When It Comes To Running, Attitude Is Everything

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Psyche yourself up for a workout.

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

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

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

3. Investigate what's upsetting you.

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

4. Make the choice not to suffer.

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

5. Find your badass lady squad. 

Dudes are always welcome to join a badass lady squad. 

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

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

Head up, wings out.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

5 Comments

Kelly Roberts

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

Taking Flight, Why I Joined Oiselle

Why do I do this? 

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

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

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

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

Then I got an email from Oiselle

The two badasses who changed my life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oiselle 2016

Head up, wings out. 

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

6 Comments

Kelly Roberts

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

Women To Watch In 2017, Alison Desir

Before I knew the mastermind behind Harlem Run, a free fitness movement connecting and inspiring the famous NYC community, I knew of Alison Desir. We both belong to the November Project New York City tribe and we'd often exchange hugs and high fives but I'd never actually talked with her about what she was creating. That was until we both joined forces with Candice Huffine to become ambassadors for Project Start.

The Harlem Run community Alison has built is incredible. She's not only bringing people together, but she's created a safe space for brand new runners to get started. She's inspiring, passionate, smart, foxy, patient, full of grit and optimism and she's a woman we all should be watching in 2017. 

Most runners spend the first part of the year setting goals and building fitness. Not Alison. She, along with three other badass women are hitting the ground running. 

Introducing Four Women Run For All Women.

On January 16, 2017, MLK Day, Alison and her sisterhood of badass women will begin a 240-mile run from Harlem to Washington DC in an effort to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood and the power of women. (That is roughly two NYC Marathons every single day.) Then they'll arrive in DC on January 20th just in time for the Women's March on Washington. 

And that is why she is one of my Women to Watch in 2017.

Sometimes it's difficult to feel like we can make a difference. It's inspiring to see women come together to do something to make the world a better place.

Alison's devotion to her community is making a difference, changing lives, and now her Four Women Run for ALL Women needs our support.

In Alison's words, 

I read somewhere, “No one person can change the world, but we can each do our part.” I'm from Harlem. I live to run. What can I do?

To see the route, CLICK HERE. This cause is unreal. If you're feeling helpless in today's politcal climate, this is an awesome way to get active. From donating in the form of one dollar to all the dollars (CLICK HERE), to joining segments of their powerful run, to hosting your own solidarity run, to simply spreading the word, please do what you can. For more information on how you can help, email desiralison@gmail.com. 

No one soars alone. Head up, wings out.

You can follow Alison on Instagram and Twitter. Let's band together and show her that we're all flying beside her.

GIRL. POWER.

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.

BQ Or Bust Take 2: The London Marathon

The seed was planted in April of 2016. I was eating dinner with my friends after cheering my brains out on the sidelines of my first Boston Marathon. 

 

At dinner, my friends asked me why I didn't want to try to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time. (For my age group, my Boston Marathon qualifying time aka BQ is 3 hours and 35 minutes.) I told them I didn't think I could do it. I said it wasn't a matter of surviving the training, I didn't think I'd be able to stick with it when I started to doubt myself and not quit. 

After I left dinner, I couldn't stop thinking about what I had told them. I was disappointed in myself. I was frustrated. I wasn't proud that I thought I was a quitter.

Then, the next day I watched Beyonce's visual album Lemonade and I was so inspired, I announced that I was going to spend the next six months dedicated to running down my BQ. It seems silly that the power of Beyonce tipped me over the edge, but it's an important part of the story. Without Beyonce, I'm not sure I would have gone for it. God bless Beyonce.

I didn't know what to expect but I was scared. 

I set my sights on finding a coach and knew after sitting down with Josh Maio, I knew that he was the one for me.

He was funny, tough, but most importantly, I could tell that he believed in me. PRO TIP-- When you don't believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who do. They will be your life vests when you feel like you're drowning. 

Without Josh, I would have quit. He knew what to say, when to say it, and he let me fall on my face without telling me "I told you so". He let me learn what it meant to say yes to myself and why I needed to trust my strength both on the track and on race day. He gave me space when I was struggling and let me ask for help when I was ready for it. He's an incredible coach and a kick ass human being. His humor and ability to make me laugh when I wanted to cry my eyes out made the entire experience fun. 

He's also one of the reasons why I wanted to keep going after finishing Chicago 6 minutes shy of my goal.

