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On Behalf Of All the 10+ Minute Mile Runners

Written on July 13, 2012 at 11:54 am , by

I know that for many of you who read Fitness Magazine, running a 10 minute mile is no big deal. In fact, you may be like my husband who says it is physically painful for him to run as slow as I run.

So on behalf of all the 10+ minute mile runners out there, I have a few things I’d like to tell the rest of the world.

1. Yes, we ARE running.

It’s true. You may be able to walk as fast as we are running. It may look like a slow jog to you, but we are giving it all we’ve got. Please do not insult us by telling us we are not really running. We are giving it everything we’ve got.

2. It is OUR race too.

At a recent 10k race, we ran on roads that had to have some level of vehicle access. The volunteers did an awesome job of directing traffic. The drivers, however, weren’t so kind. I actually had a UPS driver honking at us, tell us to stop so he could get through. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You know there is a race going on! I turned and yelled at him, “I am having the best 10k of my life! PLEASE do not do this!” Less than half a mile from the finish line, a volunteer directed a car to cross across the road in a gap in front of me. It would have been just fine – except that the car behind him went too, blocking my access to the road. I got SO mad. I ran around the car, smacking it with my hand as I went past. Childish? Probably. I couldn’t believe that I had run over 5.5 miles without walking but that car tried to get in my way. It was as though I wasn’t even racing. As if I didn’t matter.

True, I may not have been racing against others in the race itself. The first place runner had long since finished. But I was in a race – against myself. Against the voices in my head telling me it would be easier to walk. Against those feelings of self-doubt. Of not feeling good enough. And you know what? I won that race!

3. We can use some encouragement too.

Sometimes it’s easy to cheer for the people running a ridiculous 5:20 mile on the race course. And yes, I’m sure they appreciate the cheers too. But please save some for those runners gutting out a 12 minute mile.

You don’t know their battle – what they have overcome. You may be tired of cheering by the time we pass by a half hour later, but please muster up a cheer. You never know how much your encouragement might mean to someone!

Any other 10+ Minute Mile Runners have something you’d like people to know? Please share! 


Callie, 29, is a working mom in Venice, Florida who blogs about her journey to a healthier lifestyle and hopes to inspire a few other “wannabe athletes” along the way. You can follow her on Twitter at @AthleteWannabe or on Facebook at  /TheWannabeAthlete.

  • http://twitter.com/RunForGlitter Stacy Lazar

    I love this so much. I often think to myself, I’m young, I’m fit, I’m athletic…I don’t understand why I’m not logging 6-minute miles and why my race times seem to mock me after each event. While I’ve managed to cut my time to 9-somethings this year, I still wouldn’t call it anything monumental and, when it comes down to it, I am a natural 10-minute mile kind of gal. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Ggritzo

    Thank you for this. It’s exactly how I feel about my consistent 10+ miles. Especially frustrating to me is when the fuel stations are out of fuel by the time I reach them. I’ve learned to always run with a fuel belt at races longer than 1 hour.

  • http://twitter.com/CEB82 Cassie B.

    I’m a slow runner and proud of it. I’m not going to be fast, but I’m out there. 

  • Marie_2828

    This made my day. Thank you

  • ALP

    I don’t run. I hate running. I detest running. Runners scare me. And yet, for some reason, I’ve always wanted to run a 5K just to say “I did that!”

    If/when I do, I will be there to make the 10 minute milers feel like they are wicked fast. 
    Thank you for writing this–it’s giving me pause and I’m sitting here thinking “maybe”…

  • Brooke

    I’m lucky to get in at 11 minutes.  Glad to know I’m not alone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aklute Anne Lute

    My best advice, tell us you are proud of us for finishing. There is a small chance we are embarrassed that we are so slow. Let us know our effort was worth it.

  • Brigitte Mittler

    My mantra is I may not be fast but I will finish and finish strong.  Who cares if it takes me 12+ min miles to do it!  I’ve done 2 half-marathons in a time that take the fast runner to finish a marathon and I could care less!!  My trainer bought me a shirt that says “I don’t jog, I run!!” and it’s so true. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=680527762 Sara Peters

    Thank you for this!  I have never been much of a runner, but after two back surgeries and years of physical therapy and doctors telling me what I couldn’t do I made a goal to complete a 5k.  I completed my first race a year ago next month and I’ve done a few more since and yes there were rude people who make comments but I couldn’t help but smile and think that not long ago I needed a cane to shuffle around and now I was RUNNING!  I am running the same 5k again next month I can’t wait to see how my times compare.  Thank you again!

  • Cari

    Awesome!!  I too am a slow runner, but am proud for what I run.  When I’ve gotten discouraged I’ve been told by runners that it doesn’t matter the speed because you’re lapping those still on the couch.

