I run 3.15 Half Marathons and I'm not ashamed.

I run 3.15 Half Marathons and I'm not ashamed.

So I just saw this post on this sub and I wanted to write my own in case there are other people like me out there.

We slow runners (yes I'm a runner even if I walk half the distance) visit this forum and read about people running 12 min miles and lamenting how slow they are.

For me, that would be an awesome pace.

I've been running 4 years now. Finished 3 HMs and have my 4th this weekend.

I run pretty regularly but I don't really get fast. It could be that I need a better training plan or need to make more efforts. But so far, I enjoy the pace I run at. I feel proud that I can run 13 miles and not die.

Yes, sometimes a walker overtakes me. And I've had really really old people overtake me in races as well. Good for them! And more power to them!

But in case there is someone else out there as slow as me, I just want to say its ok. You're not alone. And you've nothing to be embarrassed about. Be proud of what you're achieving. There's nothing sillier than finishing your first HM and feeling disappointed. Embrace your speed, celebrate the distance, accept your win.

you run half marathons. Why on earth would you ever be ashamed!?

Rock on!

To me, it all comes down to training. If you train properly and you run a 3:15 half, then you're awesome. If you don't train and bust out a 3:15 half and brag about how anyone can do a half marathon, you're a jerk.

I think that too many people believe that the back of the packers are in that latter group - people who don't train and don't respect the distance. Sure, there are probably a few of them out there, but mostly, the back of the packers are those like us who train and still run 12+ minute miles. And there's no problem with that.

As a slower runner, I always make sure that I can meet the pace requirements of any race I'm doing. I can run a sub 3 half, but if I'm having a rough day, it's not going to happen. So I won't enter a race with a 3 hour time limit. I don't want to be last, but if I am, so be it. I just make it a point to stay within the race guidelines, and then no one can complain.

There are some cunty people in /sub/running that undermine people's efforts just because they run a half over 2 hours. All I have to say to these people is: fuck you!!!! OP: who cares if you run it in 3hrs. Good for you for accomplishing great things for yourself! Go feel proud and don't let any asshole try to put you down for it!!!!

I agree. I find this sub extremely inclusive. I didn't mean to make my post as a rant. I just thought it might make other slow lurkers like me feel welcome.

If you don't train and bust out a 3:15 half and brag about how anyone can do a half marathon, you're a jerk.

I couldn't agree with this more. For the last four years I've signed up for the half as a personal challenge to try and get myself motivated to stick with a training schedule and actually follow through with something. Each year, despite completing, I have failed to train properly.

It is a mystery to my friends and family why I don't talk about the races or 'put the sticker on my car'. I can't seem to get through to them that I didn't earn that finish. I may have crossed the line but, for something like a full or a half, the race is just the final component of the goal. The real, honest, and hard work is put in long before that day.

From a slow, old, and steady runner to those sleek cheetahs: don't forget that my entry fee contributes to the smooth organization of the race you are winning. You're welcome.

From the comments in the post that the OP link, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of non-cunty people in /sub/running.

Then my 5:30 marathon is extra ridiculous. But I did it in Paris so all the haters can suck my croissant.

edit: merci pour l'or

Congratulations and everything. Seriously... But that's about a 15 minute mile for a half marathon. I don't think I'm being a dick when I say that you finish half-marathons. You don't run them. I don't think any objective person would say 15 mm is a run. That's a brisk walk. Congratulations on the accomplishment and hope you keep enjoying it.

Casual running does seem to get a bad wrap compared to casual soccer playing or tennis playing or other sports. You're absolutely right, there's nothing to be ashamed of with staying on the slower side. You have a hobby and you're staying in shape and that's great. You're also less likely to get injured than someone who is constantly trying to improve.

I usually start to really push myself to improve once I've signed up for a race but the rest of the time I'm in maintenance mode more or less.

Actually - when it comes to marathons and half marathons - the slowest entrants do it the toughest!!

Complete nonsense. Maybe there's more suffering during the marathon, but it's a result of much less training.


Nope, nope, nope. Even for someone that's pretty out of shape, walking a 15 minute mile is less effort than running a 7 minute mile is for me.

