Sunday, May 27, 2018

Training log - Week ending 5/27/2018

This week was 65 miles of running, 19 "miles" of pool-running, and 3000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

The week kicked off with a surprisingly decent track workout on Tuesday (coming just two days after the 2x5 workout) followed immediately by a downer - my necklace broke and a seaglass pendant fell to the ground.  Despite the efforts of myself and several generous teammates, we couldn't find the pendant.

This was upsetting, because while the pendant wasn't terribly valuable monetarily, it was close to priceless in sentimental value.  It was a memorial piece that contained some fur from my beloved deceased cat, Mina.  Given a hypothetical choice between losing it or my Garmin, I'd give up the Garmin every time.  Even if the Garmin contained the only proof that I had run sub-3....

I was sure that the pendant could be found if I just worked hard enough so that's what I did.  Fortunately, though work has been busy, I also had flexibility to carve out some searching time.  

On Tuesday afternoon I snuck out to the track for a solid 90 minutes of searching the track perimeter - a mix of loose stones that my pendant could easily hide in.  That was 90 minutes of walking a few feet, squatting, searching the gravel, and then rising up to relocate a few more feet over.  

It was pretty hard on the quads (umpteen body-weight squats).  It was also extremely challenging to stare at rocks for so long and not zone out.  I ended up picking up many pieces of tiny trash (candy wrappers and the like) because picking them up kept me engaged and ensured I didn't accidentally skip over my pendant. The end result was lots of trash, but no pendant.

A few hours later, on Tuesday evening, after a massive rainstorm had rolled through, I spent another hour retracing my morning warm-up route from my home to the track (about two and a half miles).  Nothing. Except tired legs.  
Look at all that walking
on Tues/Weds...

Wednesday morning, I retraced my warm-up route again as part of my morning run.  Still nothing, so I got serious.  It was $35 to rent a metal detector from the local hardware store for 24 hours, so that was an easy decision.  After getting permission from the school (important when using metal detectors on public property) I searched the area around the track and the school again, as well as my warm-up route.  More squatting and more candy wrappers.  But surprisingly no coins.  And sadly no pendant.

So I went bigger.  I was a beginner metal detector.  But there are experts.  And I called one in - he was ready to go, as soon as I had written permission from the school for him to search the track.

And then I got a message that evening, right before I was going to put away all my electronics for the night....  

Earlier in the day, I had posted a picture of the pendant to several different locations on the internet (Facebook, Nextdoor, local running clubs, etc).  Someone saw the image and wonderfully, fortunately took the time to tell me she had picked up the pendant on Tuesday morning.  Unfortunately, she hadn't realized what it was at the time, and so she had tossed it into the trash can on the track.

[BTW, huge kudos to this person for having the integrity to reach out - I'm sure many people would have just stayed silent, rather than inform me they had accidentally thrown it out.]

I was back at the track in less than 5 minutes - the trash can she had identified was 2/3rds full, and so hopefully hadn't been emptied in the past 36 hours.

I dug in.  

There's a certain stratification to trash cans - big items float to the top, while smaller stuff sifts to the bottom.  If my pendant was there, it was almost certainly at the bottom.  So I started by removing the "floaters" - big disposable trays with the refuse of mostly eaten meals.  Then the trash got smaller - discarded snacks and water bottles.  

You can learn a lot from rummaging through a trash can.  More specifically: which snacks sold at the track are worth buying.  Those vanilla creme sandwich cookies that they sell in plastic-wrapped 4 packs?  Apparently those are awful - I found many many plastic wrapped sets of 3 cookies.  And also some half-eaten cookies - apparently people couldn't even finish the first cookie in the pack.

(The chips are apparently excellent, since all those bags were empty.)

After making my way through the snack layer, I hit the fertile quadrant - a bedding of wrappers, rocks, and smaller food chunks, all sloshing in water from the storm the day before.  A tetris of detritus. Including, of course, all the wrappers I had previously picked up and deposited.

At that point, I dumped the remaining contents of the trash bag onto the track.  I then picked up each bit of litter individually and moved it from pile 1 to pile 2.  I would leave no wrapper unturned.

And then it magically appeared.  My pendant.  Filthy, but there.  After a moment of shock, I pocketed it and then quickly reloaded the trash can before heading to the track bathroom and then home for a good cleansing.

