"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Friday, January 29, 2010

Virtual running

While riding a stationary bike at an Orlando hotel in 2003, I first encountered virtual exercise. The bike had a screen in front that displayed landscapes that matched the resistance programmed into the bike. Suffice to say, it was ridiculous, because the display never changed my perception that I wasn't going anywhere. The display was also pretty unrealistic, just some flat-looking colors. Pretty awful.

Google Earth and Streetview have improved on the virtual travailing experience, but I enjoy them not to pretend I am exercising outside, but to see places that I am unable to run at the time. Mapmyrun.com, which I use to, well, map my runs, has a "flyover" option that follows the path you map. It takes a while to load and doesn't take you close to the street level, but it is automatic.

I just discovered Streetview a few weeks ago, a mere three years after it was introduced to the world. I found it only because I zoomed too closely on a map and I damn near thought I broke the Internet. Then I realized I could navigate as though I was walking (or running) the streets. This has been an amazing help as I compile my lists of favorite places to run, because I can take myself to the loops visually. If I constantly click the forward and turning arrows, I can virtually run loops from which I am hundreds of miles. It's good for reminiscing If I can figure out how to capture an image, I'll be set. It's also helpful because when mapping a run in unfamiliar places, I can check to see what a turn looks like, so I will recognize it when it comes time to make a pivotal change in direction.

In other news, I feel amazingly better today. I don't even feel as tired as I normally do, which is remarkable, especially considering the several times I woke up. There's no better day than just after getting over an illness. I plan to run a Park 6 tonight, pretty easily, and cash early and watch the Milrose Games on television.

1 comment:

  1. The video at the bottom of this page is a really easy explanation of how to do an image capture:

    I've never tried it with GoogleEarth, but I would assume it works!

    Glad you're feeling better!