Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Weekend Update #22, Triathlon and Cupboards

Friday ended the longest week ever!!!!! The whole week at work had been murder...but the office on Friday was eerily quiet.

The calm before the storm.

On my way home, I'd decided it would be a full evening. 1) I wanted to catch up on season 1 of True Blood, so I could start watching season 2....and 2) I desperately needed to pay bills.

I made myself a quick dinner, gathered my bill paying materials, and sat down in front of the TV. I hit the On Demand button on the remote, and selected True Blood.

In the last week, our cable network (or HBO?) removed season 1 from the menu. (sigh)

So, I pouted...by watching really bad TV, and ignoring the bills.

But they kept staring at me.....unrelenting. Until I finally paid them all.

Stupid things!!

Saturday was a good day. Mot came home from work, and we headed out to run some errands. I found a couple Stephen King audio books on sale for $6 a pop at Borders...score, and Mot picked up a couple new books at Borders. Then we sauntered down to the brewery for lunch.

Anyone seeing us either walking in or out surely thought we were alcoholics...we had one growler to fill for our house...and two I was going to take with me to Des Moines for Sheila. :-)

After lunch, I dropped Mot off at home, and headed out of town. The drive went really quickly since I had some new audio books to listen to.

Thank goodness....that drive is so boring, and our vehicles can pretty much do it on autopilot now. :-)

The weather was looking a little sketchy when I arrived, so we decided to do some shopping.

Mel and Sheila scored an awesome deal on a new TV, while I sat in the BlueRay section and watched the newest Spiderman movie in the recliners. :-)

Once home, we spent the evening rearranging the furniture in their living room. Then we sat down and watched a movie on the new TV.

Well...we started it. I just not that into "He's Just Not That Into You." I had high hopes....and my hopes were promptly crushed. Stomped into the ground. Then spat upon. :-)

Up at 4am, so we could get to the triathlon site and on the water by 5am. The athletes were allowed onto the water at sunrise, and we had to be out and ready for their warm up swims.

There were 37 kayaks, 6 or 7 jet skis, and a couple pontoon boats on the water support team. And it's no wonder. I'm not sure on the exact count of participants this year...but I'd guess just under 2000. (??)

(The water support team getting their final instructions.)

(Mel and I hanging out on the water, waiting for the sun to come up so swimmers could warm up.)

(One of the jet ski teams...driver and life guard.)

(My view of the starting point. Sorry about the blurry shots. I was trying to NOT look like a newbie taking pictures. So I didn't use a flash.)

The athletes were sent into the water in groups, to keep things from getting jammed up, and dangerous.

What a rush seeing the swimmers coming at you.....the sound is what I imagine it sounds like when salmon are rushing upstream. The groups actually produced wakes that rocked my boat around quite a bit.

There were swimmers of all ranges.....age and abilities...out on the water yesterday. They were allowed to hang onto our boats, the pontoons, and the large inflatable route markers...without penalty. (as long as we didn't paddle anywhere) I had quite a large number of people who needed to stop and rest. I stopped counting after a dozen.

All of them were men.

Interesting? I thought so.

One guy was not doing well, and I paddled over to check out the situation. He was obviously a little "off." I told him to hang onto the boat and rest a little...and he was relieved.

After talking to him for a while, I found out he'd gotten kicked in the head, and it had freaked him out. Once he got his heart to relax a little, and the fear of getting kicked again had subsided, he went on his merry way.

But, the most memorable swimmer of the afternoon came along not long after.

We'll call him white head, since he was wearing a white swim cap.

White head had issues from the moment I saw him. Why did I pick him out of the crowd? Well, because he was swimming the wrong direction. I paddled out to tell him to turn around.

I yelled, I screamed...I hit the water with my paddle right by his head. Nothing...he just kept swimming.

Race organizers provided us with swim noodles, to offer the swimmers, or to use as self defense, if needed. (I was still thinking my paddle was my preferred weapon...heck with the foam noodle!!) I was getting ready to smack him in the leg with the noodle, when he finally opened his eyes (he was doing the backstroke)

I told him he was going the wrong way....he cussed, smiled...then turned around.


It wasn't long before he was swimming back to the start. So I caught up to him again. Repeated the yelling and screaming...and got his attention.

"Do you mean to swim back to the start?"

He cussed some more.

I told him to grab the boat and take a break. He'd probably gone twice as far as the other participants already...in circles.

When he was ready to head out again....I pointed in the right direction. He looked where I pointed....nodded.....then took off swimming.

The wrong way!!!!

Not only the wrong way....but he was heading right for the pack of swimmers passing by. He went into the group, perpendicular to their route. Taking swimmers out along the way.

I was beginning to wonder about the mental stability of our swimmer. Was he always this confused? Was he new to racing, and just a little overwhelmed?

Everyone who made contact with him seemed to be fine, so I rounded him up....and turned him in the right direction...again.

I followed him until I got to Mel, in the next sector. I pointed at him, and passed him off to her.

Instead of doing the same (as had the people before me), she ended up following him the whole race.

By the time it was all said and done....the guy had gone probably 4 times are far as everyone else, but never gave up.

(You can't really see it in this shot, but the swimmer is pulling that kayak. He also biked and ran with his passenger in tow.)

Once all the swimmers were safely to shore (there were no incidents) we paddled back to the boat ramp to load up.

Our route out of the park was blocked by the biking portion of the race, so we had to wait until all the bikes were done. (I really hoped white head was a faster biker, than swimmer!!)

After loading the trailer, Mel and I went up to the race route, sat down...and watched the bikers and runners.

I have to admit, I was amazed by all the different people participating. There were some very large humans out there, doing what I had convinced myself I wasn't in shape to do.

They put me to shame.

Granted, they weren't the fastest, but they were doing it. Far more than I could say.

If only I could swim....I'd try that triathlon stuff myself. :-)

I know they do triathlons were you kayak instead of swim. I need to find some of those, and think about doing one. I mean, why not????

Once we were able to leave, we stopped by and picked up Sheila, then headed out for breakfast. Mel and I were starving. We hadn't eaten yet...it was 11 am, and had been up working since 4 am.

Instead of going to the art festival in downtown Des Moines...we collapsed on their newly arranged living room furniture after breakfast. I figured I'd better get on the road...or I wasn't EVER going to get on the road.

That couch was really, really, really comfy! :-)

When I got home, I walked straight to the bedroom and fell asleep. The drive home was scary. I hadn't realized how tired I was.

Danny called later in the afternoon. He had more cupboard doors to bring over and install (he's refacing our kitchen doors in batches...and they look AWESOME!!!)

5 minutes after he'd left, mom and grandma stopped by.

After they left, I went back to bed. :-)


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

NEJ!!! I've never seen you with such a foul mouth! Throwing around words like..."Borders".

I have to go wash.

...actually...if you have a Big Ampersand near you...they have some great stuff on clearance right now.

Just sayin'.

Nej said...

@ mjenks, Never heard of Big Ampersand. Our choices are Borders (sorry, I said it again, did you use antibacterial soap last time??), Barnes and Nobles, Books a Million (never been), and Half Price Books. :-)

Employee No. 3699 said...

Poor white head!

Nej said...

@ #3699, he was a really nice guy!! And I was impressed that he didn't ever give up.