One hand for trash, the other
 for the cellphone photography.

(though it's been days, and I wonder if I'll ever feel clean again).

So now I just need to decontaminate it.  And double up on chains with solid clasps to avoid a next time.


In non-pendant news, this was my last week of training for Grandma's.  Friday was my first bad workout of the cycle - I was going for a conservative 8K tempo, but bailed at 5K.  My legs felt like lead a mile in (not surprising, given all the walking and bodyweight squats on Tuesday/Wednesday) and my breathing wasn't great either.

I usually run my tempos by effort, not pace.  I try to approach what I think of as the "red line" of tempo effort from underneath, and then hold effort there until the last 800m or so, when I'll pick stuff up.  This method usually works for me regardless of weather.  If it's really warm or humid, that red line just happens to match a slower pace.  Not a big deal - the effort is what matters.

But on Friday, I overshot that red line very quickly, and couldn't get back under it.  And that was my cue to bail.  I hate dropping out of workouts.  But Friday was one of those days where it was better to limit the damage than to validate my own toughness by forcing the issue.

I hate days like that.  But better during a workout than a race.

Sunday was better from a workout standard, if not a weather standard.  We did 21 miles in pretty steamy conditions (dew point in the mid-70s).  Not great weather, but fantastic for getting in some heat acclimation before Grandma's.  For obvious reasons we pulled back on the pace drastically and just got the miles in at the right effort.  But it was still a confidence building run, and a nice way to finish the cycle before the taper.


Monday: Foam rolling, yoga, and 8.5 "miles" of pool-running.

Tuesday: 11.5 miles, including a 3 mile warm-up (8:54), then a track workout of 2x1600, 3x800 in 6:16, 6:09, 3:01, 2:59, 2:56.   3 mile cool-down (9:36)  Also injury prevention work and 1250 yards recovery swimming.  And a whole bunch walking looking for my pendant

Wednesday: 8 miles very easy to yoga (9:25), yoga, and then 4.5 miles very easy (9:17), plus drills and 4 strides. And searching for my pendant.  Massage in afternoon. Trash can searching at night.

 Light upper body weights/core, and 10.5 "miles" of pool-running; foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 10 miles, including 3 mile warm-up (8:51), then an aborted 8K track tempo in 20:18 for 5K (6:35/6:29/6:25/0:48).  4 mile cool-down (9:19), plus injury prevention work and 1250 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Saturday: 10 miles very easy (9:09), drills and four strides, and then upper body weights and core and DIY yoga.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:  21 miles mildly progressive, averaging 8:42 for first 7 miles, 7:54 for next 9, 7:12 for last 5.
  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the afternoon..

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Training log - Week ending 5/20/18

This week was 64 miles of running, 18 "miles" of pool-running, and 3000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

The humidity kicked in this week, especially Sunday.  I was actually pretty happy about this - there's always a possibility that Grandma's could be warm, and so the more chances I get to run in this and acclimate, the better.

I was really happy with Sunday's workout.  It was fairly warm and sticky (temperature and dew point of 70 when I started).  Though I've been targeting a marathon pace of 7:00 ish for my marathon pace during this short cycle, I assumed I'd have to slow down significantly on Sunday to keep the proper effort.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I only had to ease up slightly - averaging just over 7:00 pace (I'd expected to be running 7:15 ish, given the weather).

Of course, I'm already deliberately running my marathon pace workouts slower than I was during the Boston cycle (targeting 7:00 as compared to 6:45) to protect against overreaching during this training re-cycle, so it may simply be that I didn't need to adjust much further.

I also test-drove a pair of "arm-coolers" this morning - like arm-warmers, but made with an extremely lightweight fabric that is supposed to have a cooling effect.  Perhaps it was the placebo effect, but they really seemed to work.  My arms felt cool - I didn't feel the sun at all on my arms while the breeze felt amplified.  And I overall felt much more comfortable than I expected.

Again, perhaps the placebo effect, but I don't care.  I'll take the help.

(Arm-coolers are sold in most cycling stores and on most cycling websites.  They're not terribly expensive either.)


