What to Expect When You're Injured

Captain's Log Day 3. It's my third day without running and I am losing my damn mind. What sort of life did I lead before my commitment to spandex and Asics shoes? I have all this time! I mean what does one do with all this time!?! Taking time off because of an injury sucks. It's the worst. Here's what you can expect:

1. Extreme Boredom.

Expect lots of pouting. I hope you like restless leg syndrome because you are about to develop it.

2. You Have Time To Catch Up With People or Date.

Oh hey significant other, what's your name again? The ONLY plus side of taking time off is that you get to socialize with people. But baby steps it's probably been a while since you spoke with anyone who wasn't running beside you. Topics to avoid: How often you run, that you run, what you wear when you run, what you eat when you run, how you miss running. Go get your dating game on. Go catch up with your friends and family. Take your honey to dinner.

3. You Clean.

There's no better way to use your endless amounts of energy than to clean your house. A little tidying up turns into a complete overhaul. Everything. Must. Go. You end up cleaning out closets, drawers, and garages. You re-arrange your entire living room but then switch it back. And it will only takes 45 minutes. You think, "I wouldn't even be HALFWAY done with my run by now. Maybe I'll mow the lawn."

4. You Start a Project You Will Not Finish.

Knitting? Crocheting? Sudoku? Baking? Martial Arts? Interior decorating? Another Language? All will be thrown aside the second you get the green light to run again.

5. Hallucination.

You will lose it. You will start seeing and hearing things. It's normal...I think.

6. An Overwhelming Sense of Anxiety.

You don't feel like yourself. You just have so much energy and you can't put it anywhere. This too shall pass.

7. You Get Your Google On.

Get off WebMD. Stop stalking your ex. Stop looking for ways to heal faster. Put your ipad or computer away and go binge watch a new TV show.

8. You Start to Panic.

You are still a runner! Even if you can't run, you are still a runner. DO YOU HEAR ME? You will be back before you know it! Go stretch. (Unless you aren't allowed to stretch...)

10. An Early Bed Time.

What time is it? Bedtime? But it's only 9:30! Yes, enjoy that. Go lay in bed.

11. No Morning Workout.

But an early bed time means you will wake up early. And then remember that you can't get a pre-work run in.

And then you have to do it ALL. OVER. AGAIN.

Knee Update: I went to the doctor and she said it's nothing serious, just a little overused! (This of course came after the "Don't run marathons" lecture and I'm all "Dr. Yelena I'm running a marathon not smoking crack. I think one of these hobbies is a better choice than the other." To which she responded, "Drug addiction is a serious matter shouldn't be joked about." And I'm all, "Tough crowd...") But it's the best case scenario.

What's my prognosis? She told me if I HAD TO RUN to do short distances slowly. And if the pain persists to stop immediately. I then asked her what she thinks I should ACTUALLY do. She told me to take the week off and re-evaluate on Monday. Which means I have 7 full days with 0 running. I haven't gone that long without running since resting after my marathon a year and a half ago. But she said I can ride a bike so that is what I will be doing. I will be getting my Tour de France on up and down the West Side Highway. Watch out New Yorkers. I will be the girl in serious workout gear on a citi bike screaming "ON YOUR LEFT!"

It's my Birthday Eve Eve!!!! Which means we have to give a hat away! Today we have an extra special slideshow winner!!!! Congrats and please don't get arrested wearing your #HottieHunting hat!

Until tomorrow everyone, #RunSelfieRepeat.

9 Running Must Haves

There is a dangerous place in the running world I want to warn you about. It's called the race expo. A race expo is a black hole where all of your money goes. I am that person who buys everything and anything that is new or shiny. When you are new to the running world everything looks helpful. It's hard to identify what you actually need, what would be useful, and what is superfluous. From supplements to accessories I want to share 9 of my favorite running necessities that I couldn't live without.

