There’s a somewhat bitter-sweet aspect to closing last year’s training log. All that swimming and the relevant bytes are now consigned to the position of worksheet from ago. All the locations, times, distances, temperatures, races and screw-ups are past data, now part of a trend. Even last Saturday’s sea swim, the last swim of 2011, feels different, like someone else did it.
I do actually operate two different annual cycles, from January to January for yearly tracking, and from September to September for training purposes. Because, you know, I wouldn’t be happy if it wasn’t complicated. The current spreadsheet holds 4 years, I must bring in the earlier ones. I ‘m pretty sure I said that to myself last year also.
The past two years I didn’t get my first swim onto the books until the 4th January, 7500 metres, this year I started earlier (today, Jan 2nd) but it’s 7300 metres, I hadn’t looked at last year’s numbers before I swam, otherwise I’d have done a few hundred more to race myself, always the best race. Last year the mainset was 500 x 10. Today it was 56 x 100. In fact, even with all this data, I rarely look back. The important thing for me is, if I do want to, I have a record.
The significant things I do however look back occasionally at are: When did I get sick? What was the equivalent weekly mileage? Monthly mileage? What was the equivalent sea temperature? Weight? Maybe some session ideas. When should I schedule a long swim?
The yearly total is good, but really there are probably only two days in the year that I think about it: when I pass my annual one million metres target, and the day I open the new sheet.
I’ve entered my day’s data now. The new spreadsheet name is Donal’s_Swimming_Log_Jan_02_2012.xls. I’ve backed the past invaluable data up to both Dropbox and UbuntuOne, I won’t rely on any single hard drive to keep it. I really need to back up my swimming photos and videos again, at 40gb I can’t use an online destination.
Looking forward into the year and all those empty cells looks like another huge mountain to climb. Some of those cells will be tough to fill. Some will give me great pleasure to enter, and I might add some colour to the font. Anything over 20,000 metres gets a nice bold red. Swims in Dover get and the Sandycove Distance Week get blue. Ah, simple pleasures for a simple-ton.
Beyond that, I love having the data.
It feels like something I’m building, building, building, just me and my arms, metre by metre, and I don’t know what the final shape of that thing, or even what it is, will be. But I sure love building it.