Free Advanced Year Long Excel Running Log

Jan 2 2015 update

Everything below from the original post still applies. The link immediately below is for a MS Excel 2010 version so you don’t have to put up with “compatibility issues” of the old log. I hope you’ll like it. The MS Excel 97-2003 version is far below if you’re still using that version of Excel.

Blank Run Log Excel 2010 version


This is a much updated version of the year long Excel spreadsheet running log I had posted two years ago. You may want to refer to that post for some instructions. Thank you to all of you who had downloaded it, used it, suggested improvements and recommended it to others. If you liked that log, I think you’ll love this one! This new log has some great features I think you’ll love like a spot for your training plan next to what you did. While the focus is on running, there is room for other exercises and things you might want to track, like sleep, injuries, supplements, heart rate averages and maximums, etc. There is a race predictor using Jack Daniels’ running formula, with a short, simplified, but effective and practical explanation on how to use it. There is a calculator to determine any of time, distance or pace you need to run if you know 2 of the 3 variables. There is also a routes table to help calculate routes you take that are not your normal ones, but piece together bits of various routes you have ran. There is no new “summary” feature where what you input is number crunched, but that was because I didn’t perceive the need for any. Otherwise, most cells you shouldn’t touch are still locked up, but you have the ability to manipulate some partially for your use, like if you write a long comment one day and want to show it all rather than have some of it hidden away. As you use this spreadsheet, change the view size if the info is too small for your comfort. It can be at least twice as large. Don’t strain your eyes over using this or feel like you have to put on glasses to use it. You’ll use it less frequently for every little annoyance like this. The best way to see all this is to jump in so here goes! There are a lot of features to this log so don’t be intimidated by all the description. You need very little instruction to start and the rest should be pretty intuitive once you get going. Please click here to download the Advanced Excel Running Log by Minh Tan, 2011 version 2 (2.1 MB) The file is MS Excel 2003 version for greater compatibility for people. If you use a version later than this, please do a Save As and choose the latest version so you won’t get the “compatibility” pop-up each time you close the file. Continue reading

Suggestions for Improving the iPad


Apple just came out with the iPad yesterday, with the release date being March 27, and I’m already thinking of improvements. I’m not here to bash it, not knowing much of it aside from reading articles on it and the awesome video above. I’m just the type who likes to think about the future.

The iPad seems like a great product, but I expected a few pieces of common technology with it that are not exactly futuristic, though are few are cutting edge. Mostly, I’m talking about some multi-media features and a few casing features.



For starters, I thought Apple could have included a camera, even if just a photo camera and not a video camera. I mean, the cell phones have them, for crying out loud. Would it have been too much to ask for one on the iPad to make it completely multi-media? Imagine, being able to “webcam” with someone on a tablet. How futuristic would that be?


Fold out stand and handle

The docking station allows you to perch your laptop in easy ways to view hands free, but what if it had a portable handle that folded out and in? It could swing from about 2/3 of the way up so as to fold out back to make a stand, or flip all the way up to make a handle. I recommended the 2/3 distance up so folding up, it would be higher than the top (1/2 way means it’d hit the top). If you have it around the home, which I imagine you just might, having the carrying case all the time takes away the magic of that pad feel.


LCD Projector

Hey, now there’s an idea! Have a projector built in like some projector cell phones are going to have as early as April, when the iPad is due out. Put the projector on the horizontal top side, with the mic on the vertical bottom (horizontal right but you’d use it vertically) and the webcam vertical top (cause your face is long so you’d probably prefer to see your face in its natural frame). Why have your friends look at your pictures and videos on-line a few people at a time, on that relatively small screen? Really show them to the world with that projector! Or do your PowerPoint presentation right from your machine without having to rely on audio/video set up.


Remote Control / Light Pen / Laser Pointer

Now you’re talking! Have a light pen / remote control / laser pointer embedded in the length of that handle, or snapped in somewhere in the back of the iPad. In that “stick”, you’d have the remote for like 3-4 generic buttons that have various functions in different programs the way the PC mouse has 3 buttons.  That way, you can be a little away from your iPad while showing friends stuff they need to be closer to see since you’d have already seen it, like flipping your presentation slides you could be showing, with or without your projector.  Or if you’re lying down and want to flip a page as you read on-screen at bed time. Reaching out can be annoying, as ridiculous as it sounds. But if it weren’t, why are remotes all the rage? Remote operations could also be great if you had that projector going.

Of course, the remote control gadget can have a plain tip like a pen on a mouse tablet, as the remote signal could come out of a little slot in the direction of the “stick”, not necessarily the front of it. Sure, fingers are good with the iPad, but if you touch up photos and such, or make digital writing notes, scribble Etch-a-sketch ideas, and so on, a pen would be better.

