Miles of Smiles

Yesterday marked the second Saturday of the MIT Summer Session, and it was a blast. Plus, the whether was perfectly warm and sunny, which is pretty much a gigantic miracle in Central Ohio. I say “bring it on!” – I love running in hot weather (even though it doesn’t always love me) – and Columbus continues to send me gray and rainy days as long as I have lived here. Major dislike.

I can’t believe the turnout! And, I can actually see what people look like! Notice the lack of long pants, hats, gloves, parkas and snow shoes:

Fleet Feet Sports Columbus

A far cry from this winter, when we all looked like this:

Nope. All smiles and sunshine and pretty colors this time around! Even Duane had a big smile on his face:


Fleet Feet Sports Columbus

And my sister, who is apparently Number 1, along with some of the other Lucky 13’s:


Fleet Feet Sports Columbus

She turned 24 yesterday (I guess she can be Number 1) and after a nice run in the balmy weather, we celebrated in style with a big breakfast:


Birthday Girl (She wore Blue)
Ben (Clearly Red was the color to wear)

Is it too early to wish it was Saturday morning again? I love MIT! It is so exciting for me to see so many new people coming out to run every week and of course, I already have the best running friends anyone could ask for! You guys make me smile every week. 🙂

There are so many new people on our pace group it is completely awesome to me! I can’t wait to meet everyone and get to know them better. It is actually very emotional for me, and I get super-pumped up when I think about what these people have committed to. They are changing their lives one mile at a time. Literally. It happened to me. I went from never exercising and being overweight, unhappy, hating myself and depressed to getting in shape, losing weight, gaining self-confidence, friends and running 5 half marathons and 1 full. What?!? Sometimes I look at what I have accomplished and I still can’t quite believe it is me. But then, I look at a complete and encouraging training program such as what I have found through Marathoner in Training, and I do believe it. Because it happened to me. I showed up one Saturday and bam! I accomplished the impossible – I was in a whole new world. I had a whole new lease on life – I actually enjoyed living again. I had something to look forward to again.

Most of the 13’s are training for the Columbus Half in October, but we also have runners training for Air Force Full and Half in September; Columbus Full in October too; Emerald City Quarter and Half in September; and of course, there are a few of us going Goofy in January 2012.

The Columbus Halfers ran a solid 2 miles yesterday. It is exciting to see them accomplishing their miles as new runners. I managed 4 and several Air Force Fulls went on for 8.

Even though I couldn’t have asked for a more perfectly sunny day, it was a hard run for me. I wanted to go farther than 2, but wasn’t sure if I had it in me to go 8. I don’t think I am fully recovered from Pittsburgh. I felt great after running 26.2 and now I feel crap – everyone keeps telling me this is normal and I need to take more time to rest! Ran a hard 2 out and then took it slow 2 back. Clearly you can see where I got tired. Nothing in particular hurts when I run, just an overall tiredness and my legs feel really heavy. But, now I don’t now how to not run – I feel miserable without it! Such a dilemma…..I know I have to learn what it means to rest.

Mile 1 12:53
Mile 2 13:01
Mile 3 15:11
Mile 4 12:56

Total: 4 miles in 53 minutes and an average overall pace of 13:30 minutes per mile.

Which brings me to an important point – log your miles!

While it certainly may not seem like it in the beginning, keeping a training journal or log is essential to a successful training season. Keep track of your miles, pace, time and route; weather and hydration; what you ate (or didn’t eat); how you were feeling, stress level during the week; gear you were wearing; and record any aches and pains. You can be as detailed or as to-the-point as you want. What is important is that you are keeping of record of your accomplishments and challenges.

My favorite hard copy for logging my runs is the Sport Tech Training Log. It looks like this:


I like it because it has a lot of room to write and it is pre-dated. I don’t have to worry about missing a day and throwing off the whole log. It has a space for course, distance, time, and pace. All the essential details of my runs. It has a place on each page for monthly totals, weekly mileage, and yearly mileage. No more going back to January in August trying to figure out if I am making my mileage goals. Plus, I enjoy watching the miles rack up from week to week! And quite possibly my favorite feature? The log has a space each and every week for race information – Race Name, Comments, Time, Pace, Overall and Age Division Place. Keeping track of races and performance is really important to me – I see my PR’s and I want to keep working harder to accomplish new ones! Each page features one whole week in a spiral-bound notebook that is both light and durable making it ideal to carry with you in a purse or running bag. I take mine on the go from time to time if I need to update more than a day or two.

If I feel like going digital? My favorite site for logging the miles is Daily Mile. It’s free and easy to use. If you’re not already a member, sign up today! My favorite feature of Daily Mile? The community!! After you post a workout, your friends and training partners can (and do!) comment on what you had to say and it is really motivating and inspiring to read what others have to say. You can log your miles, pace, distance, hear rate, energy level, gear, and feelings.

Helpful Tools for Logging Your Training:

Daily Mile – Online training tool for all types of workouts including running, cycling, core, fitness, etc. It is free to sign up and you can log in with your Facebook account, if you choose. – I like this site because it is all-inclusive and informative. With the Livestrong tracking tools, you can track your workout, activity, nutrition and progress. This site also offers a plethora of information for athletes of all ability levels.

Sport Tech Training Log – My favorite, affordable hard-copy training log. For me, sometimes it is just nice to step away from technology and write something down.

Train with MIT – If you’re new to MIT and haven’t logged in yet – what are you waiting for? Track your miles, pace, gear and how are feeling all from one screen!

Garmin Connect – If you train with a Garmin, they offer an easy to use, automatic training log that automatically syncs to your watch. You can then upload to Daily Mile or Facebook or various other training logs of your choice.

Blog About It – You can use Blogger, Word Press or even create your own website. Most of them are free and easy to use when they are not being temperamental. Like to journal? Blogging just might be for you!

Goal of the Week:
Explore the various types of training logs that are available to you! Pick one (or, if you’re like me, you might have a couple) and start logging those miles and smiles!

Inspirational Quote of the Week:   

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham, The Penguin.


Until the next mile marker,


  1. I love MIT!! I am just sorry I didn’t join sooner than December 2010! Yesterday was just gorgeous!

    Kim B

  2. Sara, great ideas and this post is a very good resource for those of us new to the online running commmunity. I love my training log, too.

    Again. Thanks for that.

  3. awesome run! thanks for all the links to help with logging your runs…I am always looking for new tools to try out! have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

  4. How fun!! Looks like you guys had an awesome morning! I love all of your tools to log runs! I have RunKeeper on my iPhone and I love it!

  5. Oh yeah, and YAY FOR SUNSHINE!!!! :0)

  6. I love MIT! I miss y’all this summer! I think I’m going to have to crash your party a few times just to say hi! 😀

    Awesome resource blog!!!

    And of course – Happy Birthday to Mollie!

  7. awesome run! thanks for all the links to help with logging your runs…I am always looking for new tools to try out! have a wonderful rest of the weekend!

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