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Tuesday, January 5, 2016


I love spreadsheets.

I may have said this before, but I am addicted to making spreadsheets. I currently have three files and six sheets that get updated on a daily basis. This includes training, reading, changes in my lifestyle, budget... if it can be reduced to a number and put in a grid, I've got a sheet that manages it.

Since I began my running Renaissance, I've had a pretty involved spreadsheet that not only showed me recent data, but compiled everything into a month-by-month, year-over-year sheet. It was incredible.

And then my hard drive crashed. I'm told it's replaceable (not too financially painful) and that the data may be recovered (much more painful), but in the meantime, I still need to track what I'm doing. Needless to say, a new spreadsheet was created without delay. But I realized that, if that data cannot be retrieved, all that running information is simply gone. Sure, the important stuff (marathon results, for instance) is out on the internet, and honestly, the rest of the stuff isn't that important in the long run, but it's still nice to have.

It made me realize that one spreadsheet on one computer is not a secure enough place for me to put my running data.

One other tool I use is Map My Run, which is great, as long as I remember to turn it on. For the last couple months, I definitely have, but it was always hit-or-miss before 2015. Now, I don't forget, which will make analyzing the data a little easier, especially when comparing one year to the next. While it's unlikely that any month this year will be comparable to any month last year, it will still be nice to see a visual representation of that fact.

Even then, however, I'm a little worried that something could happen to the data. So, I've begun writing in a physical journal. Just a few sentences really delving into how I felt and what I did that day. Mileage, time, what hurt, what didn't, any sort of cross training I did... it all goes right into the journal.

The book itself, it turns out, was actually a Christmas gift from 1997. I know this from the first entry where my bold 14-year-old self declared that it would be a "chronicle" of my life. Considering that I only wrote three more entries in it (Jan 1999, Aug 2001, Jul 2002), I had about as much success with that as I've had in recent years on this blog. Already, though, I've detailed every workout I've had since December 28th, careful to note things that work and things that didn't. One more thing to update on a daily basis.

And you can bet I've still got my spreadsheets.

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