Fixing “Cannot find registrar pool” error for sipfed.online.lync.com

I was recently setting up hybrid Lync Skype for Business for a customer. This is more properly known as “split-domain” configuration because you share a single SIP namespace across both the on-premises and cloud portions of the infrastructure.

If you’re not familiar with the process, it goes like this:

  1. Set up AD FS or whatever other identity federation solution you like.
  2. Configure the service to allow federation.
  3. Configure the on-premises Lync/SfB servers to allow federation.
  4. Turn on federation.
  5. Enable your tenant for split-domain operations with Set-CsTenantFederationConfiguration.
  6. Start moving users.

Adam Jacobs’ summary is worth reading if you haven’t seen this before, but even without reading it, it seems straightforward enough, right? I found that when I got to step 6 I got a vexing error: “Cannot find Registrar pool. Verify that ‘sipfed.online.lync.com’ is a valid registrar pool.”
sipfederr

I was 100% sure that the registrar pool name was correct and that it existed, so why couldn’t the Move-CsUser cmdlet find it? I spent some fruitless time binging for a solution (note: this is not the same as “binging on beer” or “binging on carbs before my race”); the few hits I found all suggested ensuring that you’d connected to the service with Import-PSSession, which is, as suggestions go, right up there with “make sure it’s plugged in.”

After some experimentation, I finally figured out that step 3 above hadn’t been performed completely; when I ran Get-CsHostingProvider, the EnableSharedAddressSpace and HostsOcsUsers parameters were both set to “false”. I reset them (and the AutodiscoverUrl parameter, also required), and that solved the problem. It’s not clear to me why anyone at Microsoft thought “cannot find registrar pool” would be an appropriate error for this condition; there are distinct error messages for most other problems that might occur (such as trying to move users to the wrong pool) but not here.

Perhaps this breadcrumb will help some future admin who gets the error, or maybe Microsoft will fix it…

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Europa Orlando powerlifting meet

“Try a powerlifting meet,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said.

That’s pretty much what happened and you know what? They were right. I did, and it was.

After working with CHP for a while, I started noticing my fellow athletes doing these things called powerlifting meets. The basic meet is simple: contestants get three attempts for each of three lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Meets are usually organized according to weight class and age, and there are various federations with different rules on which age groups and weight classes are used, what kinds of equipment you can use, and so on. Everyone who competed seemed to enjoy it, and I was told multiple times about how much I could learn from going to a meet and just watching, even if I didn’t compete.

I thus made a mental note to find a meet that I could go to. I found that there were several powerlifting books on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service. I read through “From Gym Lifter to Competitive Powerlifter” and found it super educational, but I still wasn’t quite ready to make the leap. As it turned out, Matt had a choir trip lined up at Disney World, so when I learned that one of my fellow CHP athletes was doing his first meet in Orlando the weekend of Matt’s trip, I took the plunge and signed up for the Europa Orlando meet, organized under US Powerlifting Association (USPA) rules. The plan was that Tom and I would fly down Friday, I’d compete Saturday, we’d pick up Matt on Saturday night, and then hit Legoland before coming home.

With the planning done, I settled in to lifting, a lot, and worrying, more than I normally would have. My goals were simple: I wanted to complete the meet well.

As the meet approached, I started getting nervous about three things. First was my technique: each lift has specific performance criteria you have to meet. For example, on the squat, when you’re all the way down, your hip crease must be below the level of your knee (this is known as “breaking parallel” on the squat). Each lift is overseen by three referees or judges, each of whom can signal that the lift was good or bad by switching on a white or red light. You need two or three white lights for a lift to count. I was worried that my squats weren’t low enough. There are also specific verbal commands you must follow in sequence; I’d heard of people getting red-lighted for returning the bar to the rack before the command, for instance. I didn’t want to screw up, but I realized it was a distinct possibility.

Second, I had to get used to the gear. In general, most federations separate lifters into three groups: raw lifters use nothing more than knee sleeves and a weight belt; single-ply lifters can use special shirts and shorts that are, basically, Spanx; and multi-ply lifters can use special thick suits for the bench and deadlift. (These latter two groups are known as “geared lifters”.) I had knee sleeves, but needed to get a weight belt (which was a shopping adventure all its own; topic for another time) and get used to it. (For gear fiends: I ended up with an EliteFS 13mm single-prong belt, which I am gradually getting used to.)

