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.

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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.