Maps!

I am not one of those people who would have been able to survive as a pioneer. It is not that I am not a stickler for luxury or convenience – in fact I am pretty sure that I would trade my desk job for growing our own food and a wash wringer if given the choice. No, my problem is I get lost walking in a circle. I have lived in Kansas City all of my life, with only some brief stints away from college. Despite that, I can’t find my way anywhere unaided. I need a map, verbal directions to clarify from my husband, and extra travel time. Then, without fail, I will need to call my husband and get him to talk me there when I ultimately get turned around. The one thing I should appreciate most about the modern age I live in are all the tools that help me not get lost. Here is a list of map and working out related thingies.

(list 42) Maps-and-fitness related things

  1. I super duper heart mapmyrun.com. I keep track of the mileage I walk each week and enter it in a spreadsheet so I can see how I am progressing toward my goals. Yes, so very sad but so very true. Anyway, I much prefer to walk outside then on the treadmill at the gym, but I was limited to a few routes where I could calculate the mileage. That isn’t true any more! With mapmyrun.com I can map routes from anywhere to anywhere – I truly love it. And if I decide to wander on a walk or get myself turned around, I can go home and retrace the route to get an accurate mileage. Yea, darn cool. I recently read I’m a Stranger Here Myself by Bill Bryson – a hilarious look at life in our country. Here is one of my favorite bits of the book – this is from an essay about how we drive too dern much:

    An acquiantance of ours was complaining the other day about the difficulty of finding a place to park outside the local gymnasium. She goes there several times a week to walk on a treadmill. The gymnasium is, at most, a six-minute walk from her front door. I asked her why she didn’t walk to the gym and do six minutes less on the treadmill.

    She looked at me as if I were tragically simple-minded and said, “But I have a program for the treadmill. It records my distance and speed and calorie-burn rate, and I can adjust it for degree of difficulty.” It had not occurred to me how thoughtlessly deficient nature is in this regard.

    I can sympathize with both sides of this argument, if there wasn’t a way to record the distance of my sojourns outside, I would be tempted to always drive the distance to the gym to walk on a treadmill. Luckily, I live in this age.

  2. DH thoughfully purchased for me the coolest gadget ever. It is a Garmin ForeRunner 301. It will track “distance and speed and calorie-burn rate”, as well as my heart rate and I can preprogram walks, runs, and bike rides. Also, I can download walks from mapmyrun.com so I don’t get lost. Yea, purty dern cool. I am very excited to get it. I will post how cool it is once I have used it a bit. (Commercial Plug – He got it from H.M.S. Beagle – the ultimate science store in Parkville, MO. A great store for all things sciency, including GPS devices, and coincidentally owned by my parents.)
  3. We are going to Colorado Springs next week for a camping trip with the twins. I am very, very excited. It definitely will be a trial-by-fire for the whole stepmom thing (9-hour car trip, fixing meals on a camp stove, sleeping in a tent). And we are going to do some cool things, like Pike’s Peak Cog Railroad and Cave of the Winds. I spent some quality time with mapmyrun.com and came up with two walks to complete to ensure I can get my mileage in during the mornings if our daytime activities don’t allow enough time for hiking. (A moot point if I get my Garmin dooda before we leave.) Here are the walks:

    From Campground to Park
    Find more Runs in Colorado Springs, ColoradoGarden of the Gods campground – 1 mile
    Find more Walks in Colorado Springs, Colorado

  4. I have a good friend who runs long distances. Like some runners, she got very addicted, often going off her predefined course to wander a bit and get some more running in. She once got hopelessly lost in Liberty (which I think can be easy in some of the neighborhoods – the curvy roads and similar-looking houses can be confusing.) She didn’t have a cell phone or any water. She ran and walked for over two hours (until after dark) until she found something she recognized and could get home. This story freaked me out – she laughed it off, but I would have been in a panic. I so rarely recognize where I am – I mean I could think “I have seen this before”, but not know where that place is in relation to how to get home. Ugh. So, if you read this, live in Liberty area, and see me out wandering around with a look of panicky fear in my face, pull over and ask me if I need help.

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