Third was weight: both the amount I was going to be lifting and the amount I actually weighed. I could say “oh, I’m strong for a triathlete,” or maybe “but I’m fast for a powerlifter”; the fact is that I am still pretty new to both so I was intimidated by being around a bunch of seasoned competitors who would be lifting a lot more than me, and I realized about two weeks out that I was not going to make the 198lb weight class without extraordinary measures. I decided that rather than try to drop weight I’d just move up a weight class– which turned out to be a really good decision.

Soon enough, it was time to pack up and go. Was the hay in the barn? I’d soon find out. The Monday before the meet, Alex had me test a few weights for openers, so I had a decent idea of what I wanted to try. On the advice of fellow CHPers, I packed a gear bag with my stuff, snacks (protein bars, Fig Newtons, turkey pepperoni), a spare roll of toilet paper, and a few other odds and ends. Tom and I had a great flight down, with good weather and a smooth ride, and landed at Gilbert’s Winter Haven airport (HOVA, the FBO there, took terrific care of us throughout our stay– I recommend them highly.) We had planned to meet Rafe and Derek, two fellow CHP athletes, at the convention center but we arrived later than expected and they had other commitments, so Tom and I had a delicious dinner at the hotel and hit the bed.

Normally, weigh-in for meets is done the day before. Because I didn’t arrive until after weigh-in closed, I had a 7am weigh-in time Saturday morning. I showed up on time and waited. And waited. And waited. The meet director showed up about 830, weighed me in at 205.6, and asked me for my initial attempts. This requires a little explanation: no matter what federation, age, or weight class you’re in, the basic structure of the meets are the same: lifters are separated into groups called flights, with the lightest weight being lifted first. The first lifter attempts a lift with whatever weight they want. Then the second lifter attempts his lift, and so on until everyone’s done. Your total score is the total number of weight moved for the best attempt in each lift. In addition, something called a Wilks score is calculated to measure how strong you are in proportion to your bodyweight.

To sequence lifters into flights, the organizers need to know what weight you’re going to try to lift for your first attempt. You can go up any amount on each subsequent attempt, but you only get three tries so there’s quite a bit of strategy involved in choosing good attempts. David Dellanave’s strategy guide was very helpful. I texted Alex my attempts and wrote them down: 115kg to open in the squat, 75kg for the bench, and 147.5kg for the deadlift. I was lifter 4 in flight 1, reflecting my relatively light opening weights. On a positive note, this guaranteed me an early start so I could get a lift in and then adjust as needed after watching the other competitors. In the flighting system, all the lifters in a flight do all 3 attempts before the next flight starts.

Rafe and Derek met me back in the weightlifting corner. If you’ve ever been to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, you know that it’s a perfect specimen of the large, ugly, dehumanized conference center species. The Europa expo floor was up front, with lots of bright colors and noise, but the powerlifters were tucked into a back corner, with bare concrete floors and loud music richocheting from the adjacent kids’ play zone and Zumba demonstration stage. Anyway, they were both very encouraging and we had a great time chatting while Rafe and I got oriented and got our gear together.

The meet officially began with a quick rules briefing, covering everything from the flight sequencing to what kind of underwear is legal under the required lifting singlet: “tighty whities or commando,” the meet director said, and he meant it, because sufficiently compressive shorts might provide a performance advantage. After the briefing, the MC began calling lifters to the platform for their lifts.

My squat opener went really well, despite a brief frisson of worry when Derek corrected my math mistake and told me that 115kg was not, in fact, about 230lbs– it’s 253lbs. I nailed it anyway. My second attempt went equally well: nice and smooth, with good depth. One judge red-lighted me for depth, though. I should have paid a little more attention because on my third attempt at 140kg, I got the dreaded two reds– one of the judges pointed out that my depth wasn’t sufficient. Derek, Rafe, my coaches, and I all agree upon video review that I broke parallel, but that’s no matter. The judges were tough but consistent, so I didn’t feel like there was any basis for complaint. 140kg was a new PR for me, so I was happy to get it even if it wasn’t a good lift towards my final score. Key learning: if you really bury your squat deep, so that there’s no question about whether you broke parallel, you have nothing to worry about.

Once my third lift was done, I watched the other flights squat. Rafe nailed his lifts, and then the heavyweights started theirs. Interestingly, we had a mix of ages– I think the youngest lifter in the meet was 15 and the oldest was 57. There wasn’t any real correspondence between age and lifting weight, either; some of the older guys (including the overall “best lifter” winner) were as old, or older, than me. It’s pretty amazing how much some of those guys could squat– I don’t remember what the heaviest weight I saw was, but there were 2-3x bodyweight squats being dropped like it was routine.

