Simplifying My Running Logs

A few days ago, I wrote a post about Simplifying My Running.

Yeah, something that I seem to attempt to do every few years, but this time when I wrote my post it felt a little different from all those times before. I have a feeling that a lot of it is being driven by the after-math of my brother-in-law’s death and subsequent efforts to deal with the estate stuff.

I learned that life needs to be enjoyed, lived and every once in a while we need to look at how we are doing things in our lives. As a part of this I am looking where I will be going with my running over the next month.

While I am still formulating and letting things percolate on what I want from my running going forward beyond continuing to run. I have some ideas, thoughts and an inkling of a few things, but I am not quite ready to write about them yet. I am kind of doing the Chi Running – Running Assessment exercise, with other variables added in, so we will see where that ends up.

However, when I wrote that post about simplifying my running, I identified a BUNCH of stuff that I can do right now.

First up is how I can streamline, simplify and make the process of logging my running a LOT easier on myself.

Running Logs

How many running logs do I really need?

  • 2+1

is the answer I came up with.

I only need one online place to act as a repository for my GPS data, then I have this blog and my spreadsheet. I suppose that I could really get rid of the spreadsheet and blog and move completely to Garmin or Strava. However, even though I might own my own data, there is no guarantees of it being where I want to be, when I want it. I gotta admit it would be easier in the long run and my blog would get just about the same number of hits daily :-).

Pen and Paper

In the direction I am going, I don’t really want or need a Pen and Paper running log, it is just one more thing to keep up with. I enjoyed the writing things down at first and I really believe that it helped me think about what I was doing and accomplishing by moving to Chi Running.

However, for me it is not something that I want to do long-term, I prefer an electronic running log over a written log. It came down to personal preference and/or getting rid of my blog – I’ll keep my blogging going for a while longer.

Blog

Speaking of the blog, it is my running log narrative and really has been for a while now. Over the past few months I have purposely reduced the amount of data that I include in my RunLog blog posts.

So, unless I do something spectacular or have a race that I want to capture how I did – don’t expect to be overwhelmed with stats about my runs.

My blog is where I get to tell the story of my running (among other things that interest me or do affect my running). That is what I am going to focus more on going forward, the story of my running – the story of an Aging Runnah.

Not that it is going to ever hit the big time, but it will keep me out of trouble and keep my writing skills somewhat reasonable, since I don’t have another outlet for my limited creative side.

Spreadsheet

The one thing that I have maintained consistently since 2011 is my RunLog spreadsheet. All the different blogs, online running logs, databases, paper based running logs that I have started, used and eventually discarded. My RunLog spreadsheet has been there, through multiple focus changes, different spreadsheet styles/software or apps, loosing/gaining data fields and repeat the cycle numerous times over those years.

It has been about the only thing in my running that has been a constant.

Data Capture is what spreadsheets are great at, but I was keeping my RunLog spreadsheet up in Google, Gnumeric and Excel. Now that I am going back to the Apple silo, I have to get reacquainted  with Numbers again. Which I have done by putting together my 2018 RunLog spreadsheet.

After I wrote that Simplifying things post, I got to thinking about all the spreadsheets I have wandering around in different places and realized that if I am going to move to Numbers – just do it. So I did.

At the same time I got rid of a bunch of columns that didn’t really add much to what I want to capture and I am still thinking seriously about getting rid of the description column, since that is what I do in my blog.

Data that is what the spreadsheet should be all about, to help me identify trends with graphs, charts, totals and averages. Plus believe it or not I do enjoy using and playing around with the data in the spreadsheet – it makes for some interesting observations about my running at times.

I’ll keep it.

Online Running Logs

I have an account and have at some point or other tried just about all of them. Over the past year I have cut it down to Garmin and Strava, which has helped a lot. However, do I really need them both? I am not crazy about the Garmin interface (it sucks), but I need it to upload my GPS data, to populate Strava, which in my opinion is a better online running log.

However, I don’t really use either one for much of anything – other than going on Strava and checking like or making a pithy comment to someone I know about their run. So I have deleted my bookmarks to Strava and while I will continue to populate data there I probably won’t do much else there, other than grab an occasional screenshot. After finishing up this post, I will probably go in and delete a bunch of runners off my list of runners that I am following. That way it will have only local runners and a few others – after all I do want to see how some people are doing that I know.

Garmin Connect – I have on my phone to upload to the website and even after going in and attempting to customize the website, it just doesn’t do anything for me. I will have data there and if I need something in particular I will use it. Otherwise, it will just be a repository for GPS data, which I do like having available – just in case someone does have a question about my running..

The reality is that

I like my blog and writing about my running here, it gives me a long form writing format to get thoughts out of my head – as long as I stay in one place long enough for people to find me. I also like the idea of keeping my own spreadsheet, which allows me to add or delete data columns as my interests or needs change, without having to stay within the limitations of someone else’s running log.

The need for Garmin is simply because I am tied to their silo, by having three Garmin GPS watches and really do not need all the other online logs that don’t really add a lot to my running experience or what I want to track in my running. Although I might peek at what a few other runners are doing every once in a while on Strava.

There is not anything I am doing here that is really earth-shattering or anything, but it does streamline the logging my runs process. Which had too many moving parts, too many data entry requirements and was becoming too time consuming and cumbersome.

Now I also have a better idea of what part I want for my blog to play in the process and what I data I want/need to keep in my spreadsheet – which is my official running log.

Now to see how it all works out over the next month or so.

Pushing the Redline – RunLog 9-9-14

Tuesday = speedwork, which means tonight I am freaking toast. Bennie and I sat in our easy chair after lunch (around 1:30) and then next thing I knew it was 2:45. TheWife is on vacation, so she was puttering around the house, making plenty of noise and I was basically – out and she said that Bennie never moved at all either.

Based on that result, I guess they were great workouts.

Really both of my runs today were tough ones, that challenged me in different ways.

Bennie Run

I think that Bennie can tell when I put on my Skechers GoMeb 2’s, maybe there is something about the way I walk or get more focused when I put them on. All I know is that he seems to know when I put them on, that we are gonna run faster than usual and he takes off, then looks back at me as if to say “well aren’t you coming you old fart!”

Silly dog!!! 🙂

Strava Bennie Run 9-9-11
Strava Bennie Run 9-9-11

Continue reading “Pushing the Redline – RunLog 9-9-14”

A Quick Vacation Run – RunLog 9-8-14

TheWife and I went over to Gorham, New Hampshire for quick overnighter to start her week’s vacation.

We got in a nice hike yesterday over in Shelburne, although it wasn’t what we were looking for – it was more of an old logging road than a trail, it was still nice to be outside together, with the Bean 🙂 .

IMG_20140907_133120_099

IMG_20140907_141232_752

It was just an out and back on this kind of road, so we were a little disappointed, but at least now we know.

We spent the night at the Royalty Inn in Gorham, had a nice pizza and whoopie pies for supper and fell asleep before 9:00. Continue reading “A Quick Vacation Run – RunLog 9-8-14”

Enjoy The Heat While We Can – RunLog 9-6-14

@eather 9-6-14
Weather 9-6-14

I know, I know the heat and humidity sucks to run in, but at the same time, the winds of change are coming and before we know it the cold will be back and we will be whining about that instead of the heat and humidity 😉 .

Yep, 81F glorious degrees and 74% of humidity – tough to run in?

Yep!!!

Not gonna lie or try to set any PR’s or anything in that kind of weather, nope that kind of weather for running is made for just doing it and getting it over with.

However, being able to walk around the block wave to your neighbors, stop/pet a couple of dogs and enjoy being able to walk around the block in shorts/t-shirt without freezing your ass off !!!  is GREAT. Which I much prefer over the heavy winter jacket, mittens, watch cap and not seeing any neighbors outside.

No this morning’s runs were nothing to get excited about, but at the same I AM EXCITED ABOUT  being able to run consistently in any kind of weather. I have had 6 weeks of at least 40 miles and I am beginning to enjoy – just being able to run.

Screw the stats, I don’t care about the distance, who gives a rat’s ass about the pace, what my run graphs look like – I love being able to get out the door and run — then enjoy it no matter what the weather is – is the important thing and some times, we forget the joy of running.

The weather will change or be what it will be, no matter how much we want 55F, low humidity, no wind and a cloudy day for running – they just don’t happen that often. So we need to just take what we get, enjoy them while we can :-).

Yes, I will whine, piss and moan about the weather with the best of them, but when it comes right down to it, I am still gonna run. I guess what Chief Hart told me my first week on the USCGC SPAR (WLB 403) “A bitchin sailor is a happy sailor, because he is to damn busy bitchin to get hisself into trouble”. Continue reading “Enjoy The Heat While We Can – RunLog 9-6-14”

Well That One Sucked – RunLog 9-4-14

As you can tell by the title my long run today was not something to write home about or give it more credibility than it deserves.

I started out really well and thought that I was going to have a GREAT run, but that changed going into mile 3.0 and didn’t get better – it got worse.

Strava Stats 9-4-14
Strava Stats 9-4-14

I made mistakes: Continue reading “Well That One Sucked – RunLog 9-4-14”

Today I was the Bug – RunLog 9-2-14

You know the old saying or song, that sometime you are the bug and sometime you are the windshield.

Today the humidity was the windshield and I definitely was the bug.

Just a little humid today
Just a little humid today

Tuesday’s are my hardest speedwork days and this morning was somewhere near 80-100% humidity earlier.

