From Chicago to Cleveland and Back Again

This weekend I was in Cleveland, Ohio for a friend’s wedding, so I was able to have a change of scenery for my weekend run.  A bunch of us stayed downtown at the Ritz Carlton (thank goodness for the discounted rooms!), so I used MapMyRun to come up with a running route that would allow me to see some of the sights that Cleveland has to offer.  I ended up running with a few of my friends and we were able to see a lot of great things, including Progressive Field, Quicken Loans Arena, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

I was really surprised how easy it was go get around in Cleveland.  It is not nearly as crowded as Chicago, and the streets and sidewalks are so clean!  I will say, though, that Chicago has a far better scenic lake view than Cleveland.  Something about Lake Erie just isn’t the same as Lake Michigan.

This weekend also reminded me how important it is to take time out of my busy schedule to enjoy life’s great moments with my friends and family.  My mom’s side of the family all lives in and around Cleveland, so I ended up getting to spend some time with them as well during my trip.  Even with the stresses of the first week of school, I was able to enjoy myself and forget about all the work for just a little bit of time.  I hope you all are finding time for yourselves amid the start of a new school year. 🙂

 

Map My Run

Thought I would share with my blog friends a helpful running, training, and get-in-shape website and app that is just so great and FREE!  I use it quite often when I want to run in new places.  I do not always know where I am going in the city, so it is helpful for me to have a plan in mind and know exactly how far I will be running.

MapMyRun.com is an awesome site that can do many things.  First, you can use the “Map a Route” tool to draw out routes that you would like to take.  The site will tell you the mileage of your route and will also give you any important information you might want to know about your route.  For example, if there is construction on a road that you have used in your map, MapMyRun will let you know and suggest a better path.  The site automatically saves any route you create so you can share it with friends or come back to it later.

The great thing about MapMyRun is that it is not just for running.  Routes that are mapped can obviously be used for walking, biking, rollerblading, and the like.  MapMyRun also has a bank of routes to choose from that other users have created and mapped in your area.  There are several great bike paths and trails that I have discovered from viewing these already-created routes.

MapMyRun also allows users to keep a log of their foods/calories as well as keep a record of activity over time.  I use this feature to try to keep me on track so I can see my “physical fitness over time”.  Sometimes I cheat on the diet part…especially when it’s donut day at work! 🙂

Another reason I love MapMyRun is because you can add people as your “friends” just like Facebook, and then they can see all of your maps and activity and you can see theirs.  Friends can also post words of encouragement and likes/dislikes about routes you post.  I find it helpful to have friends on the site because it keeps you accountable for actually exercising!  I need all the help I can get sometimes!

The iPhone app is very similar to the website and is very easy to use and dependable when you cannot get to a computer.   Below is a video tutorial for beginners if you are interested in learning more about MapMyRun!