After all three flights finished squatting, the organizers needed time to shift the equipment around. One very nice thing about lifting in a meet is that other people rack, spot, and set the weights for you– a nice contrast to the traditional gym environment where you do it all yourself. While they were doing that, Tom and I went to walk around the expo floor a bit, then it was back for the bench, one of my weaker lifts. I have big legs and a strong back, but my arms and chest are small relative to the rest of me, so I wasn’t expecting huge numbers here.

I hit my first two attempts easily at 75kg and 80kg– a new PR. Derek pointed out a couple of technical adjustments to the lift during my warmups that really helped– I need to focus on squeezing my shoulder blades together, and on the press movement it’s actually more efficient to press slightly down towards the waist than straight up. I decided to try 85kg for my third attempt and just couldn’t quite lock it out, getting three reds for a failed attempt. Still, I didn’t feel bad about it given that I’d already hit a PR. I can definitely see that my 2015 goal of being able to bench my bodyweight is in striking distance.

Tom and I made another loop around the expo and took a quick food break. Convention center food being what it is, I decided to stick with the snacks I’d brought. Then it was time to go back for the deadlift. If the squat is the lift I think is my worst, and the bench is the lift that is actually my weakest, the deadlift is my favorite. I’d deadlift heavy every day if I could. I opened with 147.5kg, easily hit 157.5kg for my second, and decided on 165kg for my third– in retrospect, I wish I’d gone a bit heavier because I felt like I could have hit it easily. Once I was done, I was able to take off some of my gear and relax to enjoy the show as the rest of the lifters did their thing. By the time the biggest guys in the third flight were lifting, Rafe, Tom, and I were in the spectator area cheering and howling as we watched the big pulls– several over 700lbs. It was really impressive to watch.

I stuck around for the awards ceremony because I figured Rafe might have won in his division. Turns out, he did.. and so did I.

WP_20150502_019

In fairness, this was because I was the only person in the 220lb 45-49 division, not because I lifted a massive amount of weight. On the other hand, I did lift a hell of a lot: 370kg, or 818lbs.


WP_20150502_014

That’s a good 50lbs better than my previous 3-lift total, good enough for a Wilks score of 238– just a hair below “intermediate” ranking and good enough to move me pretty close to class IV according to the USPA’s guidelines (at least at 198lbs, where I will be within a couple of weeks). This would have been an unthinkable amount of weight for me a year ago, so I am really thankful to Alex and the CHP coaches, the community at Fitocracy, and especially to Rafe and Derek for their on-site support, so to speak.

Takeaways:

  • I had a blast.
  • There is a surprising amount of technique in these lifts, but unlike football or baseball, the technique is mostly invisible. For example, knowing that part of a good bench is squeezing your shoulder blades together is impossible to spot
  • In triathlon, the gap between the winners and me is often so great that I find it discouraging– the magnitude of improvement required to be on the podium is sometimes so large that it seems out of reach. That wasn’t the case here; the huge amount of weight that the top lifters were moving was motivating and inspiring, not discouraging at all. I may never be able to deadlift 700 pounds, but seeing it done at the meet makes me want to deadlift however much more I can.
  • Tom is super excited about going to the gym and starting to lift. I am excited for him and can’t wait to help him get started.
  • When’s the next meet?

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Training Tuesday: Lake Guntersville Duathlon (4/25/15)

Continuing my series of catch-up race reports…

Summary: 4th in my AG—missed the podium by 0:51. Damnit!

I hadn’t planned to run this, but thought it might be fun to do as a light workout. Alex encouraged me to race it, and Dana decided to sign up for it too, so I signed up the week before. The day before the race, the local (and national media… I’m looking at you, Weather Channel) bombarded the area with dire warnings of high winds, strong thunderstorms, and maybe even a tornado or two late Friday night into Saturday morning. The race organizers decided to delay the start by an hour, and in the end none of the bad weather showed up here overnight– just some rain.

Race day dawned and we loaded up the bikes to head out. It was cloudy and in the low 60s as we drove down to Guntersville, but the forecast called for steadily clearing skies and a high around 80, so I wasn’t too worried about the rain.

This particular duathlon is pretty small; there were about 70 participants, including a few relay teams, and the crowd was full of familiar faces from the local tri and running community. That always makes for a fun race. The course was an 5K out-and-back loop along the lake shore, a 16.2mi bike ride around part of the lake perimeter, and another 5K on a slightly different lakeshore loop. The course organizers didn’t post a course map beforehand, which always annoys me a little, but from talking to others who had run the race before I was comfortable that there wouldn’t be too many surprises.