That high humidity was going to make things pretty tough, especially when I did a longer run yesterday in some pretty bad heat/humidity too. Looking back, that run took more out of me than I thought it would, even though I took it easy.

Today, I woke up tired and not very motivated, which was VERY unusual, because I do like my Tuesday speedwork sessions and look forward to getting out there and pushing myself harder than usual. Continue reading “Today I was the Bug – RunLog 9-2-14”

More Than Warmish and Humid – RunLog 9-1-14

Looking down towards the new hospital
Looking down towards the new hospital

September is here and that means better weather for running is on its way. Well on its way, does not mean that it is here yet — today was 86F and over 60% humidity, so it still has some cooling to do 😉 .

I waffled from thinking about taking a day off, to doing a chase me run towards Waterville, instead, I did an easy Bennie Run and then TheWife said she was going into Kohl’s in Augusta.

She asked if I wanted to run to Augusta and even though it was warmish and muggy, I decided “a what the heck” and said sure.

So I ended up running almost 7.5 miles in this stuff. Continue reading “More Than Warmish and Humid – RunLog 9-1-14”

Long Run on a Perfect Day – RunLog 8-29-14

The Winds of Change came in yesterday!

Oh what relief it was. However, it is also a harbinger of things to come, so it was a mixed blessing.

So I will enjoy this kind of weather while it lasts!

What a gorgeous day for a long run, 72F degrees, bright sunshine and a breeze, best of all – low humidity.

I started out slowly, and while I thought about going for a 8:30 pace, I decided to just stay around 9:00’s. I haven’t run double-digits that much lately and am not sure of how well I was going to do, plus I was doing my first long run in the Pearl Izumi N1 Roads and wanted to make sure they were going to work well, before trying to go faster in them for this distance.

Strava Stats 8-29-14
Strava Stats 8-29-14

I did really well with my pacing until between miles 8 & 9, my left Achilles area really began to bother me, which shot down any thoughts of doing more the trail head. Continue reading “Long Run on a Perfect Day – RunLog 8-29-14”

4 – 6 – 4 Colby Track Workout – RunLog 8-26-14

For my primary run today, I went to Colby College’s track.

More because track/interval workouts are what I do on Tuesdays, than because I wanted to go run in 85F degree weather with bright sunshine on a track with no shade.

However, I also I know that running faster in the heat is one of my weaknesses, it always has been. Even though the summer is almost over, I am sure that we will have a few more days of hot weather running. If I want to run well in the heat, I need to run in the heat.

Also this type of running develops a certain amount of mental toughness. Especially, since I wasn’t really all that into doing track work today. I had planned to do 4 x 400m, 4 x 200m and 1 x 1.0 at sub 6:40 pace,  a fast mile at a sub 7:00 minute pace and between 4-8 100 yard pickup/sprints – depending upon how I was feeling at the end.

During my recent 5K races, I find that once I go past the 1.0 marker, I let my foot off the gas and start to slow down and then when I get to the 2.0 mile mark, I tend to slow a little more until I get to where I turned around during my 1.0 mile warm-up, where I begin to pick up my pace again.

I know that I need to work on faster pacing between miles 1.0 to 2.5

So what did I do?

  • 1.0 mile warm-up
  • 4 x 400m with 400m recovery between
  • 6 x 200m with 200m recovery between
  • 4 x 100 yards on the football field.
  • 1.0 mile cool-down

Continue reading “4 – 6 – 4 Colby Track Workout – RunLog 8-26-14”

When a Run Is Not About Running – RunLog 8-22-14

Sometimes a run, is not made by the actual run, but other things that happen before or during that run.

Today when I was running up in Newport, what happened beyond running that was important.

Here is the run, but that is not what was important.

Strava Stats Newport 8-22-14
Strava Stats Newport 8-22-14

What in the hell are you yammering on about Harold?

Today I went north to take Dad out for lunch and spend some time together, which I admit that I don’t do enough. We had a great meal, swapped stories, talked about what has gone on in our lives and just enjoyed being together.

After dropping Dad off, I drove back to Newport to do a 3-4 mile easy run around Newport. Lunch was not kind to me and I could feel lunch sitting like a big log in my stomach, you know how well Chile Cheese Omelet, home fries and a Coconut Cream pie mix together – not well.

Instead of parking in front of my old home, I parked down at the swim front – a place that I spent so much time of my youth and yep a lot has changed there.

As I was running past my old coaches’ house, Lyle and his wife were outside working. I haven’t seen him in oh at least 15 years, so I stopped and talked for a little while. It was great to catch up with him, especially since he was my P.A.L. basketball coach starting way back when I was in 4th grade through 7th grade and I played basketball in his back yard for many years.

Yeah, that was a looooonnnnnngggggggg time ago. Continue reading “When a Run Is Not About Running – RunLog 8-22-14”