Friends, I’d like to use this time to tell you about the Nike Run Club app. A friend told ME about it so as your friend I am now going to tell YOU.
The Nike Run Club app is the single reason I have run more than one half assed time in the last two weeks. I HAVE RUN 8 TIMES IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS AND GOTTEN BETTER EVERY TIME.
I don’t know who I even am anymore but I don’t think I care.
my history of running.
Let me be clear, I have NEVER EVER been a runner. I always HATED running at my adult height, weight, size, etc.
As like a 7-10 year old I was super into running but then it was ONLY sprinting because we had this really fun “junior olympics” in our township every fall and I placed in at least the top 3 and often won in that 3 or 4 year period. AND I LIKE NOTHING BETTER THAN WINNING. Add standing on a podium in front of all the kids I went to school with and my dad (who made me do sports and I hated sports but I felt great when I did well at sport and he was proud, he was always proud anyway because he is a nice dad) and I was RIDING HIGH.
Like I got a PRIZE in the form of a medal AND I got to be the center of attention and I was pumped to know what running could do for ME in the long…run.
The answer is: nothing at all. I had my obligatory growth spurt at like 11/12 and then I was the full sized adult woman I am now and also had the same boobs. And it got so much harder to run. Like so, SO MUCH harder. At the same time I was also trying to master using my newly enormous-feeling, deadweight body to do back flips and jumps and cheerleading shit so I was like ok it’s gonna have to be one thing at a time because I’m not the athlete my dad tried to make me be. Just not in the cards.
Most of my peers, as in the other gals that were good at running when we were young, continued to be good at running. And the spring of freshman year of high school, I joined them on the track to try to get my ass in gear.
And it did not work. As I said, not in the cards. I felt so slow and sluggish. I got really bad shin splints. I thought it was insane and ridiculous and unnecessary to run in the rain and up hills and through corn fields where you could sprain an ankle at any second. It was just. Not. Worth it.
So I gave up because I wasn’t good at it. Which I would like to say is actually NOT some kind of terrible character flaw and is in fact HUMAN NATURE. Like if you you don’t NEED to do something to live and thrive and you’re not good at it, why would you KEEP DOING IT? That makes no sense. Just find something else. And spare me the “work hard and you’ll get good at it” thing. That whole idea can suck it.
Since that misguided flirtation with track and field freshman year of high school, and the forced running I had to do in gym class and cheerleading practice that I complained the whole way through, during my whole adult life I have not been running. I love working out! But I never wanted to run. Until like 2 weeks ago.
the running begins.
I have really been struggling with the weight I’ve gained while stuck inside, and my usual workouts were not helping. Listen, I know that weight loss is like 20% exercise and 80% diet. I think for me it’s actually 5% exercise and 95% diet. Either way I SUCK at the diet part because like WHY BOTHER, but the workouts seemed to help more in the past and I felt I had plateaued and they weren’t working at all. So on Thanksgiving after a lovely meal and some adult candy I was like, “When I digest this food and sober up, so it will probably be tomorrow, but I’ma HIT THE TRACK.”
And then I did. I set off with a goal of working up to a 7min mile. The first timed mile I ran was 8.21, not bad, I thought. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I don’t know anything about running and I don’t have a coach. I guess i’ll Google it. The “7min mile” was some bullshit they made us do at cheerleading practice in high school and I wanted to die and I don’t think I ever actually did it in 7mins because I was a little asshole and didn’t do what people told me to do if I found it ridiculous and arbitrary and unnecessary.
And it WAS ridiculous and arbitrary and unnecessary at the time, I stand by that. A 7min mile was not a valuable endurance benchmark for the type of sport and athleticism I was training for. So yes, I already said it BUT I STAND BY THAT.
But as an adult in the year 2020, I’ve gained a ton of weight and I don’t really have anything else to do so I was like why not.
nike run club app enters my life.
After that first run I asked around if anyone had running tips they could share and one friend was like “Nike Run Club app!” So I did my second run with that.
AND IT CHANGED EVERYTHING.
I still don’t love running and I think it’s pretty ridiculous as a sport. And also painful. Consistently painful. I even already injured myself and diagnosed myself with Cuboid syndrome, because I’m a doctor.
But the coach dude on the app, “Coach Bennett,” just talks you through it and says all the right things and basically brainwashes you into thinking everything will be okay. And I’m totally fine with being brainwashed. If it’s for my own good and it helps me get through something and it tricks me into thinking something terrible is fun, I AM FULLY ON BOARD.
It’s possible I use the word “brainwash” loosely and haphazardly, because I also referred to my successful experiences with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as brainwashing. But like either way, it’s positive brainwashing. And even better, a robot is doing it.
I guess “Coach Bennett” isn’t an actual robot but the means in which his message is delivered is 100% via a robot from the future. Because the future is now. The robot is my phone. “Coach Bennett” isn’t here. He doesn’t know who I am. He’s shouting into the void in a recording studio, but his message reaches me just the same.
And the message is, “running is okay.” Like, IT IS OKAY. I can make it through. I don’t even need to go fast. I can go at my own pace, I can zone out and listen to his voice, I can zone out completely and not listen to anything. And therein lies the beauty: running offers freedom from needing to think about anything.
It’s also possible to link up your Spotify account and play your own playlists while you run. EVEN BETTER, they have custom playlists that they have made for their “Guided Runs” and from those playlists I have found new music I like for the first time in A WHILE. Listening to music I like while I’m running really helps me get it done.
And now I look forward to it. Yes I said that, I look forward to running. The Nike Run Club app has made me look forward to running. I wake up really early and I read the NYTimes morning daily brief email and wait for the sun to rise so it’s safe to walk to Lincoln Park and I get a medium hot black coffee with a coconut flavor shot and 1 mocha flavor swirl from the Dunkin Donuts on West Side Ave and I walk into the park and I look for the red tailed hawks and I say hi to the red tailed hawks and I finish my coffee and I check to see if the pond is frozen on that particular morning and wonder if I’ll see the yellow-crowned night heron they always advertise but I never see him and then I HIT THE TRACK and I press start on the Nike Run Club app and then it’s game on.
The other day “Coach Bennett” was talking about science biology stuff that goes along with running and I got so pumped up and was running along to the beat of my Spotify and shouting out “MITOCHONDRIAAAAA!” at the top of my lungs and it was the best day of my life.
This all happens before 9am and I like that even more. I take pride in the fact that I have forced myself into being a morning person. And I’ve never stopped feeling like I stole some of the day back. From who, I don’t know, “The Man,” I guess. But those 4 hours in the morning before 10am are ALL MINE and I’m never giving them back and now running helps me keep a firm grip on them.
And the Nike Run Club app helps me run.
Try it out, don’t be scared. You can find it in the App Store. It’s an app, you guys.
Let me know what you think!