The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of my Thighs Burning

If you listen very, very carefully you can hear the wailing of my thighs and my booty. No, I didn’t spend the weekend getting down in the club, dropping it low as the kids say, I’m sore because I have been running my pants off. Never have I gotten so much hate mail or shade thrown my way from my very own body parts.

I started running a little over 2 years ago, my goal has always been simple, to have fun and simply run. Now that I’ve gotten a bunch of mileage under my belt and proven that I can run a marathon without stopping (Second times the charm) I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone. This year is all about getting faster. (CLICK HERE to see my 4 month speed demon training plan.)

Last week was my first official week of operation speed demon. I started sprinkling in some tempo runs while I was home for the Holidays but I find that when I’m working towards a goal, I have the most success when I follow a very specific plan. (Otherwise I am the Queen of Slackers-ville and Excuse-Town.) I have this very OCD Google Document and I am tracking every single speed workout, interval workout, easy run, and long run. We are talking projected plan, what I actually did, what my paces were, and what my thoughts were. It’s been pretty gosh darn cold here in NYC and I spent the majority of last week on a treadmill. The ONLY silver lining to a treadmill is that it makes speed work so easy. You don’t have to think about how fast you need to go, you program it and either keep up or fall off.

Monday and Thursday are my speed days. I spend Monday doing threshold runs (What's a threshold run? I'm not sure I just do what's on my plan.) I kid, I kid! A threshold run is where you run close to your lactate threshold for a prolonged period of time. (CLICK HERE for Runner's World article on threshold training. I'll save you my interpretation and you can just read theirs.) Thursday’s are all about intervals. Interval runs are short bursts of high intensity running. (Again CLICK HERE for a Runner's World breakdown.) I am running my easy runs at 8:30-8:40 min/miles and my long runs (are supposed to be) around 9 min/miles.

Easy on paper right? Well for the most part week 1 went well, I struggled on Wednesday. I had a really bad day and I really didn’t care to workout yet alone run on a treadmill. Sometimes it takes a really bad day and a terrible workout to remind yourself what you're made of. Every workout isn’t going to be perfect or easy. Every run isn’t going to be effortless. It's the really bad, terrible, awful runs that build character. It's easy to want to get in bed after a bad day, but it's when you suffer through even a short, terrible 30 minute run that helps you get tougher emotionally.

Yesterday I decided to change up my training plan and run hill repeats instead of a threshold run. Because I had the day off of work for Martin Luther King Day, I wanted to take advantage of the sunlight and throw in some hill repeats. I dragged myself out of bed and took off towards my arch nemesis, the hill in Prospect Park. I hate the hill in Prospect Park. Perhaps you remember the fight we got into last year (If not, CLICK HERE. It was like something you’d see on Jerry Springer.) By the last long hill repeat I was throwing my middle finger at it and firing off expletives like they were going out of style. Hill repeats hurt!  AND That hill is a JERK! God do I hate hill repeats. But boy do I love the burn today. It's all worth it. That's what I keep telling myself...

hate

1 day of Week 2 down, 6 more to go. One foot in front of the other. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

1 Comment

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.