My Two Favorite Running Memories

When I think about my favorite running memories, two memories in particular hold a really special place in my heart. Arguably the hardest part about running for me was (LOL IS) overcoming the never ending stream of doubts. From my original doubt that I could never run a mile without stopping to walk to the doubt that I won't qualify for the Boston Marathon during this year's Chicago Marathon, the doubts never cease to rear their ugly heads.

If there is one thing I didn't expect, it was just how supportive and inclusive the running community actually is. I wrongly assumed that the running community was this cliquey group of athletic people who were born throwing footballs, sprinting around a track, or kicking a soccer ball. I convinced myself that I, the girl who would purposely sprain her ankle to get out of having to run in PE, would never belong to the running community. I wasn't just wrong, I was ignorant to think that runners were born runners. I was wrong to think that there wasn't a place for me at the running table just because I used to be the former President of the "I f*cking hate running club." 

This week during Sister Sunday, my sister Samantha and I decided to try out Facebook Live. We started talking about half marathons and I ended up sharing two of my favorite running memories that I really owe to two amazing strangers within the running community.

During my first half marathon, I was really struggling around mile 11. I was going back and forth about dropping out and trying again when I was actually ready when a woman wearing a Team In Training charity singlet ran up to me. She told me that we'd been running next to each other the entire race and asked if I wanted to run together. She told me that she was struggling and was hoping running together would distract her from the doubts she was fighting. I almost tackled her when she told me because I too was struggling to think I was going to make it. Together we slowly made our way towards the finish line and without her support, I really don't think I would have ever made it to the finish line. 

Then, a few months later, the same thing happened around mile 13 of my first marathon. I was already tired and downtown San Diego (home to the finish line) looked impossibly far away. I panicked and pulled over to the side of the road. Another runner ran up to me, grabbed my hand, and gave me a pep talk that belongs in a climactic moment of a Disney movie. It was incredible. He told me that I wasn't only half way there, I WAS HALF WAY DONE! And he reminded me that giving up wasn't an option. Without him, I think I would have crawled into a ball and given up right there at mile 13. 

You're never alone when you're a runner. Now with social media, finding kick ass support systems and sub communities within our giant running community is easier than ever. I won't lie to you, running isn't easy. It's really, really, really hard. But it feels infinitely easier when you know that you're not alone. 

My sister and I surprising our friends during their run with a little cheer tunnel. Because that's what running is all about! 

My sister and I surprising our friends during their run with a little cheer tunnel. Because that's what running is all about! 

The Chicago Marathon is going to be here before we know it! If you've been enjoying my BQ Or Bust journey, I encourage you to show your support with a $10 donation to Save the Children, the charity I've teamed up with to run both the Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon with. They help children both here in the United States and all over the world get medicine, food, water, and opportunities. I'm really proud to be able to help raise money for such a great cause because no child should ever have to suffer. Every kid deserves a fighting chance and Save the Children is making that possible.

Thank you for your donation and thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming on this journey with me. It hasn't been easy but I feel nothing but love and support from every single one of you and that makes me want to fight that much harder.

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.