Finding Balance and Putting Myself First

I can't imagine what Mom's and Dad's go through when it comes to finding the time to run. My hat is off to all of you who struggle to find the time to put yourself first. For most of us, running is our saving grace. It's the thing we do to stay sane or to remind ourselves not to give up when the going gets tough. But sometimes, it's hard to keep all the balls in the air and when push comes to shove, 9 times out of 10, we make sacrifices and we stop putting ourselves first.

When it comes to training to qualify for the Boston Marathon (BQ), I've done a really lousy job at finding the balance between maintaining my social life, working insane hours, getting sleep, feeding myself, and running. Running always comes first. Always. But I'm fortunate, I'm in a position where I get to put running first and while I don't have kids to think about, it's still hard to find the time to be a normal 26 year old.

Finding the balance isn't impossible, it just takes extra work. I have to be diligent about managing my rest days and then making an effort to maintain my relationships and feel normal. I used to dread my rest days. I hated having time to myself. I would go stir crazy because I would much rather be running or working out. Today? I relish my rest days. I love my time away from running when I don't have to think about chafing, bad runs, energy gels, tempos, and paces. 

This weekend, I had some friends over for a little carb party to prepare for Saturday's 18 mile long run. We sat on the roof, talked about life, and ended up in bed pretty early because I had an early wake up call. Running should never be your life. It should always be the thing that makes your life even better. It's all about balance and that balance is different for everyone.

I'm lucky that I have friends and a sister who are willing to spend their time on a bike next to me while I do my long runs. Not only are they helping me MORE THAN THEY WILL EVER KNOW, but it almost always ends up being a really good time. Sometimes you have to be creative with your time and even though it's hard for me to be selfish and put myself first, I know it's what I need to do. I'll never BQ unless I give 100% and right now, that's my priority. It isn't always easy, but I know it's going to be worth it.

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.