Runners run on spreadsheets

While on the stationary bike today to give my knees a break, I started thinking about a training log. Runkeeper gives me some figures but I nerd out on numbers and it’s never enough. I love my spreadsheets (to the extent that I might go back and make a “spreadsheets” tag for my obsessive posts)!

While I love the information they give me, I don’t know how to make them give me that number so I opened the laptop, and 23 tabs to try and figure out how to calculate pace. After getting lost on things like this and decimal hours, and ending up with things like a 17 hour pace! I quickly went back to my old standards and bugged Robby and Marcelo who are the Excel whizzes behind #GoTheDist and my steps spreadsheet, respectively. Between Robby’s link and some more research, I found a template that did the math for me and I now have a running log.

portion of my running log

Some surprising learnings:

  • I ran almost the same distance (.61 miles) on my first day and almost six weeks later on February 18. Result? 3 minutes faster, :15:00  (.6 miles) vs. :19:40 (.61 miles) and a lot more jogging than walking.
  • I ran almost eleven more miles in February than in January
  • My times and distances are all over the map so it’s hard to see any pattern. I think that will settle out now that I’ve found a more comfortable pace from which to build base.
  • Even though I’m going at a slower speed in the jogging intervals, I’m jogging for longer so my overall times are faster.

I still don’t know where this is going, but as with all other moving projects, the spreadsheets help so I look forward to delving deeper into this in March.

Tomorrow: my insane February #GoTheDist and possibly a revised Q1 goal.

Quit C25K to #GoTheDist

Runkeeper achievment

yep, I quit C25K.

Not running, that’s still going strong. But for various reasons, Couch to 5K wasn’t working for me and it was frustrating me more and more. Quitting it actually started by accident. I was overseas and jet lagged and having issues converting the kilometers on the treadmill to the mileage I was used to. Feeling tired and with plane-induced cankles, I decided to go slower than my recent normal and realized I could go longer without much issue. In fact, I nearly doubled my previous, typical running duration.

As I got on the treadmill the next day I belatedly realized that in addition to running longer, I hadn’t needed to stop to stretch out feet cramps. Maybe there was something to this. I repeated the previous evening’s workout and added a minute to my running duration. I repeated the same the following night and would have the next except the treadmill was having issues and kept pausing.

After a day to fly home, I was back at the gym and Runkeeper’s C25K interface was yelling at me because I was 6 days late for my 5K. “Go away, gnat”, I thought, and ended that module. I’d been using Runkeeper’s more than the standard C25K app as I preferred the interface and thought it was closer to my own level, plus Runkeeper was what I’d been using the last few years for my workouts anyway. C25K was also at a speed that I knew wasn’t attainable for me when it hit workouts such as “Run .75 miles or eight minutes”. Nope, not going to happen.

So I turned off the app and just ran at an interval that worked for me, still using my LifeFitness treadmill’s 2 speed settings. I jogged for 10 minutes, walked for 2, jogged for 8, walked for 90 seconds and then jogged for 8.5 minutes. That felt really good, but I knew I could do more. Today, after a warmup walk to the gym since it was 60 in February!, I decided I was going to jog at least 12 minutes. As I neared that marker, I said “how about jogging a mile?” (yep, you can tell I’m not setting any land speed records here). And I did it. I really didn’t have a set plan for today’s workout, just knew I had about an hour. After a three minute walk I wondered, “Can I do it again?” . I thought I could, and I did. The second mile was definitely harder, but I did it. I finished my 33 minute/2.20 mile workout with 30m and 2.03 miles jogging. WOW. And yes, I got the sticker above.

Lessons learned so far:

  • Slow down. I have no intention of “racing” even if I do ultimately enter a 5K so there’s no need to go fast. I enjoy the workouts more at slower/longer anyway.
  • Music helps. My country/80s and 90s pop mix makes time go much faster. I can bribe myself with “it will be over before this song is”

Other thoughts:

  • I’m going to obliterate February’s goals and stretch goals. I’m now working toward a “super duper” and an “insane” stretch goal. I think I’ll land somewhere between the two. Thanks, Amsterdam.
  • I just signed up for the Great Manhattan Saunter again. In 2015, I did 19 miles of it. I’m still not sure I’m going to finish as a chunk of those last 14 miles are city streets and not exciting, but I want to try. It was my feet that hurt too much to keep going last time, mostly. Hoping a more consistent walking base will help with that.

I’m still at it

RunKeeper, Congrats on a new Personal Record

Yep, somehow still at it. I have to say that the RunKeeper personal record and timing notifications are awesome and motivating. I’m not going to graduate from Couch to 5K this week, but I’m progressing and I’m more than OK  with that.

Doing a fair amount of reading about running too. Jennifer Lin’s Sole Sisters was motivating, as was Ruth Field’s Get Off Your Ass and Run. albeit in a very different way. Sometimes you just need the cattle prod of the Grit Doctor.

I still don’t know where this is going, but I’m enjoying the ride…er run. It’s definitely making for some higher daily step counts.

A New PR for Running!


Farthest Distance in a Month
15.70 mi


Longest Duration in a Month


Fastest Average Pace

13:25 min / mi

#GoTheDist 2017: January Chapter

After some family events, I knew January was going to be more of a struggle but I was determined. Even if hitting January 2016 wasn’t possible I wanted to at least hit January 2015 and, ideally, 300K steps.

Mission Accomplished!

January totals:

  • 301,270 steps
    127.16 miles walked
    53.01 miles biked

I came just shy, 428 steps to be exact, of January 2016 numbers but I was OK with that because I hit 300K. In 2016 I had 15 days below goal and in 2017 I had 11. That was a pleasant surprise considering I was unexpectedly out of town last week.

Increasing my time and speed
increasing my mileage

As I mentioned, OK with the bike mileage because I have kept up the running. I’ve done 13/21 RunKeeper C25K workouts and had 15 gym visits (11 that count for reimbursement). I’m in a good place. I know the initial gains will taper off, but in the mean time I’m enjoying the recognition.

February Goals:

  • 300,000 steps
  • 50 miles biked
  • Graduate C25K

Going to be harder with one less day than last year and a travel day or two, but I think this is doable. Feb 2016 total was 313, 153. I’m OK with a stretch goal of 305,000. The math of Charge / Alta mileage is so borked I’m not even worried about that.

Reading isn’t on track, I’ve read 7/91 and almost none count for the challenges other than ebook, but that’s OK. I’ll get back into it. Less bike mileage is also a part of it as I can’t read and run: