 

Sounds like fun, right? Well, in case you can't tell, I'm really excited about this launch. Being able to talk about the things I write about brings the vulnerability to a whole new level that I'm really excited to explore with all of you.

Episode 1 - Leap of Faith

Episode 2 - Self Confidence

So, do me a favor and go subscribe, give it a listen, and then give it a 5 star review on iTunes or Google Play.

Exciting times! 

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Coach Josh's Tips On Embracing Hill Repeats

by Coach Josh Maio (AKA Coach Squatch)

Hills glorious hills … you avoid them whenever possible, you dread them when you look at the elevation charts of races, and they are the bane of your existence.  I bet most of you just threw up in your mouth a little just thinking of your “favorite” hill just now.

I know, it’s disgusting.  

As part Sasquatch, my long-given nickname, hills are part of our natural habitat and we love them, but it wasn’t always the case.  I too had a major aversion to hills for a long time, but eventually came to see the light of the truth--

No matter how much you hate them, hills will make you a better, stronger, and healthier runner.

It sounds ridiculous and there's no way to sugar coat it but I assure you, embracing the hill helps. Don’t believe me? Here’s why..

hill repeats

Reason #1 - Hills are incredible for building leg strength and endurance, not to mention the fact that they work your stabilizing muscles and are amazing at keeping your legs healthy and strong during training.  I mean, who doesn’t want strong legs?  Not everyone likes going to the gym to do squats and the like, so why wouldn't you do more hill work? Truthfully though, hills will keep you healthy throughout training.

hill repeats

Reason #2 - Hills are a close second to long runs when it comes to training your mind for a half-marathon or marathon.  You have to love hating them. They can be difficult and sometimes, they just might break you. But they can also be a place where you can gain a psychological edge over the other runners on the course.  

I was a longtime hill hater until one day it just clicked when I realized just how much other people hated them. So I decided that hills would be the thing where I would try to excel while others crumbled.  If you train hard on hills, they become your friends and turns out, they're the great equalizer come race day!! Furthermore, what goes up must come down and those downhills give your legs and lungs the opportunity to recover a bit whilst maintaining your pace.  

Train your mind for this work and it will serve you well for any race you look to take on.

Mindsets for Mastery (Say these things to yourself whenever you feel the urge to crawl into the fetal position mid repetition like Kelly does...):

Kelly LOVES hill repeats.

Kelly LOVES hill repeats.

  • The faster I get to the top and get it done the sooner it is over.”

  • I REFUSE to let the course beat me.”

  • My personal favorite,“This is where I will pass the most people and intimidate the pack.” Hill Shaming is a thing … don’t be #hillshamed, do the hill shaming.

  • And if those don’t work, just do what my team, Gotham City Runners, does, and just blame me. Scream out, “I HATE YOU, COACH SQUATCH!!” … doesn’t always help though, just tends to be a waste of oxygen.

hill repeats

Reason #3 - We all want to look effortless when we run, just like a gazelle, and hill work is a good way to get us there.  Hills are a natural way to improve your form as your body is forced to run on the mid to forefoot, maintaining good posture as you climb, driving your knees, using your arms/hands to help with pace. By focusing on all of these different mechanical pieces and working on the efficiency of your form you will be that much stronger of a runner than the runners who avoid hills.

So what are some of the things you can focus on to help improve your hill shaming prowess? Here are some tips from Coach Josh/Squatch for the next time you are hill running.  Test drive some of these and you'll see EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

(You’ll be surprised how well they actually do work.)

  1. Pushing Is Better Than Pulling: A simple way to think of this is which is easier: pushing or pulling someone on a bike up the hill?  Pushing is ALWAYS easier.  Adjust your posture so you are driving up the hill, leaning into it a little (think Olympic Ski Jumper), and feel your foot strike, which should be roughly mid to forefoot.  Another little trick to this is tilting your head down so your eyes train on a spot on the ground roughly 10-feet in front of you that way you have that additional 10-11 pounds of weight moving forward rather than dragging behind you.

  2. Focus On Your Arms: When your legs start to fail, your arms will see you through.  It’s an interesting mental trick to focus solely on your arm swing instead of being hung up on your fatiguing legs.  Really hone in on what your arms are doing and how you are swinging them and your legs will just keep doing their job.  What should you focus on exactly?  Relax your shoulders and arms, your hands and wrists should graze your hips as they swing, and keep the elbow angle at about 90-degrees. Key in on your forearms swinging from parallel to the ground to perpendicular and your biomechanics will keep your legs on task.  