1. My Spibelt

During my first year of running I used an arm band to hold my iphone, cash, and keys. I hate using an armband. On my really long runs my iphone would sit in sweat and I couldn't check on my intervals/pacing (ok ok or my email) easily while I ran. Convenient sure, my favorite accessory, not so much. Then I was at an expo and ran into a Spibelt. This thing is tiny. I kept telling the sales associate that I needed to be able to fit my iphone, cards, cash, keys etc. and she kept trying to tell me it expands. Then she demonstrated that yes, everything did in fact fit and I was sold. There is 0 bounce and I don't have to worry about everything sitting in a soggy pool of sweat during my 15+ milers. (And it keeps my phone handy for selfies which to be honest is a necessity.) I love it and it's only $20.00. Check them out here.

2. Energy Bits

I was recently turned onto these insane little tablets and there's no turning back. I had no clue what to expect when I got my silver little tin filled with teeny tiny little green bits. I started reading and learned one serving is 30 tablets and thought this can't be right. But it is! One of the biggest problems I have while I'm training for a half or full marathon is GI distress. I have a sensitive little tummy and sometimes taking GU (a carb/sugar/energy gel) isn't the best thing for it. Energy bits are algae. They are 64% protein and 100% natural food. I tried them out during the Disneyland Half marathon and not only did I have 0 GI distress but I ran a personal best. After some trial and error I've found that what works best is to take 30 bits 20 minutes before I take off for my run and then take 30 more bits an hour in. If I plan to run anything longer than 13 miles I start with bits, take them again 45 minutes in and then take a GU energy gel every 45 minutes. At first I was hesitant to take the bits mid run because I was intimidated about swallowing 30 tablets. It wasn't hard at all. You pull over to a water station as per usual, pour the bits into your hand (I counted 30 bits pre-race and put them in a plastic baggie), pop them into your mouth and wash it down with water. Simple as that. That's my foolproof plan and I am sticking to it. They seem expensive but honestly when you break it down it ends up costing exactly as much as any energy gel, you're just buying in bulk. I love them and I'm a believer. Check them out here.

3. RunKeeper

2 years of statistics!

I downloaded RunKeeper 1 week after I started running and I wouldn't be a runner without it. I can't tell you how helpful this app was to turning me into a runner. After I decided I wanted to run a half marathon I knew I needed a plan but didn't know where to turn. So I went to the app store and started trying a apps. After two failed attempts I found RunKeeper. RunKeeper tracks everything from your distance, to pace, inclines, and your splits. And it keeps you on track. They have plans for new to advanced runners to run 5ks, 10k's, half marathons, and full marathons. You simply select a plan and it will tell you exactly what you need to do on a daily basis. It takes the pressure off because you know you will be ready for your race. I still use it to this day because I love having Lady RunKeeper whisper in my ear every 10 minutes how far I've gone and what my current pace is. I downloaded RunKeeper elite about a month in and I haven't looked back. Go download it. Just do it now.

4. BodyGlide

Hi my name is Kelly and I love BodyGlide. Literally if you could see my chest right now you would wince in pain. It looks like I am covered in hickeys. (I'm not). Chafing is a real problem for me, especially with sports bras, and it would be oh so much worse if it weren't for BodyGlide. You roll it on before you workout and don't have to worry about being rubbed raw. It prevents chafing and blisters and I would be lost without it. Click here for more.

5. Insoles

When I first started running I was working in a doctor's office and all of my bosses said the same thing: get insoles ASAP. Running is hard on your knees and joints. Insoles help stabilize your foot by aligning your skeleton to prevent injuries. And they help with shock absorption. They are a game changer and for only $40-$50 they prevent a lot of unnecessary wear and tear. I use Superfeet but head to your local specialty running store to find what works best for you. Click here for more info on Superfeet.

6. Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patch

Whether you are injured or sore these things are God's gift to mankind. I found these literally 7 days ago today and I can't believe I have gone this long without them. They cost $1.00 and you can find them at Whole Foods. (They are probably the cheapest thing at Whole Foods.) They are a patch that you place on the part of your body that is ailing you and it works instantly. It's a pain relief godsend. No mess, no stains, and your hands don't smell like icy/hot all day. I'm obsessed.

7. Foam Rollers or The Stick

I have a love hate relationship with foam rolling. But it's a necessary evil and it  prevents injuries. For an extensive Foam Rolling 101 complete with exercise how to's, CLICK HERE.