He and Dr. Bob. But I mean Dr. Bob isn't human. He's a magical wizard of a sports psychologist who gave me more gifts than anyone ever. No regrets, no excuses changed my life. Making the decision not to suffer? GAME CHANGER. He gave me the tools I needed to change my mental game.

So here we are, with 108 days left until my second Boston Marathon qualifying attempt. Am I terrified like I was during my first attempt? No. I'm excited. I'm intimidated by the amount of work it's going to require. That hasn't changed. This time around, I know what I have to do and I know that I can do it.

My biggest takeaway from 2016 is that I need to push myself further than I think I can. In those moments when I'm hurting and I don't think I can keep going, I need to keep fighting. I need to get uncomfortable as much as I can and I need to have fun doing it. Because the only thing I know about myself is that if I'm not having fun, I won't do it. It's possible, it's just going to require patience and grit.

I have one hell of a team behind me and once again, I'm daily vlogging the entire experience on my YouTube channel.  You'll see all the highs and all the lows. Every single doubt, set back and breakthrough. 

So whether you're thinking about getting ready to run your first 5K or if you're trying to BQ alongside me, know this, it isn't about the finishing time or the distnace. It's about saying yes to goals that feel impossible. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone isn't easy and it's a hell of a lot more fun when you're not alone. Let's prove to ourselves that we're a hell of a lot stronger than we think we are.

So this time around, don't just watch me push myself to see what I'm capable of. The London Marathon, my goal race, is about 4 months away. Join me by setting your own goal that you can possibly accomplish within 3-5 months. We can struggle, fight, fall back, and persevere together. 

The London Marathon is going to be here before we know it. Don't get caught up in the end result, focus on what you can do today. 

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you're enjoying BQ Or Bust!

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.

The Key To Believing In Yourself

There are moments in our lives that feel totally and completely unattainable. One of the hardest moments I've ever faced was admitting that I wanted to lose weight. It felt like defeat because losing over 75 pounds felt impossible.  I'd spent my entire life trying to lose 20 ish pounds and failed, how was I supposed to lose three times that much? 

I spent my entire adolescence and early young adult life struggling with body image. I thought I was fat. I'd tried every crash diet, pill, and dangerous fad in an attempt to attain a bikini body and I was anything but confident when I was at my healthiest so imagine how hopeless I felt when I was reached my heaviest. I hated going to the gym. I didn't want to starve myself. I didn't understand what healthy felt or looked like. And I was insecure about being seen trying to workout.

It's hard to explain just how intimidating losing that huge amount of weight was. Even today, it's hard to believe that I was able to make it happen. And yet, it was so simple. I ate really well, and I worked out. That being said, it's really f*cking hard. The amount of patience required is unparalleled. Losing weight is a lot like running marathon. It sounds impossible but step by step, day by day, if you trust and believe in yourself, you make it happen. 

NOT before and after pictures. Me in two different times of my life. Neither is more beautiful, one version is just a lot stronger and happier. I did what I could to survive. 

NOT before and after pictures. Me in two different times of my life. Neither is more beautiful, one version is just a lot stronger and happier. I did what I could to survive. 

Change doesn't happen overnight. You have to celebrate every single teeny tiny win because it's the only way to stay present. Life is too hard not to enjoy the journey, however difficult or harrowing it may be. 

There's a reason I say the only way you'll fail is if you fail to try and that's because I'm a quitter. Personally, I hate the saying "quitting isn't an option" because I've quit on myself more times than I can count. And it was never easy. Quitting isn't the lazy option, I think it's a hell of a lot harder than pushing through whatever doubt, fear, or discomfort you're experiencing. But in the moment, you forget. It's hard to remember that pain is temporary when you don't believe that you can keep going. Especially when you're doing it for the first time.

But dare to surprise yourself. As long as you give 100% and push yourself a tiny bit farther than you think you can go, then that isn't quitting. That's a tiny win. You have to believe in yourself. Understand that whatever you've told yourself you can and can't do is BS. Those pre-defined limits aren't doing you justice. Your limits are meant to be pushed. 

Don't play by rules that don't work for you. Design your own game and make your own rules.

Compare yourself to no one but who you were yesterday.

There's no such thing as a right time to get started, there's only today. Treat every single day like today is the day.

