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A Story

About Running

nike run club guides me home once again

There’s a feeling I get in my stomach before I head out on a run, its this anticipation that sometimes I confuse with anxiety, other times pure excitement and joy.  I get my running clothes on, I tie my shoes in a double knot, go to the bathroom, put in my AirPods and once all of these things are done and everything feels perfect, I open the front door and then I tap ‘start’.


This is a story about running.


When I was seven I was diagnosed with transient synovitis, sometimes referred to as toxic synovitis, which is caused by a virus, usually upper respiratory which moves to and then settles in the hip joint.  I was a unique case because mine moved from one hip to the other, the doctors were floored.  But this is something that goes away on its own, like any virus, so I moved through and was eventually fine.


In high school I ran cross country and played lacrosse, all of the running led me to develop bilateral hip tendonitis.  Back to the doctors I went, walking up and down hallways with a gown on so doctors could observe the way my legs moved.  I was prescribed Vioxx, which was later recalled, Merck’s wonder drug and painkiller was causing ‘cardiovascular events’ such as stroke and heart attack, just what every sixteen year old should be taking daily.  I was told that I should stop running, that my legs were not going to handle the amount of movement I was giving them, that I didn’t want to end up unable to walk…but I kept going.


I have a relationship with running, at times it has been my best and only friend, so at twenty six, when, during a run, my knee just gave out, I was devastated.  I remember laying in bed crying in the middle of the night asking what I was going to do, what could possibly replace running, I thought I was going to lose my mind without running.


Fast forward eight years, I’m sitting on my parents front porch with my Mom as the girls high school cross country team runs by, she looked at me and said ‘in six weeks, they will be clipping by’.  The next morning I went for a run, after years away from the sport, I knew I was home again.  That first run was just under two miles, yesterday I ran over eight, I’m back.


NRC hero.jpg

This is also a story about data.  And moments, minutes and miles.


Before my first run back last July, I downloaded the Nike Run Club app to track my mileage.  I could have never imagined on that day how integral a part Nike Run Club would become to my life, and I mean life because it is not just about running anymore.


Nike Run Club presents the best metrics for runners, they understand what I want to see, the numbers that are important to me.  They understand that my numbers tell my running story, if there isn't data did the run even happen?  NRC recognizes that runners are inherently competitive and will push themselves to the ever expanding limits which is why they give us milestones that are challenging but attainable.  NRC offers runners competitions each month that we are able to take part in, to test ourselves against the whole.  NRC displays my running data in an elegant and easily digestible way.  I find myself regularly looking back at my runs, my finger on the screen, pulling the indicator around my route, the numbers (pace, elevation, heart BPM) changing with the movement of my hand.  My splits, the temperature that day, the NRC data tells my story.


Nike Run Club doesn’t stop at data though, what differentiates NRC from any other fitness application is their Guided Runs.  There are numerous guided runs in the NRC app, split into groups of speed runs, short runs, long runs, etc with titles like “Mindful Meters”, “I Need a Win Run” and there are plenty of runs with the greats like “Run with Joanie”.


These runs remind me to run easy, that the numbers only tell part of my running story, that “every run has a purpose”.  These runs also remind me to be grateful “Thank You Run”, that my mind is more important than my body when it comes to running “Run with Headspace” and that I can achieve anything I set out to “Breaking Through Barriers”.  The NRC guided runs are created by top tier running coaches and are given to runners for free, the Nike Run Club app is a gift to me everyday, every time I lace up my shoes.


The Nike Run Club app isn’t exceptional because of its user interface, the ease of use and its data.  It’s amazing because it creates an emotional attachment with the user, the runner.  I pause to say that I am dependent on NRC but if I’m honest, I certainly am.  My runs aren't the same without NRC and I’m okay with this attachment because as a designer I have trust in the product, after a run I'm told to get a glass of water and to rest, never buy new shoes. Nike Run Club makes me feel safe, though my knees may feel otherwise.  

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