It doesn't matter how fast you run

Yesterday a friend told me that someone else told her that her 5K time was "good for a beginner".

Fuck that.

If you tell someone you ran a 5K race, there's only one acceptable response to receive: some variant of "That's awesome! Good for you." If they say anything else...well, they may not be a shitty person, but it's still a shitty thing to say.

If you run at all, you're a runner. It doesn't matter if you only ran for 30 minutes, or 15 minutes, or even 5 minutes. It doesn't matter if you run outside or on a treadmill. What matters is that you're moving, and don't let anyone make you think otherwise. Do you run a 15 or 16 minute mile? Awesome, you're still running. Do you pause to walk every few minutes? Doesn't matter, you're still running, which is more than most people can say. The most important thing is to get out there and move.

Now, if you want to challenge yourself to get faster and better over time, and you want to tell people what your race times are - that's awesome too. There's nothing wrong with pushing yourself, at least to a reasonable degree, and it's definitely pretty cool to watch yourself get stronger and faster. But being competitive isn't for everyone, and people shouldn't be shamed or judged for not doing so. Every time you get out and go for a run is a small victory, no matter how fast you go or how far you run - even if there's no medal for it.

So if the first response someone gives you when you tell them about a success in your life is to essentially ask "but how much of a success was it?", well, then I have a suggestion on how to respond: