Who are you competing with?

Just the other day, I was listening to a podcast while getting ready and I felt overcome with anxiety.  I couldn’t quite pinpoint the source of my worry.  I was listening to totally inspirational stuff.  The woman’s voice coming from my phone was glowing with excitement at the adversity she had overcome only to lead her to the absolute top position in her company…also my company. Then, boom.  It hit me.  I felt like I was in competition with her.  This feeling has plagued me since I joined.  I was always wondering why other coaches had too many messages to answer, while I was fighting to get people just to respond back to me.  Once again, that feeling of I’m just not good enough had crept back in.  The enemy.  He hates us.  He knows full well what gets to each one of us and he feeds into it. I stopped, looked in the mirror, and thought, “I have never been good at competing with others, but I am great at competing with myself.”  I have always been an athlete, but one who fights to better herself every day.  Any time it came to racing another person to a goal, I froze and failed. I was competitive cheerleader through high school and college.  Long-distance, 2-time marathon, runner in my mid-20s.  To a short-lived Cross-fit stint between my two marathons. Oh yeah.  I can compete with myself.  That’s what I have always done.  And you know what?  I can beat myself, every single time.  I know that truth in my heart.  I learned new stunts and routines.  I beat my fastest running times.  I lifted more weight and more reps.  I. Can. Beat. Myself.  And I am the only one standing in the way of myself.

God has not give me a spirit of timidity but one of power and love and self-discipline.

I will not let the enemy keep me from my dreams, because that’s what he does my friends.  Did you know that?  If you are feeling not ready, apprehensive, nervous, that’s because something BIG is about to happen.  You just have to decide, are you ready to fight for it?

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identity

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I have always had something to find my identity in, but I think that is true of most people.

When I was a young girl in school, I was smart.

When I got into high school and college I was a cheerleader. I told everyone that.

My last semester in college I started dating this guy so I was his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years.

After we broke up, I started running. Then, I was a runner. I found myself telling people so and it was a fact most people knew about me for my adult life.

Then, the unexpected happened. I was injured training for a marathon and never really healed. I didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t hang out with those friends anymore because they were doing something that I could no longer do -> run.

I struggled in trying to find my place in this world. I suddenly didn’t know where I belonged anymore.

I had been back in church for a year or two at this point so I was slowly but surely starting to recognize the gospel. So in the past 2-3 years I have found my true identity.

And, that brings me to yesterday I was sitting in church listening to the message when I had to write my ideas down.

I don’t ever have to wonder who I am or where I belong anymore, because I know that I am His and He is mine.

identity

That is where my identity lies from now till forever, in the love of Christ. I don’t ever have to wander this world alone again. I am saved by grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.  {Ephesians 2:8}

What about you?  Where do you find your identity?

when you win an entry but can’t use it

As you may or may not know, I won a free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon back in October.  I was ecstatic.  I never win anything.  Then, two weeks later I won a book for promoting a Twitter #runchat with Compassion International.  Wha?  Two in a row?  Where’s my lotto ticket?  But, I digress.

The Blue Ridge Marathon is slated “America’s Toughest Road Marathon”.  “Road” is included in there because there are trail runs that are surely tougher.  Trail runners are tough….annndd I’m getting off topic again.  Anyway,  I was excited.  I was injured at the time but thought for certain, I would be a complete runner by April.

Of course it was going to be hard, but I had just completed Big Sur International Marathon, which is just as tough in its own right.  It’s amazing how a human can transcend the body in such an experience.

a8cca-viewfrombixby

Big Sur was the most beautiful race I had ever run, or even come close to running for that fact.  Crashing waves over the cliffs on one side, the rise of mountains covered in evergreens on the other.  This was as close to heaven as I had ever been.

Getting back to Blue Ridge.  It is to take place in Roanoke, VA, on none other than, the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Gorgeous, in its own right, the Parkway is a popular site for east coasters seeking beauty in the spring and fall.

But, here’s the kicker.  I’m still injured.  Yep, that’s right.  It’s 5 months later and I still can’t run over 4 miles without feeling like I was hit by a truck.  (Hence, the MRI post.)  There is no way it is possible for me to get ready in a month and a half for a marathon…or even a half. Sad times. So what do I do?

What would you do?

Have you ever had to back out of a race?

#injuredrunnerprobs

I haven’t run since the Haunted Half relay and very sparingly before that. I didn’t even really get to train for Big Sur like I should have. I started feeling the beginning of the end in January of this year… and now it’s December.

I did the majority of my marathon training by pool-running at a local gym. I spent months in that pool, rather in the great outdoors listening to my totally awesome playlists, like I should have been.

I have gone through many ups and downs wading my way through this “run-less” life. I will start running for a while and then my knee/calf/hamstring flares up again.

I don’t want you to feel sorry for me.  That’s not the purpose of this post.  I am just sharing my thoughts like I always do here.

I have started Focus T25 so I’m hoping that will help me gain some strength and possibly some speed (one can dream!) when I finally get back to running.  I just finished Week 1 and am feeling great.  I finally have a plan too.  As a runner, I am so used to having a training plan to follow that I just go to shambles when I have no plan.  I think I’ve said it before – I am a planner.

But so is our God.  Our God.  Who am I to doubt?  I know that He has a great big plan that I can’t see because I am right smack dab in the middle of it.  I know that He wants more for his child than I could ever fathom for myself.  Therefore, I’m trusting Him and praising Him all along the way.

What has been your longest/worst injury?

How do you deal when you are sidelined?

the marathon

Isn’t it crazy that a single word can bring feelings of joy, peace, and excitement… or feelings of fear, anxiety, and sheer panic?  There is no other race that exudes so much emotion for me.

I’ve been thinking recently after watching this video (see Stage 4 – Isolation) …

…to run a marathon “successfully” you must be comfortable with yourself.  You must like your own company.

I, a single woman of 30 with no kids (this means I have a lot of alone time), have never felt so alone than around mile 22 of a marathon.  Yes, there are people all around.  Volunteers.  Other runners.  Spectators.  Walkers.  But at this point in the race it doesn’t matter.  I am always inside my own head, and heart, for that matter.  Sure, you can talk to others but there is still this feeling of “I’m all alone.”  It’s not a bad feeling.

For me, it’s…

I did this am doing this.”

I put in this work.”

My legs and feet have gotten me this far even though they hurt like they were run over by a Mack truck.”

You have to love you and you have to be proud of yourself and your accomplishment to carry yourself all the way to the end.

Heck, I am even supremely proud of my friends when they complete marathons!  I actually started writing this post when I found out that a new dear friend, Beth from Running In The Word had just completed her 2nd marathon when her first was a mere 3 weeks earlier!  I was shocked, amazed, proud, and humbled.

But I knew one thing.

I knew how Beth kept going because I know it had to be painful.  You see, Beth’s body and mind are full of the Spirit.  She was praying, praising, and probably sometimes crying out to Jesus because in all reality, we couldn’t do any of this without Him.  (As I do on my runs – short or long)

So what I’m saying is, I like to take credit but in the end all the glory goes to the One who has saved us from ourselves.  The One who cares for us unlike anything we could fathom.  The One who loves us unconditionally.  Therefore, I’m going to take the motto of totally awesome CrossFitter, Rich Froning – Galatians 6:14

the marathon