App To No Good

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In January 2011, the American Dialect Society named “app” the word of the year for 2010. Today, that word is engrained in our daily vocabulary. App is shortened for application, something that you download in your mobile device. I think everybody knows what an app is, unless you’re living under a rock.

There are more than 2 million app available in Apple app store currently, and for Android users, there are about 3.5 million apps. If you think about something, there’s probably an app for that. This technology has been part of our day-to-day life and it’s really on the up and up, or should I say, on the app and app.

I have several apps on my smart phone that make my life “easier.” I have an app for the weather alerts, an app to know where I park my car, an app to read and check the latest medical literature and studies, an app to do my banking, an app to control the air-conditioner or heater at my home even if I’m not home, and app to listen to Filipino radio stations, even if I’m 8000 miles away from the Philippines.

You already know that for about 3 weeks now, I have been using an app to help me improve my running (see previous post, App for the Challenge and App to Speed). I started with a pace of about 11 minutes per mile but with the aid of the app I was able to decrease it to 10 minutes per mile on my last run.

After a couple of runs with a faster pace, this week it was my objective to build on that and further improve my pace. My goal is to have it under 10 minutes or even a 9-minute mile.

But I failed!


I ran a longer distance this time though.

I can think of a hundred reasons of why I was not able to achieve that goal. First, I had only 5 hours of sleep the night before I made that morning run.

Second, it was hot outside when I ran, with the temperature near 80º Fahrenheit. I know that was not really hot, especially if I consider that I grew up in a tropical country. But for me I rather run in a 30-60º F temperature and just layer up in my running gear. If the temperature is 90º F or higher? Forget it, that can kill a runner.

Third, the app did not give me wings in my feet.

Fourth, the app failed to give me more air in my lungs.

But I think the only acceptable reason is that running a 9-minute mile is not as easy as I thought, and I am not as fast and strong as I believe I am. As in most endeavor, it takes time and perseverance to achieve what you aim for. Maybe it would take me few more weeks or even months to attain that lofty goal. Or maybe never.

For now, I’ll just blame it on the app.

(*background photo taken during my run)



  1. I am the first to agree that a 9 minute mile is not as easy as it seems. I have been working hard at trying to get faster and I think I realized recently a mistake i’ve made: trying to go too fast too soon. Since I’ve run consistently in the 9/9:30 range for a while, I decided my goal was to start averaging miles in the high 8s. While it’s not so difficult for me to run some miles at that pace, I have underestimated how tough it is to race at that pace–to start out there and maintain it. This week I’ve slowed down a bit and am working on getting good conditioning at a 9 minute mile, then I am going to take my time and build so I have a good foundation of speed that I can really maintain.
    Maybe aim for a 10:45 or a 10:30 mile for a while? And maybe try to shave 10-15 seconds off every few weeks? I think we underestimate how much faster that 10 or 15 seconds is! Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the advice to take it more gradually. I think I expect too much too soon. And if I’m stuck at 11 minute mile, I won’t feel too bad, that’s still better than not running at all.

      1. Exactly! I need to remember that too. I had a couple “bad” runs last week–you reminded me that getting out there is what counts! thanks! x

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