Today marked the end of an era.
This is the part of my blog where I’d usually make some kind of joke about peanut butter, or about goldendoodles, or about Shawn Hunter, or about any number of my favorite things and/or TGIF crushes, but today is no laughing matter.
Today, Runner’s World permanently shut down its classic training log.
I’ve recorded my runs on this training log since November 2011, or just two weeks after I crossed the finish line at my first ever half marathon and decided right then and there I was going to commit to a lifetime of running.
I imagine there exist other online training logs full of bells and whistles, but a one-man band I am not, and the Runner’s World Training Log was exactly everything I needed as a semi-serious runner looking to measure her progress. It let me record the type of workout I was doing, from fartleks to races, so I could see whether I was getting enough speed work in. It helped me keep track of my ever rotating arsenal of Asics so I’d know when each pair was pushing 400 miles and was ready for retirement. It allowed me to reflect back on all three marathon cycles after the fact, and marvel and the peaks and troughs a year of training can bring.
I’d diligently recorded every mile on that log for more than three years, and I was fully prepared to continue using it — well — forever. Imagine looking back as an 85 year old woman on a lifetime of workouts. It would have been magnificent.
But Runner’s World just didn’t want to give me that satisfaction. Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail telling me the log was closing forever on May 11.
“In its place, Runner‘s World is building a free training app that will have features not available on the RW Training Log, including route tracking, running analysis, and training advice,” the editor’s wrote in the message. “The app, called Runner’s World Go, is due out this summer for iPhone and later this year for Android.”
Ok, I can live with that, I thought. I’ll have to learn a new technology, sure, but who am I to stand in the way of progress? They gave us two options: either import your data into a free TrainingPeaks account, or open a free MapMyRun account, which would be rolled over to the new Runner’s World app come summer. All seemed very civilized.
So I set up my free TrainingPeaks account, downloaded my data, loaded it into the system … and it’s the worst.
To be fair, it did carry over the individual runs and weekly mileage from the old site, so all is not lost, and I do appreciate them giving us a back-up plan. But it erased in the transition all record of what kinds of runs I did, which shoes I wore, and anything beyond a simple mileage count — which my Garmin watch could give. Maybe it exists on here, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make charts, or record types of runs or do anything remotely interesting with the data. Heck, the program itself is so gray and monochromatic, it should have been cast alongside Dakota Johnson. (50 Shades joke, anyone?)
For now, I’ve continued to record my mileage in TrainingPeaks — sans workout or shoe details — because maybe someday I’ll still find something useful to do with this uninspiring replacement log. But part of me also wonders if this is the sign I needed to stop recording my distances, unplug, and just run for the sake of running, statistics and number crunching be damned. I’m not quite ready to make that call, but ask me again in 100 miles, when my shoes have worn out and I don’t yet know it. That’s going to be a fun day.
Could someone from Runner’s World please explain the reasoning behind this decision? And maybe also mail me a box of gourmet pears? That would help ease this transition, too.