  3. Drive Your Knees:  The flatter the stride is the harder the climb will be.  Drive your knees and enjoy the equal and opposite reaction as they propel you up the hill!!  Also, not to go back to them again, but your arms will help with this as well.  The harder you pump them, the more drive your legs will have.

  4. Fast Hands = Fast Feet: The faster you pump those arms, the faster your feet will move, and the quicker the turnover, which means the sooner it’s over!  Also, quick, short strides equates to greater uphill running efficiency, which means you’ll be able to run faster longer.  

  5. Speed Up Your Breathing BEFORE You Even Get Working: Try speeding up your breathing rate before you even start fully climbing so when the work starts you aren't fighting for air when your body needs the oxygen.  There is nothing worse than being a quarter of the way up a hill and already feeling like you need to lay down and roll back to the bottom, because you are completely gassed.  Speed up your breathing and, despite how goofy you will feel for a few moments, once the uphill work begins you won’t have to deal with that big gasp for air that inevitably comes about a third of the way up and completely throws off your rhythm.

  6. Work BEYOND the Crest: One of the most common mistakes in working hills is taking your foot off the gas before you even hit the top.  It’s common to let up when you realize that relief is coming at the apex and you are so close, but what really happens is you actually slow down too soon, kill your pace, make yourself work harder getting to the top and after it, and spend the next quarter mile trying to get your breathing settled and finding your running rhythm all over again.  DO NOT LET UP until you’re about 50-100m AFTER the crest that way you maintain your pace and rhythm you fought to achieve while starting to recover when the terrain flattens out and/or declines. Another place where focusing and using your arms come in handy.  I thought we were talking about RUNNING though?

hill repeats

LOVE what others HATE: This is one near and dear to Coach Squatch ... Hills are most often where people back off, fold, give up, or let themselves fade in a race. They are feared like nothing else and unjustly blamed for bad races, etc.  This is exactly why I love them.  There is something so satisfying listening to people gripe about hills being a problem and personally revelling in them.  Yes, this is usually followed by, “you’re nuts,” or “insane,” or something to that effect, but we’re runners, isn’t that who we are anyway?  This is the good kind of crazy and enjoy the hill shaming.  


This is Coach Josh telling me to stop feeling sorry for myself and start having fun. What a guy.

Coach Josh Maio is head coach and co-founder of Gotham City Runners. He's also the man who listens and makes Kelly laugh when she cries about how hard it is to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He's basically a saint. For more info on Saint Coach Josh Maio, you can contact him by clicking here.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Start This Month. We Dare You To #WinWithOne

Photo by Banga Studios

The hardest part is getting started. Getting out the door. Saying, "I'm never going to stick with this but screw it, I'm going to try anyways." 

It's easy to make running or getting active seem as simple as:

  1. Find and register for a race.
  2. Train for said race.
  3. Cross the finish line.

It's not that easy. Just figuring out how to get started and then stay motivated is the hardest part. It's difficult, that just knowing that quitting is inevitable stops a hell of a lot of people from getting to step 1. 

Look, I know how intimidating and overwhelming getting active can be for those of us who didn't play sports growing up or who actively avoided being active. It's the story of my life. I still to this day find it hard to believe that I enjoy running because I literally spent the vast majority of my life president of the "I f*cking hate running club".

After decades dreading anything physically active, I had grown to accept the fact that I would never enjoy being active. That working out was the thing I would suffer through for the rest of my life only so that I could try to lose weight.

Turns out, that's not the case. Learning to enjoy being active or running isn't impossible. It's just really, really hard.

There have been two times in my life where I was so overwhelmed with what I was trying to do that I actually didn't know how to take the first few steps. 

1. When I was adopting a healthy lifestyle change to lose weight.

and 2. When I started running. 

Both felt so impossible that I would try, fail, and quit multiple times. With my weight loss, it took 6 months of trying for a week and then quitting when I felt like I was a lost cause before I totally committed. The hardest part was convincing myself that the hard work was worth it.

