Expectation and Reality of Becoming a Runner

EXPECTATION 

REALITY

Nothing makes my blood boil faster than a picture, video, or article that makes running seem easy and effortless. Running is ANYTHING but easy and effortless. Becoming a runner is next to impossible for a hell of a lot of people (myself included) so someone please explain to me why we put up with brands who make running seem like a walk in the park? 

I never thought I would become a runner because my experience was NOTHING like the expectation video you see above. I couldn't run for 30 seconds without having to stop to catch my breath. It took me 4 years and 5 marathons to feel confident enough to run in a sports bra! When I was first getting started, I had shoes from Nordstrom Rack that were a two sizes too small, cotton socks that never matched, two sports bras with holes in them, maybe three from target, and two pairs of leggings. I felt like a sack of bricks moving through peanut butter, my face was always redder than a beet, and I produced enough sweat to end a drought. I walked 90% of my runs and I still felt like I was going to die. How I stuck with it through those first initial painful weeks of "running" is a miracle.  

I love inspirational content. The workouts in the expectation video are great! They work...once you've developed both the physical and mental the strength to make them happen. Just promise me that you won't let the fact that you can't run for 30 seconds discourage you! Everyone has to start somewhere! My road to becoming a runner was a total struggle but if you're willing to fight for it, you'll be knocking out a 5K before you know it! Be patient and celebrate what you can do. 

Shoutout to all the big brands, if you could stop making running seem effortless, that would be awesome. 

Feel proud that you're out there trying. That's a huge win!

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

**Produced and shot by Mayuran Tiruchelvam
www.Mayurantiru.com
https://www.instagram.com/mayurantiru/

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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 the Pain With Dr. Bob

In the past 72 hours, I went from crossing the finish line of the Philly Half and hoping that I never have to run again to deciding that I didn't want to qualify for the Boston Marathon during the Chicago Marathon, to feeling panicked, to feeling proud, to feeling terrified, and back to feeling excited about toeing the starting line of Chicago again. Yup, it's been a whirlwind 72 hours. 

I had an "aha" moment while I was talking through what when down during Philly with Dr. Bob. I realized that I've been holding myself back from really pushing my limits during my tempo and track workouts. In order to run faster, you don't just have to run faster, you have to get used to pushing the limits of your pain threshold. I don't really like doing that. Pain is scary. Pain and discomfort aren't fun because I've never had to push through them to fight to see how far I can go before. Whenever it happened, I'd grab my camera and use it as an excuse to get comfortable again. 

When I hit my threshold during a workout, I take a tiny step back and stand just behind it. It's the reason the Philly Half left me so freaked out. I found myself at my limit almost at the beginning of the race and I had no clue how I was going to hold on. It was the first time I had to stay uncomfortable in order to hit my goal and it wasn't easy.

I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that embracing pain doesn't have to be something I suffer through. Dr. Bob touches on this in our talk but by reminding me to stay present, grateful, and focused on my form, he has helped me find ways to get comfortable in the pain. But it's hard to trust your effort when you feel like you're going to gas out! I struggle because I don't trust myself to keep fighting. During Rock n Roll Philly, I was convinced I was going to pull back. But somehow, I didn't. 

It really reminds me of the will power I experienced when I was first getting started as a runner. Running 30 seconds was almost impossible. I'd finished completely out of breath and my legs felt like they were going to fall off. But over time, the discomfort felt less and less intimidating and running five, ten, and then thirty minutes non-stop became my new normal. Establishing normal and pushing your threshold takes time. It's not ideal that I figured this out five days before my taper begins but at this point, I just have to trust my training. 

This is why I'm really, really grateful that I had my coach Josh Maio. It's thanks to Josh's coaching and his weekly plans that I know that I'm ready. And looking back at what went down during Philly, I now sort of trust that when push comes to shove, I can hang on when the effort level creeps into uncharted territories.

The secret to running faster isn't running faster, it's running smarter because your physical strength isn't going to get you to the finish line. Your mental resilience will. We don't know what we're truly capable of until we find a way to get our brains to say yes. 

Easier said than done!

17 days to go. There's no holding back now. I've come too far to shy away from that threshold. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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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.

I Want You to Start Today

I spent a long time defining who I was and what I was and wasn't capable of doing. I wasn't athletic or a runner. Working out and getting active wasn't something I did to make myself feel strong, healthy, and capable, it was something I did to try to lose weight. So I dreaded dragging my butt to the gym to workout. I never felt like I was thin enough, pretty enough, or good enough.

I always thought that if I could fit into a size 2 or 4 HELL EVEN A size 6 pair of jeans, I'd be happier. I'd finally be able to look in the mirror and feel like I was desirable. It really wasn't until I started running that i realized how wrong I was about myself. Running wasn't impossible. Once you get past the first few weeks of "everything hurts and I'm dying", running and being active can actually be really fun. 

The hardest part is getting started. There's no avoiding it! The mental and physical strength running requires doesn't develop overnight. There's no shortcut or pill you can take to make the process any less difficult. But anything worth doing won't be easy! It takes time to get used to the repetitive motion of putting one foot in front of the other or to develop the physical strength to be able to run a mile without needing a walking break. I get emails every day from people who feel frustrated because they need walking breaks. I STILL TO THIS DAY TAKE WALKING BREAKS. Since when is walking a bad word? Taking a minute to catch your breath so that you can get back after it isn't something you should ever feel defeated by. Celebrate the fact that you're working to put your strongest foot forward.

For anyone who is incredibly good at telling yourself that you'll start tomorrow, I challenge you to start today. What do you have to lose? Go follow @PSYouGotThis on Instagram and join our community of runners of all different fitness levels. It doesn't matter if you can't run down your block, we all have to start somewhere. All you can control is what you can do today. Set a goal, look in the mirror, and make a promise to yourself that you're going to make it happen. You're not alone. We're here to help you every single step of the way!

Ready?

START HERE. 

This training plan will get you on your feet. Just focus on today and keep putting one foot in front of the other! Don't worry about having the right clothes or equipment. Just go. You can do it!

Every Tuesday and Thursday on WomensRunning.com, Project Start is sharing a new story about getting started and putting your strongest foot forward. Keep your eyes peeled and spread the word! We want to encourage people of all different ages, athletic levels, and backgrounds to give running a shot. It may not be easy but if you stick with it, it just might change your life.

PS, you got this!

Kelly Roberts

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.

Thank You

I'm not the best at responding to every single amazing comment or thought left on Run, Selfie, Repeat's Facebook posts, Instagram posts, blog posts, tweets, and daily vlogs. But I do see and read every single one of them and they always leave me feeling incredibly fortunate to have the Run, Selfie, Repeat community. 

There was a moment during the Rock N Roll Philly Half that really helped me push when I wanted to quit. We were passing mile 3 and I already felt like crap. But a woman running next to me got my attention. I took my ear bud out to say hi and she told me that she was pulling for me. That you were all pulling for me and that you all believed in me. I wish I could have stopped to give her a hug because I often forget that I'm not alone. I know it's true but it's really easy to get frustrated with the business side of things and forget the big picture. That was just the reminder I needed to embrace the pain.

I'm not sure you'll every be able to truly understand just how much you all mean to me. My birthday is always a bit of a tough day for me. It's hard not to feel sad that my brother isn't with me anymore and as I was starting to sink into the fog that grief brings, I read your supportive comments and birthday wishes. Your comments and emails helped me feel grateful instead of sorry for myself whenever I started feeling like I wanted to get back into bed.

Whenever I hear or read that you're getting ready to run your first 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon or when you're chasing an impossible goal, every single one of my own personal problems disappears. Because that's why I continue to keep Run, Selfie, Repeat alive. It's because of our community that I continue to struggle to make ends meet or work crazy hours. So I just wanted to take a second to say thank you because I need you all to know just how important you are to me.

Keep kicking ass. There's huge things coming...STAY TUNED!

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.

What Went Down At Rock N Roll Philly

The goal was 1 hour and 40 minutes. I wanted to run 1 hour 40 minutes. I was excited to run 1 hour and 40 minutes. But it didn't happen. I wasn't even close. I wish I could have recorded the things I said to myself during the 1 hour and 46 minute race. I don't think there was a single second that didn't require every single fiber of my being willing myself to keep going. I spent the entire time convincing myself that the pain and discomfort were worth it. That pulling back, slowing down, or even walking were a bad idea. It was hard. It was really, really, really f*cking hard.

I don't want to spend too much time talking about what went down. I said almost everything I want to say about Philly in my vlog but there are a few things I want to draw a circle around before I put this race behind me. 

1. You can only control what you can control.

This is something that Dr. Bob has been helping me come to terms with for weeks but it came full circle on race day. It was hot, humid and anything less than ideal. Everyone told me that the conditions were going to be rough. I didn't freak out. I didn't pout or let it get to me. I focused on controlling my effort level and not giving up when everything hurt and I felt like dying. But it wasn't impossible. And even though time felt like it was moving in slow motion, I crossed the finish line knowing that I gave 100%. And I feel really good about that.

2. Embracing the pain is a lot harder than it sounds.

If someone can give me a shortcut that helps me embrace the pain, that'd be great. Because that hurt...a lot. Like a lot, a lot, a lot. And what's really frustrating is that it wasn't even that my legs were really fatigued, my brain was in pain. I spent way too much time trying to convince myself that I had to keep going. That giving up wasn't an option and that I wasn't a quitter. And what's REALLY shitty is that after the race, when I went to hang out with my friends, two of the elite dudes were there and asked me how it went and I was like, "what the hell. How do you embrace pain because that sucked." And they just laughed and were like, "RIGHT? YEAH IT DID." WHAT THE HELL YOU GUYS, THAT DOESN'T HELP.

3. Don't let the time define your success.

I F*CKING PR'ED AND YET I SAT THERE THINKING DAMN, I DIDN'T HIT MY GOAL. I'm not disappointed in myself, I'm disappointed that I actually thought that. What a terrible, awful thing to say to myself and I am really grossed out that I let that happen. So what if I didn't run a 1:40. I gave every single ounce of myself and that was a personal best effort. It was hot, muggy and awful but I didn't give up. AND I walked away with a 1 minute PR. That's a huge win and I'm proud of it.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was totally freaked out after I crossed the finish line. There was no way I would have ever been able to run 13.1 more miles on Sunday. None. I wanted it to be over the second I hit mile 6. So to think that in less than 3 weeks I have to run twice as far much faster is terrifying. And for a second, I was like BUST SOUNDS REALLY GOOD RIGHT ABOUT NOW. I did the work, I'm ready to go but I'm good. I don't want to do it anymore. But that's the fear talking and I have a feeling those doubts are only going to amplify the closer we get to race day. 

This is the hard part about chasing down a goal. It doesn't matter how hard you train or work, you'll never be able to escape the doubts and the fear. Should it rear it's ugly head, you just have to acknowledge it and remember that you've done the work. All you can do is do your best. Push yourself further than you think you can. We're so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Just show up, give 100%, and see what happens. There's no turning back now. It's all going to be over before I know it. No regrets right?

BQ OR BUST.

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.

My Birthday Wish

I've always believed that kids have one job, to be kids. Their job is to learn, ask questions, laugh, get frustrated, discover, invent, and imagine. Growing up, things weren't always easy. I was incredibly lucky that I was surrounded by a matriarchy of strong and powerful women who went out of their way to shield us from what was going on. And while it was impossible for us to not understand that things weren't smooth sailing, we knew we were loved and supported no matter what happened. 

Not every kid has those resources. So many children around the world don't get to be kids because their job becomes surviving. It's hard for me to stand on a platform and ignore my obligation to do something to contribute to the world I want to live in. It's the reason I'm so open and honest about my own doubts, insecurities, and shame. It's not easy to share pieces of me that I've hidden or felt insecure about for so many years. But it's liberating to be able to air out what I once thought were skeletons in my closet and opening up has been rewarding and liberating. 

But I want to do more than just share my story with hopes that it empowers or inspires. So many people around the world need help and one group in particular who I feel compelled to advocate and fight for are children. It kills me that millions of kids don't get to be kids. It physically pains me to know that children wake up in fear for their own safety and survival. And it hits way to close to home to know the terror and agony parents face knowing that their children may be taken from them before their time.

That's why I chose to dedicate my 2016 fundraising efforts to Save the Children

Save the Children is a life changing charity who goes in and fights for kids both in America and all around the world. $40 can provide children with mosquito nets keep them safe through the night. $75 can educate a girl with the books, learning materials and school access needed to learn and thrive. $80 can provide a family with a goat and two chicks for life-changing results. $200 raised can help provide ready-to-use food to help save malnourished children. $300 raised can help provide healthcare essentials to a school clinic serving hundreds of children. A little goes a long way and every single donation helps.