After the half-marathon, I’d been having persistent and unpleasant calf pain, in slightly different locations on each side. That was really hampering my runs– even when Alex had me doing slow Z2 recovery-style runs, I was really uncomfortable and felt super slow. I was worried about how my legs would hold up, but as it turns out I needn’t have worried too much. The first run went very well. I held an 8:45 pace. If it had been a true 5K distance it would have been a PR; as it was only 3.02mi, so not quite long enough for a PR. I had a little tenderness in my right Achilles on the first half-mile or so, but after that zero calf pain throughout the race. I’m not sure why, as I didn’t do anything different other than a bit of extra stretching and taking SportsLegs an hour before race time.

Transition went fast– less than 2min, which is lightning-quick for me. I tried really hard to keep a steady cadence for longer stretches () but was only partly successful. One thing I found was that on any kind of downhill I had to slow my cadence even in top gear to keep from bouncing. For some reason on the road it’s realllly hard for me to hold a steady 80. Part of this is that on the trainer, I can look at the TR display, see my cadence, and adjust accordingly. I handlebar-mounted my old iPhone and ran Strava on it but it didn’t see my cadence sensor—have some hardware adjustments to make. Nonetheless, my average speed and total time were both better than the bike leg at Heel & Crank 2 weeks ago.

On the second run, I paid the price, with a dragging 10:20/mi pace. In retrospect, I am angry at myself for not pushing harder given how narrow the margin to the podium was, but at the time I just felt gassed. Lesson learned.

Post-race, the organizers had a great spread of local BBQ, local beer from Rocket Republic, and homemade snacks. Dana and I had a very pleasant al fresco parking lot lunch while chatting with friends while we waited for race results– and she took 3rd in her age group! That put an excellent cap on an excellent race experience.

One thing I noticed right after the race (and ever since, ouch): I have a large pain in the butt because my saddle impinges on the top of my right hamstring such that I have a sore butt in that one spot after any more than 5-7 mi. I am going to head in to Bicycle Cove and get a new saddle and refit this week. Thankfully I don’t have any real leg soreness except for that one spot (and some residual burn in my quads)– a good thing considering that my first powerlifting meet is coming up in less than a week.

Onwards…

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Training Tuesday: Bridge Street Half Marathon (4/12/15)

So about that 35.1 challenge…

I spent the rest of Saturday relaxing and resting my sore legs after Heel & Crank. I also was battling a bad case of bubbleguts– cramps and gas sufficient to clear out the room. At first I thought it was because of a new endurance supplement I’d used during the race; it’s made with waxy maize and I thought maybe that was the problem (and maybe it was, but I now think it had much more to do with what I ate post-race, as I’ve had similar symptoms after drinking post-race beer elsewhere). I took some Advil and SportsLegs, washed them down with diet Coke, and made sure I had all my race stuff ready. Of course, that’s much easier for a running-only race– I needed my headphones, race belt, shirt, shorts, shoes, socks, and runderwear… oh, and BodyGlide, the endurance athlete’s best friend. If you’re not familiar with BodyGlide, think of it like WD-40 for your body– put some on the neck of your wetsuit, the seams of your bike shorts, or any place else you want to reduce friction during repetitive motion.

Anyway, I gathered up all my stuff and Dana drove us to Bridge Street– she graciously decided to volunteer at the food tent. I got there just as my training group was assembling for a group photo, so I spent a very pleasant few minutes chatting with my running pals and trying to ignore my normal pre-race jitters. Today’s jitters were more intense than usual; my most recent long run was only 10 miles, and it was nearly a month before, so I was concerned that I would have problems hitting the distance.

Most runners set goal times for big races. At first, I did the same for this race; I wanted to set an aggressive goal, but I decided it would be better for me just to enjoy the race, since it was my first, and work on goals later. Accordingly, I decided to run with the 2:15 pace group. If you’re not familiar with distance running, you might not know that at most races there are volunteer runners who hold a steady pace throughout the race, often carrying signs. Running a marathon or half at a given speed thus becomes a matter of finding your pace group and sticking with them.

The weather was perfect: clear and cool, with a few clouds. Bridge Street is known for being a flat, fast course. Because it winds around Research Park, the scenery isn’t much to behold unless you like big office parks.However, I had a blast on the race– I sustained the pace I wanted, my legs were a little sore but not terribly so, and I was able to enjoy brief chats with a number of my running friends as the course went on.