Don't let doubt stop you from doing hard things.

Just say yes, and then see what happens.

I believe in you.

Now you have to.

Me doubting whether or not I was going to finish the New York City Marathon. Luckily, I have the greatest coach in the whole entire world Josh Maio who told me to just look at it like a victory lap, to take my time, and to have fun. He is a good human.

Me doubting whether or not I was going to finish the New York City Marathon. Luckily, I have the greatest coach in the whole entire world Josh Maio who told me to just look at it like a victory lap, to take my time, and to have fun. He is a good human.

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.

How to Make a Change

There comes a moment when you realize that what was once working for you, isn't working anymore. Maybe you feel stuck. Or lost. It can be a huge realization, like deciding that you want to get your health back or it can be small, like deciding to see more of the world. Either way, making a change is never easy.

One of the most common emails I receive is from people struggling to find the motivation to either get started or to keep going. I wish I had the answers or some way to show how empowering it is to push through the doubts or hard days. I know what it feels like to give up. I understand how intimidating a huge change can feel. I never thought I would be able to lose the 75+ pounds I gained after my brother passed away. It felt impossible. I didn't believe that I would be able to do it. But I did. 

The key to making any change a reality is believing in yourself and focusing on what you can do today. 

Before you make a change, ask yourself these two questions.

1. How badly do you want it?

2. Do you believe in yourself. 

No? Well fake it until you do because doubt is one hell of a mother f*cker. It will drag you down and make you believe that whatever it is you're working towards isn't doable, worthwhile, or possible. But that's the nature of doubt, it's everything you fear about the unknown. What will happen if you don't hit your goal? Or if you quit on yourself? What will happen if you give everything you have and still fall short? Will you be able to live with yourself? What will people say? Will the shame be unbearable?

Is it worth it?

Yes. Of course it is.

It's impossible to feel disappointed in yourself when you give everything you have in pursuit of a goal. It doesn't matter if you "fail" to accomplish whatever it is you wish to accomplish because you'll find inner strength and confidence along the way. The end result is never an end game, it's just a benchmark to work towards. Growth happens in the journey and it's never too late to get started, re-start, or to make a change. Finishing without regrets and without excuses is a win in and of itself. 

But you have to take the first step. It's going to feel impossible. It's going to be really difficult. The doubts will be there and the only way you can fight through them is if you believe in yourself. You have to trust that every sacrifice, every doubt, set back, and every step you take will be worth it. No change is impossible if you're willing to work for it. 

Take a second to ask yourself if you're doing everything you can to make your goal a reality. If not, make a change. Focus on where you're at now and take some time to build yourself up along the way. We're quick to do the tangible work and we ignore how we feel about ourselves. Unless you take the time to build your self confidence, you'll never find it. Don't worry about the end result or the finish line. You'll get there in time. 

F*ck new year, new you. Come as you are. Remove any shame you feel about where you're at today. Embrace it. Love it. You're already the best you possible because you're the only you possible. Remember, strength doesn't look a certain way, it feels a certain way. And that feeling will change your life.  

Just take the first step. Then keep going.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

Comment

Kelly Roberts

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

To Hell With New Year New You

A lot has happened since I crossed the finish line of a very fun, painful and humbling New York City Marathon. Mainly, I took a break. I turned off and made a conscious decision not to eat, sleep and breath social media and content creation. Winter is my least favorite time of year because it's recovery season. Recovery from the hard year of training and recovery from all the creating and soul sharing I did in 2016.

But I hate slowing down. I hate having tons of free time or getting enough sleep. (I hate admitting that because I get a sick satisfaction from complaining about putting in a 20 hour day or being spread too thin.) I'm a workaholic. I love being really, really, really busy and I crave chaos. I'm terrified of the take offs and landings, but I'm motivated by the uncertainty of the free fall and everything that happens in between. That's why winter is so hard for me. 

Rest has become an incredibly important factor in my life because I've realized that I'm not very good at it. And despite the fact that I feel like my creative reservoir dries up whenever I force myself to step back or turn off, it's the only way I can fall back in love with chasing impossible challenges. And though it feels as if I'm being drained of creative juices, what I'm really doing is building stores that will soon be replenished once I'm ready to hit the ground running again. (Pun intended.) Even though recovery and stepping back is boring, it's imperative if I want to keep going. 