This isn't intended to insult anyone - which is why you don't actually need to insist that slower people are outworking faster people. It's nonsense and it's a tiresome mantra. Everyone deserves credit for what they're doing, so what's the upside to diminishing the work that it takes to run a sub-3 marathon?

I beat myself in a marathon Saturday! Not many others though. Couldn't be happier

Congrats, guys. We've upvoted this thread more (edit: way, way more) than the AMA from Chelsea Reilly. Let it never be said again that /sub/running isn't a welcoming, saccharine sub that would rather pat someone on the back for traveling 13 miles than hear about real hard work and maybe learn something from it in pursuit of self-improvement. We should feel really proud of ourselves. Let's take a week off from training to celebrate.

Jesus! I've run 4 marathons finishing anywhere from 3:20 to 3:47. Each time it's been the hardest thing I've ever done. I can't even imagine running for 7 hours straight! How can anyone shit on anybody for running any type of race. Any race I finish, for the most part, I just want to get my medal, eat something and stop moving. People are still running even after I go eat, even after I get home, even after I shower... It blows my mind. It's Incredible!

The difference is, this poster actually trains and works hard. Ragen "ran" a 13 hour marathon. She averaged just over 2mph. That is nowhere near walking half the distance. That's "running" at an overall slower pace than a normal person walks while pushing a cart in a grocery store. She then proceeded to bitch that the volunteers wanted to go home after standing out in the rain that long.

She deserves to be slammed for having the balls to claim that she's an "elite athlete".

"How far is your marathon?" - one of my favorite non-runner questions.

Hey, stop shaming the real runners! You know, the kind that average 15 minutes per mile and get militant if anyone suggests that they're walking. Not like those people that are just naturally fast and don't work as hard as 6 hour marathoners!


Because people that insist that I'm getting out worked by people that are walking are tiresome, and there's a LOT of that in this thread.

I am going to go ahead and say that I do think there is a certain line you have to cross. If you run, you're a runner. If you jog, you're a jogger. If you walk, you're a walker...(or maybe a speedwalker...not a zombie...). By definition, running is 6mph and above. You can't play checkers and call yourself a chess player, right? Anyway, I am not trying to belittle anyone who "runs slowly"...I think anyone who is attempting to run at all is awesome. But for people who train VERY hard to meet pace requirements for long distance races, it can be absolutely infuriating for people who walk or mostly walk a full race. If you're doing your best, it's still an accomplishment and there is nothing to be ashamed of. But still, I think it's important to ALWAYS push yourself. Once you become a runner, you cannot resist the temptation to become faster and stronger.

Rest/run/walk assured, OP. Practically no one cares what your HM time is.

I would rather be a person who takes 8 hours to finish a marathon than a person who would ever say something like that. Seriously tell those guys /u/fatbettydraper says to eat shit and die. Thanks.

Yes yes, this is a very common retort to any sort of criticism of an idea--"why does it bother you so much?" It's perfectly reasonable for me to register my annoyance at a post like this. I think OP has good intentions but is propagating this weird notion of the definition of a "runner." There's nothing you have to do to join /sub/running. Hit the subscribe button. Participate in the conversation thoughtfully. But don't raise your hand and shout constantly that you demand more respect because that's not the way to get it.

I don't care about pace. Some of the people whose knowledge, attitudes, and humor I respect here are slower than I am. And I don't even really care if your attitude is to try to improve, or if, like OP, you're just in it to run a race now and then. I have a slightly different message than OP for all the people being addressed:

You're not alone. And you've nothing to be embarrassed about. Be proud of what you're achieving. What wins respect here is not speed: it's a good attitude, humility, the willingness to help, and the willingness to listen.

link or it didn't happen

Comparing yourself to people who aren't even doing the same activity is a hilariously low bar. Doesn't really seem like something to be proud of. If OP is proud of their time, or proud that they're faster than last time, or had more fun that last time, that's great. Being proud that you ran a faster half than someone who didn't run a half is just depressing.

She didn't walk half the distance, she walked the ENTIRE distance and it took her 13 hours to walk it. That's a slower walk than most healthy people. Then she tries to tell people that she is healthy and a marathon runner, and that it's okay to be severely obese and eat anything you want because she could walk a marathon. In 13 hours.