8. Rock My Run

I listen to music when I run. I don't mind running without it but if I had the choice I would always choose music. ESPECIALLY running anything over 10 miles. For me music normally sits background to my thoughts. I don't really pay attention to it but on those tougher runs it helps me to have something to focus on. When I am training for a marathon I spend a lot of time changing my running playlist. They get old really fast. I noticed this time around that I am spending WAY to much money on music. Then my friend Lisa introduced me to Rock My Run. They have tons of different mixes and all different kinds of genres from Pop, Electronic, 70's, 80's, 90's, Hip-Hop, R&B, to Rock n Roll. I upgraded to Pro almost instantly because with the free version of the app you can't download mixes over 30 minutes. Granted you aren't going to like every song on the mixes. Some of them sound very electronic but all you have to do is click skip and your on to a new song. My favorite Mixes so far are Epic 4 Hour Marathon Mix, The Fit Foodie's Choice, and RunKeeper Amped Up.

9. A HAT!

Whether it's 80 degrees or 30, I am always wearing something on my head. Be it a headband to cover my ears from the icy wind or a baseball cap to protect my face from the sun, I'm always wearing something. Which leads me to today's #HottieHunting hat winner! My birthday is this Friday the 19th and to celebrate I am giving a hat away for the first 19 day's of September. You can participate too! Just use the #RunSelfieRepeat on Instagram with your hilarious or inspirational selfie!

Today's winner is @raemike99! Congrats on your first marathon! What an accomplishment! You are a badass! And yes, here's to many more! Enjoy your hat!

Do you have anything you just can't live without? Let me know! Until tomorrow friends, happy birthday eve eve eve eve and always #RunSelfieRepeat.

Should You Run Through Pain?

Say you are running and you notice a sharp pain in your calves, should you stop? Or what if you are running and a dull but persistent pain arises in your toes, should you stop? At what point do you chalk a run up to an incomplete and say, "I think it's in my best interests not to run today and to rest my (insert body part)." According to science the answer is you should always stop. Yesterday I learned that very important lesson.

It all went down during the New York Road Runners Marathon Tune Up. It was an 18 mile race consisting of 3 loops around Central Park. So far my marathon training has been perfect with no injuries, tons of noticeable improvement, and nothing but fun times. (Except for last Sunday when I had to take a Pilgrimage in San Diego in 78% humidity. That was awful but the post run fajita made it worth it.)  About 3 miles into the race I developed some pain in my hip. Nothing terrible just enough to be annoying. About 5 miles later the pain started in my knee. It was dull at first and then became difficult to ignore. A loop and a half in I started asking myself if I should stop. And runners I think WE ALL know how this conversation goes...

You say to yourself...

"Ow! That's not normal. Should I stop?"

"It's nothing, keep going."

limping

"OK that's a limp. You need to stop."

"I'm halfway there. And I'm only running 10 seconds slower than normal. It can't be serious if I am still running this fast. Keep going."

"NOPE that is some severe pain. You need to stop."

"Seriously though STOP. STOP and Google if you should stop. Google will know."

"So it's either runners knee, an IT band issue, or you have gangrene. Meh let's just try to keep going. It's only one more lap."

don't you dare

"WOAH going down hill is painful. I'll just walk downhill! Wait. Ow. Ow. Stop for a second. Just stretch it out, you just need to stretch it out."

"Aw yeah, now that feels better. Nope, no it doesn't."

"Just stop. You can walk across this section and get your bag. THINK OF THE MARATHON! If you hurt yourself now you are out of the marathon! That's 5 months of training for nothing! STOP! JUST STOP!"

"Or ask a coach! Ask a coach. No I don't want them to tell me to stop. But you should stop! But I am done in 5 miles. Just one mile at a time. If you have to stop you stop. And if you happen to spot a coach we can ask them."

"Oh look a coach! Wait they want a high five. I can't tell them I may be hurt after giving them a high five! Just 4 miles! That's 2 miles less than a 10k. And pain is like a 6 out of 10. If it gets to a 7 I will stop."

"Only 3 more miles! That's a 5k! You can do a 5k in your sleep!"

"If you just messed up your knee, this is your fault. That was so stupid why didn't you just stop!?!? YOU HAVE A PROBLEM! But only 2 more miles it would be stupid not to finish."

