Making It Through a Long Run

There is nothing worse than waking up early and feeling COMPLETELY and totally un-motivated to run. You see, my favorite part about the weekends and marathon training is that you can choose whether you want to do your long run Saturday or Sunday. Friday night my family had a BBQ and I had a few glasses of wine. I HATE drinking the day before a long run. HATE IT. I feel  gross and it invites all sorts of not so beautiful problems before, during, and after the run. But I had signed up for the New York Road Runner Training Run and said you know what, I slept through the last one and I am going to make it happen! I live down in Brooklyn so getting to Central Park is a mission! It requires a 40 minute subway ride! But I said to myself, "Self, I know you feel gross but you are going to make it happen!" 

Then I got back into bed and tried to go back to sleep.

And right when I shut my eyes I had a conversation with myself, like a crazy person, and was like, “I can go to bed early tonight and get up early tomorrow! Go back to bed.”

And then I was all, “No! Get up! You carb loaded yesterday for today. This will be over in a hot second. GET UP! GET UP! GET UP!”

So I dragged my body out of bed, covered it in body in chafing cream, got dressed, realized I was out of GU and had a slight meltdown, shoved a bagel and a banana in my mouth and hopped on the 2 train Central Park Bound.  I got to Central Park and was all, “WHERE IS EVERYBODY!”

I got to googling and realized that the run was actually on SUNDAY! I COULD HAVE SLEPT IN! I could have run Sunday with all my people! And with water stations! So I was really angry about it.

I almost just turned around to go home. But I convinced myself that I was already in Central Park, dressed, and had eaten a bagel. Let me just say that not all runs are wonderful runs. Some runs are blissful and amazing. Some runs suck the life out of you. Some runs have their ups and downs. Some runs start out hard and get easier. This was one of those runs.

The first mile was MISERABLE. I spent a whole lot of time dragging my feet and moaning and groaning about how stupid I was to confuse the days. Then I moaned and groaned about how hot I was and how gross I felt.

If you are stuck in a rut but listen to music while you run, update your playlist. I forgot that I had downloaded all sorts of new music and when my favorite song came on I was all “THIS IS MY JAM!!!” And I started to get into it.

Long Run Tip: instead of sticking to my normal route, CHANGE IT UP! I decided, “LET’S SWITCH IT UP AND RUN CENTRAL PARK TWICE!” So I was dancing my way up Harlem Hill and having all sorts of fun. Waving at strangers, dodging pigeons, and buying $4 Gatorade with a smile on my face.

Before I knew it I was down the west side highway and 13 miles in. 3 MORE MILES! 3 MORE MILES! 3 MORE MILES!

Not even the fact that sweaty parts of my body were being rubbed raw could bring me down. (OK that's a lie. Chafing is just so painful. I need new sports bras.) But then 13 miles turned into 14. 14 turned into 15 and I was one Beyonce chorus away from 16 miles.

Long run tip: DO NOT watch your Garmin or running app (for me it's RunKeeper) during that last half/quarter mile. You know the saying a watched pot never boils?

I spent the last half mile watching my phone go from 15.6 to 15. 7 to 15.79 to 15.8 and I swear to god going from 15.91 to 16 took 10 minutes. I was shaking my phone screaming, "THIS CANNOT BE ACCURATE!" If you must check it just check it and forget it. Check it, play your favorite song, and finish strong.

Running 14 and 15 miles felt incredible but 16 made me incredibly confident. The scariest part about training for a marathon for me is the long run. I like to dwell on "what ifs" and then I second guess myself. 16 miles is a long way to run! Training for this marathon feels completely different than my first. I think I trust myself a lot more and I definitely know that slow and steady is the only approach. I can feel the difference. My long runs are hard but I don't feel spent after. And then you get to run around for the rest of the day telling people that you ran 16 miles.

I am so excited for the NYC Marathon. I can't believe I get to participate. Bring it on NYC, bring it on.

How do you guys get yourself through your hard long runs? Share below, you can never have to many running tools in your spibelt. Until tomorrow friends, #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.