“The Run is Done,” a simple rhyme that I hear in my earbuds each morning as I strip off my shoes and socks. It’s said by the AI coach that lives in my Nike Run App and keeps track of my miles or provides performance data. I haven’t always used this app to monitor my runs, but it does date back to 2021, two years ago. Before that, I relied on it occasionally but also used a Nike watch, Fit-bit, Apple watch and various written diaries or logs to time and record my runs throughout the years. I’ve averaged just under 2.5 miles every day, although recently I had cut back from a 5k to 2.1 miles in lieu of the Florida heat. 

For many years, I used a transistor radio to keep me entertained. After being in the business, I liked to listen to local radio stations as we traveled and hometown favorites on my everyday jaunts. On many occasions I would listen to talk radio. Sometimes, I just liked the silence with only the sound of my shoes striking the pavement. Nowadays, the Nike app allows me to play my favorite Apple Music downloaded tunes unless the connection goes bad. I’ve written poems in my head as I’ve plodded along, solved the problems of the world, and planned the day ahead, all along wishing to hear the words, “The Run is Done.”

I was hard-wired to the devices that I carried until the technology for wireless earbuds evolved. Prior to this ingenious innovation, there were times when I got entangled and disconnected while running or even nearly decapitated when it caught on the branch of a tree or poorly trimmed bush I was passing. Currently, it’s just me, my phone, and these earbuds that go with me on these daily journeys. I also get notified by the AI coach in my ear every half-mile that I complete and also heard split times before my pace got embarrassingly slow and I shut that feature off. I don’t even want to know anymore but can’t help but sneak a peek after I finish. This morning, my first mile was under 15 minutes, while the second slowed to 17 minutes. Most people walk faster than this, unless they are tethered to a dog or two. Granted, I’m taking it easy after a heart procedure. 

I now wonder what the Nike running coach will think when he (or she) no longer has me to push along? Will they understand the reason that I’ve stopped slogging every morning? Do they secretly laugh at my form and times? What do they do when they’re not watching me and filling my head with praise and encouragement? Furthermore, what will their final words be when I make that last run? Will it be more profound than just “the run is done?”