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Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the last 28 days:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Running6 4:46:29 33.93(8:27) 54.6(5:15) 430
  Strength training3 1:45:00
  Climbing1 1:00:00
  Total10 7:31:29 33.93 54.6 430

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Monday Mar 27 #

9 AM

Running 33:06 [1] 6.48 km (5:06 / km) +78m 4:49 / km
shoes: 201607 Asics GT1000

Morningjog + slow start. It was a pleasant 7 C with a mist shrouding the Humber.

Saturday Mar 25 #

Note

Live notes from the March 25 OUSA board meeting:

National Ranking Event Proposal
- Higher costs for non-OUSA members is a barrier to national meet attendance at a number of clubs (e.g. COC, LAOC). Conversely, lower entry fees has been seen as one of the benefits to OUSA membership. Balancing this is a open question, along with the broader question about what are the benefits of being an OUSA member.

Finances
- Broadly speaking, the Board's choice to dramatically curtail expenditures in the 2017 budget seem to be on track. The Board received almost all of expected club charter funds as income in January, so OUSA isn't expected to default in the immediate future. We're paying severance to the ED right now, which I'm not particularly happy about.
- Our accounting is still barely functional, i.e. only able to answer basic finance questions with effort. We are working on this, especially generating meaningful reports that can inform policy decisions.

Rogaine report -- Gavin Wyatt-Mair
- BAOC is interested in holding the World Rogaining Champs in 2020; this is exciting. The World Rogaining Committee seems to prefer North America, so it's likely a bid would be approved. BAOC is thinking of using a venue near Tahoe, probably in August 2020.
- Gavin presented an excellent document to the Board with a plan for the 2020 rogaine. BAOC will bid for the North American Rogaining champs in 2018.
- Quality must be excellent; the event in the Dakotas had some problems.
- Estimate 75 volunteers will be needed.
- BAOC is planning on taking the financial risk, possibly with a grant from OUSA.
- Budget estimates break-even for 500 competitors, target attendance is 1000 competitors. History
- OUSA commitment is a grant, some expert counsel from past Rogaining projects. We should probably add some effort to publicize, share available equipment, etc.

Club Survey - Greg Lennon
- Responses were obtained from 59 of 60 clubs (though only 46 gave answers?)
- Most important things: more volunteers, more participants, making and updating maps
- Lesser priorities: fiscal stability, event quality, training, etc.

50th Anniversary presentations - Mapping
- Mapping proposal from Peter Goodwin is good, with two main thrusts - 1) information sharing via webinars, tutorials, and online resources, e.g. for basemap generation and 2) a handful of mapping clinics around the country led by competent mappers to teach willing mappers how to make a basic forest or park map.
- The proposal is missing key details - who will make the webinars, how the money requested ($2k and $8k for the two goals) will be allocated, who the mapping experts are, where the clinics will be or how they will be chosen, and how the program's efficacy will be evaluated.
- Most importantly, money is not the limiting factor for this program to go forward. These details can be researched and obtained without money. Also, the Board can have a phone call on short notice to allocate money, but I couldn't support a $10k allocation without understanding more detail.

50th anniversary presentations - Technology: Websites
- Boris, Cristina, and I presented a proposal for a two-phase website template development. Phase 1 is a $1k project to survey clubs, figure out what they want, and come up with a plan. Phase 2 is a bigger investment to build a viable template, with the goal of having 3 clubs adopt it by the end of 2017. Rebecca Jensen, who engineered the COC template, is the developer we plan to contract to work on this.
- Board approved $1k for Phase 1, with an added component of determining whether clubs would be interested in an Eventor-like solution. Eventor is ultimately a back-end system, so a front-end CRM solution would still be necessary.
- I hope to advance to Phase 2 - engineering the solution - by summer 2017. Boris and Ian are overseeing this.

Junior Development Discussion
- There are lots of good ideas and lessons about systems that have already been employed.
- Goal is to share these best practices with the club structure, and to consider both club-supported and independent junior entities (e.g. WIOL for the former and disjoint entities like Navigation Games for the latter).
- What can we as OUSA do to make these programs happen? You need a base of volunteer support and buy-in from clubs, but maybe OUSA can help with initial funding, best practices, etc. For instance, OUSA could give grants - say at three different tiers reflecting the advancement of a program - to help fund part-time staff or buy materials.
- Get people together and drive the effort to make these things happen. Which leads to:

OUSA Convention
- I have been considering this for a while; I want to bring back the OUSA convention at the Rochester meet and not simply have the AGM. There are numerous topics to talk about. I don't know that people will attend, but we need to engineer the forum. Mapping, how to publicize, how to have junior programs, club trainings and development, finances, etc.

