There are times for all of us when we just can’t find the rhythm. I seem stuck in that time. There are plenty of reasons why – my parent’s health issues and my own health issue top the list – but that doesn’t explain everything.

The last marathon I ran was in January of 2006. Up till then I had run at least one marathon a year EVERY year since 1993. Some years I ran as many as 6 marathons. I’m not saying that was right, and given my very limited physical gifts 6 marathons a year was NOT right, but I managed to do it. It isn’t even that I was able to run that many marathons in a year it was that I was able to find the time to TRAIN for that many marathons in a year.

These days I can’t seem to find the time to train for a 5K. Over the last year or so I’ve only been able to run in fits and starts and haven’t really been able to train at all. I’ll have a good training week or two and then not be able to run at all for several days. Or, when my hip went out, for several weeks. Just when it feels like I’m beginning to put together some solid time on my feet, just when it feels like I am beginning to improve, I get set back.

I can’t seem to find a way to get into the rhythm of running and training. And I miss it. I miss the regular, consistent, effort. I miss the regular, consistent sense of wellness. I miss the regular, consistent glimpse into the best of who I am that I get when I’m running.

So I am going to take the radical step of starting to keep a training log. I wrote several years ago that I had stopped keeping a log because running was such an integral part of my life that I didn’t need to keep track. Running was – I opined – like breathing and I don’t keep track of every breath. Looking back I don’t think it was such a good idea.

A log book, in addition to being a permanent record, also provides a subtle sense of accountability. Now if I miss a day – or a couple of days – or more – it’s easy to ignore it. With a log book, when I miss a day, I’ll have to put a big ZERO under mileage. My guess is, knowing myself, that I will NOT want to see a bunch of zeros in a logbook.

So I am going in search of my rhythm. I’m on an odyssey to rediscover my running MoJo. Wish me luck.

gusatdragonJohn “the Penguin” Bingham, Competitor Magazine columnist
Author, The Courage to Start, No Need for Speed, Marathoning for Mortals and Running for Mortals.

Have a question for John? E-mail it to thepenguin@johnbingham.com.