Friday, November 25, 2011

A Return to the Old (Training Log) Ways

"Three-fourths of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering.”~Gary Snyder
After about three months of not discussing any of my own running here (at on a blog that was initiated as a training blog), I thought I'd mention the fact that I am still running. Following my fairly successful (I finished, didn't I?) participation in early September's Rochester Half Marathon, I haven't been training for anything inparticular, though I have been periodically putting on the running shoes and putting in a few miles here and there.

What I have not been doing is recording these sporadic training runs online.

Ye Ole Training Book.
What I have been doing, however, is keeping track of these runs in the old fashioned way: using a paper log book and pencil. Many years ago, when I first began considering the possibility of running, at first, a half and then, later, a full marathon, I realized the necessity of tracking my training. This was prior to the advent of easy online logging, so I did what recreational athletes had been doing for years: writing down miles and thoughts in one of the many freebie training logs provided by running stores.

After having completed two log books which were given to me as swag for one race or another, I transitioned into maintaining an online diary of sorts. This process was further simplified with the eventual of online logs such as Daily Mile, which calculated pace and calories burned automatically. Though I have always avoided Garmins and software based Nike products, I did "enjoy" the ease of logging in, tapping in numbers and watching the mileage increase. But, as the ease with which I could punch numbers and the number of "friends" I could assume were following my efforts improve (or occasionally diminish), my personal investment in the real work waned.

Somewhere along the line, I felt sense of disconnect from the process due to the technological ease of recording, processing, and presumably sharing, information. So now, while I still have a Daily Mile account (though I haven't looked at it in a few months), and continue to use USATF's mapping site to calculate the ground I've covered (still no Garmin, but a totally functional $15 dollar digital watch from Target), I have returned to the log book.

Already, I am feeling a personal sense of commitment simply through the act of placing pen to paper... oddly, the practice of placing things on paper in a kinesthetic manner gives me a greater sense of commitment to the information, goals and performances. Though I get the irony of my discussing and posting this on a blog, I somehow feel as though I have loosened the door to the cage of convenience which computer and electronics had become for my personal training.

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