Strength training 30:00 [3]

Intermittently over the course of the evening, I did the following, partly as a result of a challenge by Cristina:

200 tuckups
200 oblique crunches
30 leg lifts (planned to do 50 but got tired)
4x1 min plank

Friday Mar 24 #

7 PM

Running 1:00:00 [1] 12.0 km (5:00 / km) +18m 4:58 / km
shoes: 201702 Asics Gel-contend

Easy peasy run. My watch died.

Wednesday Mar 22 #

Note

Data questions:
Does anyone have particular data questions they would ask of start data from 2010-present for national meets? For instance, the attendance by age over time, differences in age profile at each type of meet, probability of someone coming to a second event given a meet format, popularity of each meet format?

Life observations:
As I look back on my transition from Boston to Toronto, I lived a bit of an ascetic lifestyle during the transition. It was largely glorious, and while there were occasional moments when I wanted some possession that was in storage (e.g. comforter, a book, DSLR, Arduino, glass cookware), many of my possessions seem superfluous to daily life. My most useful possessions in daily life are my laptop, clothing+hygiene, transportation (car, bike), and to my surprise, my trusty 600 ml Contigo coffee cup. I use it daily to drink coffee, tea, and water, and it is glorious. I carry the little guy basically everywhere with my laptop and lab notebook, and its use has saved a great many disposable coffee cups from the trash.

Tuesday Mar 21 #

Note

Busy with methylation data. For the first fifteen weeks of my programme, in addition to taking courses, I'm rotating through three labs. I just started my third rotation, and it's with the Hoffman lab, a machine learning-heavy epigenetics group.

In OUSA areas, I'm currently working on three projects:
1. 50th anniversary fund - very generous donors allocated a bit over $30k to support broad goals of publicity and technology, mapping, and land access. When the campaign was started, there were no proposals for exactly what projects to implement, so the Board of Directors has been discussing quite a few projects to fulfill these commitments. Boris, Cristina, and I have been working on a technology proposal to fund developer time to build a website template for clubs to get reasonably professional websites with a standardized backend but a custom front end. In the long term, this project could evolve into an even more complete technology solution - with OUSA supported registration, results databases (like Eventor), Content Management Systems, publicity, and web hosting. Rather than requiring 66 different implementations, clubs - especially smaller clubs - could implement a standard template. For the 50th anniversary generally, it is very important that this not be a one-time $30k effort, but that we take what we learn from these forays and followup with projects in 2018 and 2019. Technology, marketing, and mapping have great potential to be services OUSA provides to the clubs if we can figure out the right way to do them.

2. Finance Committee - while we have long since figured out our present circumstances, we still have an accounting system that is onerous and tedious. For example, I have a job of maintaining a spreadsheet that tracks how much money each of the teams has. I literally copy paste numbers into this sheet from extracts e-mailed to me, then e-mail team managers. This clunky system is the current method to answering "how much money does a team have?" Unacceptable.

3. Communications - several projects are waiting in the wings, chiefly internal OUSA communications and coordination among OUSA-membership channels. Publicity is the elephant in the room that we're starting to address with the 50th anniversary fund.

And mini-project:
Ken and Valerie recently sent me an extract from the OUSA rankings database, which I've migrated into mySQL. I can now slice the national event start data by any number of fields to try to figure out what is working and help shape our strategy going forward. We already know that national meet attendance is down and that the age of our population of competitors is increasing.

Saturday Mar 18 #

2 PM

Running 35:52 [1] 6.68 km (5:22 / km) +71m 5:06 / km
shoes: 201702 Asics Gel-contend

Monday Mar 13 #

Note

This picture, in my mind, is an excellent representation of me in competitive races. Vroom vroom.
7 AM

Running 34:45 [1] 6.05 km (5:44 / km) +64m 5:27 / km
shoes: 201607 Asics GT1000

Saturday Mar 11 #

6 PM

Running 1:25:00 [1] 16.0 km (5:19 / km) +121m 5:07 / km
shoes: 201702 Asics Gel-contend

Easy run meandering through High Park. The temperature was -7 C with some breeze, so it was a bit chilly. Both my phone (audiobook: The Fleet at Flood Tide) and Garmin died, presumably exacerbated by the cold. A pleasant outing.

Tuesday Mar 7 #

Strength training 45:00 [3]

Unloading the truck in Toronto. It was more difficult than loading because I live down 1 flight of stairs. Still, it was not the most Herculean effort I've ever undertaken, and I managed in about 20 trips.

Monday Mar 6 #

Note

On Sunday night, I drove across the border at Niagara Falls in a wee 10' truck. The border crossing was trivial; I showed my passport and student visa, explained that I was moving furniture and personal belongings, and went on my merry way. They didn't even open the truck. I had arranged to return the truck to Buffalo (as it was cheaper); the return journey was similarly uneventful, though the border guard did open the (empty) truck. Overall, the expedition was straightforward and easy. I still own way too much stuff I don't need.

Protip for people in college and their 20s: avoid acquiring things you don't need. Used furniture and kitchen equipment (and IKEA when needed) is fantastic.