"OK. Final mile. And it's not even hurting really. A 4 out of 10. Maybe everything is OK."

"Oh god that was so dumb. Why didn't you just stop? Smile for the camera! OUCHHHHH. "

"Oh dear, that's a limp. You are limping. You are really stubborn, you know that? You need more therapy. I wonder what my time was..."

I'm being slightly dramatic BUT seriously let's talk about this! There are a billion things I would rather do before quit a race like shave my head, eat a cockroach, or give up chocolate. It's hard to stop. I didn't want to be a quitter. I convinced myself that completing 18 miles was extremely important to my training, which it wasn't. Taking the day off would have been the better choice. I should have stopped at mile 6 because in the long run (PUN INTENDED, ZING) missing that 18 miler and staying injury free was the way to go. Thanks to my stubbornness I get to go to spend money on a physical therapist AND I get to take the week off. HAPPY BIRTHWEEK KELLY ROBERTS, you did this to yourself.

Here's my advice if you ever find sudden pain mid run:

  • If you stop to google whether you should stop, you should stop. (I literally googled "my knee hurts on my long run should I stop")
  • If you feel any sort of pain, stop. Take a day or two off. Then re-evaluate. If there's pain you don't run. It's as simple as that. If for a second you think you should stop, stop.
  • Go to a doctor. I know spending money on something that may or may not exist is the worst. Most doctors are going to give you a lecture about how running marathons are bad for you. Just smile and say, "What will help me get back out there?"
  • Foam Roll. The best way to treat injuries is to prevent them. Not sure how or why to foam roll: It's all right here.
  • Warm Up. Personal trainer Tara wrote a piece on Squat Selfie Repeat about Dynamic Warmups. Read up, watch the video, and incorporate it. Injury free is the way to be.
  • Stretch after you run. As in 3 minutes per stretch not 30 seconds. Serious stretching with breathing, lengthening, and elongating.
  • Eat well. If you are injured your body is recovering give it the fuel it needs. Cut out the sugar and processed foods. Eat less sodium. Eat more fruits and veggies. Eat lean protein. Prepare all of your meals.
  • TAKE THE TIME OFF. An injury isn't going to go away or heal properly if you don't take the time off. It seems counter productive and it's going to be hard. You think "I have the NYC Marathon in 7 weeks, can I afford to take a week off?" No you really can't, but it would be detrimental to continue with an injury. You not only are taking yourself out of the race but you are doing long term damage. If you have to work out, work out your arms. No leg workouts. No excess walking. Avoid stairs (I encounter 8 flights of stairs on my way to work. 8!) TAKE. IT. EASY. Seriously. TAKE IT EASY!

Something is definitely wrong there is no doubt about that. I have a feeling it's IT Band related but I will let you all know what the doctor says tomorrow. FINGERS CROSSED.

Now let's meet our BIRTHWEEK GIVEAWAY WINNERS! Introducing #HottieHunting hat winners from Saturday, Sunday, and today (Monday)!

First up we have @Kykrawz and this awesome action shot! (A perfect example of why you should do a 5k Color Run or Run or Dye. Look at the amount of fun they are having!)

Next up we have the wonderful and inpirational @douceyy and @geekjonesey! Congrats on your 5k! My smile can't get any bigger right now.

And the grand slam goes to @baronvonbrogan. This picture made me laugh when I first saw it weeks ago and then again yesterday when he threw the #RunSelfieRepeat hashtag on it. HOW COULD I NOT GIVE HIM A HAT. I AM CRYING I AM LAUGHING SO HARD. I am framing this and it's going on my dresser.

Alright friends happy birthday eve eve eve eve eve! 4 more chances for a #HottieHunting hat! Keep using the #RunSelfieRepeat for a chance to win!

Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

21 Internet Strangers Who Got Me Through My Breakup

We all hate when someone airs their dirty laundry on social media. I silently cringe for them. But I am a firm believer in when life get's you down get outside and get laughing so while I may have been putting myself on blast last month during my #EmailBreakup I am pretty gosh darn glad I did. I am not going to lie, you internet strangers who keep up with me here on Run, Selfie, Repeat or on The Instagram or The Twitter at @KellyKKRoberts are the worlds greatest. I wish I could get little trophies of two hands high fiving or two people chest bumping with the inscription "World's Best Human" on it to distribute to you all. 

