Sunday, January 11, 2009

Running Accounting

Last week, while on vacation, I walked 39 miles. Of those 39 miles I ran about 1 of them in Peters Canyon. My running log shows a whopping 1 mile for the week 12/29 to 1/4. That got me thinking. What can I actually take credit for? What will I actually give myself credit for?

I'm a runner. I keep a running log. I keep track of the miles I run - or do I?

I ran/walked my first seven marathons. I've done plenty of long runs using the run a mile, walk a minute strategy. Most recently I ran Memphis with Joe using a 3:1 schedule. I did the rough math and figure I "ran" about 22.5 miles and "walked" the other 3.7 miles. My running log clearly shows 26.2 miles. I allowed myself credit for each of those miles.

In 2008, I was injured, and I wouldn't have even gotten to Memphis if I had insisted on running every step of the miles I had in my plan. I currently find my self injured again, so walking it is. I have absolutely nothing against the run/walk technique. It has served me and many others very well.

But last week my walk segment far outweighed my run segment. I don't feel right taking credit for those 38 walked miles, but I proudly wrote down the 1 mile I ran. My questions: Do miles covered when I only walked count? Why is it all right to count miles that are covered with a combination of run/walk? Should the Peters Canyon Run really count as 6 miles since I technically ran at least part of the planned route?

Silly questions maybe, but can you relate?

Since going back to work for a full week, my "movement" routine has been up in the air. I did use the elliptical on Monday for 15 minutes before my workout and made it back to the gym on Wednesday for 45 minutes on the bike. Friday, my wife lured me away from the gym with an invite to an Italian place we hadn't tried yet. (Our time together was fun, the food was mediocre).

Saturday I volunteered at the Boney Mountain 21K. I walked about 5 miles of the course. I ran this course last year.

Today while the Chargers were freezing their pattooties off and losing to the Steelers (I'm originally from N Ohio. There's no way I could ever root for the Steelers, NO WAY!), I was over in Bonelli. It was sunny and in the high 70's. I went around my 5 mile loop and used a 2:1 schedule. There was no problem with my right hip and quad. My right ITB squawked a little but not much. I made it home in time to see the second sad half of the game.

I had no problem recording the 5 miles in my running log when I got home.

2009 racing plans are on hold. I had things in mind but until I can run more consistently and pain free, I am wary of making any plans. If the plans were on paper I would push myself to get there with the risk of injury. Knowing that, I will hold off putting anything on paper or here until the time is right.


Pat said...

On Friday I hiked/ran up/down Piestewa Peak in over an hour. I then ran for about a mile. I counted the mile. The hike was harder. Go Figure.

I count miles between my running start and my running finish. I don't count miles walked to warm up or any miles after I'm convinced I won't run anymore.

So, yeah there's walking miles in my mileage. But, I'm not comparing my mileage with anyone. It's mine and as long as I'm consistent, I'm ok with my bookkeeping.

I'm sure you will be too. Of course you could start a walking/hiking log too.

Sarah said...

Every little bit counts in my book. : )

Anne said...

I agree with Sarah. If it bothers you, maybe you can only count the runs where you primarily run and record those that are pure or most walks as walks but include the mileage in your weekly and monthly total.

Love the new look of your blog too.

Jean said...

I don't see any issues with counting your mileage. Say you enter a marathon and even if you walk part of it, you still get credit for 26.2 miles.

Sorry about your Chargers! :( This has been a strange playoffs!

Anonymous said...

If you are using a run/walk combo - I say count the miles. If you just go for a walk - then you don't get to count them. That's my opinion, anyway. I do write down if I go for a walk, but I don't add it to my total. Isn't it funny how we do that? :)

Like the picture on your blog header! Wish I could figure out how to do that. :)

Backofpack said...

I count the miles if I do the run/walk. I've never logged walking formally, but I always count it in my fitness workouts for the week - just as an "I did this", not towards any training goals. I think every bit helps!

Wes said...

I am of the opinion that if you consistently run, whatever the walk/run ratio is, then its all "running" :-) and that's good enough for me!

Nick said...

First of all, I'm an Ultra Runner so, I'm kinda funny about determining whether something is a run versus a walk.
If I ran the majority of the "outing" then I count the entire distance as a run.
If I set out for a walk, I don't count the actual mileage period, but I do track the mileage for my shoes. (I track this to determine replacement).
In the end it is all about what you want to track.
I try not to get so nitty gritty about this as it will only drive me crazy later.

Great job out there. Seems we are in the making of an Ultra Runner.... : )

Danny said...

have to check the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles...

Actually, I've thought about this as well. When I walk towards a run, and walk back afterwards, I don't count that. But if I walk a little in the middle, I do count it.

If I run intervals, and walk in between - even if the walking is more than the running, I count it.

When I cool down on the treadmill, I count that too. I probably shouldn't, but because the little digital counter is still going, it just seems easier to write down the final number.

Does any of this make you feel better? :-)

Joe said...

Boy, remind me not to talk with you about unsubordinated debentures!!!!

Why keep a log? Is it not for learning purposes?

If so, why not keep a parallel set of numbers? Miles you run (which clearly include a run/walk run) and miles walked.

No need to apologize at all. Just keep them both.

parallel columns on paper or spreadsheet. Running Ahead, which I use, lets you log them seprately.

Then, six months from now, you have real data to look back on. "Hey, that week I ran 3 and walked 20. Now I ran 7 and walked 15"

I'd say don't make a dicotomy... love them both.

And, if you are in a pinch, just ask the government for a bailout :-)

Really like tne new photo from Bonelli!!!!

Ryan said...

as long as your our enjoying the great outdoors it's all realative.....wish we had some warmer days this winter70's sounds so nice. take it slow

angie's pink fuzzy said...

i can totally relate. i count all walking/hiking/running, since i always walk so much of my races! it's time on your feet that counts, and walking is time on your feet!

lindsay said...

i think we can all relate to this 'dilemma'. you should log whatever you feel is 'morally correct' of course. :) i definitely would count marathons/runs that were a run-walk as running mileage, but i do have a hard time telling myself walking can count. i've never done it enough to really think about it, but in a recovery mode from a race or injury, i'd probably count everything.

robtherunner said...

I log both and count them in my totals, but I clearly mark them as walking rather than running. The question is, are you a purist? If you are a running purist then maybe you don't want to count your walking miles with your running miles, but why not keep track of them seperately in parallel with your running. Running Miles + Walking Miles = Total Miles. You can still make your primary accounting measure how many running miles, but at least you'll know the big picture and have a record of it. That way when you only see 1 running mile in your log book you can point out how active you still were and what a great time you had.

Catherine said...

Darrell, thanks for the comments on my blog. Glad you were able to come to a decision on the tracking. Sorry to hear you're dealing with injury. I know I'm nervous about every ache that I get, convinced it's a new injury.

Neese said...

for some reason if the walking is before a run (warm up) and after (cool down) I won't count it, but if I walk in the middle of a run or interspersed in the run I count it. but you're right, should it be counted? I dunno :/

Dori said...

Sometimes when I'm on the treadmill and can't take it anymore, I set the incline to 8% and walk for several minutes. I still count it as my running miles, since it's for training. You don't get any medals for training and whatever gets you to the finish line in a race is what matters.

Let me know if you decide to do the Paso Wine Country half. I've never run it, but some of my running partners have. They said it was boring, but I've run on part of the course and I thought it was pretty.

I hope you're back in top form soon.

scott keeps running said...

in my book, walking is running's best friend. they belong together in the log, too. i don't keep track of the mile i walk to and from my office, but if my trainer's are on and i'm out for exercise then it counts. :)