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The GOTR Atlanta 5K: 2 Months and Counting (Giveaway Post!!)

March 1, 2010

This post was contributed by Sue Payne, executive director of Girls on the Run of Atlanta…

Five hundred girls just completed their first week of our spring program. Among other goals, the girls are working toward the 5K run on May 1st – a first ‘real’ race for many. To help reach their goals the girls keep track of their progress with a journal and mile counters. Fitness improvements can be abstract and hard to recognize unless they are clearly measured. The girls use lap counters, colored elastic bands or stamps for every lap they run, which they can exchange for a bead for every mile. The girls make a bead toggle which visually reminds them of the miles they run over the course of a season. They can end up with 20-30 miles in a season which they proudly report to anyone who asks about the bead toggle dangling from their backpack. The girls also write in a journal about their experiences and running progress, what they like and what they learn along the way.

We all need measurable motivation and positive reinforcement. How do you track your progress and keep yourself motivated? Keeping a runner’s journal can give you new insights. Am I a morning runner or an afternoon runner? Do I tend to have better race results when I eat pasta or chicken the night before? Hey, I am actually running 30 miles each week – when did that happen? It also helps explain any lousy runs, as a learning tool – never run after nachos! Important life lessons.

By tracking your performance, you can be sure you don’t miss opportunities to reward yourself and stay motivated. For me motivation comes in the form of the three M reward system, 1. massage and 2. manicure pre-race and 3. a muffin after (the raspberry mocha one from San Fran in one hand and a steaming skinny latte in the other help me endure a cold ice bath after an extra-long run).

The girls are not the only ones that can have fun journals and lap counters. There is a journal for everyone, cool technical apps for your phone and ones that link to your watch or shoes or the old fashion paper kind…it can be simple or girly or technical, the important part is to recognize your results and give yourself the positive feedback!

Here are some online journals I found:

Here is our challenge to you: commit TODAY to running the GOTR 5K! Start tracking your training and planning your motivational rewards alongside the girls. And, for the next week, GOTR Atlanta will give you even more to gain by offering a Girls Run Atlanta tie-dyed technical t-shirt and a new GOTR “Dreamsicle” journal by Carolina Pad to the first person who registers for the race AND comments on this post.  Registration for the 5K is at  

Look for our next countdown to the GOTR 5K on April 1!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 1, 2010 11:26 am

    2 months to go – so exciting for you ALL! 🙂 Training with friends keeps me going. I’m training for a 10K by doing long runs on the weekends with some amazing women. They encourage me to stick with it and show me that I can do more than I realize. I also use Carol Goodrow’s “Great Day for Running” calendar to track my milage.


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