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A Running Log And Intention

As with most things that I do, I don’t arbitrarily do them.  I’m pretty intentional. A planner by nature. A researcher. Spreadsheet lover.  A big nerd for the most part.


Having been a runner for quite some time, I’ve gone all the way from obsessed with running to hating running.  The fun part (for me) is having a record of most of the highs, lows and everything in between. I started running before wearable fitness devices were readily available, before cell phones were smartphones that could store and play music and even record your activity.  

My method of tracking my running progress has been analog from the start.  Yes, paper and pencil! In the beginning it was a printed Excel sheet charting mileage for the weeks leading up to a race I was training for.  A few years later I upgraded to a yearly calendar as a running log / journal. Once I started the running log I never looked back. Even with the integration of technology, I have always found comfort in the process of recording my activities on paper. Reflecting on progress and failures without having to log into an app or worry about battery percentages.  I have always looked at making my entries in my log as something fun and rewarding, not as a chore or something that I have to do.

As the year comes to an end we tend to reflect on the choices we made over the previous 11 ½ months, thing about what we accomplished, where we fell short, what we’d like to aspire to in the coming year.  My running logs have always brought me comfort and allowed me to see the big picture. As well as how the small choices added up to that bigger picture. I also learn how not to be so hard on myself, I mean, look at what I did do.  Or to see where I did fall short and could have done things better.

In fact, I’ve always felt like the process of logging runs and briefly journaling about my health and wellness has added an element of intention.  Sometimes I state a goal at the beginning of a week. It might be a nutrition based goal, specific mileage, or a hard workout pace. Then at the end of the week I decide if I met the goal and what I can do better next time.

I share this to encourage you to consider and old school method that might improve your focus and be intentional about Health and Wellness in the coming year.  Sure, you can look at cool graphs on your Garmin or Strava accounts with the touch of the screen. You can’t match that digital experience with one you’ve created in real life over time.

Pulling out these journals, I spent a few minutes flipping through them. Doing so reminds me that there is a beauty in turning the pages and reading your day to day efforts. It becomes your own personal tribute to triumphs, and even failures, created in your own handwriting.

Kathy Whitaker