Fitness Magazine

Emotional Running: Not in the Zone

By Nicoleao @momfever

katThis morning I was definitely ‘not in the zone’! I was running the school run, my two youngest sons riding their bikes to school and me running along, when suddenly my youngest son stopped and said: ‘Look mom!’
And when I looked my heart skipped a beat, because there at the edge of the woods lay a dead cat. It’s eyes open, and it’s legs still in running position. And the thing was: it looked like one of our two cats!

‘That’s not a cat mommy! That’s a fox!’

I felt all shaky, but we had to get to school, so I told the kids: ‘Mommy will have a look if it’s one of our cats, but first I’ll take you to school.’
‘Don’t worry Mom,’ my youngest son told me. ‘That’s a not cat! That’s a fox!’
Strangely enough this did not comfort me at all.

I didn’t want to upset the children, and soon they were telling me again about their computergames. But I was having a hard time listening, because in my heart I just knew: ‘That was one of our cats, lying there dead in the woods…’
The 3K to school took forever, and I was relieved when I finally dropped the kids off, and I could go home and check on our cat(s).

Heartbeat going through the roof

But because I was totally stressed out, my heart was racing even when I wasn’t running. So I had to make do with a very brisk walk, and even then I wasn’t ‘in the zone’.
When I got to the woods again, at first I couldn’t find the dead cat, and I found myself hoping: ‘Maybe it wasn’t dead, and it got up and went home.’
But then I saw it lying there again. All wet from the pouring rain, and I stifled a sob.

A reprieve!

I hurried the last bit home, all the while thinking how I was going to handle the dead cat. I decided I needed a box, and a snow shuffle. I would scoop the cat up with the snow shuffle and put it in the box. And then when the kids got home we could give our cat a burial.
But first I checked our living room, and guess what: there on the couch were both our cats!
I was so relieved! I hugged them and petted them, I was so happy they were still alive.

After jumping for joy for a while I thought of that poor dead cat again, lying there all alone in the rain. The woods belong to a neighbour, so I went to him and told him of the dead cat. And then he went and buried it.

Emotional stress makes running hard

Today I learned that emotional stress can make it hard to stay in the zone as a runner. I ran/walked briskly for 48 minutes, but only 10 minutes were ‘in the zone’. But you won’t hear me complaining! I’m way to relieved we got a reprieve, and we’ve still got both our cats.

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