Donít you love watching your numbers change? Mileage. Pace. Distance. Weight. Cholesterol level. I find it all so motivating.

I smile when I think back to my first workout six weeks ago, when I lasted 20 minutes on the elliptical at the Lake Anna YMCA in Barberton before I called it quits. On Sunday, I alternated walking and running for 2.2 miles along the Towpath Trail, then went home and mowed the lawn, planted flowers, moved bricks, cleaned the house and grilled dinner.

And I will remember all this because I put it in my runnerís log.

Last month when Tammy Polen from Vertical Runner spoke to our Saturday training group and stressed the value of keeping a journal, I was immediately on board. If you havenít started yet, it's early enough in your journey with Blue Line Beginners to remember Day One. Grab a notebook and jot down some stuff. It doesnít have to be fancy. You donít have to be a writer. You don't need nice handwriting. You never have to show it to another soul.

Runner's World did an article listing some of the things you might want to keep in your journal. They include:
* A daily or weekly goal, so that each run has a purpose
* Time of your run in minutes
* Distance in miles or kilometers
* Weather conditions
* Time of day, as it may influence how you feel
* Terrain (too many hills sometimes lead to injury)
* How you felt (on a scale of 1 to 10)

Akron Marathon Executive Director Anne Bitong has suggested keeping track of what you wore and whether it was ultimately appropriate for the weather.

Read the whole Runner's World story here:

If you donít want to write all of that down, itís okay. You donít have to be that ambitious. At least write down the information that matters to you, the numbers that are motivating you. Because one day when youíre not feeling great - maybe you ran a little slower than you wanted, or you did a mile less than last week, or you canít remember the point of doing some resistance equipment at the gym - youíll be able to pull out your log, flip back a few pages, and see your progress.

Right now, Iím not particularly focused on how far I want to go. Instead, I find myself dwelling on how far I've come, and THAT is propelling me forward. If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I don't want to lose sight of that first step and every step along the way.

- Paula