Sunday Mar 5 #

Strength training 30:00 [3]

Loading my belongings from storage onto a U-haul truck to drive them to Toronto. While packing my apartment away in August, I pruned my possessions - my furniture consists of a desk, a bookshelf, a coffee table (too good to give up), a small nightstand, and my trusty IKEA chair. The bulk of the rest was about a dozen large and small boxes. My kitchen box was by far the heaviest at over 100 lbs, though the small boxes loaded with books were not insignificant. I plan to prune my possessions down further, as the ascetic lifestyle appeals to me right now. For instance, I need to give away my 11 Wheel of Time books, my DVD player, an old PC tower, and some unnecessary clothing.

Saturday Mar 4 #

Climbing 1:00:00 [3]

During my quick trip to Boston, I met up with Joe and Melanie for a good two hour session at Brooklyn Boulders! I mostly stuck to 5.9s with success. It was excellent to catch up with my peeps.

Friday Mar 3 #

6 AM

Running 37:46 [1] 7.38 km (5:07 / km) +78m 4:52 / km
shoes: 201702 Asics Gel-contend

A short morning run. I listened to Flowers for Algernon. It turns out Algernon is a mouse.

Thursday Mar 2 #

Note

OUSA work continues apace, though more sluggishly than I had hoped. The barriers are both institutional and personal: whether because of our timidity or process, taking actions seems to require time and meetings. I also have not been as dedicated and persistent as I need to be to push our agenda forward.

The budget and our current limitations at monitoring our financial state continue to occupy a lot of attention. Barb, Pat, and I have been auditing the tracking of team funds - which are maintained in a separate spreadsheet based on exports from our official accounting.

Apart from addressing budget concerns and transparency, my two biggest priorities are communications and advancing our growth agenda. Communications has a committee (CommComm), and we are working towards a comprehensive internal communication and publicity strategy for better communicating within OUSA, with the membership, and with clubs. Our growth agenda - largely bereft of unrestricted funds for 2017 - has the 50th anniversary fundraising money to support some of its goals. But we as the Board haven't yet arrived at a SMART (acronym) set of objectives for this money. I hope that results from how we allocate it in 2017 will inform how we budget for 2018; my deepest concern is that we'll blow through the ~30k without a lasting impact on the community.

Note

Considering renting this guy for a US team+friends haus for team trials:
https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/8460191?locale=en

Wednesday Mar 1 #

Note

It's been a crap week; I've been feeling malaise and weakness for three days now.

In addition to being behind on my training, I've been behind on my logging. While the information has gradually diffused through the community, let it be known that I moved to Toronto at the beginning of January to start graduate school! I am in the Medical Biophysics program, which is a curious hybrid of biology and biophysics. My department includes computational biology, which is my area of expertise. I have the option of finishing just a Masters', but the plan is to push through a Ph.D. One of my main reasons for coming here is that I've collaborated with my current adviser, Dr. Benjamin Haibe-Kains, while at the Broad. One of my biggest lessons from my time at the Broad was the importance of choosing your boss, especially in an academic (read: feudal) setting. I'm doing rotations now in pharmacogenomics, epigenomics, and scRNAseq labs and taking classes. U Toronto has an especially legendary machine learning and statistics group, so I plan to take some classes in those departments.

A few observations:
1. Toronto as a city does not feel particularly different from Boston. U Toronto works closely with the hospitals in the area as part of the University Health Network, much like Boston's infrastructure. Curiously, there are dozens of neighborhoods with stark boundaries and well-defined cultural identities. Some are ethnic, like Chinatown and Little Portugal; there's a huge variety of restaurants.

2. I have banked with MIT's Federal Credit Union for my adult life, and they have been more than adequate. I obtained a Canadian bank account at a major bank, and I've found the experience more adversarial. The bank is trying to sell my products, and they are more persistent than the credit union.

3. Toronto's subway (TTC), while limited to basically two lines, is excellent. It's cleaner than Boston's and has monitors at every station with information about the next train (and news). Also, I've never had to wait more than 4-5 minutes for a train, even at late hours. Finally, they keep the doors open for a much shorter period at each stop - usually about ten seconds - than New York or Boston. This enables the train to travel much faster between stations, though you have to be ready to jump off at your stop.

4. I've connected with a bit of the orienteering scene - chiefly Klepperton (Mark Innes), who lives a few km from me. I need to get into a regular training regimen with weekly runs with Mark. I'm also looking for a track club, though I've been using the athletic center facilities intermittently for now. The two Toronto orienteering events I've been to so far both had some snow (read: Canadians are tough) and a smorgasbord of hot food and snacks after.

5. Tim Horton's has replaced Dunkin in my life. I'm trying to limit myself to only one delicious double-double coffee per day.

6. I recently made couscous for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed the combination of taste, substance, and ease of preparation.

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