Combining Identities

I have been programming since I was 13. I am a programmer in a very deep way. I do it nearly every day, and it brings me joy.

I have tried to be a runner for the past 15 years and had some success, but never was able to make it a permanent part of my life—I was not really a runner.

Two years ago, I did a few things to take up the practice of running more seriously. One of my tactics was to combine my programming identity with a nascent running identity.

My coach, Holly, assigns me several programmed runs every week. They are of the form: Warmup for 15 minutes, then do 6×3:00 at 5k pace, with a rest interval of 2:00, and then do a 10 minute cooldown. There are a few different patterns.

I made Sprint-o-Mat, an Apple Watch app to guide me during these runs. It has template patterns that you can customize and then buzzes/dings my wrist to let me know to start a sprint, a rest, or whatever is next.

I want to run to play with my app. I want to program to help my runs. In 2020, I ran two marathons, so I do really see myself as a runner now.

The next thing I am tackling is how to tie a writing identity to programming as well. Unlike running, I don’t think I want to work on a writing app. But to combine programming and writing, I do need some kind of project that uses both.

Note: I released a major update to Sprint-o-Mat. See a post about its new interface and how that influenced its icon design.