What It Feels Like To Train For A Marathon You Can't Run

Back in March when I was in the grips of winter insanity, I mentioned to my friend Gregg that I was itching to add an early summer marathon to my race calendar. He told me that was running the ultra-marathon at the San Francisco Marathon. 30 seconds later, I was registered to run the San Francisco Marathon.

Training for San Francisco was eerily perfect. I had one small injury, a rolled ankle that I developed by walking to a barre class like a spaz, but otherwise weekly Physical Therapy sessions (which double as actual therapy sessions), slow mileage builds and strength training resulted in an injury free marathon training cycle. I did my long runs with either Gregg or my sister Sammy so I was always laughing and having fun while suffering through my 18+ mile long runs. What's been really interesting is the lack of guess work this time around. I finally feel like I know how to train for a marathon! (Never thought I'd say that...)

The first week of July I got a very exciting email with a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can't announce just what's happening yet, (I KNOW IT'S KILLING ME SLOWLY THAT IT'S TAKING SO LONG) but it's exciting. Then it dawned on me...I wouldn't be able to run the San Francisco Marathon, this new race and the New York City Marathon. I was no longer able to run for the marathon I'd spent 4 months training for...


Could I run all 3? I could try! But I've only run 2 marathons in my entire life and the fact that I'm running 2 marathons this year is already intimidating and terrifying. I grabbed my calendar and started crunching dates, hoping and praying that 4 extra weeks would appear between The San Francisco Marathon and The New York City Marathon because I really want to do all three! So I did what any normal person would do, I turned to the voodoo and just started pleading with the universe to make it possible.


Then I started Googling, trying to find somewhere online that says, "3 marathons in five months is a great idea and you will have all the fun!"


But everyone I talked to was like --


Deciding to do all three would result in an injury and honestly, I know I won't have fun which is why I do them in the first place. Training for 2 marathons is already a lot and I'm already feeling a tiny bit burnt out. I was really looking forward to those two weeks off recovering after the San Francisco Marathon but now I'm right back in the middle of marathon training! It's like groundhog's day!  I woke up expecting day 1 of taper and was met with, "SURPRISE! You're only halfway through marathon training!" At first I was like

But now I'm like --

lets do this

SO I'm dropping down to run the first part of the San Francisco Half Marathon this weekend. The exciting part (which I will shamefully admit) I forgot that I convinced my cousin William to run his very first half marathon this weekend. So what better way to have an incredibly fun and special half marathon than to run it with William?!?!

I'm not gonna lie, I'm slightly traumatized that I trained for a marathon I can't run. I'm still deciding whether to make this weekend a long run and run 2-7 extra miles with Gregg once William finishes the half but I'm going to make that a game day decision. If I want to run 15-20 miles instead of 13.1, then I'll go for it. Otherwise, I want to cross the finish line with William (assuming I can keep up with him...).

I cannot WAIT to head to the west coast Friday! A lot of my family is coming out and we're making it a mini vacation. Then my sister and my best friend Heather are flying down to Southern California for a Disneyland day and then the rest of the week we will be in San Diego! West Coast here I come!

And for those of you who are curious, here's what my training plan has looked like. Why I even bother making a training plan is beyond me since I'm incapable of actually following it.

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.