What The Hell Happened During The London Marathon

I don't know where to start.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kelly + Prince Harry Forever. 

Comment

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

Running Unapologetically, My Road To The Boston Marathon

One year ago, I experienced my first Boston Marathon.

KellyKKRoberts Boston Marathon

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

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

KRoberts Boston Marathon

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

KRoberts Sarah Attar Womens Runing Bobbi Gibbs Boston Marathon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KRoberts bq or bust CLIF BAR

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

No regrets, no excuses.

Here’s to running unapologetically.

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

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

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

The Flat Stomach Secret That Will Change Your Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

How To Deal When An Injury Derails Your Training

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So chin up. There are healthy miles are ahead. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

You Have To Believe In Yourself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more.

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

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

Try it with me. 

No regrets, no excuses.

 

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sporty Spice

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

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

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

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

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

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

KRoberts sports bra

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

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

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

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

Image by Oiselle

Image by Oiselle


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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

Trying To Qualify For The Boston Marathon Changed My Life

I'm really struggling to explain just how much I've changed over the past 11 months. When I decided to try to run a 3 hour and 35 minute marathon, shaving over 25 minutes off of my marathon time, I really didn't think I could do it. I knew in the back of my mind that it would be funny to watch me try, so I grabbed my GoPro and told you all that despite the fact that I didn't think I could do it, I was going to try anyways.

My blog, vlog, and pocast have taught me how cathartic and liberating it is to share what I'm going through when life or a goal feels especially intimidating or tough. Opening up reminds me that I'm not alone. And going into BQ or Bust, I felt frustrated that no one seemed to share the same experience I did when it came to running stronger. It didn't seem like any of the other incredibly inspiring running creators saw it as an impossible goal. It was just a hard but doable one. So I wanted to share everything I went through, without curating the experience, and vlogging felt like the only way to do it. 

Because I was on camera, I couldn't sit and decide what parts I was going to share. It was a constant stream of in the moment talks to the camera. You came with me to see the breakthroughs and the millions of set backs. Or the day I learned that running faster and stronger hurts like hell.

We all talk about how life gets in the way of our training and goal chasing, but with the vlog, you got a first hand look at what I experience with my grief and how it affects my day to day life. Life is hard. And sometimes it's a real struggle to find the balance between taking time for ourselves and pushing through. It's a balance I struggle to find, but I feel like I'm getting better at trusting how I feel and allowing myself not try to change it. 

But the most surprising thing I learned was how quickly the six months flew by. It was easy to want to pull back or tell myself I would push extra hard tomorrow instead of really focusing on giving everything I had that day. In the beginning, BQ or Bust felt like a waiting game. I was just suffering through the motions until I got to race day. I hadn't yet learned that I was in control.

Then Dr. Bob asked me to try removing "have to run" from my vocabulary and replacing it with "get to run". So I did. And then he asked me to make the conscious decision not to suffer or panic when I saw a workout I didn't think I could do. But instead, to just try and see what happens. So I did, and everything changed. 

The final few weeks flew by and before I knew it, I was crossing the starting line of the Chicago Marathon and fighting my final battle with doubt and self imposed limits.

Immediately after the race, I was on cloud 9. Running a 3 hour 41 minute marathon was a mental and physical win. I proved to myself that I wasn't a quitter and that when sh*t hits the fan, I can trust my mental will, strength, and resilience. But I still didn't BQ. And it's hard to admit it, but I was dreading the training to try to do it again during the 2017 London Marathon.

People always say don't run a marathon until you've forgotten how painful your last one was. I hadn't. I crossed the finish line of Chicago, drank a Goose Island Beer, felt high on life, and then announced I was going to run London. And then the next morning I woke up to an email that I had got in via the ballot. 

And before I could even chase a BQ in London, I had to endure a truly painful (but equally incredible) NYC Marathon.

And after NYC, I didn't want to run another marathon. I felt like I had to. And I let that attitude hold me back.

Everything we do comes down to our attitude. Why are you doing what you're doing? Because you have to? Because you want to? Both? Because you don't know what else to do? 

With running and even life, it's easy to get frustrated and down on yourself in the first few weeks or months. Everything feels forced, difficult, and impossible. For those of you who have ran before, you get frustrated that you aren't where you used to be. But if you can change your attitude and figure out how to enjoy the process, anything is possible.

Today, we're just about 4 weeks away from the London Marathon. I'm in the absolute best shape of my life and my mental game could not be stronger. Last week's New York City Half Marathon was the boost in confidence I needed to realize that I have this BQ if I'm brave enough to make it happen. I have insurance policies that aren't serving me (See episode 29 of the Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast) and I need to woman up and do everything I can every single day from now until London to get myself across that finish line strong as hell. 