  • Kb51kw69

    At 61, I’ve completed my first 5K snowshoe race and my first 5K Down and Dirty Race.  Would have been over the moon had I finished as a 10 minute miler!  But I DID FINISH!  I’m close to 10 minutes and hope to get there in time for my next challenge in October.  If I don’t, oh well.  I’ll still finish.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dbrooks.home Dawn Brooks

    Definetly running. I learned in my Kinesiology class that the difference between running and walking there is a flight period. Looks like she has a flight period in the first picture. :)

  • Karen

    I feel so much better now that I know there are others out there that run a 10 min mile.  When I commented to mt 18 year old daughter that I was now running 5k in a little under 10 min per mile she said that was an awful time and it couldn’t be right.  She didn’t say it to be mean but she is in high school track so compared to them I suppose it is slow.  After that I didn’t feel like running again let alone thinking about actually entering a 5K race – but now I’m reconsidering.

  • K_pusch

    Thank you for this! I actually got emotional reading it. It’s good to know that there are others out there like me! :)

  • enk24

    I am not much of a runner and never have been due to knee issues. If I were to run a race, I would absolutely be in the 10+ minute mile group. I play sports and stay active, but I don’t see distance running in my future. Those who choose to run despite the intentional or unintentional jabs at their slower pace, and despite various injuries and obstacles inspire me, and I applaud you, regardless of time.

  • http://www.racingalzheimers.com/ Joanne

    I completely relate to this!  I started running about a year ago and my best 5K pace is 10:17 I think?  I’m pretty comfortable hanging around the 11:00 pace mark and can beat myself up over it when I’m always asking — why can’t I go faster?  I FEEL fast . . . until I think about other runners with sub 10s . . . heck, sub 8s!  But, I remind myself I am not comparing myself to others — I AM RUNNING MY OWN RACE.  And I really like how you put it when you said –  “But I was in a race – against myself. Against the voices in my head
    telling me it would be easier to walk. Against those feelings of
    self-doubt.”  Yes.  Thank you.

  • Joanne

    Just Do It! 
    Find a 5K a couple months out and start training for it.  Now!  Do it!!  You’ll be glad you did.  When I finished my first 5K it may as well have been a marathon.  I was SO happy!  You will be too.  : )

  • Bec42

    It’s not about the other runners, its about you. Real runners don’t care so run your race and ignore the other few hundred or thousand people out there.

  • nicole

    I’m pregnant and now run at a 10+ min mile pace.
    I’ve learned that depending on life circumstances, injuries, age, etc our bodies vary in the kind of intensity it can handle. I’m sure my pace will get slower as I get even more pregnant but I’m happy that I’m getting out there and happy to read this article! People need to not discount slower runners… we’re a lot faster than people sitting on the couch :)

  • Denise

    So happy to read that there are others out there like me.  I am active and fit but NOT speedy.  It is frustrating to be working my hardest and have others zip by.  But I am still out there doing it and that, in the long run, is what counts. Callie, I am in North Port and you are welcome to join me for a trail run anytime. 

  • Momontherun81

    I run b/w a 15-16 min mile. I dare someone to tell me I’m not running. I worked just as hard as the others to get there.

  • Marcy

    Thank you! I run what I consider a “FAST!” 13 minute mile – and average a 14 minute mile on longer distances like half marathons. And damnit, I’m a runner! A good runner! I deserve spectators and love from the crowd just as much as the 9 minuters. ;-)

  • Itcbeth

    A few years ago, the Center for Disease Control announced that the area I live in was the unhealthiest area in the US. I was exactly that person. For at least 15 years I was 50 to 100 lbs overweight. In 2008 I made a few changes. I had just turned 50 years old and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life like that. My food choices were the first to change. Then I started walking, I walked everywhere I possibly could. Then I got impatient. I started running. I love it! I’m now 55 years old. I’ve lost 70 lbs and I run 5K’s as often as possible. Usually I’m around 11:00 minute mile depending on the heat and the level of the running course. I agree with everyone, I’m there to beat MY last time.  

  • kpl11464

    I run a 13 min mile and am very proud of it! I started running at 40-something, and now at 47 with 60 lbs down, I have run 3 5K’s and hope to run a 10K n the future I m not fast, but I am a runner!

  • Tina Moore

    Amen sista! I have been a runner for 30 years! How dare traffic cut thru on your race day! That is so rude! Everyone to me is a winner! Just getting out there & making the effort to finish a race. Good for you to post this! I am proud of you!

  • Haykim11

    I couldnt have put it better myself! You are 100% correct!

  • Okdrtguy

    Yeah . If you think my 10min pace is slow then F.U!!

  • Woodc75

    I am 55 yrs old and have run 13 5ks in the last 3 years.  My best time is 40 min and I am just fine with that.  Three years ago I couldn’t have run to the end of my short driveway so I am very happy with my time.

  • Trtl Rnr

    Hi Callie,
    Great post! Thanks for the inspiration. :-) Self-named Turtle Runner here…even my license plate says so. As a 45+ y/o type 2 diabetic and disabled vet who discovered running in 2009, I’m okay w/ my 12:30 pace! I also run/walk intervals using the Galloway method. Yes, THAT is running, too! Worked for an Olympian.

    Hmmmm….slapping the car or slapping the race volunteer that ALLOWED the car to cross….just sayin’!

    Let me know if you ever want to run the Apopka hills….home to many triathletes in training. :)

  • Alyndaker1

    I love, love, love this!  I have never gotten below a 10min/mile and hate it when people give me a hard time about it.  I’ve learned to run my own race finally :)

  • Joann Carrillo

    I love it!!!!!

