December 3, 2014

Running Across the World

It's not every day you get to run through the American Southwest and German cities in under an hour, but that's what my workout looked like today. I didn't pack my rain gear this week, so I ended up in a Rochester Marriott on the treadmill for a quick 10k.

The TRUE Fitness treadmill had a virtual run option, a trend creeping into more fitness equipment lately. Although this option wasn't based on Google Maps or famous road races, it was through famous trails and scenic areas in California, Chicago, and the Southwest in States, and overseas locations in Germany and Italy.

After my 10 day Southwest trip with my father in 2012, I had to select the Southwest option first. I immediately recognized the first trail as it took off from the parking lot at the base of Angel's Landing and ascended into Zion NP. The next segment took me along more red rock to Zion's Emerald Pools. The next two segments were also instantly recognizable, with the first being through the Buckskin Gulch slot canyon in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument area, one of my favorite hikes in the Southwest. I stayed in the same park with the next segment heading through Coyote Buttes and near the Wave sandstone formation. The final segments of the region were two runs along the Las Vegas strip.

After I wrapped up with the sand, I decided to head over to Germany; very timely since I'll be there in the snow in a couple weeks. The run started through a gorgeous green forest in the Thuringian Forest, continuing into the Berchtesgaden area with a mountainous climb of the Wimbachklamm and city running in the spa town of Bad Reichenhal. The trek then took me to Munich for a run along the water and through the city's walking street to Marienplatz and the Englischer Garten. Marienplatz was especially exciting since it's an annual visit for me. It was fun to run past my favorite fest halls, restaurants, and end at the Glockenspiel. The experience ended with a quick trip through Nuremberg. It was a new experience to run through Germany without snow on the ground, although I did get hungry running past my favorite restaurants....not to mention getting thirsty seeing all the Erdinger beer umbrellas.

In summary, it was nothing like actually running the trails of the Southwest or the cities of Germany, but it was a lot better than staring at a wall. So for making my treadmill run less painful and making the hour go by faster, I have to give the TRUE Fitness treadmill high praise to get in hotel mileage. Only downside was only having six regions at about three miles each; it would be better with Google Maps integration or expanded route downloads since the limited options may lose their novelty and get old after a few times through.

Virtual run selection screen

Southwest US region

Angel's Landing trail (Zion)

Buckskin Gulch slot canyon

Germany region

Thuringian Forest

Munich nearing Marienplatz

Munich walking street

Aldstadt in Nuremberg