For me, I race my best when I trust everything I've done and go out with gratitude. Because running isn't something I do because I have to. I run because I love it. I started running to take back my life. I kept running because it helps me grieve my loss and redefine my own strength every single day. Running has given me a new life path and it's helped me realize that what I've been through or the mistakes and failures I've endured along the way aren't things to be ashamed about. They're just apart of my story.

With four weeks to go, I want to give everything I can. That means more than just running what my coach Josh puts in my training plan. That means doing my Physical Therapist Mike's exercises and putting in the mental work Dr. Bob has prescribed. Visualizing. Getting more than enough rest. Putting myself first. Owning my strength. Not just trusting the process, but trusting that I am in control. That I can do hard things and that I can have fun pushing myself to that place of pain and discomfort that scares the hell out of me. 

When I started this entire ordeal to try to qualify for Boston, I underestimated myself. I constantly defined what I was and wasn't capable of doing, how strong I was, and I soon realized that I was letting my own insecurities stand in the way of the strongest version of myself. Before the #SportsBraSquad, I thought I would have to lose 20 pounds before I could run anything below a 3 hour and 45 minute marathon. I looked in the mirror and didn't see a body capable of running a BQ. 

But my body was never holding me back, I was. I was the one telling myself that I wasn't good enough, strong enough, or driven enough. I was the one telling myself that I wasn't an athlete. And with the gift of no regrets, no excuses, all that changed. 

There's something liberating about doing everything you can and leaving your heart out on the course. Because failure and quitting is always an option, but when you know you did everything you could, you realize that failure isn't black and white. Patience is the name of this game and I'm just really grateful that I watched Beyonce's Lemonade and felt inspired to chase this BQ in the first place. 

I've worked too damn hard to phone it in now. BQ or Bust has changed my life. I can't even imagine what's going to go down in the next four weeks.

Seat belts on, it's going to be a crazy ride. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

9 Comments

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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

This Isn't An Unflattering Photo: This Is Me Running Strong As Hell

For years I've been encouraging women to post their unflattering race day photos. The down shots where gravity pulls our "problem areas" in a less than flattering direction. Or the photos where we're making the pain face, struggling to continue fighting towards our personal bests. To share the good, the bad, and the ugly. But I've made a huge mistake.

These photos of us aren't unflattering. They're real. They're raw. They're vulnerable. And they're perfect.

This weekend, I ran the New York City Half Marathon and I skipped up to the starting line with one of my bad ass friends Jess beside me, ready to show myself what I'm capable of. I've spent eleven months of my life relentlessly working towards getting stronger and faster both mentally and physically. I set a goal in April 2016 to take my marathon time from 3 hours and 59 minutes down to 3 hours and 35 minutes so that I could qualify for the Boston Marathon. Last year, that goal was terrifying, overwhelming, intimidating, and impossible. Today, it's happening.

But through the past eleven months of relentless battles up and down self doubt mountain, the way I look, perceive, and think about myself and my body has changed. I'm constantly fighting to silence the little voice in the back on my mind (OK, sometimes it's really loud), that tells me what I am and am not capable of doing. 

Run a half marathon maintaining a 7 minute 48 second pace? HELL NO. I can't do that. That's not only impossible, that's f*cking insane. Girls my size don't run 1 hour 42 minute half marathons. Our goals are supposed to be to survive until we make it to the finish line.

But it happened.

I want to share a photo that my friend Julia captured around mile 10 of the half marathon.

Six months ago, this picture would have induced a tidal wave of insecurity and frustration. I would look at it, feel my stomach drop, and get frustrated that despite the fact that I run a billion miles a week, workout like fiend, and eat really healthy food, I still look like this. So I'd post this photo to Instagram explaining why it's important we share our unflattering photos because they show the real picture.

TODAY? F*ck that. This isn't an unflattering photo. This is a picture of me, getting support from my incredible friends at November Project, dropping 7 minute 48 second miles, for 13.1 miles. This is me at my absolute personal best.

Right now, this picture does nothing but make me feel like a badass because I can see myself stepping outside of my comfort zone. 

It's painful.  And addictive. And difficult. And amazing. And it isn't pretty, it's beautiful. 

We are so much more than our stomach rolls and cellulite, so why the hell do we allow ourselves to let them define our strength? If we want to redefine what strength looks like, we have to change the way we talk about it. 

Remember, strength doesn't look a certain way, it feels a certain way.

No more talk of unflattering photos, just us kicking ass and taking names. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

11 Comments

Kelly Roberts

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

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

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

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