Yes, I get kind of caught up in all of the data that I collect on my rides and then I log all of it....for every ride. I track everything from distance and time to my weight and heart rate. Somewhere around 20 different things tracked....like i said, for every ride.
Sort of a data geek I suppose. I can't help it, it motivates me, pushes me to do a little more than before, makes me want to do more.
It's fun to look back at the notes that you write after a ride and remember a crash that happened two years ago from going to fast on an unfamiliar trail. It can also be very motivating to go over the data and see how much you've improved. Or, in my case for 2010, it can also be helpful to look back and see how relaxed you've become with your training compared to other years, months, weeks, or even days.
I've kept a food journal before and been just as detailed about it. I collected all of the data on the nutrition label for everything I ate. I weighed and measured nearly every meal, every day. Extreme I know, but I learned a lot about what I was eating and it worked for me.
Back to my original thought at the beginning of this post. I've ridden my bike 508 miles less than last year. That's really not that much, less than 10 miles per week difference. But I'm also 9 lbs. heavier than I was this time last year. I know this because of my journal.
I can do something about that, I've got the data. I'll just go farther, and I'll push harder.