Attention Slow Runners

Where are my slow runners at? You know who you are, you open every conversation with “I’M A REALLY SLOW RUNNER” instead of, "I'M A RUNNER!"  Yes, you! I see you!

stop

I get it, it’s hard to be proud of a slower pace. It took me over a year to muster up the courage to run with another person because I was so self-conscious of my pace. I was terrified I was going to be left behind because I was so much slower than everyone else. I used to Google “average mile run time” every single week HOPING AND PRAYING my 10-11 minute miles (alright, sometimes 12 minute miles) were normal. It wasn't until I moved to NYC and decided I shouldn’t be running in Central Park alone at night that I nervously joined a running club. When I attended my first group run I opened with, “Hi everyone my name is Kelly and I’m probably the slowest person here.” Then two other people said the same thing and to my surprise I wasn’t the slowest person there. I actually don’t know who the slowest person was because we broke off into groups based on our paces from 5-6 minute miles all the way down to 12-13 minute miles.

I can’t say enough good things about running with a buddy or with a group. They push you and hold you accountable when you would normally phone in a run or skip it entirely. Running with a friend gives you someone to talk to about life and they motivate you to run further and faster. I get some of my best career and personal advice from my running friends because they genuinely care and they are of all different ages and backgrounds. If you’ve just moved somewhere new or if you are looking to make some new friends, stop letting your fear of being the slowest runner stop you from running with a friend or group.

There is no such thing as a slow runner, there are only runners. I don’t care if you run a 14 minute mile or if you run a 5 minute mile, it’s the fact that you run day after day after day after day that impresses me. Stop feeling self conscious about being slow! Be proud of the fact that you are simple a runner! (And if you do want to get faster, you just have to run faster!) Until tomorrow, #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.