What Goes Through My Head When I Run

"What do you think about when you run?" That is, hands down, the most common question I get asked about running. Running to a lot of people is a chore or a punishment. Back in High School the teacher would make you run a lap if you were caught goofing off or not following instructions. Running was literally a form of punishment and that's exactly how I thought of it until I started running. That was when I realized that running is a lot more than just a great way to stay in shape.

Every single run is different. Sometimes I think about just about everything when I go for a run and other times it's like the world is in a pause and my brain empties. This is what goes through my head when I run --

1. Food.

Basically my life. #RunSelfieRepeat

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9 times out of 10 I am thinking about what I am going to eat when I finish. If I'm on a long run, I'm thinking about a cheeseburger or maybe steak and eggs. Half the time I don't even end up eating anything special but I will spend a good 3-10 miles focusing on a cheeseburger if I'm having a bad run.

2. My Brother.

My little brother Scott passed away in 2009 and I don't think a run has happened where he didn't creep into my brain. Running has really become a way for me to grieve. I can think about him, talk to him or just remember him. Being outside is the best way to be with him and running helps me do it in a way where I feel like I'm moving forward.

3. My To Do List.

WHYYYYY. F*ckkkkkkkkkkkkk. #CurrentMood #RunSelfieRepeat #touristolympics

A photo posted by Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts) on

Do I have plans later? Did I do that thing that I said I would do? (Probably not.) What about that other thing I said I was going to do? (Nope.) How am I going to respond to that email? Did you respond to that email? My mental to do list triples every single time I go for a run.

4. My Future.

I like to imagine what my future is going to be like when I run. Sometimes it's practical like when I brainstorm story ideas or flesh out future projects or it can be a little fantastical like when I plan my wedding and subsequent hilarious life with Andy Sandberg.

5. My Past.

Mistakes, choices, missed opportunities, regrets, embarrassing things I've done, I spend a lot of time remembering and reflecting on the good and the bad of my past.

6. Dudes.

17 mile motivation. #runselfierepeat #hottiehunting #centralpark

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I'll spend a good 5 minutes thinking about a hot guy who runs past. What's his name? What's his story? What does he do? Why does he run? Is he single? It's crazy but I spend a lot of time thinking about stranger men who run past me. (What? I'm being honest.)

7. I Daydream.

Walk in to the club like... #beats1run #RunSelfieRepeat #nailedit

A photo posted by Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts) on

Running is like crack for my imagination. I already have a very vivid and active imagination but when I run, it's on another level.

8. Training.

I think about how I feel and how my training is going. If I'm doing an interval or speed workout, I'll think about how miserable I am and how much I hate it. If I'm having a bad long run, I'll think about how much further I have to go and how much it sucks. If I'm having a great run, I'll think about how great my training is going. I spend a lot of time thinking about my next run.

9. That thing that I forgot to do and will inevitably forget to do once I get home. (Even though I make a mental note not to forget to do it.)

Running helps me remember all the things I forgot to do. (Unfortunately the second I stop running I often forget them again.)

10. What groceries I am going to buy at the store later.

The struggles of being a runner. Thanks Mom... #RunSelfieRepeat

A photo posted by Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts) on

I almost always end up planning out what I'm going to eat the following week while I run so I also make my grocery list.

11. How much further I have to go.

This is like the avada kedavra of death glares. #BKHalf #RunSelfieRepeat

A photo posted by Kelly Roberts (@kellykkroberts) on

"Am I there yet" is often something I am asking myself when I run.

12. Why?

"Why am I doing this again?" runs through my head for the first half mile of most of my runs. I rarely have an answer.

13. I feel so much better.

That is until I get home and I realize that I feel like I can breath again. Even when I don't think anything is bothering me, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders after a run. It's pretty incredible what running does for your mind. It never feels like it during but even the shittiest, rotten, every step is worse than the one before it run is better than no run at all. Funny how that works. 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 โ€œhottie huntingโ€ 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.