Excited and Scared, I'm Running My First Half Marathon In 2 Days

HI! I'm William! I go to college in Chicago and in two days from today, I'm running my first half-marathon. The way I started running was through my Dad. He was always a runner (he was pretty good back in the day) and in his quests to make me exercise when I was eight we ran a couple of miles. I always hated it, but somehow I joined the cross-country team in middle school. Despite coming in near last in all the races that first year, I found out that I enjoyed running and I kept with it. (Yay for no cut sports!). By the end of high school, I was a competent runner, even if I wasn't a star.

I just completed my first year of college and to keep that Freshman 20 at bay, I decided I knew that I needed to keep running. I'm from San Francisco, and running in Chicago during college has been a struggle. The weather is always either 15˚ with snow or 90˚ and humid (I think), and it's been pretty difficult for this spoiled Californian to handle. I don't always have a ton of time, so I often end up running early in the morning before class. My trick for forcing myself to wake up? Find running buddies who will run in the morning, so I feel bad if I leave them hanging.

The furthest race I've ever run is the Bay to Breakers (a 12K) and I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to sign up for the SF Half-Marathon. My goal is to run it in 1 hour and 30 minutes, which might be pushing it, but we'll see what happens on Sunday. What's the point of a goal if it's not a little intimidating?

Here what I'm scared of:

  1. It's so long! 6 miles is far! Then when you get to mile 6 and you realize that you aren't even halfway done and you think to yourself "Oh no..."
  2. Hills. I mostly trained in Chicago, where the largest hills are freeway overpasses (this is not a joke). So coming back to San Francisco and running a race up and down all the crazy hills is a scary thought.
  3. Going out fast and dying. I tend to get excited when I'm about to run a race, and then I go out super fast. In a 5K I can kind of get away with it; but I'm betting if I go out like a speed racer on Sunday I'll have serious regrets at mile 10 when I feel like my legs are made of jelly and I'm asking people for piggy back rides.
  4. The time. The race starts at 5:30am, which means I'm gonna have to get up at 3:30 or some ungodly early time. How am I supposed to race if I fall asleep two miles in?
  5. That I'm completely out of my league. What if all of these people have been training better than me? What if I have no idea what I'm doing? What if I just want to lie down at mile eight? What if I can't even finish? Ahhhh!

Of course, I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't excited. Here's what's going to be awesome:

  1. The course. The SF half-marathon goes along the bay, across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, and into Golden Gate Park. At least I'll have lovely scenery to distract me.
  2. Family! I'll have a big group of extended family cheering me on, from my mom to my grandparents, along with my lovely cousin Kelly who's also running!
  3. Weather. After running through Chicago winters and summers, 60˚, foggy, and a breeze are going to feel like the best things in the world.
  4. Racing! I love running races. It's so much fun: the anticipation, the adrenaline, pushing myself. It's my second favorite feeling in running.
  5. Finishing. Duh, the best feeling. I'm already looking forward to crossing that finish line, accomplishing my first half-marathon, getting home, showering, feeling awesome, and eating so much food. Just so much. All of the food. Doritos, cookies, In-n-out, chocolate. And I don't have to feel bad about it at all!

I'll let you know how I do! 2 days and counting!


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.