The comments, emails and tweets ranged from enlightening, inspiring and supportive to ridiculously and utterly hilarious. I was reading them aloud at dinner last week and everyone was on the floor laughing. Which made me want to share them all with you and thank you for being so wonderful.

1. Thank you for the virtual big hug honorary Mom.

2. Thank you for reminding me to keep it real.

3. Thank you for the sympathy, pep talk, and compliments.

4. Thank you for making me pee my pants.

5. Thank you for this.

6. Thank you for relating. (a text message!?!?!?!?!)

7. Thank you for the Fitspiration #BeastMode.

8. Thank you Tommy.

9. Thank you for being you.

10. Thank you for relating me to Carrie Bradshaw...I think...

11. Thank you for the reminder.

12. Thank you for being so witty.

13. Thank you for the words of wisdom.

14. Thank you for making me blush.

15. Thank you for being so wonderful.

16. Thank you for understanding.

17. Thank you for knowing who Boris was.

18. Thank you for the #realtalk.

19. Thank you for THIS! (Literally though, the best.)

20. Thank you for hitting on me.

21. And thanks for laughing.

i love you

NOW LET'S GIVE AWAY SOME HATS!!!!! There are EXACTLY 7 days until I turn a quarter of a century young! Only 7 more chances to win your freeeeeee #HottieHunting Hat!!!! I know what you are thinking, "HOLY MOLY ONLY 7 DAYS?!?!?!?! I NEED TO GET ON THAT! BUT HOW DO I ENTER?!?"

Step 1: Snap a selfie

Step 2: Caption it! Make me laugh or make me go holy cow you are so inspirational you deserve a HAT!

Step 3: Upload to The Instagram or The Twitter with the hashtag #RunSelfieRepeat. (DISCLAIMER IF YOUR ACCOUNT IS PRIVATE I CAN'T SEE IT! I know, I am sad too.)

Step 4: Win a hat!!!!!

I got a little carried away on the Passion train with this weeks posts and didn't announce Septmember 10th or 11th's winners!!! So here we go, drum roll please......

My favortite #RunSelfieRepeater @denacutrone!

The inspiring and wonderful @Lizzn_Life

And this groovy group shot with @Lilianbear_

I am running 18 miles this weekend! Anyone else running? Send me your pictures!

Until Monday, #RunSelfieRepeat.

I Love You New York

New Yorkers are tough as nails. You have to be really tough to live in New York because everyone is a no one here. Billy on Street, my favorite little horse and pony show, is a perfect example. The whole premise of the TV show is that Billy runs around New York with a celebrity and they try to talk to people. The strangers HATE it! They automatically assume you are going to ask for money so they come at you with claws! I LOVE IT, it makes for great TV. When I run in Southern California you wave or acknowledge the strangers you pass. It’s as if you non-verbally say “Good morning stranger, another day in paradise! God’s speed.” When I first moved here I would wave at people or smile at runners when I passed them in Central Park. People would flinch as if I was going to attack them, flip me off, tell me to (insert cuss word here) off, or just see right through me! I love this city.

I went to my hometown last week and towards the end of the trip I thought to myself, “I am ready to go home.” New York is home. The second I moved here I felt like I had lived here my entire life. I love the people. I love going to work sitting or standing between an African American man and a woman in a hijab and across from a Hisidic Jew and an Asian man. There are different walks of life here and we all belong. I love running by the Statue of Liberty. I love walking everywhere. I love Central Park. I love Brooklyn!!!! I love the energy! I feel like everyone is trying to make something happen here. People fight for themselves. Even the glass half empty, chewed up, spit out, angry New Yorker will tell you they (insert favorite cuss word here) hate New York but they wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Life moves very quickly here. I love this place because most of the people I meet weren’t born here, they chose to move and continue to live here. Everything happens in public because you don’t really have a private life. The only time I am ever at my apartment is when I sleep. Everything happens in a park, on the street, at a bodega, at a restaurant, at a bar, in a cab, or on a bridge. There isn’t a sense of entitlement here because you quickly learn that the things you take for granted like empty streets, space, porches or patios, cheap food and drinks, silence, parking places, quick rides, and peace and quiet are hard to come by here. So we all share space. You fight in public, you endure in public, and you live in public.