And with running, there's a reason I ran both my first half marathon and marathon incredibly undertrained. It's because I'd get a month in and feel devastated when it wouldn't get easier, and stop running for a few days or weeks. I'd go out for a 6 mile run and end up crying on a street corner a mile or two from home overwhelmed and frustrated. I'd spend the long walk home convincing myself that running just wasn't for me.

(I'm embarrassed to admit this but just two weeks ago, I had a melt down and had to walk the final mile home sobbing. I was so frustrated that I was struggling so much that I was ready to call off training for my BQ attempt during this year's London Marathon.)

The point is, sometimes just getting started or getting started again can stop you from even trying.

If you're having a hard time getting motivated or finding the strength to fight through those first few really tough weeks, use a daily goal. Everything clicked for me when I stopped focusing on my end goal. Whenever I'd compare where I was at to where I wanted to be, I'd feel defeated and overwhelmed. I felt like I'd never get to the finish line so I started focusing on what I could achieve each individual day. Whenever I want to cut a run or workout short and do more the next day, I tell myself to do what I can today. So what if I'm tired, I can't control tomorrow. I can only control today.

So don't lose sleep over what you think you are and aren't capable of accomplishing. Set a huge goal that feels impossible, develop a plan to work towards it, and then take it one day at a time.

This year, Oiselle and the bad ass force of woman known as Stephanie Bruce are helping you kick ass and take names with #WheelsUp17. They're breaking the year into monthly challenges and February's challenge is #WinWithOne, where you vow to make one change that you will implement every single day for the month of February. It resonated pretty deeply with me because my hardest challenge has always been finding the courage to take the first step and then stick with it.

So this month, my goal is to find the fun in my workouts every single day. AND, this isn't a daily commitment but a weekly one, I am going to go to at least 3 barre classes a week. I avoid them because I feel embarrassed by how weak I am in class. I feel like every other word that comes out of the instructor's mouths is "Don't give up Kelly" or "You're doing it wrong Kelly" because I'm either struggling to complete what we're supposed to be doing or I'm doing it incorrectly. BUT, I know I won't get stronger and prevent injuries if I let my embarrassment get the best of me. EVERYONE has to start somewhere and despite the fact that I'm the only new person in class who gets called out every 5 seconds, it's because the instructor wants me to succeed. So I vow to go. And I vow to have fun doing it damnit.

Remember, January is over. We're now an entire month into 2017. Don't let the year slip away because you couldn't find the motivation to take the first few steps. Use this month to develop new habits. 

How do you plan to #WinWithOne? Maybe it's to do at least one 60 second plank a day for all of February (I'll join you on that one). Or maybe you'll throw in a run streak and run or walk at least 1 mile a day for every single day in February. Let @Oiselle and I know by putting your vow to #WinWithOne on Twitter or Instagram

Me after every single run. #RunselfieRepeat #sportsbrasquad #flystyle #runningishard

A video posted by Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts) on

This sh*t is hard. You're not alone. We're all struggling together to make tomorrow a lot stronger. 

3 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Embracing Your Best Means Failing Along the Way

Photo by Banga Studios

For as long as I can remember, I had unwavering confidence about what I wanted to do when I "grew up".

I wanted to tell stories about what it means to be human. 

But as I approached my college graduation, everything changed. Whenever anyone asked me what my post graduation plan was, I took a step backwards. My unwavering confidence was replaced with doubt. "I can't wait to do this" became "I can't do this". I was panicked, confused, and suddenly lost. 

I don't believe that there are right and wrong choices. I've experienced my fair share of trauma and hardships, and as difficult as it may be to understand what I've experienced and endured, I've come to understand that there are only better and worse choices.  

Running taught me that it doesn't matter if you feel like something is possible or impossible. What matters most is that you commit to try with every single fiber of your being.

Not a day went by where I didn't doubt myself or my ability to get to the finish line when I was training for my first marathon. I made every single mistake one could possibly make when training for and then running a marathon. Any running professional would have told me to wait until I was ready. But being underprepared, as stupid as it sounds, is why I needed to do it. I needed to prove to myself that it didn't matter whether something felt impossible, what mattered is that I tried and dared to fail. I needed to jump in head first and prove to myself that I didn't need to have things figured out before attempting something I didn't know how to do.

Over the years, I've found myself in situations that I was again wildly underprepared for both professionally and personally. 

I wasn't ready or prepared for my brother to die.

I wasn't ready or prepared to gain and then lose over 75 pounds.

I wasn't ready or prepared to become a professional in the running industry.

I wasn't ready or prepared to fall in love and then have everything fall apart when I laid my cards down.

I wasn't ready or prepared to move to New York City.

And that's not even the tip of the ice berg. 

Life isn't about being ready or prepared. I was ready and prepared to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time during the 2016 Chicago Marathon and I still failed to run my goal time. But even though I didn't do exactly what I set out to do, I don't have a single regret. I gave everything I had and I walked away knowing that even though I didn't BQ, it's not impossible. I just need to try again. 

Giving up is always an option. It's not a wrong choice, it just isn't the better one. 

Regardless of where you are in your life, what matters most is that you dare to fail because failure is inevitable. But even if you fail, should you finish knowing that you gave something your all, you won't have a single regret. It's a hell of a lot easier to brush yourself off and continue to fight when you know you gave everything you had. 

Always give 100% regardless of whether or not you think something is impossible. You can do anything you're willing to work for it. 

All that matters is that you say yes to yourself. 

It always starts with a first step.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Why Do You Push Yourself When It Hurts Like Hell

It's easy to lose sight of what you're chasing. 

I'm not an elite athlete. My finishing times and average pace per mile aren't exactly impressive to anyone besides me. But winning or being the best never motivated me to want to start running. Being the best version of myself did.  The more I ran, the more I started stepping outside of my comfort zone and proving myself wrong whenever I told myself that I couldn't do something.

Like the first time I ran 3 miles without needing to stop to walk.

This is so painful BUT I JUST RAN 3 MILES! I AM BASICALLY AN OLYMPIAN. WOAH WOAH WOAH.

A photo posted by Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts) on

Or the first time I ran a timed mile. (Only a casual 3 years after I started running...)

Or the first time I ran a sub 4 hour marathon, a feat that took 4 tries.

Hell, here I am crying my brains out after I ran a 3 hour 41 minute marathon last year. 

All the tears.

All the tears.

While a 3 hour 41 minute marathon isn't groundbreaking, it felt like a world record to me. It didn't matter that I was still 5 minutes off of my goal. I truly didn't believe I could run that fast. I didn't think I would be able to finish the training without quitting when the going got tough.  

And while time goals have helped me continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and re-remind myself time and time again that I'm stronger than I think, running what I think are really fast times isn't what keeps me going. That's just a piece of the puzzle. I'm inspired every time I tell myself that I'm not capable of something. 

That's why I'm trying to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time. Because I believed that it was impossible. That I'd never be able to take myself seriously enough to make it happen. 

And after one failed attempt and a really tough first few weeks of training, a part of me still isn't sure I'll be able to do it.

This weekend, I had my very first race of 2017 and my goal was simple, run as fast as I possibly could. My coach Josh Maio wanted to see where my fitness level is at and if I'm being honest, I needed a confidence boost. The way I've been working towards BQ or Bust, you'd think I was training for a world record. And I'm embarrassed that I've let my bad attitude influence my experience

Which is ridiculous because no one is forcing me to run. In the grand scheme of things, my fears and doubts about running faster aren't just petty, they're a little ridiculous.

So you could imagine how stupid I felt on Saturday night when I was sitting with my friends, explaining how I was dreading racing the 5K. I knew it was going to hurt and I was really terrified that I'd choose to get comfortable when the pain train left the station.

I couldn't stop asking myself why I was so nervous. It was just a 5K. My only job is to give it my all. No time goal just no regrets, no excuses. 

But the truth is, I was nervous my irrational fear that my athletic level isn't where it needs to be would be validated. I was nervous I'd finish knowing I'd given everything I possibly could and see numbers that were nowhere near where I needed to be running in order to qualify for Boston.

Luckily, before I went to bed I started pulling clips from last year's BQ or Bust vlogs for a project I'm working on. As I started watching, I quickly realized that I was neglecting the biggest lesson I'd learned from my first BQ attempt. That the only way I'll embrace pain and race my heart out is if I'm having fun doing it.

And saying that is easier said than done. It's hard to have fun when your legs feel like they're going to explode or fall off. Or when you can't focus on anything besides the voice in your head that is screaming, "SLOW DOWN! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS! THIS HURTS! STOP RIGHT NOW."