Having said that: two+ hours is a long time to run. I don’t think I have much ambition to do a marathon.

The course finish took us up Explorer along the route where I normally finish my Thursday Panera runs, which was fun and familiar. We ran past the entryway of the Westin, along the eastern boundary of the mall area, and then took a convoluted path to finish on the titular bridge– but whoever laid out the race course had a pace sign well before the bridge, along with a balloon arch, so I started my kick a little too early and then was surprised by how far away the finish line actually was. I’ll remember that for next time.

Thanks to the excellent steady pacing of Dennis, Carrie, and Tom, I finished in 2:15:09. I got my medal, stuck around to chat with Alex and other friends as they finished, then raided the food tent to relieve Dana of some of her goodies. Along the way, I also had a chance to take a picture with Deena Kastor, three-time Olympian and record holder in both the marathon and half-marathon. (That sets my personal pace to meeting one Olympic medalist every 29 years, so check back with me in 2044.)

WP_20150412_003After the race wound down, I had a light lunch…. ahhh, who am I kidding? I ate approximately 25 lbs of food.

And, of course, once I got home, it was time to enjoy the fruits of my labor: the coveted 35.1 challenge mug, filled with one of my favorite beers. And some Advil.

WP_20150418_004All in all, it was a great experience, although I don’t plan on running any more races of this distance during triathlon season. In the fall, maybe, after the season’s closed out, I’ll consider it, but for now it’s back to the 5K / 10K distances I’m more accustomed to.

 

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Training Tuesday: Heel & Crank Duathlon (4/11/15)

Last year, I was delusional… I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for two races on consecutive days in order to qualify for the coveted 35.1 Challenge swag. To qualify, all I’d have to do is complete a duathlon on Saturday and a half-marathon the next day. Seemed simple enough from the comfort of my couch in October, so I signed up. The two goal races were the Heel & Crank duathlon and the Bridge Street Half Marathon.

Side note: biathlon is the cool Olympic sport where you ski and then stop every so often to shoot at targets. Duathlon is what triathletes call a run/bike/run event, as opposed to an aquabike (self-explanatory, that).

Fast forward to late March. I’d been training for the Bridge Street Half and the running was just wrecking my calves and Achilles tendons. I reluctantly decided to skip Heel & Crank. Thus it was that I went to volunteer at packet pickup for the half-marathon. “As long as I’m here I’ll pick up my Heel & Crank packet,” I thought. When I opened it, this is what I found:

WP_20150410_003Through pure luck and/or overeagerness in registering, I’d scored race number 1. At that point I felt obligated to run the race, so.. I did.

The weather race morning could not have been better: clear and cool. The H&C course has changed a bit over the last few years; what hasn’t changed is that the start is in historic Mooresville (site of Alabama’s first post office, among other things). This year the run was an out-and-back on a hard-packed dirt road that was somewhat muddy after recent rains. I wore my trail shoes, so that wasn’t going to be a problem. The bike course was a loop around some lesser-traveled Limestone County roads. Part of the course covers territory I’d ridden before on the weekly Jetplex group rides, so I knew that apart from a few gentle rollers there wasn’t much to worry about.

My plan was to hold a slow pace for all 3 events– just hang in there and finish without doing too much damage to my chances of finishing the next day’s half. I got set up in transition, lined up for the start, and ran the first 5K in just under 31 min– a comfortable pace, although my calves were complaining after about the first mile. I had a leisurely transition to the bike and rode well, but with uneven cadence, for almost exactly an hour. There was a stiff wind from the west for most of the race, which helped going out but hurt coming back in. Overall, though, the flatness of the course worked in my favor.

2015 Heel & Crank (821 of 1401)-L

Surprisingly, on the second run I was able to maintain a 10:44/mi pace, which was faster than I expected given that I was planning on taking it realllly easy.

I finished in 2:07:29, which was barely acceptable to me considering that I was going slowly on purpose– it was still frustrating to notch a low finish though. The excellent post-race setup took some of the sting out, though; the organizers had provided not only the traditional pizza and fruit, but also pancakes and beer from a local craft brewery. It was delightful to munch and talk with my local friends, standing in the warm sunshine while the sweat dried. Thus fortified, I went home to get all my real running stuff together and get ready for the next day’s half-marathon….

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Training Tuesday: New Orleans Sprint Triathlon (3/28/15)

I’m really behind on my race reports; as I write this, I’m resting after my fourth race of the season, but better late than never, etc.

