Running Vicariously thru Other Runners

Part of the fun of becoming part of the online running community over the past 5 months is that I gotten to “meet” a lot of other runners (some of those are very good runners) through Twitter or their blogs. Does this mean that they talk with me and we are great buddies – no.

It does mean that they have given me glimpses into their lives and their running through social media platforms – especially their blogs. These glimpses into other runners lives, has motivated me to do more than I might have otherwise and makes me realize how lucky I am to be part of this online running community.

I have subscriptions in my RSS feed for almost every kind of runner: recreational, injured, back of the pack, middle of the pack, front of the pack, ultra-runners, barefoot runners, minimalist runners, trail runners, élite road racers, Olympic hopefuls and most everything in between. I learn something from each blog and enjoy reading the exploits of my fellow runners.

Truthfully a part of me lives vicariously through their running (whatever their level) and I try to imagine putting myself in their place during their race or tough training session or how I would deal with what they did.

Along the way, I have learned that I am not alone in my many of my thoughts about running, the different goals that different runners have and the dreams that many of us share.  I have also learned that there are people in this community, who do care and are compassionate about their fellow runners and this is one reason that I try to stay active in this community.

I do enjoy

One of the things that I have to admit that I enjoy about being part of this online running community is that I get to read some of the better or should I say faster runners writing about their running.

Those local to national class runners, who graciously blog about their running and give us a snapshot into what it is like to be a runner, who is at or near the front of the pack during races – a place that many of us only dream of being. It is interesting to me to find out how many miles they actually do, how fast they are training mileage, the pressures that they put on themselves and some of the thoughts they have while training or racing or how they get beyond that point where many o f us stop.

The other side of running

I believe that it is important for other runners and myself, to see this side of running too, which is different from the typical runner’s experience.

The side where these runners show how hard it is to run at this level, some of the pressures they experience (internal and external) and what kind of workload it takes to be or stay up there at the front of the pack. In some ways I live a small piece of my running life vicariously through these runner’s exploits, when they do things that I can only dream of, due to my real ability level (not my imagined one).

My favorite blog of this kind is:

The Crossroads by Judson Cake – A Maine runner, who is one of the better runners in the area, up “heah” in Maine. “The Crossroads” is his personal blog where Judson shares his training, where he is running, how he is doing and more important to me, his thoughts about running and racing. Judson talks about local races, from his vantage point at/near the front of the pack, which to be honest is a very different perspective than mine, while running closer to the back of the pack.

His posts are not in-depth epiphanies about running and no he does not attempt to be anything other than himself (from what I can see), they are just his views on his running. The daily entries are usually short, to the point, but when put together over time, tell the story of a very good local runner’s training regimen. While the race recaps are longer and really do give some good insight into what he is thinking while racing, that I find very interesting.

I read several others that are similar, but for some reason “The Crossroads” stands-out for me and I really look forward to reading it when it comes across my gReader. Enough that when I see a new post from Judson, I click it out of gReader and take my time to read it directly from his blog – there are only a few blogs that I do this for and this is one.

No I am not in that class

Will I ever be at this level of running – in a word – NO. I am too old, too fat,too slow and lack that level of ability, but it is still interesting learn more about the “other” side of running and live vicariously through some of their running exploits.

The reality is that

I think it is a good thing to read other runner’s running stories to see what they do differently than I do, whatever level of runner they might be. However, I do enjoy reading about the faster runners (whether they are age group or not), because they are doing something that I do not do well – run fast for long distances. I like to read about how they view things differently than I do about their running. How they train – both physically and mentally to compete with themselves and others.

Do You

Do you have a blog from a very good local runner or even national class runner (trail or road) that you enjoy reading, because they give you a different outlook about running than you might ordinarily have?

If you do I would be interested in having a link to that blog, so I can check it out for myself.

  • What do you think – why do you read other runner’s blogs
  • Do you enjoy reading blogs from runner’s who are a different level than you are?
  • What do you want to read about in other runner’s blogs?
  • Do you ever run vicariously through other runner’s?





4 responses to “Running Vicariously thru Other Runners”

  1. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf Avatar

    I can totally identify with this post. Part of the reason that I started running again more regularly at the beginning of this year is because I finally joined Twitter and started reading running/fitness/healthy living blogs. Reading other people’s stories really inspired me and gave me the kick in the pants that I needed. I like reading the blogs for many of the reasons you state – gives me an insight into other’s training and techniques and gives me inspiration as to what I can and should be doing. And now that I’m injured, I am living vicariously through the blogs since I can’t get out there and run myself.


    1. hshawjr Avatar

      I know how you feel when it comes to being injured, did that for far to long last time, but hopefully you will be back on the roads/trails soon. Reading other’s stories of how they run and the tribulations we all go through make us realize we are not alone, which is so important. Hope you get back out there soon.


  2. jules1707 Avatar

    I completely agree! I find it very helpful to read blogs from other runners..and fun too! I read blogs from people of all levels of ability and I find they inspire me to try harder and to keep going especially as I am just starting out in my running career and it would be so easy for me to stop 🙂


    1. hshawjr Avatar

      No I have a feeling that stopping would be more difficult than you think right now…it seems that you have caught the bug – some people call it Runneritis, here is a link to the symptoms 😉


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