It took some practice but the best way to have fun when everything hurts and you feel like dying is to slap a smile on you face, tell yourself that you're going to fun 100 million times before and during the race, and then get REALLY, REALLY, REALLY present. Like "time is moving in slow motion" present. 

So I ran my warm up miles and toed the line ready to see how I do embracing the pain. I spent the first mile running just outside of my comfort zone but not in the place that is all out no regrets, no excuses. Basically, I was pushing my pace but was nowhere near the place where I feel like I'm going to puke or I ask myself how long I can hold it for. But that was fine, the race was 3.1 miles (5K) and I didn't want to go there until I was halfway in.

Unfortunately, I never got to go to that place because the course was off by over a half of a mile.

Once we took off, I quickly realized that there weren't mile markers and to add insult to injury, my watch was off. I was looking around the course for any sign of how far we'd run when we started approaching the finish line. I was confused. The clock read 17 minutes 50 seconds. There's no way in hell I can run a 5K in just under 18 minutes. That's 6 minute miles. 

Turns out, the course was about 2.5 miles and at first, I was a little angry. I paid money to run a race and I really wanted to push myself to see where I was at. I turned to my friend Rachel who ran with me and after maybe a minute of confusion, we turned around and went back out to get 3.1. 

I didn't get the test I wanted and yeah, that's a bummer, but I did walk away feeling really grateful that I didn't have to waste time not committing to having as much fun as humanly possible while I run down my BQ.

It doesn't matter what you're training for. Maybe it's your first 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon. Or maybe you're working towards a specific goal time; to break 2 hours in the half or to qualify for the Boston Marathon, at the end of the day, you have to know why you're doing it. Because if you don't want it for the right reasons, you'll never push yourself to the place you don't think you're capable of getting to. 

For me, I have to have fun because that's the best way to stay present when I get really uncomfortable and doubt set in. If I know that what I'm doing is going to be worth it, I end up enjoying my ride on the pain train.

It's a waste of time to spend the day before a race drowning in dread and fear. I know better than to doubt the work I've put in. The hardest part about running down a goal is training for a goal. If you give 100% in training, all you have to do on race day is go for it. You just have to trust that you're ready.

Running really is a mental sport. It's learning how to say I can do this and actually believe it when you look at your watch and see that you're behind. It's remembering that every painful step is worth it after you've spent months making sacrifices and working your ass off. 

If you can figure out how to have fun and enjoy the process, it's a hell of a lot easier to embrace pain.

You just have to believe in yourself.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

The Fastest Way To Get A Perfect Body

I'm tired of being made to feel like I'm not working hard enough because the bodies the women who personify "fit" or "in shape" don't look like mine.

I'm tired of feeling like I'm different because when I look around the room at an industry event, I'm the only without a stereotypical "runners body".

I'm tired of scrolling through my social media feed and seeing only highlights and never struggles.

I'm tired of people saying, "Giving up isn't an option" when I know from experience that giving up is always an option.

I'm tired of seeing young girls talk about feeling like they need to lose weight.  

I'm tired of seeing women tear one another down because they think they're in competition with one another.

And I'm really f*cking tired that I have to keep writing how frustrating it is that fitness brands fail to represent women of all different shapes, sizes, and athletic levels.

I remember when I was a brand new runner back in 2013, I was training for my first marathon. I was getting ready to run my first 15 mile long run and 15 miles felt like a pilgrimage. Before I left that morning, I woke my Mom up and nervously asked her to keep her phone near her just in case I couldn't finish and needed her to come save me.

I wore a fuel belt around my waist with a water bottle in it for hydration and as I slowly jogged up to my house, having successfully ran all 15 miles, my Mom snapped a picture of me approaching to capture my triumphant success. I remember looking at the picture, excited to share my accomplishment on Facebook, and feeling a tidal wave of embarrassment wash over me. Insecure and uncomfortable with how I looked, I asked her to delete the photo.

My fuel belt amplified my disgusting love handles and instead of seeing my strong body that was capable of running 15 miles, I saw my love handles that proved to me that regardless of how far I ran, I'd never look like a real runner. 

Looking back, it's not surprising that I was embarrassed by my love handles because no one ever gave me a reason to embrace them. Strong, in shape women don't have love handles. I know because when I scroll through the social media feeds of the brands and publications who have defined what fit and in shape looks like, it's photo after photo of the same exact body type. And when anyone who isn't rocking a low body fat percentage is represented, it's always a body positive post. 

And let me just say, I know how hard those women work for their strength. I'm don't want to discredit their drive and perseverance because in addition to being total badasses, I know how inspiring and motivating they are as well. But when we fail to represent a range of body types and experiences, we are telling women that how they look is more important than feeling proud of what their bodies can do.

Why do we continue to support brands who perpetuate the narrative that fit looks a certain way?

Photo by Oiselle.

Photo by Oiselle.

Why do we glorify people who share only their successes and not the soul crushing shitty days where you cry one mile in because your calves are screaming and you have to stop to walk? 

Why do we glorify diets and people who refuse to promote a balanced diet? 1,000 calories a day isn't what health looks like. Eating a well rounded diet of lean meats, fruits, veggies, and whole grains is. If I have to see one more health and fitness guru promote eating a burger without the bun, without the cheese, and without the sauce one more time, I'm going to explode. Have a cheeseburger every once in a while. You won't turn into a pumpkin when you indulge in moderation. I promise. 

My favorite part about running is that it's something that I'm not innately good at. I was never athletic growing up. I didn't play sports because I didn't enjoy being physically active. I used to force myself to go to the gym because I thought working out was something I should be suffering through so that I could lose weight and eventually look the way women who were in shape looked. I didn't think my body was something I should be proud of because I had love handles, cellulite, and stretch marks. 

Running taught me that that was bullshit.

Strength doesn't look a certain way, it feels a certain way. And as liberating and empowering as that strength feels, it's not easy to acquire. It requires hard work, perseverance, and sacrifice. But most importantly, it requires you to get honest, raw, and ugly.

For every win, share a struggle or a set back. Because it's in those moments of vulnerability that we really shine. There's nothing more gratifying than crossing a finish line but if I'm being honest, it's the moments that used to fill me with shame and embarrassment, like seeing that picture of me with huge love handles, that I find the most empowering and liberating.  

Anyone can be pretty and flawless, that's why photoshop is a billion dollar industry. But not everyone can stand proudly displaying the parts of themselves they've been told make them imperfect.

In order to destroy the idea that fit looks a certain way, we need to get real. We have to get raw, ugly, and vulnerable. 

Don't be afraid to share your doubts or insecurities. They make you human. And the more we talk about them, the less intimidating they'll feel. We'll never strip away the power they have over us unless we all decide that we aren't just enough, that we're already the best versions of ourselves. 

A perfect body isn't the one you'd think you'd have if you could hit your goal weight, it's knowing that you're doing everything you can to be the healthiest, happiest, most vulnerable, and strongest version of yourself possible. 

That's what real perfection looks like. 

Try it. See what happens.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.


Thank you GURMINDER BANGA for waking up at dawn and encouraging me to get as real, vulnerable, and ugly as possible. It's so rare to meet photographers who understand the beauty that comes from raw, unapologetic vulnerability. 

And thank you Oiselle for sponsoring this average 165 pound lady. I'm so honored to be apart of your badass lady gang. Thank you for embracing the shape of the everyday runner and understanding that we don't run to look a certain way.

13 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

When It Comes To Running, Attitude Is Everything

It happened about 12 and a half miles into my long run this weekend. I was running with arguably the world's kindest and most selfless human being Carlee Mcdot. Carlee, 18 miles into her long run, had just thanked a police officer for being out on the course and he told us, "Have fun!". I started to laugh like an a-hole and as he quickly tried to explain what he meant as we ran away, I yelled back that I was struggling but he was right, I should be having fun.

The problem wasn't that I wasn't having fun. The problem was that I've been suffering from a really bad attitude ever since I started training for this second BQ attempt.

The hardest part about running is always getting started. Regardless of whether you're brand new to the sport or if you're new to a training plan, building that first few weeks of physical and mental strength will crush your soul and leave you wondering why the hell you ever thought that running was a good idea if you don't take the necessary steps to work on your attitude. 

