Welcome to another new year. Funny how those things pop up annually, eh. May your 2023 runs be flat, fast and with a tailwind! Are you planning any resolutions, goals, or new habits? I have an idea for you…
For Christmas, I received my annual paper running log stocking stuffer. And this year, my son received his very first paper log as well. I’m excited to show him all that a paper log can do and say. Strava, Garmin, Nike, etc… all have nice on-line logs that allow for everything from pace, distance and location to weather, heart rate, stride rate and even ‘pit stops’ (yes, you can usually tell). But a paper log has DEPTH!
Some of you may recall that I have paper logs dating back to 1984. I started running in 1978 but didn’t really understand tracking my runs until my junior year in college. And it’s not just about tracking mileage and pace, it’s about tracking YOU. See, I’m not sure Captain Kirk’s oral star date logs were ever shared with anyone else but Captain Kirk.
Here are a few random entries from my years gone by –
12/15/2005 – Kent Island trail with 8 x 20 second accels. 7.5 miles/56’00. Mizuno Riders – loosed up from yesterday’s treadmill run. I HATE treadmills! Groin is sore but improving.
7/25/1993 – So. Chester County team Triathlon. 1st overall team! 5-miles in 26’44 (last two downhill in 10’09). I’ve never been envious of the swim leg, until today… 86 degrees when I started!
3/12/2016 – Creek Road/PennDel trail from UD Fieldhouse. Good LSD effort! 11.7 miles/89’48. NB890 v4. Avg. 7’40 pace for most of this. Feeling stronger but need to start peppering in more speed sessions. Turnover is off.
On the surface, these individual entries don’t really tell much of a story, but looking at the days before and after… oh the places you (and Captain Kirk) can go! For example, I recently determined that I’ve run over 40,000 miles just in the state of Delaware. There are stories in those pages.
I’m not poo pooing digital uploads and the like, but let’s be honest. I’m sure there are those special diary entries that we don’t want our friends and social media clan to know about. But if you don’t write it down (for your eyes only), those moments of clarity, need or epiphany may be lost forever. How many people do you really want knowing your groin hurts?
There are those who also don’t want their competition to know what they’re doing, or their egos won’t let their friends know they ran at 9’00 pace rather than 8’00 pace. A paper diary allows you to keep those secrets AND provides you with the training guidance you may need.
My suggestion for 2023 is to try your hand at ‘writing it down’. Give it 21 days and see how it goes. It doesn’t need to be in some special runner’s log or triathlete log. Heck my first year was written in a stenography notebook. And you can be as complete or as vague as you want or need. It’s all about YOU learning more about YOU. Happy running for this coming year!
I hope to see you on the roads, tracks and trails.