Please Help Support Camp Oochigeas


Thus far, 2010 has been a year of self-awareness for me. First, I kicked-off the year by deciding to track my workouts, number of books read, hours of sleep and how I’m feeling each day. So far it’s been a very rewarding and enlightening experience (let me know if you want a copy of my Google Doc I’m using to track everything). However, as Q1 is wrapping-up, I have already seen my workout pacing decrease as my day-to-day responsibilities increase. I didn’t like this one bit. To re-prioritize exercise within my lifestyle, I have committed to running a 10km race in 41 days. I have neither ran 10k nor raced in any event previously. Wish me luck.

Sporting Life 10k For Kids with Cancer
The Sporting Life 10k is scheduled for May 2, 2010 and is supporting Camp Oochigeas, a camp for children with cancer. With no government funding, Camp Oochigeas relies on the generosity of volunteers, donors, community participants and the Hospital for Sick Children to provide year-round programs for children affected by childhood cancer at their campsite in Muskoka and at no cost to their families. I am personally raising at least $250 (update: at least $500) for this charity — please support me in my fundraising efforts.

Gearing-up: Nike + iPod
To get in-gear for the 10k, I joined Nikeplus.com (my profile page) and consulted their “coach”. Unfortunately, Nikeplus only offers a 12-week program — not 42 days (as at yesterday) — so I figure I’ll follow the first 5.5 weeks of the program to get in-shape for the big run. Yesterday, I was assigned my first run from coach — I had to run 4.82km! Talk about being thrown into the deep-end. So, I ventured to the University of Toronto gym to run the indoor track with my Nike + iPod sensor and iPhone to track my progress.

Although I had to walk for a few periods of time, here are my net results for run #1:

  • Distance: 4.82km
  • Duration: 30:42
  • Pace: 6’22” /km
  • Fastest Kilometer: 5’42”
  • Calories Burned: 371

If you join Nikeplus, add me as a friend (username: jsookman).

More Details on the 10k Race
It is Canada’s easiest and one of the fastest downhill 10k’s (a good starter, I think…), and it runs right down the middle of Canada’s most famous street—Yonge Street! The start line is four blocks south of Sporting Life (at Yonge & Roselawn). From there, the course heads south on Yonge Street all the way to Richmond Street. It then turns west on Richmond, south on Peter/Blue Jays Way past Gretzky’s to Front St. The course then goes west along Front, south on Bathurst, west on Fort York Blvd. to finish! See the map below.

Course Map/Overview

Once again, please consider contributing to Camp Oochigeas. It is performing miracles for these children.

Personal Metrics for 2010


In the early days of 2010, I have undertaken a few new year’s resolutions. One of these resolutions is to record and track a number of daily activities and fitness metrics. I was incentivized to do this by Brad Feld, whose 2009 metrics were pretty impressive! In 2010, I am going to be tracking the number of books and magazines I read (and their genre, of course), workouts (broken down by type) and logging net time as well as unique instances, daily mood (or “feeling today”) and number of hours of sleep logged. I’ve also set goals in each of these categories and I’m excited to see how the presence of a tracking mechanism affects my net performance and my choices of what I do with my ever-decreasing spare time.

There are a few tools that can help to keep track of this data for you such as Daytum, but that requires a $4/month fee; I simply created a Google Spreadsheet with inputs on one tab and a dashboard of progress on another – an economy version of sorts. Let me know if you want a copy.

Some more granular tools can keep track of some specific details if you are really into this stuff. For example, a company called Zeo has a product for $249 that tracks minute details of your night’s sleep such as time in REM and disturbances and can upload data to it’s website for further analysis and coaching on how to get a better night’s sleep; I’d love to try it, but I heard it was only semi-effective. There are also plenty of tools to track running including a suite of pedometers, GPS-enabled units and embedded heart rate monitoring to ensure that you maintain an ideal cardiac output during your workout. No need to venture into more detail here. Let me know your favourite tools that you use to track your life, workouts and whatever else you track!