And that's where I'm at right now. I'm a little over two weeks into my training for the London Marathon and I want to set everything on fire. My easy runs are hard. My long runs are even harder. Oddly enough, my hard runs have been fun but it's because they force me to stay in the moment. I don't have the brain space to throw myself a pity party when everything is happening so quickly.

It's not a secret, running isn't easy. Even after you fight your way through the first really painful weeks, it still doesn't get easier. You just develop the strength, resilience, and confidence to actually enjoy the experience. But regardless of where your athletic level is at, if you have a bad attitude, you're going to have a bad time.

I realized that I was being a total Debbie Downer after running with Carlee this weekend. As I struggled to stay on pace, I watched Carlee thank volunteer after volunteer, offer support to other runners, and give out high fives to anyone that offered it. While I focused on feeling sorry for myself, Carlee stuck by my side the entire time. Around mile 9, I started telling her to leave me because I could tell I was slowing her down. I actually told her that if I were in her position, I'd leave me. Even after that, she wouldn't leave me.

But it wasn't until I turned full run monster on the Police Officer that I realized how bad my attitude was. Immediately, I understood why I've been crashing and burning on some of my easier runs. I have a bad attitude. And while taking your negative attitude and making it a positive one isn't an overnight fix, here's how to take your first steps towards turning your frown upside down.

1. Psyche yourself up for a workout.

Easy run or crazy intimidating workout, get excited. If you look forward to the time you get to spend kicking ass-falt, you're already winning. Early wake up call? Start telling yourself, "I can't wait to get out there." Fake it until you become it people!

2. Take "have to" out of your vocabulary.

I know this is hard because I'm still struggling to break the habit myself. You won't turn into a pumpkin if you stop running. Remember, no one's forcing you to do it. It's a choice. You don't have to run, you get to run. 

3. Investigate what's upsetting you.

Right now, I'm letting the fact that I took a break to recover upset me. I'm feeling frustrated that I took time off and lost fitness. I'm not running the mile I'm in, I'm wishing I were running the miles I was in a few months ago. Stay present. Stay focused. And don't forget to smile. It's a lot easier to enjoy something than it is to hate it which brings me to...

4. Make the choice not to suffer.

Remember this one? It's a Dr. Bob classic that totally blew my mind during my first Boston Marathon qualifying attempt. Right now, when my calves start to hurt mid run, I'm making the decision to suffer instead of giving myself permission to walk or run. I throw pity parties and yearn for easy running. Run the mile you're in and make the choice not to suffer. 

5. Find your badass lady squad. 

Dudes are always welcome to join a badass lady squad. 

When you're struggling, having a supportive badass lady squad is a game changer. They distract you when your mental game starts to waver and they build you up whenever doubt sets in. AND, let's be honest, it's just a good time whenever you get to be with your badass lady gang. Find people to run with if you can. Always remember that we're stronger together.

I know how hard it is to put on a brave face when you're having a hard time. But working on your attitude really does make a huge difference. If you're struggling to find your running mojo, start working on your attitude. Remember, running should be equal parts hard work and fun. It's a balance.

Head up, wings out.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

5 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.

Taking Flight, Why I Joined Oiselle

Why do I do this? 

That was a question I started to ask myself last year. I was working 15-20 hours a day building Run, Selfie, Repeat and BQ Or Bust. I was exhausted, overworked, stressed out, and discouraged. Blogging is hard. And I don't say that for sympathy. No job is easy. What makes my job is hard is finding the balance between selling myself and staying authentic. (And not feeling gross about selling myself.) As hard as it is to find that balance, the silver lining is that I go to bed every night knowing that I'm making a difference in people's lives.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I rarely say that I'm blogger. I say I'm in sales, marketing, journalism, and entertainment. And if I'm feeling really confident, I'll say that I'm an "athlete". (That guy is in quotes because I'm still insecure about it. Say what you want, I'm working on it.) This horse and pony show is a gamble. I'm constantly fighting with companies who want me to bare my soul, reveal my grief, my joy, and parts of myself that I spent decades shrouded in shame for free. And as much as I love inspiring and motivating people to say yes to themselves, it's really hard to do it when you're being taken advantage of.  My soul dies every time someone asks me when I'm going to get a "real" job.

Had I not been running towards BQ Or Bust, I'm not sure what the hell would have happened in 2016. I felt like the walls were caving all around me and as much as I wanted to just lay down and give up, I was running full speed ahead towards a BQ, this light at the end of the tunnel that helped me put one foot in front of the other.