Everyone in New York has unwritten rules. You either learn them inherently or we will yell them at you. Nothing brings a group of strangers together quite like 10 people yelling at someone for walking to slow. If I am on the subway and some poor man decides to heckle me, I get to teach him a thing or two about manners. And then every woman and man in the vicinity does the same. Otherwise it’s an unwritten rule that you don’t make eye contact or speak to anyone on the train. If you are in a hurry and someone is asking someone else for directions, you yell where to go as you walk by. When you are walking you don’t stop if the light is red, you stop if there is a car coming. And you walk quickly or you get stay of the way. You never go or take anyone near or around Time’s Square. We are opinionated and we will probably let you know what we think whether you want our opinion or not.

I work across the street from the Freedom Tower. Today is a very heavy day for our city. Going to work it’s impossible to forget the hugeness of today. In each subway station there are 5-10 extra police officers. In the lobby of my work there are 10 extra security guards. I can’t imagine what this day, week, or even month must feel like for all the people who lost someone or even a part of themselves. Two weeks ago I decided to run South 1 block instead of going North and I literally ran into the 9/11 memorial. I've lived here almost a year now and I never mustered the courage to visit. I put my hand on the names and I just can't stop thinking about their Mother's, Father's, Sister's, Brother's, Husband's, Wive's, and Friend's. You can see it on people’s faces, the gravity of the day. We all ask each other “how are you” and kind of hesitate and falter before saying, “Good.” I was only 11 years old on 9/11/2001. Yet being here today, 13 years later, the hugeness hasn’t dissipated. I now understand what this day means as a New Yorker.

New Yorkers are fierce. The dichotomy of this city is that despite the fact that you are never alone it can be an extremely lonely place to live. Yes it’s crowded and yes it moves really fast. For the most part a huge part of our city chose to live here. It’s not cheap and it’s not easy. But our sky line represents us. New Yorkers are intimidating and larger than life. You can be anyone and anything here. You just have to be brave enough to fight for it.

I want to share a piece from one of my favorite plays. The play is called The Guys by Anne Nelson and is about a journalist, Joan, who volunteered to help a FDNY Captain write eulogies for the firefighters he lost on 9/11. I found this monologue shortly after my brother passed and I used it for 3 years. It helped me put what I was going through into words and I was able to grew with it as my grief changed. Now being a New Yorker it has even greater meaning to me.

Joan: (addressing the audience) "Are you okay?" That was what we all kept asking each other the rest of September. What was the answer? The pebble's dropped in the water. The point of entry is you, yourself. Were you present at ground zero and wounded, suffocated, or covered in white ash? No? I guess you're okay.
The first ring around the pebble: "Is your family okay?" Did you lose someone in the towers or on the planes?
The next ripple -- friends. "Are your people okay?"
Next ripple: If someone died in the tower that you had dinner with once and thought was a really nice person, are you okay?
Next: If you look at a flyer of a missing person in the subway and you start to lose it, are you okay?
(Pause)
If all the flyers are gone one day. They're -- gone. Are you okay?
Is anyone okay?
That first week I bought a coffee at Starbucks on the way to work, and the guy at the counter handed me my cup and said, "Here's your change. God bless America." And I took a breath and said, "Are your people okay?" And he said, "Only two missing." Only two. And I said..."I hope you can find comfort."
Only people from Oklahoma talk to servers in coffee shops. But at least there you can say, "God bless." Here, you don't know if they have a God, or if you have a God -- or if anyone has a God, it's the same God. That wants the same things...
We all travel in our track: neighborhood, job, friends. Parents of your children's friends. No matter how big a city gets, the only way to live in it is to live in your village. You get to a certain age, the next person you meet has a logical connection to the ones that came before. Friend of a friend.
Nick and I weren't supposed to meet. You couldn't create another sequence for his life that leads to me. Or for my life that leads to him. After September eleventh, all over the city, people were jumping tracks.

Take a minute to find a way to honor the people who lost their lives today. Until tomorrow friends, #RunSelfieRepeat.