I'm pretty happy with how things are going so far this re-cycle - I've felt fairly good despite the return to marathon training.  One explanation may be that I've been emphasizing sleep during the past couple weeks.  One podcast I listen to recently described sleep as "legal doping" and some very good masters runners have told me that their secret is maxing out their sleep.

So I've been trying to do that - sleeping at least 8 hours and trying to go for 8:30 or more when I can.  It's really hard to carve out that much time for sleep, especially when working a job that requires a lot of international phone calls.  And making sure not to neglect loved ones.   But I've managed to do it the past few weeks, and it seems to be paying off.


Monday: Foam rolling, yoga, and 8 "miles" of pool-running.

Tuesday: 12.5 miles, including a 3 mile warm-up (8:49), then a track workout of 2000, 1600, 1200, 800, 400 in 7:55, 6:18, 4:35, 2:55, 82.  3.5 mile cool-down (9:18)  Also injury prevention work and 1400 yards recovery swimming.

Wednesday: 8 miles very easy to yoga (9:21), yoga, and then 4.5 miles very easy (9:17), plus drills and 4 strides.  Foam rolling at night.

 Upper body weights/core, DIY yoga, and 10 "miles" of pool-running; foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12.5 miles, including 3 mile warm-up (9:03), then a track workout of 3200, 1600 in 12:51 (6:28/6:23) and 6:04.  6 mile cool-down (8:53), plus injury prevention work and 1100 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy (9:10), drills and four strides, and then upper body weights and core and DIY yoga.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:  16 miles, including 2x5 miles in
 35:14 (7:06//7:05/7:00/7:04/6:59 - average pace 7:03) and 35:12 (7:02/7:06/7:01/7:06/6:57 - average pace 7:02).  Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Training log - Week ending 5/13/18

This week was 66 miles of running, 18 "miles" of pool-running, and 3000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

Marathon training: just like the good old days.  And it really felt like it today (Sunday) when my running buddy Juan and I (both Boston 2018 survivors) were joined by several others from our Boston training crew for the first few miles of our long run.  Yet another chance to rehash the race that we will never stop talking about, apparently.  My sympathies to all who run with us.

I officially swapped to the full at Grandma's on Tuesday, so that's set.  Now I just need to get there.  My "miniature training plan" is for 4 weeks at my normal marathon mileage, with long runs of:

  • 14 miles with 2x4 at marathon pace (last week)
  • 18 miles progressive (this week)
  • 16-17 miles with 2x5 at marathon pace (next week; may modify to 4-3-2-1 at MP if weather bad)
  • 20-21 progressive
Then taper.

The 18 miles went very well today, so that was nice and reassuring.  As I noted last week, I am deliberately pulling way back on my target marathon pace, from 6:45 to 7:00.  One would hope that things would feel easy, given that I slowed stuff up by 15 seconds a mile.  But 7:00 pace didn't feel easy last week, so it's nice to have the reassurance of today's run.

My track workouts, on the other hand, evidenced my rust.  I'm generally a fairly good pacer, and I usually run my workouts progressively, easing my way into the workout and then increasing the pace throughout.   I was erratic this week, though. 

On Tuesday my attempt to avoid hammering my last 400 backfired when ran it slower than the previous 800.  (It's a good thing fast 400s aren't that important in marathon training).  And then on Friday's tempo I misjudged my fitness and the weather conditions slightly, picked up the pace too much in the first mile and then had to keep pulling back to avoid redlining the effort. 

So ooops for both of those days. But neither mistake compromised my training, and that's the most important thing here.  The next few weeks are all about refreshing and preserving (while resisting the temptation to try to increase) my marathon fitness.


Monday: Foam rolling, yoga, and 8 "miles" of pool-running.

Tuesday: 12.5 miles, including a 3 mile warm-up (8:47), a track workout of 2000, 4x800, 400 (800m recovery after the 2000; 400 recovery after everything else) (7:45, 3:01, 3:00, 2:59, 2:53, 87) and a 4.5 mile cool-down (9:07).  Also injury prevention work and 1250 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling at night.

Wednesday: 8 miles very easy to yoga (9:19), yoga, and then 4.5 miles very easy home (9:07), plus drills and 4 strides.  Massage in afternoon.

