I stumbled across a great Web site that enables runners to log their daily mileage and track their “progress” on a virtual transcontinental trip across the United States. The site was designed by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to encourage runners (and walkers and cyclists) to keep up with their weekly fitness goals. Each time you log in and enter your mileage, it is added to your total, and the Web site displays exactly what you would see -- by means of photographs -- if you had been traveling from the starting point in Yorktown, Virginia to the final destination in Florence, Oregon.
For example, if you ran four miles one day, five the next day, and 6.2 on the third day, you would see photos of the scenery at 4 miles, 9 miles, and 15.2 miles west of Yorktown on days one, two, and three, respectively. The site also provides maps that show your progress and the progress of your running partner, if you decide to include a friend. In addition, the site will send you an email notification (if requested) when you don't meet your weekly running goal or when your running partner has a particularly good week and passes you along the route.
Coincidently, I am planning to visit a relative in Florence, Oregon next week. This time I'll be flying. But maybe next time . . .