Sunday, December 28, 2014

40

In 1976, the United States celebrated it's Bicentennial. 200 years prior, the 13 British colonies boldly declared their independence from the mother country, and, eventually, the United States of America was born.

On a warm afternoon in May of 1976, in the small town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, nestled in the Pocono Mountains, and named after the famous Native American Olympian, I ran my first race. It was a punishing 10K event, which coursed down the mountain into town, and finished with a 2-mile uphill climb..

Early that year, after a 2-year hiatus from collegiate running, I decided to revive my running career. Some 122,000 miles later, I have never looked back.

Possessing running obsessive-compulsive order, I began to record my daily mileage and other pertinent running information into a logbook, which was actually a date book, given to me by my dad, from his place of employment.

Beginning on January 1, 2015 (and I have never missed a New Year's Day run) I will begin recording running data in a logbook for the 40th consecutive year.

When you compare the two logbooks below, you can see that, even though we have progressed from land lines to Smartphones, my method of recording my running statistics has remained primitive and very 20th century. My Garmin GPS watch enables me to record data from it onto my computer, but I still choose to put the pen to the paper.

Each day I record my distance, time, course and weather conditions.

A typical entry may looks like this:

48 degrees, drizzle
8 miles-Minersville-Bike Path
57:00

Track workouts are a little more detailed, but you get the picture.

I fully realize and accept that my method of recording my running stats is completely "old school," but no matter what method you choose, recording your running statistics will make you a better runner. You can evaluate what works for you and what doesn't. Some of my running friends keep track of mileage placed on their shoes through their logbook. Others express their feelings in their logbooks, for example, "Felt tired today."

 The possibilities are endless. You can make your logbook a novel, or you may keep it brief. So with only a few days remaining in 2014, resolve to keep a logbook of some kind in the new year. The secrets it holds will lead you to your personal best.

In my first book, "Running Shorts," I devote a chapter to this important topic, entitled simply, 'Logbook.' Both "Running Shorts," and my latest book, "Personal Best," are available at www.muldowneyrunning.com, at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu.com