 Upper body weights/core and 10 "miles" of pool-running; foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 12.5 miles, including 3 mile warm-up (8:59), then a 4 mile tempo on the track in 25:44 (6:25/6:27/6:29/6:23).  Followed with a 4.5 mile cool-down (8:52), plus injury prevention work and 1250 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Saturday: 10 miles very easy (8:55), drills and four strides, and then upper body weights and core and DIY yoga.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday: 18.5 miles progressive, split as first 6 averaging 8:56 pace; next 6 averaging 7:41 pace; last 6 averaging 7:01 pace; plus about 3 minutes of jogging cool-down. 
 Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the afternoon.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Training log - Week ending 5/6/2018

This week was 56 miles of running, 16 "miles" of pool-running, and 3000 yards of swimming -- training log is here.

First week back.  I started off with my preferred "ease into it" workout - hill repeats in Georgetown where I run medium hard up one of the side streets between Water and M Streets, and then loop around and down another of the side streets.  It ends up being about 60-70 seconds of somewhat hard running with 2:30 recovery between each rep.  I like this because it's not very stressful due to the long recovery, and the uphill forces me to maintain good form.

That having gone well, I returned to the track with 3200, 1600.  I had low expectations for this workout, given that it was my first workout back and also unusually warm (70 degrees), so I was pleasantly surprised by how well it went and how comfortable I felt.

On Sunday, I ran 2x4 miles at marathon pace.  Why?  Well...though I'm entered in the Garry Bjorklund half-marathon at Grandma's in mid-June, I started considering swapping to the full after I finished Boston.  

There's a few good reasons for doing so - I feel more confident of my ability to run a good marathon in mid-June than I do of my ability to shift gears and run a good half.  And a friend who had to drop out of Boston is targeting Grandma's - if I switch, that gives him a training partner.  

I'm not missing much else by doing Grandma's full - the only races I care about that would be sacrificed are the Loudoun Street Mile and the Bjorklund half, each of which I've run several times before.  And all the other races that are important to me are in August and later, so I'm not compromising them as long as I don't get injured.

There's also an obvious question: didn't you try this before (Chicago and then CIM) and found out it wasn't the best choice for you?

Well...yes.  But in retrospect, I think that my struggles at CIM were not because of lingering fatigue from Chicago.  Rather, I didn't have enough time between Chicago and CIM - I only got two weeks of training in between recovery and taper.  This time, I'll have four weeks.  

Also, I made the crucial mistake of speeding up my marathon pace work slightly in the gap between Chicago and CIM, under the belief that I might be fitter for the second race.  Nope.  Bad idea.  So this time, I'm backing off on the marathon pace work.  6:45s were what I was holding in February and March, but 7:00 pace is fine for now.  Heck, I might even pull back more and run even slower on hot days.

Very few people can run two marathons in a short period of time, and be in better shape for the second.  And I'm not one of them.  At best, I'll probably be about 85-90% as fit for Grandma's as I was for Boston.  And that sucks but it is what it is.  It's still worth going out and giving it a shot - especially since (as noted above) I'm helping a teammate by doing so and not missing much myself.

This weekend's 2x4 at marathon pace was a test to see how I felt. went OK.  I didn't struggle or go to the well, and I finished feeling like I could have done more.  At the same time, it didn't feel as easy as I had hoped it would.  Perhaps it was fatigue from ramping stuff back up, or the jump in temperatures and humidity this week.  And as my teammate noted, this isn't supposed to be an easy workout.  The problem may have been my expectations, not my reality.

Either way, the workout didn't dissuade me from my decision.  And looking at the calendar, we've got some hot weather coming up.  When it's hot, I'd much rather train for a marathon than a half.  One can run a solid marathon off of just mileage; I need tempos to run a good half.  No matter how hot it is, I can slow down and still get the miles in; I need decent weather for a quality tempo.


Monday: Foam rolling, upper body weights and core, and 7 "miles" of pool-running.

Tuesday: 10 miles, mostly easy, but with 8x60-70 second hill repeats with 2:30 recovery.  Also injury prevention work and 1150 yards recovery swimming.

Wednesday: 8 miles very easy to yoga (9:17), yoga, and then 4 miles very easy home (9:17), plus drills and 4 strides.  Foam rolling at night.

 Upper body weights/core and 9 "miles" of pool-running; foam rolling at night. 