If you don't see how her situation is an enormously huge difference from this post then wow.

I'm so torn over this thread. As a very out of shape, recent (3weeks) ex-smoker who's been doing a Couch to 5K program for 7 weeks, I'm slow. All the support for the slow people is encouraging but some of the post are concerning.

I don't want to stay slow. My biggest issue is aerobic endurance (the smoking). My plan is to focus on this first and build an aerobic base. Then start a formalized plan for race distances.

But there are people here posting that they've been running for a couple of years and haven't sped up. I don't need to win my age group but I'd like to at least run an average pace.

These posts are making me feel better about my upcoming marathon. It's my first and I'm going to finish in under 8 hours. I've been training for weeks and it's on February first. Unfortunately, I am getting mixed messages from marathon runners in my real world who say anything more than 4 hours is ridiculous. Then they go on to tell me horror stories. Keep sharing your realistic accomplishments!

I won't say anything negative about their accomplishments, but at the same time, this subreddit is a bit over run with personal accomplishments. If I went to /sub/basketball and made a thread about attempting 100 free throws and making 10 I would be mocked and downvoted to oblivion. I downvote accomplishment threads in this subreddit whether they are impressive or not, not because I'm a hater but because I'm bored of it.

I'm sorry, but when I was scarfing down a massive burrito after doing my first 12+ mile hill run at a 10 min/mile pace, I had just gone for a run, not a jog. People use the word "jogging" to discount the accomplishments of slower runners, and while I've been running for long enough and am generally fast enough that it doesn't discourage me, it's rude and unnecessary to say things that devalue the effort of slower runners. Trust me, if you're a slow runner, you already know you're slow. You don't need people on the internet telling you you're not even really running. Remember: being a dick on the internet won't make you faster -- training will.

It's not running if you walk half of it. Congrats on finishing though.

I agree fully. I just started running 8 weeks ago for the first time in my life. I'm 37 and I could probably finish a half without training in the 2:30 range. But I started training for two reasons: depression and addiction issues. For me, the daily training is the single most important component. It's the daily stuff. It's stopping at 5 miles on a day when I feel like I can do more, and it's pushing to 7 miles on days when I feel like I can't do 2. I've committed to the training because it's a lifestyle that I need. In 4 weeks I will run 13.1 for the first time in my life and it won't be during a race...it'll be on a Sunday, alone. I plan on doing a marathon in 2015, but for me the reward is what it's doing for me emotionally and behaviorally... not much else.

I'm a runner even if I walk half the distance

I wouldn't call that running a half marathon. Let's say you half-run half marathons.

You're not going to stay slow if you work at it. Run consistently, make the effort, and you probably won't recognize yourself in a few years. You've got the right idea already. There are outliers, of course, but I'm skeptical of many claims of "running for years" without improvement.

On the flipside, there are also others in this sub who completely dismiss the efforts of those finishing a half in under 1:20 (read - those getting the age group awards) and A LOT of people in this sub keep saying "a half marathon is a half marathon regardless of how fast you ran it in."

Don't get me wrong, there is a genetic limit out there for everyone but it is definitely not over 2.5 hours.

A lot of the saltiness is also from the fact that this post has gotten more upvoted than the recent Chelsea Reilly AMA, which is essentially telling the faster runners that "those finishing in the back of the pack are more deserving of respect than those at the very front of the pack"

By definition, running is 6mph and above.

By definition, running is bipedal motion that includes an airborne phase (i.e. both feet off the ground). Drawing a line at some arbitrary speed is silly - I've been in races where I walked uphills faster than fellow competitors ran them, because I've practiced walking fast and efficiently for this exact purpose. It's still walking though, and they were still running, but by your definition, it would have been the other way around.

I'm happy for you to complete the distance however I don't think that anyone who walks should use the phrase I ran a half marathon because by definition you didn't run. I'm glad people are active but call a spade a spade. If you walked and ran then you're a walker that ran some of the race. I don't mean to be a dick but the details matter.

It's a conspiracy

Read through the thread. There are people asserting that the slower the runner is, the harder they're working. This boggles the mind. Such a sentiment is either delusional or patronizing towards the slower runners.

