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Lately I’ve been feeling very distracted.

It started about 5 weeks ago.

My mom, who is a 17 year survivor of breast cancer, was having some health issues. More testing needed to be done to be determine what was going on. The big C word was thrown out into the universe by her doctor.

For anyone who has gone through cancer treatment (yourself or as a family member), you could have been told you won a million dollars in the next breath. But all you would have heard was CANCER. Your worst fear coming back to haunt you.

When my mom told me, it just so happened that it was the same week that my Achilles and SI/L5 injuries occurred. Normally, running is one of my coping mechanisms. The feelings of ‘What ifs’ towards my mom’s health swirled in my brain like fall leaves in a wind storm.

Without being able to run, the thoughts stewed in my brain, growing, distracting me. My focus? What focus?

One Monday, I forgot to pick my kids up from school. I drove right past the exit to their school. The only thing I remember thinking was “Cool. No traffic back ups today!” It finally dawned on me that it was really, really quiet in the car about two miles from home. And did I mention that it was 5:50 p.m. and school closes at 6 p.m.? Thankfully there wasn’t any traffic back to school so I made it on time. BUT they were the last kids in their classroom. There goes my Mother of the Year award!

Another day, I received a text from Ron while I was at work.

“Are we leaving the doors wide open and unlocked now when we go to work?”

Yup. I forgot to close and lock the door when leaving for work that morning. Our house was wide open for 9 hours. Thankfully no one discovered my big whoops.

Find your strong | happyfitmama.com

Running for at least 20 minutes produces a natural chemical called Serotonin, which allows us to feel calm, centered, focused and happy.  How cool is it that we have this  built into our system to allow us to focus better? Sure I was still working out and getting the sweaty, feel good endorphins. But those endorphins have nothing on the running variety. They are seriously the best around.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about running as a therapy. I definitely don’t think it’s the cure all for every problem. But it definitely is my therapy.

I can sort through my problems while I’m out by myself on a run. The road is a good listener even if no words are spoken. Or I can sweat it out with my best running friends on a long run, leaving every thought, concern and what if on the pavement with each passing mile. I can come home from a run focused and ready for the day. I feel like my memory is enhanced. I’m not so distracted.

Late last week, my Mom got the pathology results back from all her testing.


Best two words ever. And I’m on my way back to running. I can tell a difference in my mood and focus even with a short, 3 miler. There may be chaos and stress all around me, but I’ve got my running shoes to help me out.

Running truly is so much more than running.

41 comments on “Distracted

  1. So happy to hear the news on your mom. That’s a HUGE relief for you all, to be sure. And I’m glad you also have your coping mechanism. Boy do I know it’s the truth–it just takes the edge off everything and makes it all so much easier to handle. Cheers!
    misszippy1 recently posted..Birthday lessonsMy Profile

  2. I’m so glad you mom got good news! I hear those two words myself a month ago, and they are the best words ever. I hope your injuries are gone for good – here’s to healthy running.
    Janet recently posted..Running and ReadingMy Profile

  3. YAYYYY! That is wonderful, and such a huge weight off your shoulders. I know first hand what stress can do to you, that is why I really struggled with my marathon segment this year. I am sure you will feel much more relaxed now, which will help you run better.

    I am not surprised your body has been missing the running. I go crazy when I don’t run….once I climbed under the table and started crying my eyes out in the training room…..now if thats not embarrassing, I don’t know what is!!

    Such good news, and I am sure that serotonin will keep coming back to your life 🙂
    Tina Muir recently posted..5 Tips for Staying Motivated When You Stop Running PBsMy Profile

  4. I’m so glad to hear you got good news about your mom.

    You know how I feel about running and therapy. Right now I need it to get through life with 2 teenage boys. I’ve written about my struggles with parenting them. Everything I’ve learned, everything that worked in the past–out the window. I’m in uncharted waters here. My running helps smooth the waves and helps keep me calm. Most of the time.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Cold weather running=beast runningMy Profile

  5. First and most importantly, great news about your mom!! Secondly, when I am not running, I feel “off” and a bit more sluggish. My eating habits are actually healthier when I am in my normal running routine. I find myself craving less junk and more healthy stuff. After the Maine marathon on October 5th, I took time off from running, but then I felt more anxious and grumpy. I realized that my body wasn’t used to NOT running. I need running on a normal babsis to feel destressed and energized. Running has become a lifeline at times to keep me going.
    Kara A. Forrest (MaineGirl2) recently posted..Making a Difference: Companies and Their ProductsMy Profile

  6. Oh so so glad to hear the good news that it’s not cancer for your mom. Gosh I just can’t imagine the anxiety there. And I agree, no other workout seems to compare to what you get out of running in terms of a clear head, a calmer mind, and a happier heart.

  7. Whew- I’m so glad about your Mom!! I get the distraction thing. When life gets too stressful I forget the most ridiculous things. I remember being in the middle of transitioning from one job to another, one state to another, trying to sell our house to move and being so horribly distracted that I got about a mile down the road from picking my daughter up at daycare (she was 2) and realizing that I hadn’t actually buckled her into her carseat. Ugh!
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  8. I am so glad you received good news on your mom’s health! Big relief!! I always wonder how people who don’t run can cope…

  9. Oh, Angela – I’m so happy that your mom heard those incredible 2 words last week. Sorry that y’all had several weeks of stress while waiting for answers and that you weren’t able to run out all of that stress. You are so right – when we can’t run it seems that it is very easy to lose focus.
    Glad that no one decided to “visit” your house the day it was open!!!
    Kim recently posted..Family DinnerMy Profile

  10. I’m so happy to hear everything turned out well with your mom! I have my moments of full on distracted-ness I’ve left my kids at school before without even having those types of issues. I have to make myself a list everyday of what to do all day long.
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted..ALL the RandomsMy Profile

  11. Oh Angela. I’m so so glad to hear that your mom is OK. Completely understandable to be distracted with all of those things going on. And without running too? So hard. But I’m also glad that you are getting back on the road and running again. PS I’ve had many many days where I’ve completely forgotten something or another re: my kids, including pick-up!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..2014 New York City Marathon aka the Best Day of the YearMy Profile

  12. So, SO glad to hear everything is ok with your mom. I cannot imagine how stressful and scary the past week must have been. There has never been a truer statement that running is so much more than running. I say that all the time. I hope you can get back out there soon and find your strong 🙂 xoxo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Training LatelyMy Profile

  13. So, SO glad to hear everything is ok with your mom. I cannot imagine how stressful and scary the past week must have been. There has never been a truer statement than running is so much more than running. I say that all the time. I hope you can get back out there soon and find your strong 🙂 xoxo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Training LatelyMy Profile

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