But around September of 2016, I was ready to throw in the towel. I needed to step away to reevaluate whether or not Run, Selfie, Repeat and being a social media circus clown was worth doing anymore. 

Then I got an email from Oiselle

The two badasses who changed my life.

It's very rare to find a company who believes in and empowers women. Most brands run campaigns throughout the year targeting women, trying to sell clothing to women, but very rarely do you find a company whose mission is to connect, motivate, celebrate, empower, and inspire women to show up for each other.

Oiselle is more than just a women's apparel brand. They've built a diverse community of women and a space for them to pursue the strongest versions of themselves possible. Just looking at a roster of the women they support and empower is staggering. From Lauren Fleshman, Kara Goucher, Steph Rothstein Bruce, to ultimate lady boss Devon Yanko, these are women who not only kick ass and take names in the sport, but have found ways to empower and inspire women along the way with their grit, vulnerability, and tenacity. 

Having Oiselle invest in me and believe in what I'm creating is a difficult pill to swallow. Yes it's humbling and exciting but it's infinitely more intimidating and scary. I feel like I've just accepted a job that I'm not qualified for. (Which I know is my own insecure BS but I had to admit it.) I can't help but feel insecure about what I bring to the table. I'm not an elite athlete. Hell, I'm not a very good athlete at all! Right now, I'm struggling to run 3-6 miles. Why me?

And honestly, I started to back away because I was afraid of messing up. Of failing. Not living up to expectations. Of looking stupid and making this incredible brand that I look up to disappointed in me. 

I wouldn't exactly say that I'm a safe bet. I'm loud, opinionated, and hard to predict. I've worked with a vast majority of the big fitness brands and I can honestly say that I see the world and running very differently than they do. 

But Oiselle and I see eye to eye across the board.

Oiselle understands the everyday runner. They strive to showcase women of all different shapes and sizes. They're hard at work expanding their sizing in a way that will make women of all sizes feel strong, confident, and kick ass. And most importantly, they aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe in. I hope you all understand how valuable and rare that is because it's hard to march to the beat of your own drum.

When I first started Run, Selife, Repeat, the Editor and Chief of a huge big wig magazine brand gave me one of the worst pieces of advice I've ever received. She told me to do what everyone else was doing because if it worked for them, it would work for me. 

Oiselle isn't doing what everyone else is doing and honestly, that's why I believe in them. They're not encouraging their flock to share their picture perfect photos, they want you to get real. They want you to get ugly. And they want you to woman up. 

At my core, I'm an artist. Telling stories and exploring laughter, joy, sadness, despair, doubt, hope, hopelessness and everything in between is what I do best. It took me a while to figure out that that was my voice in the running community. That I didn't need to be the world's best athlete, or like anyone else. After the #SportsBraSquad was born, everything changed. I realized that while I will always be a champion for brand new runners, I want to do more for women as well.

2016 was an overwhelming year filled with some of the highest highs and pretty low lows. But going into 2017, I run stronger knowing that I not only have the support of my Run, Selfie, Repeat family, but in Oiselle as well. A badass tribe of trailblazing women who aren't afraid to ruffle feathers and stand up for what they believe in. 

I can't wait to share what we have in store for you. In addition to running full force towards qualifying for Boston during the London Marathon in April (#NoRegretsNoExcuses), I'm hard at work planning one of my biggest feats yet! Epic is probably the only word to describe what's in store. So stay tuned because big things are coming. 

One things for sure, we're starting 2017 off on a strong foot.

Oiselle 2016

Head up, wings out. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

6 Comments

Kelly Roberts

My name is Kelly Roberts and I am a 25 year old New York City resident. My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon. My blog, www.RunSelfieRepeat.com is bursting with humor and personal stories that lend an insight into the world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can and should fall in love with running. Though currently an avid runner, I never would have predicted I would run marathons. I was the kid who used to hide in the bushes or play dead to get out of running the mile in school. I HATED running. But running has given me a purpose. It’s shown me that I really am limitless. In the two years since I started running, I’ve run multiple half marathons, 10ks, and 5ks, and two full marathons. My mission is to inspire others to find the courage to say yes to themselves all the while making them laugh hysterically because laughing is the solution to everything.