I ran my first half marathon this past Saturday in 3:09:54. I been training for this since early August and have been running for two years. I am also a 258lb female (5 ft 9) who used to be closely pushing 300lbs four years ago.

My race was amazing. I had awesome pacing and followed my run/walk intervals, and kept smiling the whole damn time. I tried really hard not to make the ugly cry face as I was sprinting down to the finish line so I didn't have ugly pictures. But I was overcome with emotion. I had for the first time in my life followed through with doing something I never thought I would acheive. I actually felt like I was now a "real" runner and I had made it. I pushed my body to the edges of it's physical capacity and through that wall of pain. I cannot wait for my body to recover so I can get back to training for my next half. I already have two in mind for next year!

Running has helped me get more physically active (I also got into sprint triathlons along the way) but it has also helped me change my diet and eating habits. I am now more movtivated than ever to trim down some of this body fat so I can train for a marathon or even dare I say ultra distances!

"(yes I'm a runner even if I walk half the distance)"

When Ragen Chastain did this she was slammed. When it's someone from /sub/running she is lauded.

Makes no sense.

This post has put a smile on my face.

I love this sub but sometimes it does feel all about the speed! I run because i love it - some of the most enjoyable races i have done are my worst times.


I think you missed their point. The accomplishment was the training going in to the race. The race was the "motivation" to keep the training on track and its completion merely marked the end of that period of training.

It's funny, I've actually met several legitimately elite athletes (I live in Oregon, which is a bit of a Mecca for trail/ultra running). And you know, none of them feel like they need to tell people they're elite. Their performances speak for them.

If you have to tell people how awesome you are...you're probably not that great.

You're slow!

But you can't beat me, because I ran my first marathon last month in almost 7 hours :)

One of the top comments is how there are people in this sub who undermine others because they might be 'slower.'

yet if i review every weekly accomplishment thread I'll find almost only positive attitudes and respect to all levels of ability.

I swear people just make things up so they can get on a pedestal. These threads are always designed to create controversy between runners based on speed and it always starts with the faster people being the bad guy.

We're all runners, deal with it.

I can say with complete honesty that I never want to run a 6-hour marathon.

A 5K in 38 minutes? That's not exactly an unreasonably slow running time for an average person. My 5K time averages about 34 minutes, and I run the whole time - no walk breaks. It may be a slow run, but it's a challenging pace for me.

I get your complaint about people who intentionally chat and walk calling themselves runners, but it's really unrelated to any specific finishing time.

I don't really care much about people's times but can you really call that running?

A 15 minute mile isn't running.

My beef comes in when I train daily for a run, complete it, and tell everyone about it. Then someone's like, yeah I ran a 5k too. You did not run a 5k it took you 38 minutes. The people that were running finished 15 minutes before you. When I finished I saw you were casually chatting with someone in the back during the race.

Honestly, non-runners have almost no idea what a good marathon time is. I told someone my time was 5:30 for my first marathon, and they said "wow, that's pretty good!" and I said "thanks!"

In fact, most non-runners have no idea how long a marathon even is. And I'm pretty sure a lot of them think a 10k is "like 10 miles".

But OP says they might walk up to half the distance.

I don't care about anybody's pace, but at least run the whole race if you want kudos for the accomplishment.

I just came in 3rd to last in my age group in a half, and I'm damn proud of it. As should you be. Yeah 103 other guys my age are way faster than me, but a lot mor guys wouldn't even have attempted a run like that. Let alone 3 times this year? What what!

I'm a slow runner and I avoid training by time. If I need a 3 mile run, saying I should run 30 minutes isn't going to do it. For slower runners, training by distance is better. Otherwise, what should be an 18+ mile run ends up being a 12 mile run, which isn't what the plan intends.

meh. Better things to worry about it life.

Ragen also didn't train and was a total bitch about it.

If it wasn't for the slower runners many local races wouldn't even exist! Those 17 minute 5k-ers or sub 2:00 HM-ers would have no where to show off their accomplishments either. Many of them know and appreciate this, but there are always the few that don't think of it.

Casual 5Ks and half-marathons are not the place for this, competitions are.

They are competitions. That's why there's a clock and winners and why people's place are recorded.