12 Hours to 26.2

Kelly Roberts

It's the calm before the storm and the only word I can use to describe what I am feeling 12 hours before crossing the starting line of the Berlin Marathon is ELECTRIC. The more and more I meet runners of all different ages, backgrounds and walks of life, the more I realize that running is simply a universal language.

I was talking with a friend today, walking through the streets of Berlin after picking up our race bibs, and we were talking about the difference between running from something and running towards something. I said that I think they're the same thing and that it's just a glass half empty/half full type of perspective. Sometimes you need the hindsight and confidence of knowing how strong and resilient you are in order to be able to believe in yourself or muster the courage to go forward.

It's inevitable that tomorrow is going to be an emotional day for me. I'm in Europe for the first time in my life with my sister and without my brother. I'm 26 years old and sitting on the precipice of this crazy existence and it's going to be impossible not to spend 26.2 miles thinking about what has happened to my life. That is my favorite part about the marathon, often you feel like you're running towards something impossible but it's always simply one mile further.

My journey to Berlin has been anything but ordinary but one thing always stay the same, my love for the running community. When you're running a marathon, it's impossible not to find yourself totally and completely present, taking every single step in. It's a thrilling and terrifying feeling, and I'm honestly feeling so humbled and grateful to be here. Despite the nerves, I'm just really truly excited to take off and see what happens. Every single person who crosses the start line has sacrificed and invested themselves into this marathon and being a part of that is unforgettable. Whether you're running from something or towards something is irrelevant, we're all moving forward together.

I've always believed that nerves are a good thing because they are proof that you care. That you're invested and giving your attention to the task at hand. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't nervous about tomorrow. I'm petrified. But I'm ready and willing to just see what happens. You just have to take it one mile at a time.

Photo by Yehuda Swed courtesy of Adidas

Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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.