Next week, I'm approaching my second take off of a Boston Marathon qualifying attempt but this time, the take off doesn't feel as scary as it did in April. When I announced I was going for a BQ attempt at the beginning of this year, I was petrified. I really didn't think I was going to be able to do it. And I didn't. Well, not exactly. I may have failed to BQ but I learned a hell of a lot about myself along the way and for that, I'm grateful.

This time, I'm afraid of the self doubts I'm going to have to start wrestling once I take off and the discomfort that comes with pushing my limits, but I know I can do it. I trust that I won't quit when it gets really hard. This attempt is about completing a goal, not starting from scratch.

But that doesn't mean that it's going to be easy. I'm nervous about running down my goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon without the help of the chaos, fear, and brand new BQ or Bust smell. Last week, I dreaded started training again. The hardest part is always getting started. But then, I found the inspiration behind my second BQ attempt during a trip to Oiselle.

Oiselle is a women's clothing brand that doesn't just bring women together, but empowers them to be raw, vulnerable, honest, and supportive of one another. Being a member of the Oiselle community isn't about looking cool or being the best, it's about feeling incredible and knowing that you're not alone in your pursuit of your personal best. 

Being a woman is really f*cking hard. And something clicked while I was reading Shonda Rhimes's New York Times bestselling bible "Year of Yes" on my flight back from the Nest (Oiselle HQ in Seattle). Yes, the book is as smart, honest, and as much fun to read as you'd expect but there's a chapter in the book that made me want to scream. Scream in frustration that we, as women, have to deal with this and scream with relief to see that we really are all in this together. (And honestly, sometimes letting out a war cry scream just really feels good. Try it. You'll feel better.)

There's a chapter where Shonda talks about "doing it all"; how she juggles being a mother of three and running the empire that is Shondaland. She talks about Jenny McCarthy. Not that Jenny McCarthy, a different Jenny. Her nanny. She has help. And she talks about how women shame and allow themselves to be shamed.

And sure, I don't have kids and I'm single but I get what Shonda is saying. It's easy to point fingers, judge, and compare ourselves to what we think we see. What it boils down to is this; ladies, we're on the same team. Stay at home Mom or full time working Mom, there is no right or wrong. We need to support one another even if we don't make the same choices.

I do this all the time, I compare myself to someone else and feel discouraged by their success instead of inspired by it. I fail to remember that they too probably made sacrifices and worked their ass off as they clawed their way to the top.  

I wrote about this a few weeks ago, how comparing yourself to others isn't a death sentence if you do it in a constructive way. When I feel intimidated by someone else's success, I ask myself what they're doing that's working. Do they take risks that I'm not taking? When I see someone using resources that I don't have, it's easy to say, "Well lucky them, we can't all have (insert resource here)" but that's petty and demeaning. And the only person who loses that game is me.

I hate when I go to that place because I want to be a cheerleader for all women. But the first step is drawing a big fat f*cking circle around jealousy when it rears it's ugly head. Not pretending that I'm above it. You can't resolve an issue if you refuse to acknoledge it's existence. 

I don't think it's bad to compare yourself to other women just so long as you support them and say, "They work really hard, I want to work just as hard" or "I am inspired by their honesty, vulnerability, and courage. I want to be more authentic as well". We're stronger together. We really are. There's a sisterhood that comes with being female and it's only when we unite and get honest that we're truly unstoppable. 

Which brings me back to Oiselle and my time with them. We went to dinner the first night I was there and we ended up talking about our fears. It was incredible to hear what everyone was afraid of. It's easy to feel like your fears are silly compared to someone else's, and that's bull sh*t. For me, my biggest fear is death. Getting a phone call that my mom, dad or family member has died. Or dying and leaving behind my family to have to figure out how to survive without me. 

I'm afraid that I don't have enough time to help people find hope or laughter if they're trying to survive a loss or hardship. Every single thing I do is motivated by my own mortality. My life has a series of struggles to overcome really adverse challenges and after my brother passed away, I struggled with surviving without him. I don't think I'm ready to divulge just how difficult life got for me, but standing here to day, I don't take a single moment of my life for granted. 

But my fear isn't greater or less than someone else's fear, it's just my fear.

