This Is What Happened During The Chicago Marathon

It started six months ago. I had just watched my friends run apologetically and fearlessly during the Boston Marathon. Then I watched Beyonce's visual album Lemonade and found myself inspired to believe in myself and go head to head with the voice in my head that said I wasn't capable of training for and then running a Boston Marathon qualifying time (BQ). 

BQ or Bust was born and the next thing I knew, I had the faith and support of my new coach Josh Maio and I took my first few steps toward an impossible. My marathon PR (personal record) was 3 hours, 59 minutes, and 37 seconds and in order to qualify for Boston, I had to run under 3 hours and 35 minutes. That meant shaving off 24 minutes and 37 seconds, almost 1 minute per mile. It felt impossible, scary and ludicrous. I hated running fast and I didn't believe I had the will power, strength, or confidence to stick with a structured training plan to make it happen.

But I trusted Josh and six long months later, I feel very different today than the person I was when I made that first vlog. 

It's hard to put into words what I went through over the past 6 months. But before I knew it, I was in Chicago and 48 hours away from crossing the starting line.

I was scared, nervous and excited to see what was going to happen. I spent the day before the race wracked with nerves and excitement. I had the most amazing #SportsBraSquad shakeout run and was given a chance to hang out with over 130 people who were following my journey. It was incredible, humbling, and inspiring. And getting to talk to all of you reminded me that I wasn't alone and that regardless of what happened on race day, I had already won.

My goal was 3:35. I took off ready to cross the finish line under 3 hours and 35 minutes. The race itself is a total and complete blur. 

And then I crossed the finish line in 3 hours 41 minutes and 09 seconds. I don't want to spend too much time writing about what happened because everything I want to say about the race is right here in this video. 

At the end of the day, it's all about no regrets. My finishing time is irrelevant. I don't care about running fast, I care about running my heart out. That was the goal. My goal was to push myself to a place that I didn't believe I was capable of going. Not only did I have to fight to get to that place but I had to fight with every fiber of my being to stay there and to push through it. And I did. 

No, I didn't BQ during the Chicago Marathon but words fail to describe how proud and accomplished I feel knowing that I gave 100% and left my heart on the course.

BQ or Bust doesn't end here. It's going to happen next year during the London Marathon. Without a doubt because why not! I refuse to stop until I prove to myself that running a BQ isn't impossible. I'm almost there! I not only refuse to give up now but I truly believe that I can do it. 

The only way anything is impossible is if you fail to believe in yourself. No regrets. No excuses.

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

8 Comments

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.