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Saturday, December 31, 2011

flipping through the logbook

I was out riding yesterday afternoon with one of my regular ride partners and as it’s the end of the year we naturally fell into conversation about the past year in biking and our hopes for the next. A year is a long time, though, so I keep track of things of the bike and run nature in a logbook. Our conversation also touched on this. Is logging time and distance and experience a little neurotic, or a lot? Maybe. But this morning I was flipping through the logbook and I was reminded of some really great rides I’d taken over the year that I hadn’t exactly forgotten about but that I couldn’t just bring up in mind immediately when thinking back on the year.

Interestingly, I started the logbook to keep track of miles, and I still do use it for that purpose, but the smiles that came to my face this morning upon its review were the little notes I’d made next to the miles. Often they’re just a word or two but hold a lot of info. For example: “w/Dan, Masi, 2xLida” or “1st Brown, Mindful Mule [5 exclamation points above the word Brown]” or “T80, Devil’s Gate Trailhead, 3xLida.” These brief messages to myself bring back a rush of memory. And then some of them are a little too brief and I’m not quite sure at first what they mean. Like: “Verdugo.” And some of them I repeated far too often, like: “Pub72.”

As for the running, the notes are little more monotonous, but of course there were some great moments there too. So much of running takes place in the mind that it hardly seems to matter that I was on Arroyo Run #xx or whatever, but highlights include: “Hills w/Hil” and “Devil’s Gate Trail, Soggy Shoes” and “J-Rock, Arroyo” and “El Prieto, 11A, 1:10ish, Sun, 80degrees, Cotton” and “Devil’s Gate + El Prieto, 87degrees, clouds” and “sunset, warm” and “Malibu Creek + barefoot” and “Lasse Viren” and “w/Hil, LPAC to Salvia Canyon, ASU jelloshot tailgate” and “w/Hil, Bridge, cloud/drizzle, 56degrees” and “Orchard, sun, 60’s, solo” and “Arroyo Lunar Eclipse!”

The miles, while significant accomplishments, have less meaning than the notes, and probably create the heavier argument for neurosis. But I’m still going to keep track of them next year. It keeps me going – on track. And since we’re talking numbers, this year’s numbers were quite acceptable. Even though I’ve been sick a lot, including the last few weeks, I somehow managed to coast into second place overall mileage for both running and riding. I guess that speaks to going when you can and not worrying too much about when you can’t. I’m still chasing that perfect year of a 1:5 ratio. I came close this year; 1:4.7 ain’t bad (just add some zeros). But the goal for next year may be to log a little more of the details, the experiences. And maybe share some more of that here on the blog.

And as for blogging, well, it’s been an interesting year. I’ve found a few new blogger friends which has been quite nice and lost track of a few others which is a little sad in some cases but also natural, understandable – people drifting in and out of each other’s lives, coming and going, or just passing through.

Thanks to all of you blogger friends who’ve been a part of this strange little part of life/blog/experience.

See you next year…


Vertigo said...

I guess a new year forces bloggers to step back and and review past accomplishments. :) I think keeping track of miles is a great idea, and one that I do so I can be in 'track' as you said. Also, for me, looking at past 'bike' posts and seeing the pictures I have taken while I bike, brings back great memories for me. I am infinitely happy that I decided to embark on this crazy idea of biking (in Massachusetts!).

Kristina said...

I know someone whose dad runs every single day and has kept a log book for decades. Pretty cool.
I think that I'm a short-term runner, looking at my running in weekly or monthly chunks. However, I like the idea of notes - not just mileage, but what else really taps into the experience - to track your mileage.
Thanks for sharing your blog! It's been great to read about your running/biking thoughts and experiences. Here's to 2012 - run far and fast!

mindful mule said...

Thanks, Vertigo and Kristina, for hanging out around the blog. Have a great 2012!