My Biggest Regret Is Not Believing In Myself

It was only 2 hours after I finished my first marathon that I decided that I wanted to run a sub 4 hour marathon. I was sitting in the back of my parent's car, head propped up by the window, physically exhausted, when my Dad asked me if I would ever run a marathon again. "Yes," I said back to him, "but next time, I want to do it under 4 hours." It took me 5 marathons to run a sub 4 and even when I did, I still didn't believe that I could do it.

The fact that I was afraid to fail is one of my biggest regrets. Looking back, I remember how hesitant I felt to announce that I was going to try. I was convinced that finishing a marathon with a smile on my face was enough of an accomplishment. And it is! Being able to run a marathon is an incredible accomplishment in and of itself but I couldn't help but want to see just how fast I could go. Then last year, when I ran the Berlin Marathon, I finished in 4 hours and 2 minutes, and I felt disappointed that I didn't 100% after my goal. I thought it would be an easier pill if I danced around the goal and just hoped it would happen.  

If I could go back in time, I'd commit 100% to running a sub 4. It hurts to remember how much I doubted myself. That's a part of the reason why I'm so nervous about my upcoming Boston Marathon qualifying (BQ) attempt during this year's Chicago Marathon. I'm all in. I'm doing everything I can to make it happen and I know that if I fall short, I'll still feel proud but I'm still afraid of failing. I know it's crazy but it's how I feel.

One things for sure, after last year, I'll never stop myself from fully committing to a goal again. I know I can do it, and I know that it may not happen on the first try. And if it doesn't, I'm not giving up. 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.