  • Adriana_wp

    Thank you for writing this as I’m part of this pace group.  I started running just before turning 50 so needless to say I’m not fast but I’m getting better and feel proud of finishing.  I try not to care too much about the unsupportive idiots and I’m very thankful for all those wonderful people who are supporting and cheer encouraging words.  I’ve met some wonderful folks with that attitude and that keeps me in the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kate.peters.39501 Kate Peters

    Awesome!!! For more tips on how to move your body…check out

  • Patty Zieg

    I’m crying as I read this because I could have written it!! However, I did have the encouragement of a gentleman who cheered me on in my second half marathon when I couldn’t go any further and I was only 20 yards from the finish line (so embarassing, but the gas tank was empty!!) AND I did get across that line. And I DID win!! 13 minutes faster than my first half at 12:30 per mile. But that man will forever be my hero!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/liimu Liimu McGill

    Yeah, baby! That’s what I’m talking about! Plus, today’s 12-minute miler might be tomorrow’s race winner!!! You have to start somewhere!

  • Devoco1

    Even if I come in last place, I’m faster than everyone sitting at home in front of their TV.

  • http://justbreathe-wfhmom.blogspot.com/ Wfhmomtx

    Thank you, thank you! I’ve only been running for a year as I work to lose 70 pounds, and I’ve yet to break the 11 minute mile mark. And it may never happen! But I can go longer than I used to, and the hills don’t make me want to die anymore, and I can tell my breathing and heart rate are light years ahead of where they were when I started. So I’ll opt for health over speed!

  • Rosethomas491

    Loved your blog! 10 minute mile I wish! I’m trying my hardest to get around 12:00 or break that 40:00 minute mark for a 5K! I am always at the back of the pack but have met some of the nicest people back there! I once use to worry about being in the back but then thought hey I’m in this race to finish and that is such a cool feeling! One nice perk about a slower pace is that you get to see almost everyone that is running~even though those fast runners that seem to be in a totally different race then you!!
    Keep up the great work!

  • http://joggingoncoffee.blogspot.ca/ Lisa @ Jogging on Coffee

    Great post :)  I too am a slower runner so I can relate. Thanks for sharing!

  • slow runner lady

    Wonderful! No one knows what challenges us slow runners are overcoming when we race.  Our 12 or 13 minute miles may be more amazing than the 5 or 6 minute miles others are doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/littlebutton09 Kristina Turtura

    I am proud of my 10:30 mile.  For me at 5 foot 2 thats fast for my short little legs!! 

  • Lakecia

    I was at the end of a 5 miler and really just wanted to walk. There were a couple of spectators there that could see that look on my face and yelled to me “don’t you dare walk, you’re almost there”. Best part of my race. I’m about an 11 minute miler.

  • Ericka

    Love this post.  I am down to a 15 min mile and damn proud of it.  I honestly don’t really have the desire (or the ankles) to go faster than 10 min per mile anyway.  Go slow runners!  Like tortoises, we win the race.

  • pyjammy

    Love this! I have just gotten really fast lately…I did a 5K on the treadmill at a 10:20 pace. Yes, that for me is ZOOMING.

    (and my blood just boiled a bit, reading about the cars at the 10k.)

  • Ladyrino

    I can only hope one day to make a 10 minute mile.  I have now SUCCESSFULLY finished 7 half marathons in 9 months and the last one set a new personal record by 11 minutes.  My time is closer to the 17 minute mark but don’t anyone dare tell me I am not running – the medals on my wall prove it.  My family is there for every race with cow bells and my family has all been taught to ring the bells for all runners but with MUCH GUSTO for the slow runners – just like their momma! =)

  • Rachel

    I read this prior to running my 3 miles this morning…  at an average of 14 minute miles- this is just what I needed to remind me that time does not determine my ability!  1 half and 1 full marathon under my belt- I can say that I am a runner- regardless of time! 

  • Fairchild

    Me too!  I’ve never been overweight but I just CANNOT run fast.  Just like I’m naturally not flexible, my body just can’t go very fast before giving out.  But I run anyway!  Slow and steady works for me!

  • Patty

    I did an entire marathon – 26.2 miles! – running/walking an average of 15 mph. It took me 7 hours, but I finished! Twice! Even though I was in last place and they had taken everything down, I was proud of myself and those that I finished with for not giving up!

    We can all be proud of our successes and accomplishments! :)

  • Jenn @ Runningourway.com

    Order enough beer, food, snacks, and awards for us slower folks. We paid the money to race, let us race with all the benefits. Make it fun for us because we are the folks that have a long competition road ahead of us and will continue to come back. We are the folks that inspire our friends that have never ran a race before to come out and join us. So let us experience the race in its entirety.

  • Ann Marie

    I’m doing my first 5K in Aug..it’s taken me a long time  to get to running a 15 min mile for 30 min straight on a treadmill….if I can run most of it at an average 16:30 pace I’ll be very happy but I still feel weird saying I run cuz I’m so slow.