How One Audio-Guided Run on the NRC App Changed My Life


I stepped outside my house as the sun was rising.  It was 6:30 a.m. and after a several month workout hiatus that was unintentional and had me feeling “meh” at best, it was time to get back at it. 

I opened my Nike Run Club app and my goal was run a mile or two, depending on how I felt.  I looked at my options and today and despite having used this app for 10 years, I decided to click on “guided runs.”  I had never used any of the functions in this app until then.  But, on this particular day, I needed a guide. 

How One Audio-Guided Run on the NRC App Changed My Life Ann Ueno Contributor Miami Moms Blog
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I clicked –> Get Started Collection (even though I had been running on and off for the last decade and this was not a “get started” situation) –> First Run (not my first run at all) –> Start (yes, exactly what I needed to do… start.)

This nice man enters into my earbuds and preps me for our time together.  We had 20 minutes and the goal was to complete a relaxed, breath-controlled run.  It was also for me to end that run better than I started.

He explained to me the importance of breathing.

He encouraged me.

He challenged me.

He coached me.

He paced me.

He celebrated me.

He reminded me to feel joy. Not at the end of the run, DURING the run.


I ran the slowest pace I had ever run in my life.  But I felt the best I had ever felt during and after a run.

Several times during the run I felt like crying.  Because after all of these years, I didn’t have a running guide.  I wasn’t humble enough to seek help.  My competitive nature got in the way.  But on this particular day, I had the voice of a stranger who coincidentally re-shaped the way I viewed running and the way I actually ran.  And coincidentally – or not – I did experience joy and peace during the run as opposed to only after. 

How ironic of a run was this?  My slowest run, yet my most joy-filled.  No controlled Spotify playlist, just Nike’s running coach’s voice and pre-determined music that had no words and just rhythm and melody.  I ended the run excited for the next.  I had to start over to keep going.

After all of these years of doing something by myself, as it turns out, I needed a guide.  A coach.  Not to be the fastest, not to beat my personal records, but to help me experience joy, to learn how to do something the right way and to be a better version of myself.   

I couldn’t have done this on my own.

I wonder, as moms, in what other areas of our lives do we need a coach?  Where do we need to humble ourselves and embrace a new way of doing something?

Perhaps it’s trying marriage counseling.
Perhaps it’s trying out church and being led spiritually in a new way.
Perhaps it’s engaging with a new community.
Perhaps it’s re-thinking your routines because there may, in fact, be a better way to do what you’re doing.
Perhaps it’s similar to me, a new workout routine that has even SOME level of accountability and coaching.
Perhaps it’s letting go of how YOU want your child to be and surrendering to THEIR desires, THEIR DNA, THEIR God-given strengths.
Perhaps it’s re-thinking the structure of your team at work and collaborating more with your boss on ways to be better.

Maybe we just need to take a chance.  Take a chance on new.  Take a chance on uncomfortable.  Take a chance on humility. 

And maybe we need a person, a coach, a spouse, a counselor, a teacher, a guide to help us get there. To help us be better.  We are the ones pouring out so much into our kids and families and jobs.  We, too, need to be led, guided, coached.  And maybe we just need to start over, be a beginner and create new habits.

For me, this experience has entirely shifted my perspective of so many things in my life. 

But for now, I’m going to keep running with my Nike Run Club coach.  For joy.  For endurance.  To be better than I was before.  Maybe I will train for that half marathon that has always been in the back of my head.  Hmmm… time will tell!

P.S. If you happen to be a runner – AT ANY STAGE – and don’t use NRC, check it out here.

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A midwest gal raised in a farm town, eventually making her way to Chicago, NYC and back to Chicago, Ann has called Miami home for the last 4 years. She has spent 16 years in the hotel industry in digital marketing, currently Vice President at BCV Social (it's no secret that travel is a deep passion for her!). Simultaneously, Ann has pursued one of her dreams of becoming an Interior Designer by opening up her own firm, Ann Ueno Interior Design. She has been married to Rick for almost 8 years, step-mom to Zach and mom to Zoey and the adventure of motherhood continues to be one of God's greatest blessings in Ann's life! Ann serves and leads at Vous Church in Wynwood. She loves working out, writing, leading her Bible study and cooking. Her grandmother, mom and Julia Child are women who have inspired and shaped her life and she hopes through her own life and stories she will say, she can inspire and shape yours.


  1. I’ve been wanting to start running again, I think I needed to hear this! All of it, thank you!

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