I never would have survived without my people. My squad. My family and my mentors who helped me get out of bed and find purpose. Who helped me live long enough to find my voice. I never would have made it without them. 

Which brings me back to the sisterhood. There's something truly remarkable about finding a group of people who challenges you, your views, and who supports you every single step of the way and wants to see you put your strongest foot forward. And then returning the favor.

That's the power of the sisterhood. 

Looking towards 2017, I want one thing- to see more people take ownership of their health. 

I remember feeling hopeless before I adopted a healthy lifestyle. When I was well over 200 pounds, I never thought I'd be able to lose weight. After I lost the weight, I never thought I'd enjoy being physically active or eating healthy. 

But today I do. Or rather, I know that it's possible.

I've run 7 marathons now and running is still really f*cking hard.

I just took an entire month off from running. I'm struggling to run 3 miles. I am getting started all over again and I feel like I'm drowning in doubt, discomfort, and frustration. But the beauty of where I am today is that I know that training will be enjoyable in a few weeks. I know that the hard work pays off. It's feels impossible when you've never been to that place. I get that. But you can't give up. You have to know that getting started is the hardest part. 

Next year, I am going to be a bigger voice in helping people take their first steps in adopting a healthy lifestyle and being the strongest, healthiest, and happiest that they can be. I want to help more women join the sisterhood and I want everyone to know that even if you've never been an athletic or active person, the running community is inclusive. There's room for you to join us whenever you're ready.

F*ck new year new you. I don't want a new you. I want you as you are.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

4 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.

The 3 Stages Of A Shitty Run And How To Prevent Them

Bad runs start two ways -- 

1. You set yourself up for a less than enjoyable day. 

2. You do everything right and you still crash and burn. 

It's one of life's many unanswered questions, WHY DO BAD RUNS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE? 

Let's be honest, bad runs can leave you questioning why the hell you're chasing whatever goal you're trying to run down. Maybe it's becoming a runner, or maybe it's a Boston Qualifying marathon time, bad runs don't care if you're a brand new runner or a seasoned one, no one can outrun a bad run.

These are the 3 stages of a shitty run...

1. Blind optimism. 

born ready

Yup. Whether you know it's going to be shitty or not, there's something to be said for repeating "one more mile" until your brain bleeds. Sometimes the hardest part is getting out the door. Sometimes the hardest part is getting out the door and then every single step that follows it. 

2. Phantom aches.

phantom aches

Phantom pains are real and they are your body's way of saying "my dog ate my homework". Nine times out of ten, your foot isn't actually about to fall off. No, you probably didn't break something. Your body is just trying to say, "This is horrible, let's go home now." 

3. "Why Me."

hill repeat

This is usually the point where you pull your phone out and either  A- Call an uber to take you home or B- Build a shelter and stay put for the rest of your life. OK fine, or C- Tell yourself to get through it.

Something a lot of people don't talk about is how often bad runs happen. They won't be few and far between. They happen A LOT. Like a lot a lot a lot. Running isn't always enjoyable. If you're learning how to get comfortable pushing through discomfort or if you're a new runner trying to learn how to be content being bored, running isn't always smiling selfies and runner's highs. It's about surviving the shitty runs and then living to run another day.

The truth is, bad runs are important because they build mental resilience. I'm a big fan of racing and not because I like to try to win. I think it's important to have a tangible goal be it a distance or a time, and then being with a community of like minded individuals all chasing down something intimidating. When you're working towards a goal race, you don't get to give up. You have to show up and do the work. Otherwise, you won't make it to race day.

That being said, there are some things you can do to make those shitty soul crushing run less horrible or frequent. First, stop saying "I have to run". You don't have to do anything. It's a choice. The same goes for saying things like "I'm suffering" or "this is the worst". Yes, we both know it's the worst, but your brain needs you to hear you say, "this is totally worth it". Your attitude has an affect on the outcomes of a shitty run. Fake it until you become it. Be grateful. Be happy. And figure out how to enjoy yourself. (Because complaining is a one way street to hell.) 

And don't forget to celebrate the small stuff. Sometimes just making it to the three mile marker is something that needs a happy dance. Don't be afraid to pat yourself on the back when you get out the door on the days when you'd much rather be on the couch watching Netflix. 

You may not be able to run from the shitty runs, but remember that you aren't alone. We're all fighting through it right there with you.

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.