Closing The Chapter On Doubt

Tough weeks, speed bumps, and mental tennis matches are inevitable when you're chasing a goal. Training to run a Boston Marathon qualifying marathon time (BQ) during this October's Chicago Marathon has been anything but easy. I've had my fair share of ups and downs over the past five months. I feel like a broken record when I say this, but I really didn't expect the mental game of pushing myself through a never ending stream of doubt and pain (which we will now refer to as the boogyman, thank you Dad). 

For the past two weeks I've been in Southern California and whenever someone asked me if I thought I was going to BQ, I would tell them no. I'm not being modest, I tell them that I know I'm going to run a really strong PR during Chicago, I just don't think that I'll run the 3 hours and 32 minute finishing time BQ'ing requires.  

Here's the thing, my BQ qualifying time is actually 3 hours and 35 minutes but the way the Boston marathon works, the faster you run, the higher your likelihood is of actually acquiring a coveted spot in the race. That's why my goal time is  3:32, it's a safer bet to get into the race. I've been telling people that I think I'll run a 3:40 and it's a slap in the face. Why not just go for 3:35? 3:40, though RIDICULOUSLY FAST AND INTIMIDATING, is a cop out. That's me giving myself an out so that should race day come and should I stop myself from going for it, I have an excuse. I can finish and say, I'm proud of myself but I knew this was going to happen.

No more. I need to stop giving myself outs. I need to stop committing half way to a goal and then hoping it just magically happens. From this point forward, the positive self talk is happening in full force. It doesn't matter whether I realistically think I can or cannot run a BQ, I need to start believing that it's possible. I'm doing the work, I'm going 100%, why wouldn't it be possible? I'm sabotaging myself when I say that it's not going to happen so I'm making the decision not to play that game anymore.

Do I think I'm going to run my BQ during Chicago this year? Hell yeah I do. Watch me.

There's only 32 days until race day and it's easy to get caught up in the fear that there's not enough time. I have to focus on what I can control and that's only the workout at hand. I can control how I fuel my body, what I say about my strength and capabilities, and what I give during my runs. So that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to continue to do everything I can to make my goal a reality.

Impossible is only impossible if you don't fight and believe in yourself. I've been fighting, now I'm ready to win. GAME ON CHICAGO, I'M COMING FOR YOU.

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.