Mallory groggily rolls out of her bed at 7 a.m. and throws on her Nike shorts and tank that she laid out the night before. She grabs her smartwatch and bluetooth headphones from the nightstand, both fully charged and already paired.
In the kitchen, she puts a slice of bread in the toaster for pre-run fuel and opens her running app on her smartphone. Even though it’s officially fall, the weather still hasn’t cooled off enough to her liking, which is starting to seriously interfere with her training for her second half-marathon. She pulls up a map of the area around her, selects “View by amount of shade” and constrains the timeframe to 7-9 a.m. A quick animation plays, informing Mallory of the shade in the area over the time intervals. Noticing some variation between streets and time, she decides to go out to the Beltline one way and back another.
Mallory then creates a new run to log today. Since she is relatively familiar with the area, she doesn’t want a turn-by-turn route, but she does want today be informed during her run of particularly crowded areas and new detours or construction. To make this happen, she turns on “Dynamic Routing.” She also pulls up the route preferences menu and makes sure she has notifications and suggested reroutes turned on for crowds, detours, constructions, and shade.
Previously, Mallory ran low-tech compared with the rest of her friends who run - she doesn’t like carrying her phone since it’s bulky and she only sometimes listens to music. However, a combination of frustration with her training not going well, new money from her first job out of college, and recent tech improvements encouraged her to give it a chance.
Eating her bread, now covered in peanut butter, she puts in her headphones and straps on her watch, walking towards the door. The watch does all the work, so she leaves her phone on the kitchen table. Shoes on, Brooks - nothing fancy - she leaves her apartment in the trendy neighborhood of Edgewood and starts her five-minute slow-run warmup down Hardee St. With her music playing, she sees a few other early birds driving down the street. Two blocks away from Moreland, her watch vibrates and she hears “Active construction now beginning at Moreland and Hardee.” Not wanting to be delayed, or breathe in gross dust particles that she is probably allergic to, she takes a side street and crosses Moreland two intersections away from where she originally planned to.
Now west of Moreland, Mallory continues to make her way to Krog Street Market, where she will pick up the Beltline to take all the way to Piedmont Park. Since it’s still relatively early, she only sees other serious runners and some cyclists trying to get in the miles before there are too many pedestrians. Passing the empty skatepark, minus a group of yogis in the field next to it, she checks her watch to see she has gone 2.2 miles and is running at a 9:08 pace.
Once she passes Ponce City Market, it becomes a little more crowded since it’s closer to Piedmont Park. However, there still aren’t enough people to slow her down. Leaving the Beltline, she adds a few more miles in Piedmont Park. Then, about to return to the Beltline at 10th and Monroe, her watch vibrates again and she hears “Unusual crowds between this intersection and Ponce City Market.” Thinking it must be some event that missed her radar, for this many people to be there after it was so empty, she begrudgingly continues towards the area since she wants to stay on the Beltline. As she approaches the crowded area, her music dies down so she can hear her surroundings more clearly. She sees people dressed for walking, and hears “We will begin The Walk in Her Shoes walk at 9 a.m.” A bell rings behind her, so she steps slightly to the right to allow a cyclist to pass her. Soon past the crowd, her music returns to its original, higher volume, and Mallory enjoys the morning on the Beltline for another mile.
Upon leaving the Beltline, Mallory starts to retrace the route she took to start. Not a minute later, her watch vibrates and she hears “You are not on the route with the most shade. Would you like to receive turn-by-turn directions to put you on the route with the — ” “Yes,” Mallory responds and immediately hears “Take a right onto Chester Ave.” She takes the turn, and leaves the directions on to avoid the increasing heat of the sun. Back at her apartment, she slows down and stretches, listening to her watch read out the stats of her run.