Dec 15 2020

The end of an era

Category: MiscellaneousIuliana @ 1:01

A long time ago I bought my first cellphone app. It was called Runtastic PRO and I used it to time my runs and check on my progress. I don’t even remember when I decided to buy it or why, but I opted for the PRO version to get rid of ads and get some detailed statistics about my runs. I really do not remember when I bought it, but I got it right around the time I got my first smart-phone between 2010 and 2014.  It was about that time  that I decided Runtastic PRO was an app that was worth the money.

A few months ago, I noticed my Runtastic PRO glitching. Then it started recommending me to install the Adidas running app. Which I was not interested in. So, I postponed the moment, knowing what will come next.

If you’ve read Jeffrey Paul’s article Your Computer Isn’t Yours, well as turns out, your phone isn’t yours either. Compared to Apple, where you are left with some choice of upgrading your software, on my Android phone, the app got deactivated in secret and my credentials were invalidated. I tried my credentials, but they do not work. The forgot password option doesn’t work either and their recommendation is to contact their support team. Which I do not intend to do, because I know what the recommendation is: to install the new Adidas running app.

I like Runtastic PRO. It has been my running pal for a long time. I paid for that app and it was doing the job it was supposed to do, perfectly. That is the app I paid for, that is the app I want to use. If I can’t have that I will run just listening to my music. I was never interested in how fast I was anyway. It was just a nice feature Runtastic PRO provided, but I won’t die without it.

I ran today for the first time without Runtastic PRO. I did not miss it much. I just had that small pang of sadness when I tried to start it and I couldn’t. Because I realized this is yet another end of an era for me. Yet another software product I have loved since my youth has been taken away. Just like Google Reader and Google Music were. Don’t even get me started on that and how the YouTube music player asks me for a paid subscription every time I open it. That is why I gave it up and reverted to use the typical Samsung music player. I have my own music, stored on an external HDD, that I have gathered during my youth and if I want something on my phone, that is where I will get it from. A music player should play music, not connect to the internet and do hell knows what. This is my opinion and until my external hard drive dies (and its backup too), that won’t change.

While I was writing this blog entry, I opened the Runtastic PRO app for one last time, before uninstalling it.  And sure enough, if I want my running history, I have to install the Adidas running app.

Joke’s on them, because I do not really care about my running history.

Running for me is not about my speed. I know I’ve never been a speed runner.

Running for me is not about my history, because if it were so, my running history starts in second grade, when I joined a running club in my home city of Ramnicu Valcea, Romania. It was long before any company was thinking about making a profit on people keeping track on thier running activity.

It is not about the distance. The most I’ve run continuously in my life was about 17 miles, and I hated myself for three days after it. My whole body hurt and was trying to let me know it did not like it. Lately, running 2 miles at lunch time has become part of my routine. Every day around lunch time, I automatically get up from my computer, put my sports equipment on, do 10 minutes warm up and then I go run for 2 miles on the bike path near my house. I have 3 routes that I could run on with my eyes closed and depending on the weather and the season I pick one of them. I run and I think about solutions I develop at work, topics for this blog and friends that I miss, and that I should get in touch with.

I do not publish my times on social media. Running is not a group activity for me. I did not have a group of people on Runtastic PRO that I was competing with. I did not need the external motivation given by followers on social media to run. I run because it makes me feel good. I run because I still can. As some of you that read me more often know, I have a bad knee. At some point it will give out completely. I intended to fix it, but this pandemic has postponed my operation indefinitely. There might be a time when I’ll be bed-bound for a while, so I intend to keep my muscles active until then.

Also, the women in my family tend to become obese after 30. I guess you could say obesity runs in my family.


See what I did there? Did you get it? Obesity runs … get it? Oh nevermind…

Anyway, me and my sister have escaped it so far. Not sure about her, but I intend my coffin to be quite small so my friends can dance with it like in this meme.

So… goodbye, Runtastic PRO! I’ve held on to you for as long as I could. But I guess you now belong to a big sport equipment producer corporation, so I have to give you up. Because I’d rather not be bombarded with suggestions to buy their overpriced items produced by underpaid employees in a third-world country.

Stay safe, stay happy!

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