Week 4, Day 3, 4-Mile run


Aren’t you proud of the progress you’ve made so far? It doesn’t matter that Stephen dumped you, and that you’re 34 and single, and all your friends are all married with kids. Anyone can get a man and have some babies—you’re gonna run a half-marathon. Put on that old T-shirt from Stephen’s corporate retreat that he left at your house last month, lace those sneakers up, and let’s go!


You can do anything! People on the street are super-impressed by your athleticism. Smile at children as you run past so they know that single ladies can do anything.

If Stephen could see you now, he’d regret breaking up with you. You are a strong, capable woman in her 30s, and now that you’re also a serious athlete, you’re quite the catch. If you ran into him right now though, you’d just laugh and be all, “Oh, Stephen, didn’t see you there, no big deal, just going for a little run, which I’ve been doing three times a week lately, plus cross-training.”

You definitely wouldn’t take him back if he asked. At least not at first.


This is the point where your initial enthusiasm is waning, and you’ll start noticing what the other female runners are wearing. Their running clothes match, indicating that, unlike you, they have their lives together. Make sure to also note that each one of them is wearing a wedding ring.

That couple you just passed were talking pointedly to each other while looking at you. You can’t hear them over the empowering music playing on your earphones, so now is the time to make some wild guesses about what they were talking about. It was probably something like how slowly you’re running, or how hard it is to meet someone at 34, or how unlikely it is that you’ll ever have children.


Your lungs hurt, your ankles are sore, and Stephen wouldn’t even let you meet his parents. I mean, you’d been dating for a year already when they were in town. Why did he feel the need to hide you? It doesn’t matter now, since he dumped you, and you’re a serious runner.

A great distraction from your physical pain is imagining what would happen if you slipped and fell on your face. Who could you call to pick you up? Definitely not Stephen. Your little sister, her husband, and their two kids recently moved out of state, so they’re out. Your friends can’t leave their kids to help you either. You have no one.


Stay focused, you’re almost there! Donna from work could never run this far. Hearing about your accomplishment will wipe off her face that pitying look that she’s had ever since she heard about the breakup. Her triplets aren’t even that cute.

That constricting feeling in your chest is normal. It could be that your heart is not used to this much aerobic activity, and it could be a serious cardiac episode, but most likely it’s just that familiar crushing heartache you get when you remember how you had naïvely assumed you and Stephen would be together forever.


You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back. Put your Lean Cuisine in the microwave before you shower so it’s ready when you get out. There’s no shame in drinking alone in your bathrobe while deleting pictures of you with Stephen from Facebook—you’ve earned it!