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There's an App for That
updated: Jun 23, 2012, 3:23 PM
By Nicole Buchanan Freire
So far I have completed three workouts in the Couch to 5K program. That leaves me
with..............someone else to do the math.
I am taking this project very slowly. People ask me how far or how fast I've been running and all I'm able
to do is gesture tiredly at my phone.
The app I'm using (if anyone's interested, it's this one: Cool Running tracks everything for
me. My distance, my speed, a GPS, everything.
But all I really care about is talking back to my phone as I run/walk. I've already developed INTENSE
feelings towards the computer generated woman's voice that tells me when to run and for how long.
Phone: "Let's start off with a brisk 5 minute walk!"
Me: "Ok, I can do that."
Phone: "Now jog!"
Me: "What? Already? What happened to five minutes?"
I squint at my phone. Huh. Ok, that was a fast five minutes. I jog.
1:30 goes by.
Phone: "Now walk!"
Me: "Oh, thank god!"
Phone: "Now jog!"
Me: "Oh, no."
I jog for a minute.
Phone: "Let's walk!
Me: "Yes, good idea!"
I stagger down the sidewalk.
Phone: "Now jog! Faster!"
Me: "I HATE YOU."
And so it goes, for a half hour. It's excruciating.
Mostly I'm glad to hear her voice, probably because I'm gasping for air and can only follow verbal
commands. I'm barely upright, I don't think that we can call what I'm doing so far "running."
SCATTERED THOUGHTS WHILE STAGGERING DOWN A SIDEWALK
The part of my DNA that hails from Ireland really comes out when I exert myself in any physical fashion.
The other day after I 'went running' someone said to me, "Oh, you look flushed!" which was a very nice
way of saying, "My god, I think your face is going to explode!"
This is why the Irish like to hide in dark pubs and drink. We don't wish to frighten small children or pets
with our sweaty, beet-red faces.
I probably need new shoes.
All of my running gear is courtesy of the benevolent gods of Alpha Thrift. That means I am either:
a) wearing the exercise gear of the recently deceased
b) wearing the exercise gear of someone who met her fitness goal and consequently shed her now too
big clothing for a smaller size.
I am content with b.
I definitely need running shoes.
When starting a new exercise routine that involves leaving the house and going OUTSIDE, I think it best
to choose this time of year. Not for the lovely sunshine or breeze, and certainly not for the ridiculously
high pollen count. No, you want to do it now because the jacaranda trees are in bloom and petals are
So when your running coach voice tells you to run and you want to smash your phone into the ground in
response, well, let's just say that not everybody gets to walk over a carpet of purple petals laid down
especially for you by Mother Nature herself, just to keep you motivated. I have a rich interior life.
Also helpful when starting a new exercise routine? A surly teenager! Make sure to bring one along with
you. They can critique your extremely poor form. Or comment on your lack of bendy knees. They'll tell
you that you're running too slow. Insist that you keep your eyes up, up, look at me, Mom, it's totally
How much to spend on shoes?
Visualize those training montages from all the Rocky movies. Play them in the cheap theater of your
mind as you run. Are they helping motivate you? No? Quick, switch to a fantasy involving Ed Norton in
"Fight Club." No? How about Ed Norton earnestly discussing his new script choices as you drink the tall
glass of Gatorade he poured for you, and yes, it's fruit-punch flavored, Ed knows what you like. Now,
Can I be reported for yelling at my phone?
Am I scaring that lady with the dog?
What do other people think about when running?
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