May 3, 2008
And We're Back

Wow, it has been a while since my last post. I've just been rather busy and the unimportance of a minor football blog will find itself on the short side of the stick.

Last Sunday, I had my first duathlon of the season. And I ended up getting in an extended workout. I'm just glad I considered this a C race otherwise I'd be plenty torked.

To set up the story, you need to know this du had both a long and short course. Both events were run using the same course, only the short had desginated turn-arounds which were indicated by orange spray paint on the road surface. I bet you already know what is going to happen by story end.

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At the start of the race, the long-course runners went off. About 10-minutes later, off went my short-course. I ran with the leader for 3/4's of the first run, falling back just before T1 in order to conserve the ol' muscles as I'm 47 and while I can run with the young bucks, I need to save some for the bike. Now the short-course "fast" runners are mixing with the long-course "slower" runners.

So, I came into T1 in 4th (guessing about 145 in the race) just about 7-10-seconds back of the leaders.

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Now we're biking. I'm going very well and I recall passing one of the leaders (remember we're mixed with the long-course people) and I get into a comfy rhythm. I start thinking about the lack of check-points. I see a few volunteers stationed along the road but no one is providing any directions (ala "3 miles to short-course turn-around) other than an occasional "whoo-hoo, way to go".

Looking at the trip odometer, I know I should be at or nearing the turn-around. The riders that I thought came out of T1 ahead of me have not started to come back and I'm pretty sure I didn't pass all three (or did I!?!?)...recall once again we are mixed with the long-course people. I'm yelling at everyone, "where's the short-course turn-around" and get nada. Still no one is coming back so I figure I'll just keep going. I pass a two volunteers and they have no idea about the turn-around when I yell at them.

So, guess what? I ended up riding the long-course route. Somehow, I missed the turn-around for the short-course bike. I talk to the race director and express my dismay over not having 1) any volunteer standing at the turn-around with a bullhorm screaming at riders, 2) not having vertical signage to indicate the turn-around; 3) depending on orange spray paint in the middle of a road while one is biking at 25 mph to somehow notice race markers.

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I spoke to other people who also had issues with the turn-around. One woman couldn't figure out the course (she was a long-course participant) and just gave up, turned around and finished with the short-course. Another short-course male had to stop, get off his bike and wait for a volunteer to communicate with the race director via walkie talkie to figure out what-was-what.

Frustrating as hell. Guess what, despite riding 6-miles longer I still finished 3rd in my age-group....which made me even more mad. After I got back the results, I adjusted my bike time and figured out that I would have finished no worse than fourth overall and could have finished as high as second. Too bad, as the course was a nice one.

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Again, just glad I was treating as a C, otherwise I'd still be seething.

The very next day I was off to New Jersey on a long business trip. I hate business travel. Long days, airport food, and bad offices.

Friday my good friends at Halsten Entertainment came over and I upgraded some of my home theater entertainment components. I also upgraded my DirecTV dish to a 5LNB model and I now pull in over 90 programs in HD. You haven't seen SpongeBob until you've seen it in true HD. I also jumped in and had the boys install a BluRay DVD player for me. Wow! I didn't think I would notice much difference but the picture quality is fantastic. I've heard and read about various equipment issues with the BluRay stuff so we'll see how mine holds up. It's going to be a movie feast-o-rama here this weekend.

Next week looks as busy for me. It's still 50-50 that I get out to attend a Vikings mini-camp session. Just too much going on. I'll let y'all know if I do get to one.

Have a great week ahead everyone! Sorry for the dearth of blog entries.

Posted by briankeithmaas@msn.com at May 3, 2008 10:54 AM