Hello and happy weekend!
I have heard of the “post-marathon blues” before, but I don’t think that I had ever actually experienced it until after this last race. Training takes a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy and after all of the dust settles you are left with an overwhelming feeling of, “Well … now what?” Like any major life event that includes lots of brain (and body) power leading up to it, the result, no matter where it falls on the spectrum, can leave you feeling funky once it’s over and done.
I think the funkiness was especially magnified after NYC because the timing of this past training cycle also coincided with the Runner’s World cover search, the training cycle for the marathon training group that I was coaching and a busy season at work. I also think that the time change also has me feeling off. The sun sets before I get home from work most days and I definitely don’t like it. It is difficult to find any sort of motivation to do, well anything, when it is so dark out.
I had several months with a lot going on and it was wonderful, but exhausting. I was so ready for a break … or so I thought. If you know me or have been reading along for a little bit now, you probably know that “breaks” aren’t really my forte. Several months ago we took the Gallup strength finder test at work. Note: this is different from the “kingdomality” quiz that I wrote about here. The Gallup thing was an actual, legit test. It is several hundred questions and the results give your top five strengths. I really love this test because it shows you positive results (i.e., it is a strength finder, not a weakness finder) and also gives you suggestions of how to best apply your strengths in your life and work. Anyway, my number one strength is called “achiever.” The results read: “People who are especially talented in the achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.” Basically not being busy was leaving me feeling very unsatisfied.
I also realized that I was falling into the trap of basing my self-worth on my performance. I am overly self-critical, like way harder on myself than anyone else ever would think about being. It goes hand in hand with the whole people pleasing, perfectionistic tendencies. I figured some of you might could identify with this as well. It is easy to feel good about yourself when things are going well. It is also easy to get achievement confused with worth. This confusion leaves you with an unstable sense of worth that fluctuates with each “performance” that you give. Now that my “performances” were done (the race, the cover search, coaching, etc.), I was left feeling like I didn’t have a direction or purpose.
Now I know that this isn’t true, but it is definitely how I was feeling. Sometimes our feelings don’t make sense, but they are what they are, so it is best to address them and figure out where they are coming from. I think the Lord was using this time to remind me that my feeling of self-worth should come from the fact that I am His child, created in His image.
I was instantly reminded of the Casting Crowns song “Who Am I.”
Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean.
A vapor in the wind.
Still You hear me when I’m calling.
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling.
And You’ve told me who I am.
I am Yours, I am Yours.
I was also reminded of this passage from Isaiah .. Isaiah 43:1-3: “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be there with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”
I guess all that was really just a reminder that you don’t have to “earn” your self-worth and our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross. Our self-worth is too often based on what other people tell us about ourselves or if you are like me, what your own silly brain conjures up. The one, true authority on our self-worth is Jesus, and since He gave His own life up for us by dying on a cross, that should tell us just how valuable we really are.
So, that was the main thing that I wanted to share today, but I also want to catch up on a few fun things that have been going on, amidst the aforementioned “funkiness.” In the spirit of November and with Thanksgiving quickly approaching (how did that happen so fast, by the way), I want to share with you a few things that happened this week that I am thankful for. Take this list with a grain of salt … it’s just a silly list for fun, but it’ll be a good way to get you caught up on some things that have been going on.
Yoga. Daniel and I got to do a yoga session Monday evening. We tried another disc of our Runner’s World yoga DVD and it was really good! Basically, I was really thankful to spend some time with quality time with him and yoga has a special way of putting you into the right frame of mind to be present and grateful for what you have.
Friends. I able to get in three quality runs with Rebecca this week and one with Lizzie. We have all been busy with work and our own training, so it was great to be able to catch up over some easy miles this week.
Mail. We don’t typically get a ton of mail (and usually when we do, it is just bills, etc.), but this week I got two fun packages!
First up was a big box from Runner’s World with several copies of the December issue. It was so much fun to actually get my hands on the magazine!
The second delivery was my Stitch Fix box, which was awesome this month! I haven’t posted a review in a few months. My September and October boxes both had more fall/winter pieces than I was ready for, so I didn’t end up keeping much of anything from those. The temperatures have finally dropped a good bit (i.e., high 40s) and this month I was happy to see jeans and a big sweater!
Cooking. Y’all. Something is probably wrong with me, but I had a major desire to cook something this weekend. I found a couple of recipes that I wanted to try. I made turkey, quinoa and apple pilaf Friday evening. It had red and green bell peppers, onion, celery and apricots (along with the ingredients in the title). Daniel even liked it. He ranked it an 8 out of 10 (in case you haven’t been following along, a rating of 1 is the equivalent of olives and 10 is the equivalent of pizza). It looks like a big mess, but it was really good … kind of tasted like a good Thanksgiving turkey and dressing.
Fire. Since it is finally cold out, Daniel and I decided to put the fire pit to use. He made a little fire and we sat outside for a while yesterday evening after the game. Something about a fire is quite mesmerizing and we really enjoyed getting some fresh air after an afternoon indoors watching football (I watched the entire AL game yesterday, by the way … I’m pretty sure I get special points for that). Anyway, the fire was nice and the weather was perfect! I forgot to get marshmallows this week at the grocery store, but I think I see some s’more action in our future.
Coffee. I mean, really, who isn’t thankful for coffee? Daniel and I have an ongoing “discussion” of what qualifies as real coffee. He tends to go for the sweeter drinks and I prefer the regular stuff. He texted me a picture of his “coffee” that a pharmaceutical rep brought by their office this week. I told him that they must have gotten confused and brought him ice cream instead.
If you like iced coffee (which I definitely do), you absolutely must go check out this recipe. It is a really funny read (yes, it’s about coffee, but this lady knows how to keep it interesting) and the iced coffee that it makes it incredible. We have a steady supply of this on hand at work and everyone in the office is obsessed. It keeps us productive.
Tennis. I got a text last night from a lady who I have played tennis with a few times asking if I wanted to play tennis this afternoon. What a perfect way to get out and enjoy the day?! It’s been way too long since I have played. I just hope I don’t embarrass myself! It’s actually probably very good timing, seeing as how now I have a good reminder that my “worth” is not based on my “performance” on the courts today!
I hope everyone has a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week ahead. Thanks for reading!