Friday: 10 miles, including 3 mile warm-up (8:52), then a track workout of 3200, 1600 in 12:56 (6:32/6:23) and 6:19.  4.5 mile cool-down (8:54), plus injury prevention work and 1500 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Saturday: 10 miles very easy (9:07), drills and four strides, and then upper body weights and core and DIY yoga.  Foam rolling in afternoon.

Sunday:  14 miles, including 2x4 miles in
 27:52 (6:58/7:01/6:55/6:58 - 6:58 pace) and 27:55 (6:59/7:01/7:01/6:54 - 6:59 pace).  Followed with injury prevention work and 600 yards recovery swimming.  Foam rolling in the evening.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Lessons learned: Boston Marathon 2018

I'd like to say that I'd DNS if I ever again faced conditions like those at the 2018 Boston Marathon (below 40 degrees, rain, high winds).  But I'm just kidding myself - I'd absolutely take another shot.  And hopefully be a bit more successful, based on what I learned this time around.

So here's my notes, written as much for myself as for anyone else, on what I learned.

[An aside here:  Other runners have told me that they would have known how to handle these conditions, because they had run in this type of weather before.  Let me be clear: unless you have stood or sat outside for 90 minutes and then raced a marathon (not a half) in that weather you have not experienced what it was like at Boston 2018.

I've run in all sorts of conditions - I don't ever skip a workout or an outside run due to weather unless it is unsafe.  I've run long runs and track workouts in Boston 2018 type weather, and I've raced up to the half-marathon distance in similar weather.   Despite all of that, I did not understand what it would be like on that day until I experienced it.  And though I am admittedly an adorably neurotic over-preparer, I was not prepared.]

  • Nutrition: this is always important during a marathon.  But in very cold and wet conditions, taking in enough calories becomes even more important since you are expending energy not only to run but also to stay warm.  At the same time, cold hands that don't work well, combined with wet clothing, make it much harder to eat enough. 

    One mistake I made was carrying all my gels safety-pinned to the inside of my shorts.  It's routine for me to lose some control of my hands even in moderate conditions (Raynauds) and this method has historically worked well then.  I partially open the gels before safety-pinning them, and then I need only grab the gel and rip it off of my shorts.  If yanking it doesn't finish opening the gel, then I finish the job with my teeth.  I don't need fine motor skills or grip strength when doing it this way.  I just need to be able to get my hand around the gel packet, which I can generally do even when my hands are stiff and have lost feeling.

    But this method failed me at Boston, when cold hands that weren't working (expected and planned for) combined with very soggy shorts (unexpected and not planned for) meant that I couldn't work my hands underneath the waistband of my shorts to grab my gels.

    In retrospect, I wish I'd followed a friend's example and tucked additional gels inside my gloves as well as within my sports bra.  You can always run with gels and not use them.  (Others stored gels in their arm-warmers, but that wouldn't have worked for me, since my arm-warmers are not snug.)

    I also carried a handheld water bottle with me, but I won't do that again in these conditions, unless I intend to toss it when empty.  My hands were too cold to open and refill the bottle.  And I was so soaked that getting more cold water on my hands wasn't a concern.

    So... more gels in every possible place, and no water bottle.
  • Clothing before start:  I wore multiple layers before the start - rain coat over heavy sweatshirt/sweatpants over rain poncho, with a disposable body warmer tucked in there as well  And the best idea of all - waterproof shoecovers (just Google them - there are many brands available). 

    While others carried a second pair of shoes to the start to change into, I think that would have been tough for me - both because of the difficulty of finding a place to change shoes, and because my hands were already too cold to tie my shoes well.

    I saw others wearing plastic bags tied over their running shoes.  And for many of them, the bags had slipped and ripped - they really weren't up to the stresses of Athlete's Village mud.

    The shoe covers were one of my best ideas.  Absolutely will do that again next time.  $8 very well spent.
  • Clothing for race:  For Boston, I went with my singlet, arm-warmers, shorts, a running hat that I didn't like (so that if it got blown off my head I wouldn't mind) with a headband underneath. And then a throwaway long sleeve techical t-shirt (knotted at my bustline so my number showed) and a clear poncho.