On the opposite end of the “stick”, have a laser pointer there. I mean, if you’re going to be able to project a presentation from your machine, how nice would a laser pointer be. Learn to twirl it like a drum stick and you’re half a magician. Twirl it to remotely activate the next slide, twirl it to point to things with your laser pointer as you speak, and do it again for each slide, turning on audio as you need to, etc. Having a laser pointer on you most of the time is not a bad idea, either. Ever been in a big space and wanted to point something out to someone, exactly?

And yes, all this would be possible. I’ve seen laser pointers and camera remotes a third the length of a short pencil each. Your AAA battery would fit in the other third, if you can’t design one using a smaller battery that is too wide and flat like the ones in your watch.


Price control

I do realize adding some of the features I’m suggesting will make the iPad unaffordable to many people. However, it shouldn’t be exorbitant. Besides, what’s wrong with having a deluxe model?


Improvement during lag time?

I don’t know what Apple’s production schedule is like, but with the product not being available till April, essentially, I can’t help but wonder whether they may redesign a few things between now and then. In the tech world, two months is a long time, and I wouldn’t put it beyond the bright people at Apple to be thinking some of the same things I am and putting it into the final model.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.3




Testing SoundCloud for with My Own Music

This is my own song, uploaded for the purposes of testing out the SoundCloud music player features newly integrated into blogs. Please do have a listen while reading some general descriptions of the SoundCloud platform following to see those features in action. I wrote the song, but it was beautifully sung by Lis Soderberg, with background parts, recording and mixing all done by the very talented Allister Bradley in the summer of 2008 at Humber College. I just strummed on a guitar. Lyrics are at the bottom. 🙂

Please click here for the guitar and ukulele tabs PDF containing lyrics,  chords and notes for The Comparison Song

Up till Aug 2009, there wasn’t a music player, and not one with social media features, on blogs. If you wanted to share audio files with such features, your best bet was probably to make a “static video”. You know, those “videos” with just one image and sound? Either that or get a space upgrade to be able to upload MP3 files, but there wasn’t a real music player with it

SoundCloud logo (I like it!)

Well, I’m so happy to see finally has a system to integrate sound media files into its blogs the way video was been integrated for a while! They chose as their platform, the way they had chosen VodPod for videos.

“[SoundCloud is] …a really useful service that is part Flickr for music, part professional music collaboration hub. Artists such as Beck, Moby and Sonic Youth now use the service to distribute tracks through their blogs and connect with their fans. blog, Aug 13 2009

More than just another free music player, though, SoundCloud has some quite awesome features.

  • You can leave comments at specific points in the track so you don’t have to go find the time, or try to describe it awkwardly, etc.
  • You can just click a share button to share it on Facebook and various other social media or social bookmarking sites! That’s very nice!
  • The sharing of music otherwise among members is similar to the combination of notification on Facebook, and Inbox notifications, on your account via SoundCloud’s side. You can “follow” people like on Twitter to get the info via newsfeed, or get notice similar to a tag or email sent to you and/or your email off the site.
  • There is even code provided for people to embed it into their blogs and websites, with the player included! That’s really cool!
  • Their music player is like “fab five” man! You can also control lots of privacy features, and you get your own URL for your account on their site that the public may also visit like how MySpace works.
  • A free account can be had with 10 tracks for sharing, an Inbox, detailed statistics, viewing, privacy and other features of popular music and video sites at least as good as most of those other sites.

The WordPress folks really picked a fantastic platform in SoundCloud! Well done!

Of course, you should not be uploading copyrighted material that isn’t yours to SoundCloud. That was to be expected. But how nice, was it then, that I just happened to have a song I had written and recorded in the past to use? I don’t devote enough time to my singing/songwriting, and I don’t exactly go pimping my music a lot, even to many of my friends. So here’s hoping there’s something new here for some of them, and you, to enjoy, aside from the tech review.

I will be further checking out SoundCloud’s features in the upcoming weeks and months. It’s given me a whole new set of motivation to write more songs and record more. In the meanwhile, if you want to know more, you can take the tour on their site.

I would highly recommend it!


I could compare you to a summer’s day,
Or, if you prefer, a winter’s night.
I could compare you to the moon unphased,
Or the sun at dawn, noon or in twilight.
All lovely things I can compare you to,
But there’s not one that can compare to you.

I could compare you to the sweetest tune,
Or, if you prefer, the sweetest kiss.
I could compare you to a sacred rune,
Or the lores, that tell of eternal bliss.
All lovely things I can compare you to,
But there’s not one that can compare to you.

Choose any flower that blooms in the spring,
Or any leaf that turns in the fall.
Choose stars, or rainbows, angels, songs birds sing,
Or the sky, or sea – any thing at all!
All lovely things I can compare you to,
But there’s not one that can compare to you.

No, there’s not one that can compare to you.

07.?.2003 – 07.31.04