Quick New Year's Update - Tracking Mileage

At this time of year I usually update my annual mileage tally. I've been tracking my mileage since I started running on May 5, 1993. But I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Yes, times have changed. In my early days, I would carefully update my daily mileage in an Excel spreadsheet each day. Back then I would literally drive the course that I ran in order to log an accurate mileage count (this was back in the days before anyone could buy a mileage tracker like a Nike Plus). I had a hand-drawn map of the mileage for different courses in my neighborhood.

I updated that simple spreadsheet at one point to track both mileage as well as time spent running, then added a column to show a rolling 7 day and 10 day average. There is a "comments" section to the spreadsheet where I indicate if I was sick, injured, was travelling or ran a race.

This spreadsheet has become a monster, with over 6,000 rows. But I continue updating it. Not quite as regularly though...

The last time I updated this spreadsheet was at the end of last year. Yes, probably this coming Friday night I will be on the computer updating a year's worth of running escapades onto this spreadsheet. I obviously don't look at this spreadsheet often any more. But I do feel compelled to continue updating it as long as I'm alive and running.

There's an old fashioned side of me that has not given up use of a daily planner book. Every day I jot down the duration of my run and the estimate mileage. I no longer drive my courses. I have no need for that level of accuracy. I do have a Nike Plus somewhere in the house but I haven't seen or used it for several years. I feel no need to track mileage to that degree of precision (perhaps in 1993 I would be saying otherwise).

I estimate my mileage based on how fast or slow I feel I ran that day. Having logged over 45,000 miles since 1993, I now have a pretty good feel for my pacing, be it a 7 minute, 7 1/2 minute or 6 1/2 minute pace. It takes me just a quick moment to jot down my time and my estimated mileage each day. No worries if it is off by two tenths of a mile. It is close enough.

Yes, times have indeed changed. But I still have to update that darn spreadsheet. May have to take my body to Jiffy Lube at 50,000 miles. At 100,000, I may need an engine replacement.