    I went with this because this same outfit, less the arm-warmers, had worked very well at the Shamrock Half-Marathon in 2017, where we had similar weather.  However, I failed to consider that I would be running for more than twice as long in a marathon, and also that I would be running significantly slower, and thus generating less heat.
    This outfit also resulted
    in lousy pictures.

    Of course the problem here is that there's really no running clothing designed for these exact conditions - sustaining moderate effort in rain, high wind, and below 40 degrees for multiple hours.  I have a raincoat for running, but it doesn't breath well at all - it's only good for easy running.  I also have some lighter water resistant stuff, but it was way too loose fitting and would have created significant drag in the headwind.

    Thinking about it post-race, I realized that there is another type of athlete that deals with those conditions occasionally during long all day rides at moderate effort - cyclists. 
    You have your Boston Jacket
    and I have mine.
    So I bought a cycling jacket that was form-fitting and water proof/wind resistant.  A bonus feature is that it has a large pocket in the back where I can tuck yet more extra gels.  I'll race in this if there is a next time.

    Incidentally, I don't regret wearing shorts instead of tights.  I'm confident that my tights would have been waterlogged within a mile or two, and chilled me more than bare legs would have.
  • Hands.  For my hands, I wore Scotchgarded glove-mittens with handwarmers tucked inside and plastic gloves underneath.   This didn't work that well.  The Scotchgard in particular was a wasted effort.

    Perhaps if I had donned the plastic gloves earlier when my hands were warmer, they would have retained more heat.  But other than that, I'm not sure what else I could have done.  Others have suggested wearing the plastic gloves as a top layer.  However the issue there is that my hands do not generate any heat on their own when I am running.  That's why I carry handwarmers almost constantly - to generate the heat to be captured within my mittens.  And handwarmers wouldn't work under plastic gloves, since they require exposure to air.

    I think that in the end, my hands were a lost cause.  My only other option would have been to wear my "boxing gloves" - massive snowboarding mittens that I wear when it's 25 or below.  However, I can't take gels at all while wearing those (it's hard even to lap my watch in them) so I couldn't have used them for the marathon, even if I had brought them with me.
  • Pacing/race execution:  With regard to pacing, I almost always prefer to start slow and then gradually build my pace over time.  It works in nearly all conditions - when it's warm and humid I'll alter slightly to staying conservative for an extended period of time and then hammering the last quarter to third of the race.

    However, I think these conditions were the one time that strategy didn't work.  I didn't save any energy by running conservatively - in fact I expended as much energy, if not more, by trying to stay warm.  It would have been far better to pick up the pace after mile 4-5 (not hammering, but just slightly less cautious), so that I could have stayed warmer.  I would have been running faster with the exact same energy expenditure.
  • Seeding/Starting Place: In hindsight, part of me also regrets not seeding myself further back.  Because I'm sometimes worried about gun time (when masters prize money is at stake) and sometimes not I've experimented with seeding myself at different places within a start.   And I've learned that when there is a headwind, your experience in the race depends greatly on where you are in the crowds.  The further back, the better.  It doesn't seem like it at the time but you lose much less time and spend much less effort weaving around slower runners than you do fighting a headwind.   

    The best example I can point to is Cherry Blossom 2016, where we had a sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts much higher.  I accidentally started in the wrong corral, with those significantly slower than me. I had to do a lot of weaving in the first 3-4 miles (much of which was directly into the wind) but I didn't consider the wind a real issue until I caught up to where I "should" have been.

    [Related to this point, anyone who started at the front of Wave 1 had a completely different experience from the rest of us running Boston. If you were 1/1 or 1/2 at Boston 2018, I owe you a drink next time I see you.  Because you ran the hardest race of all.]

    So...with this knowledge, why did I start in my designated wave and corral, rather than move back?  At the time, I chose to stay in my wave because the forecast indicated that the weather would be deteriorating over the course of the day.  I thought that the earlier I could start, the better.  It wasn't until I got to Athlete's Village that I realized I had miscalculated, and the weather had already rolled in.

    That being said, in the end I'm not too upset about not moving back.  Sharing the whole bus/Athlete's Village experience with my training partners Larry, Chris, and Juan is actually one of my favorite memories of the day, and something I will always treasure (as sappy as that reads).  I wouldn't trade that for the possibility of a slightly faster time.