Fantasy world thought: “I’ll just go for an easy 3-4 mile run on my lunch break. NBD.”

Fact: 3-4 miles is not EASY when it’s been 4 months since your last run, even if that run was 26.2 miles long.

Fantasy world thought: “I’ll take it nice and slow, just stay around 5.2 the whole time.” (Note: during training the slowest I EVER went was 5.2)

Fact: .5 miles in at 5.2, my bangs were sticking to my plum-colored forehead, my breath was heavy, and my jowls were bouncing back and forth like a Basset Hound.

I really wanted to stop. I kept thinking of excuses. “My lunch break isn’t long enough” and “I’m starving” (I wasn’t even that hungry) and “HGTV is really dumb today” were among the top three. I thought, well, I’ll at least walk every half mile so I can make it to three miles.

Then something happened.

Scary Manda took over. “Fatty! Don’t you dare stop! You ran a #&%*ing marathon! There is no place for this whiny whininess! Look at your gut! Look at your soft legs! Your arms flapping in the wind! Keep running or you will not eat dinner tonight!!!” Scary Manda is a little crazy, and mean.

So I kept running. I ran while so-and-so-rich-beyotch got a kitchen makeover and droned on about how granite counter tops make her feel connected to the earth. I ran while that super annoying but slightly endearing Progressive lady tried to sell me car insurance. I ran and occasionally glanced in the mirror, then hurriedly glanced away. Yipes. Holy shiznit, I made it.

Afterward, I tried to shield my dripping purple face as much as possible on my way to the locker room. I couldn’t wait to get in the shower and be sopping wet with water instead of sweat. Upon opening my gym bag, I realized that I had no soap, shampoo, or conditioner. I had hair gel and that was it. Awesome! I stepped into the cold shower and remembered something I had read once about friction being more important than soap in the cleansing process, so I pretty much scrubbed myself raw. Sigh. My face was still purple when I got out, and putting makeup on a sweaty face is really challenging. It’s hard to get even coverage when a) your skin is purple and your makeup is “Translucent Medium” and b) “Translucent Medium” keeps melting off your face with the sweat. And since all the hair dryers in my gym are from 1981 and deliver a breeze about as powerful as a newborn baby’s toot, I had to  “scrunch” my hair (a 90’s favorite!).

Despite my less-than-glamorous looks, I returned to the office triumphant. I did it! I ran THREE MILES!! And I’ll be back at it again, mark my words. Oh yes, I’ll be back. Because I signed up for this, which is going to be completely awesome.

Disclaimer: I know I’m not fat. I also know that self-depreciation is not the most healthy form of encouragement. But sometimes I have to reach into deep dark places to get the motivation I need to finish such tasks as running 3 miles. Don’t judge.