Save The Children

After my brother passed away, birthdays took on a new meaning. It's easy to not want to celebrate life when something so awful has happened to you. But I think it's important to do just that, you have to celebrate the time you have. And to help me celebrate another year, I hope that you'll find it in your heart to make a tiny donation to help Save the Children give children a fighting chance. No child should ever have to suffer and your donation can help make that happen.

Thank you for following my journey and for supporting me every step of the way. 27 was a tough but incredible year and I hope 28 is even more exciting and challenging. Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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.

Running Is Anything But Effortless

It frustrates me to no end when I see ads that portray running as this fun and effortless act. They showcase two types of runners, impressive athletes who are busting their asses and demonstrating their strength and resilience or it's a solo runner or a group of runners who make running look like a fun and effortless walk in the park.

I'd see someone in an ad, wearing their matching outfit, smiling and stretching, and I'd think, my socks don't even match and my yoga pants have holes in them...Then the runner would take off on cloud 9, casually bouncing down the street and I sure as hell don't look like that when I run. 

Running is ANYTHING but effortless. Sure there are the incredibly rare days when I take off, blink, and I'm done but a couple dozen not so fun runs were endured to get to that magical run. It took MONTHS before I didn't feel strange and uncomfortable running. I still laugh whenever I see myself run because I look like a newborn giraffe trying to figure out how to walk. But I don't care. I love to run and I really don't care if I look like a fool when I do it. 

Don't feel discouraged if a two minute running interval feels impossible or like you're moving through quicksand. You don't have to be a graceful runner. Those people exist but it's OK if you're not one of them. I'm not and look at how much fun I have! 

Running Is Fun

All you have to do is make it happen. Getting started isn't easy! Running is anything but effortless. But stick with the tough runs, they'll make you stronger. Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat. 

2 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.

Introducing Project Start

I will never forget the first day I went for a run. It was Thanksgiving morning. I was drowning in grief and I felt like I needed to move. The gym was closed so I put my shoes on and decided to go for a run.

I made it to the end of my block before I had to stop to walk. Out of breath, I turned around like I always did when I remembered that running was impossible. But then I stopped. Suffering through a painful run felt easier than going home, getting back into bed, and dissolving into a puddle of tears. So I turned back around and decided to keep going.

I walked to the top of the hill, ran a little, walked walked a lot, and didn't stop until I got home. It took me about an hour to go three ish miles. But when I got home, I felt like a tiny bit of the fog had dissipated. I don't know what made me think, "That was painful. I think I'll do it again tomorrow", but I did. I kept going.  

Not a photo of new runner Kelly. This is I've been running for almost 4 years now Kelly.

Not a photo of new runner Kelly. This is I've been running for almost 4 years now Kelly.

I was never an athletic person. I never thought I would be able to have fun running. But after getting through a few weeks of really boring and painful runs, I started enjoying myself. Running taught me that anything is possible if you're ready to do the work and put doubt behind you. 

I want to introduce you to the movement that is about to drop kick every single member of the I f*cking hate running club's world.

DRUMROLL PLEASE.

Introducing Project Start. 

Project Start: You Got This is a running initiative created by my lady pal and magical human being (OK and she's a supermodel) Candice Huffine in collaboration with Women’s Running and the mission is simple. Encourage and inspire all women to lace up and just START! The hardest part about running is getting started. I hated running for weeks. HELL, there are still days when I want to set every sports bra I have on fire and just cut my losses but the one thing that no one tells you is that running isn't impossible, it just isn't easy. And running is infinitely less sh*tty when you have a world wide squad ready to help you kick ass and take names. That's us. We're ready to support and empower you.

Everyone has a story. LIFE IS HARD and sometimes it's even harder to figure out how to take that first step. There will never be a better time than right now to get started. Tomorrow is going to come whether you want it to or not, why not do everything you can to be a little stronger tomorrow than you were today? Why not? What do you have to lose? The only way you'll fail is if you fail to try! 

So brace yourself because Project Start is about to get started!

Go follow @psyougotthis on Instagram to follow the upcoming #psyougotthis series! It's going to be amazing. We're stronger together!

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.