How Do You Add 14 Flights of Your Workout? PLUS: Create Your Own Cardio Map Challenge!

The answer to the question in the title is: BE FORGETFUL! That’s what happened today.

I was on my fifth day of working out after recovering from my sprained foot. I was scheduled to have my first session in three weeks with Mo, the personal trainer, so I headed off to Crunch in Burbank (which, unlike the West Hollywood Crunch, never had any salacious displays of showering customers). The Burbank Crunch is located on the top floor of a shopping center that also includes a Barnes & Noble, an AMC multiplex, and a couple restaurants. It’s served by a giant parking garage that also handles parking for the Ikea across the street. I can easily park on the roof of the garage and walk a few feet to get inside Crunch, but I never do that, because A) I’d have to wind my way up through the levels of the garage, which takes time, and B) I prefer the lower levels, as they’re covered, which keeps my car out of the hot sun.

The parking garage has a back entrance that leads directly to one of the lowest floors, and that floor is nearly always empty, so I park there. Which means I then have to take the stairs to get to Crunch (there’s also escalators and an elevator, but I always take the stairs). First there’s these:


Then there’s these:


And finally these:


After climbing the stairs, I checked in at Crunch and headed to the locker room. I had my wallet and phone in my pocket, and wanted to lock them away during my workout. That’s when I realized I forgot my gym padlock. Crap! I hate carrying around excess stuff during my workouts, so I went all the way back down those stairs to my car to lock them in my glove box. Then, back up all those stairs.

I did my warm-up and stretching, then went and found Mo. That’s when I learned there was a scheduling mix-up, and Mo wasn’t available to work with me. That wasn’t a big deal – we rescheduled for Thursday – but that meant that I’d be working out solo today, and for that, I’d need my iPod. Guess where my iPod was? That’s right, my car. I headed back down all the stairs, and iPod in hand, came back up them. For the third time.

The rest of my workout was good (33 minutes elliptical, 15 minutes seated elliptical), and my foot continues to feel really good. And, I can add in 207 steps from all that stair-climbing! All those stairs contain, in total, 69 steps, so when I climb them 3 times, that’s about a 14-story building I’ve ascended! It’s good training for the stair climb event I signed up for before spraining my foot – an event I need to start focusing on!

The other fitness goal I have going right now is, of course, my CARDIO TO VEGAS challenge. I’m logging all the cardio I complete and tracking it on a map, with the goal of virtually making it the 274 miles from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. It’s a really fun, super-nerdy, inspirational challenge and if you wanna learn more, check out my brand-spanking-new CARDIO TO VEGAS page that compiles all those posts.

I got a couple requests after posting my most recent CARDIO TO VEGAS update to share how I make the maps that the challenge is based around. It appears as though some of you want to create your own Cardio Map Challenges, and that’s awesome! Keep reading for step-by-step directions.


First, a disclaimer: I use Google Maps, and I created all the pictures below a few days ago, around the same time that I started seeing notifications that Google is about to launch an updated version of Google Maps. Hopefully, the steps will stay about the same in the new version, although I suspect the interface will change so it won’t look the same way it looks here. I will say that I wasn’t a Google Maps pro when I started this challenge, and I figured all this out on the fly, so I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out again on the new version, if I have to.  My guess is that all this can be done, more or less, on any mapping program, so if you prefer MapQuest or Yahoo Maps or something, than use that instead. 

STEP 1: Use the ‘Get Directions’ feature and plan your intended route. I’d recommend starting at your home, and ending at a destination that’s a significant and daunting distance away (this is a challenge, after all). If it’s a route you’re familiar with, than you’ll be able to relate to your progress as you go along. If it’s a route you’re unfamiliar with, you can reward yourself upon reaching your goal by driving there and spending the day or the weekend.

For the sake of this example, I’m starting the challenge at the Renaissance Center, the tallest building in Detroit, and ending it at the Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago (and the entire United States). As Google shows below, it’s a 283-mile drive. There – you have your goal distance!

Directions 1

STEP 2: Continuing the hypothetical example, let’s say after 2 weeks of awesome workouts, you’ve logged 25 miles. Now it’s time to see how far you’ve come! Go back to the “Get Directions” feature, and plug in your starting point again. Instead of plugging in a destination, take a look at what Google suggests, in the yellow box: “Enter location or right-click on map”

Directions 2

STEP 3:  You’re going to follow those directions. Follow your route and take a guess at where you think 25 miles might be. It doesn’t matter how accurate you are, but making an educated guess will save a little time. When you have a guess, right-click on that location, and a box appears. Using your mouse, click on “Directions to Here.”

Directions 3

Once you click on “Directions to here,” Google will measure the distance (and also provide directions).

Directions 4

As you can see, I was a little off – I right-clicked on a location that was 21.7 miles, not 25. But this is no problem at all, because…

STEP 4: Now that you have an ending point on your map, you can right-click it, and drag it around! When you right-click it, it levitates above the map, with an “X” marking its new position.

Directions 5

Drag it a little further, set it down, and Google will recalculate the distance. Through a little trial and error, you can soon land on exactly 25 miles!

Directions 6

That’s basically it, folks. Once you have the ending point, you can zoom out and take a look at how far you’ve come and how far you have left to go. If you have a Google account (which, if you use Gmail or have a YouTube channel, you already have), than you can save it, and come back later when you’ve logged more miles. I’d like to say that I’m still using, and expanding upon, my original map, but because of my trial and error shenanigans, I’ve had to start over a couple times. It hasn’t bothered me, because it doesn’t take that long to rebuild my map.

If you start your own cardio map challenge, tell me about it! That’s what the comments section is for! And keep me posted on your progress!

Speaking of CARDIO TO VEGAS, I have another update to start researching, and it’ll be a big one – I’ve logged over 50 miles since my last update!


One Response to How Do You Add 14 Flights of Your Workout? PLUS: Create Your Own Cardio Map Challenge!

  1. says:

    Cool. You’re a computer techie

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