I Ran A 15k Race And Realized Running Doesn’t Totally Suck

By Dominique Astorino April 25, 2016

I’m experiencing an intense muscular pain from running, the likes of which these buns have never felt.

Why, you ask?

You see, Nike’s forefather, Bill Bowerman once said, “If you have a body, you’re an athlete. Unless you’re 5’2″, uncoordinated and lack any kind of competitive drive.”

I fall into that latter category, hence the complete void of any athletic activity in my life. That is, until yesterday.

My mom forced me to run a 15k. That’s over 9 miles. NINE. Most of these were uphill—the answer to my mom’s ‘why?’

There is pretty much nothing in this world that makes me think, ‘Yeah, running sounds really fun right now. That would be a great choice for one of today’s activities.’

Seriously, nothing.

The only time I’ve ever ran anywhere was when my Freshman physical ed. teacher told me that he’d fail me if I didn’t run the mile. I really wanted to go to college, so I went with it. Oh, and one time I ran from a spider (before finding a safe corner to crawl into fetal position and hyperventilate, of course). I think that’s a comprehensive list of my athletic history.

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However, with the recent passing of the vernal equinox and the fast-approaching beach season, I came to the disheartening conclusion that my pizza body and bikini body are in fact mutually exclusive entities.

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This realization, in combination with my mother’s passive aggressive tactics (read: my mother had an Irish/Italian/Catholic upbringing, which essentially means she has a Ph.D. in guilt tripping), led me to yesterday’s 6AM call-time in Downtown San Diego for the Hot Chocolate 15k.

Let’s take a look at the events that transpired:

Phase 1: “Training”

A) Friend suggests using Nike+ Running app’s Coach function. Coach tells me I started too late and I don’t have enough time to effectively train. Great start.

B) I go on a jog with my mom for 4 miles. Lungs didn’t explode, so I feel like I’m doing alright for myself. Mom tells me, I “run weird.”

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C) Go for a run by myself the following week. 1.5 miles in, I want to throw up.

D) Decide I should probably do the 5k instead of the 15k.

E) Final “jog” with boyfriend who also tells me I run weird/on my toes, has to literally/physically push me in order for me to keep running.

F) Screw it, I’ll just do the 15k, whatever. #onlygodcanjudgeme

Phase 2: “The Run”


6:00 AM – Arrived on site 1h + 45min prior to start time to find parking.

6:30 AM – Starbucks, because it’s all I knew. Ate a yogurt to find out that it’s one of the worst foods you can eat before a run. Solid.

7:15 – Overwhelmed with a mixed emotion that was somewhere between terror, ineptitude and self-deprecating humor; surrounded by a lot of Lulu Lemon and Carlsbad Marathon 2008 T-Shirts

7:45 – Race begins, here goes nothing.

And now for my inner dialogue

Mile 0.3: “How many more miles left? Still 9? Okay. Maybe there’s a shortcut somewhere”

Mile 0.5: “Did everyone pass me already?”

Mile 1.4: “Are these little kids here just to cheer people on? OMG they have water. Yes. I like water. Give me that”

Mile 2: “I’m so surprised I don’t have to pee”

Mile 2.1: “Wait, are people actually racing? There’s a winner? Nah.”

Mile 2.5: “Oh my gosh, Am i going to be in last place?”

Mile 2.55: “Is there a reward for winning?”

Mile 2.56: “Ok, well that’s definitely not happening for me today or ever so whatever.”

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Mile 3: “I still don’t have to pee. This is amazing. Wait, this is a 5k? I could’ve stopped here”

Mile 3.1: “There’s no way i’m gonna finish this. How do I pretend I finished so I can post a good Instagram”

Mile 3.2: “Where are those water kids? Are they coming back? Did their parents drive them to another location?”

Mile 3.5: “WATER KIDS YES. They’re like little pre-pubescent angels from a refreshment heaven”

Mile 4: “I was told that some of this was downhill, but now I think I was lied to”

Mile 4.2: “Whoa… I don’t even think i’ve ever walked this far”

Mile 5: “Seriously… Is this a hike or a run”


Mile 5.7: “Nature is pretty cool”

Mile 6: “Soooo do people take breaks on these things?”

Mile 6.2: “Is there an option to end on the 10k?”

Mile 7: “Why are we going uphill again? I thought we were past that. What is this trickery. My stomach is cramping. Oh no, I’m gonna puke. Don’t puke. Don’t puke.”

Mile 8: “I can’t believe I haven’t puked”

Mile 8.3: “Wait, there’s only a mile left?

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Mile 8.6: “What if my lungs give out right before the finish line and someone gets a picture of me dying before I even finish? That would be so embarrassing”

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Mile 9: “Is it lame to walk through the finish line? Yeah… probably. Just… keep… moderately… jogging…”

Finish Line: “Why are my legs still moving? The race is over and I can’t stop my legs from bouncing. Where can I lay down and die”

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*Cross finish line and enters what I can only assume is the winner’s circle*


*suddenly rejuvenated*

Finish Time: 1 hour 58 minutes

Phase 3: “The Aftermath”

Not much to report, just an onslaught of sore muscles and a tiiiiiiny bit of pride, mixed with a mildly sick stomach from too much chocolate post-workout. Also I’m like really, really tired.

What I think all of us have learned is that contrary to misleading idiomatic expressions, slow and steady definitely does not win the race. It does, however, get you over the finish line eventually, and this particular finish line had snacks and chocolate so I’ll count that as a W in my column.

Who knows, now that I’m running champion of the world, maybe I’ll do another race.

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*This article was originally published on None For Gretchen Weiners. To read more about Dominique’s fitness journey, visit https://www.noneforgretchenweiners.wordpress.com

Featured image via. Photos via (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

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