What Went Down At Rock N Roll Philly

The goal was 1 hour and 40 minutes. I wanted to run 1 hour 40 minutes. I was excited to run 1 hour and 40 minutes. But it didn't happen. I wasn't even close. I wish I could have recorded the things I said to myself during the 1 hour and 46 minute race. I don't think there was a single second that didn't require every single fiber of my being willing myself to keep going. I spent the entire time convincing myself that the pain and discomfort were worth it. That pulling back, slowing down, or even walking were a bad idea. It was hard. It was really, really, really f*cking hard.

I don't want to spend too much time talking about what went down. I said almost everything I want to say about Philly in my vlog but there are a few things I want to draw a circle around before I put this race behind me. 

1. You can only control what you can control.

This is something that Dr. Bob has been helping me come to terms with for weeks but it came full circle on race day. It was hot, humid and anything less than ideal. Everyone told me that the conditions were going to be rough. I didn't freak out. I didn't pout or let it get to me. I focused on controlling my effort level and not giving up when everything hurt and I felt like dying. But it wasn't impossible. And even though time felt like it was moving in slow motion, I crossed the finish line knowing that I gave 100%. And I feel really good about that.

2. Embracing the pain is a lot harder than it sounds.

If someone can give me a shortcut that helps me embrace the pain, that'd be great. Because that hurt...a lot. Like a lot, a lot, a lot. And what's really frustrating is that it wasn't even that my legs were really fatigued, my brain was in pain. I spent way too much time trying to convince myself that I had to keep going. That giving up wasn't an option and that I wasn't a quitter. And what's REALLY shitty is that after the race, when I went to hang out with my friends, two of the elite dudes were there and asked me how it went and I was like, "what the hell. How do you embrace pain because that sucked." And they just laughed and were like, "RIGHT? YEAH IT DID." WHAT THE HELL YOU GUYS, THAT DOESN'T HELP.

3. Don't let the time define your success.

I F*CKING PR'ED AND YET I SAT THERE THINKING DAMN, I DIDN'T HIT MY GOAL. I'm not disappointed in myself, I'm disappointed that I actually thought that. What a terrible, awful thing to say to myself and I am really grossed out that I let that happen. So what if I didn't run a 1:40. I gave every single ounce of myself and that was a personal best effort. It was hot, muggy and awful but I didn't give up. AND I walked away with a 1 minute PR. That's a huge win and I'm proud of it.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was totally freaked out after I crossed the finish line. There was no way I would have ever been able to run 13.1 more miles on Sunday. None. I wanted it to be over the second I hit mile 6. So to think that in less than 3 weeks I have to run twice as far much faster is terrifying. And for a second, I was like BUST SOUNDS REALLY GOOD RIGHT ABOUT NOW. I did the work, I'm ready to go but I'm good. I don't want to do it anymore. But that's the fear talking and I have a feeling those doubts are only going to amplify the closer we get to race day. 

This is the hard part about chasing down a goal. It doesn't matter how hard you train or work, you'll never be able to escape the doubts and the fear. Should it rear it's ugly head, you just have to acknowledge it and remember that you've done the work. All you can do is do your best. Push yourself further than you think you can. We're so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Just show up, give 100%, and see what happens. There's no turning back now. It's all going to be over before I know it. No regrets right?


Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.  


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.