Are You Ready For Your Marathon?

Are you getting ready to run your first marathon and feeling, well, anxious? Does this sound familiar:

"I am extremely anxious about the race and I don't think I am ready. What do I do?"

I have some good news and I have some bad news. The bad news is there’s nothing more you can really do. With the New York Marathon a mere 18 days away we are at the tip of the taper. The good news is YOU ARE READY! Stop stressing about it and let the doubt go. Stop believing that tiny voice that is telling you that you can’t do it. It’s OK to be nervous. It’s good to feel a little anxious right now. They both are only proving not only that you care but that you are invested. I get it, I was FREAKING OUT before I ran my first marathon because I truly wasn't as prepared as I should have been. But I made it! Was it hard? Yes. Was it incredible? YES! In order to endure a marathon you have to trust yourself and you have to believe that you can do it because at this point you don't have a choice. Marathon day is coming.

Here is what we are going to call the Marathon Mind Fuck. It's a giant list of thoughts and things that you are either thinking and regretting now or that you will kick yourself for mid or post race:

You could have trained harder.

You didn’t do enough strength training.

You didn’t do enough speed work.

You didn’t cross train enough.

You could have eaten healthier.

You took too many (or too few) rest days.

It’s too cold, it’s raining, it’s too hot, it’s too humid.

You aren’t sure you are ready.

You don’t want to try and get hurt.

You’re afraid you won’t finish.

You spent to much energy weaving.

You were in the back of the coral and stuck behind a slower pace group.

You didn’t run as fast as you wanted to or could have.

You took off to fast.

You could have run faster but those hills!

Your legs are cramping.

Your stomach is cramping.

You can’t focus.

You forgot to start your watch or app.

You forgot your pace strategy.

You regret your carb loading meals.

You are thirsty and/or hungry.

You are over it.

Your legs are in agonizing pain.

You are chafing and/or bleeding.

You didn't pace yourself the way you planned.

You didn’t cross the finish line proudly or smiley enough.

In the words of Taylor Swift, 'Shake it off.' One if not all of these thoughts are going to creep into your brain at one point in the next 18 days. Many of these are going to happen during the race. SHAKE IT OFF!

I was reading an interview my new favorite human being Shalane Flanagan did with competitor.com. I love how incredibly ballsy, forward, and willing to fail Shalene is. This I the attitude we all need to adapt, unapologetically shooting for the stars.

I don’t see any downside in sharing what we are striving for. I don’t want to sugarcoat it—I’m honest with myself and with other people about my goals. I don’t feel entitled about them or what it’s going to take to get there—some of them are pretty lofty ones! It’s almost like writing your goals on your wall, like when you were a little kid. It’s the same kind of thing, and if someone asked me what I want to do, I don’t try to hide what I want to achieve. I guess I’m not afraid of failure.”

No one should try to hide what they want to achieve. We need to stop being modest and we need to start reaching for the stars. Get out of your own damn way. Stop telling yourself you aren't ready. Your marathon is your lofty goal, you had the courage to sign up and train, now go for it! Stop stressing about whether you are ready or not.

Running a marathon is about enduring. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other when you want to quit. It doesn’t matter if you walk, crawl, hop, skip, sprint, run, dance, juggle, or jog your way through it. If you’re tired TAKE A SECOND TO WALK! 26.2 miles is 26.2 miles whether you sprint it or walk it. It's going to be difficult, that is what makes it such an incredible feat. You are about to enter into a very small club. Did you know only .05% of Americans run a marathon? You aren't just the 1% you are the .05%! When those fears and anxieties arise, shake them off. You are as ready as you will ever be. I wish I could say the hard part is over. One of the hard parts is over. All you have to do now is show up, go forward, and endure. The last 4-6 months of hard work will pay off. You just have to make it through the taper! Until tomorrow everyone, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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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.