Enduring an Endurance Race

Ok. I have to be honest with you all. This has basically been me since Saturday.

If only temper tantrums were acceptable for adults.

It's been a rough week.

Sometimes life creeps up on you. Sometimes your personal life crumbles, or your work life falls apart or you just can’t juggle a million different balls at the same time. Breathe with me. (DEEP, DEEP BREATH) I’ve been the crazy person deep breathing in the corner trying to get it together all week.

When life gets hard I like to do 2 things. 1. (No brainer) I Run. But this week, I’ve been feeling down and haven’t been motivated to get out. When that happens, I 2. Watch Ted Talks. Whenever I am feeling panicked, I watch Brene Brown’s talk on the Power of Vulnerability. (Watch it here.) It’s my security blanket. I’ve probably watched this talk a hundred times. I think there’s a lot in it that speaks true to life in general in addition to enduring an endurance race.

Here is this week’s mantra. I’m enough. It’s seems so simple right? Whether you’re increasing your mileage or jumping hurdles in your personal and/or work life; sometimes it’s helpful to just close your eyes and whisper “I’m enough” until you believe it. To put it into context, here is a piece from Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on vulnerability. In those moments when you doubt yourself and you find yourself asking; “ 'Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?' just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, 'I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive.' And last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, 'I'm enough,' then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

So now that we have remembered our own power, strength, beauty and perfect imperfections: Let’s talk a little more about what it means to endure an endurance event. Here are three things I am working through right now:

1. Be Vulnerable.

It’s alright to say “I don’t know if I can do it” as long as you complete the thought with “but I am sure as hell going to try.” Life’s hard, complicated and messy. And no matter how you plan and train there’s going to be road blocks and speed bumps. This week I’m trying to work up the courage to join a charity team to run the NYC Marathon. I’m afraid I not only won’t be able to raise the money but I am terrified to train for a marathon again. CRAZY RIGHT! I KNOW! Just admitting that I am afraid to run a marathon is making me laugh. (The things you’re afraid of are usually the most worthwhile. I am going to sign up.)

2. Believe In Yourself and Your Worth

So you missed a few runs. You had to work late. Your family needed you. You got sick or injured. You couldn’t get out of bed. That’s ok. You’re not starting over and you haven’t been set back. You are where you are and be ok with it. The fact that you even want to try is something to celebrate. Forgive yourself and don’t let hiccups stop you. You are going to have bad runs where you want to stop and walk home. Remind yourself that it’s just a bad run. Push through it.

3. Do Your Research

If you’re training to run a distance race make sure you research training plans. Include running hills and intervals. Incorporate your long run. Sometimes finding time to squeeze in training is difficult so it’s important to make every run count. Even your short runs are important. Find your pace and realistically set your goal time. Do you want to finish? Do you want to run the entire way? Do you want to break 2 hours? Set goals for yourself. Set daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and race goals; and don’t be afraid to check in and re-evaluate as you progress. There’s nothing wrong with adjusting a goal to meet the level you are at. Just completing a distance race is an accomplishment.

So basically those are 3 things I am trying to remind myself right now as I struggle through training for my sub 2 hour half marathon amidst the chaos that is my life. I hope you all are having a better week than I. What are some helpful mantras that get you through training? Any advice?

Email me at RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com



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.