For my first race this year, I wanted to do a sprint triathlon, and the stars aligned perfectly so that I could run the New Orleans Sprint. The timing would be tight; Dana wanted to accompany me, because she’d never been to New Orleans before, but she had the McKay Hollow Madness trail race on Saturday morning, and I had to get the airplane to Atlanta on Monday so I could catch a flight to Nebraska for customer meetings. We decided to leave right after her race, spend the rest of Saturday sightseeing, and come back Sunday right after my race. My mom was able to arrange her schedule to drive over from Alexandria and meet us, which added a lot to the overall fun factor.

Our flight was lovely; we had stable air and great visibility, although on our descent into New Orleans Lakefront we came uncomfortably close to another plane who wasn’t talking to ATC and obviously wasn’t watching where he was going. Mom met us there and after a little fiddling with the bike rack, we were off to find the hotel, have lunch at Deanie’s, and enjoy some sightseeing. We spent ome time touring the French Quarter (including Dana’s first walk down Bourbon Street; luckily it was in the afternoon so we only saw one dude passed out in the middle of the street).

WP_20150328_005Right after we took this picture, a teenage boy walked up to us and asked, in an impeccable British accent, if we knew where the cathedral was.

By day’s end we were too tired to go restauranting, so we had dinner at the hotel– surprisingly good nonetheless. I suppose hotel chefs have to up their game to stay relevant in a city so dedicated to food.

The next morning we all saddled up and drove to the South Shore Marina for the race. The swim was held inside the marina, which is part of Lake Ponchartrain. The water temperature was forecast to be in the low 60s, so I wore my wetsuit and was very glad of it. As is typical of mixed distance races, the Olympic-distance swimmers started first, so I spent a fair amount of time in line with the other sprint distance men from my age group. Finally I was at the end of the pier, got the signal, jumped in the water, and.. promptly forgot pretty much everything I knew about swimming. A combination of adrenaline and the shockingly cold water propelled me to start out at almost double my normal 100m pace.. which would have been great if I could have sustained it. In the pool, I can normally turn out a steady 2:00-2:05/100 time and I averaged 2:26/100. Not at all what I was looking for.

Transition was an easy run up the dock and into the corral. The race organizers had thoughtfully provided wetsuit strippers, which greatly eased my transition, but I was tired already as I got onto the bike. That was reflected in my craptacular 4:40 time for T1: almost inexcusably slow. Once on the bike, I regained a bit of my equilibrium as I headed out, buoyed by seeing Dana and Mom cheering for me on the outbound chute. The course paralleled the lakeshore, which was nice, and passed very close to the airport, which I enjoyed. I was feeling pretty good as we reached the halfway point and that’s when it hit me.. the wind, that is. Take a look at the upper right corner of this picture:

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That little “16” with the arrow indicates that we had a 16mph wind (with higher gusts, of course) from the east. That made for a lovely tailwind on the way out and a very unpleasant headwind on the way back. Let’s just say my enthusiasm wilted more than somewhat. The wind was strong enough that I had trouble controlling my bike (especially on the gridded metal road deck on the Seabrook bridge). I was glad to get back into the corral, transition (with another terrible time: 3+ min), and hit the road.

About the run: let’s just say I finished it. It was neither my worst nor my best; the route wasn’t very scenic either. I did appreciate seeing spectators on both legs of the course, and my Waffle House jersey provoked a lot of comments, so that was fun.

My entourage met me at the finish line, where I scored a really spiffy finisher’s medal and a towel inexplicably labeled “NEW YORK CITY TRIATHLON.” Maybe they ran out of the New Orleans-branded ones, or maybe they were promoting the NYC event? Who knows?

The post-race corral area was nicely set up, with pizza, fruit, soft drinks, and beer, but it was kinda flat– I think most finishers headed out to celebrate elsewhere as soon as they could gather up their stuff and get on the road.

My total time was 1:38:50, which was on a par with my races from last year. Still some room for improvement, especially on the swim but also on the run. I’ve got to work on building my pace off the bike; even running 9:30/mi off the bike would let me pick up an easy 3+ minutes, which in this case would have put me in the top 5 for my age group. Something to work on.

After the race, it was back to the hotel for a badly needed shower, then we walked over to Manning’s for a very pleasant al fresco lunch. Mom drove us to the airport and we had a perfectly unexceptional flight back– a calm end to a somewhat harried, though very enjoyable, trip.

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Fixing SharePoint Online OneNote “something went wrong” errors

I recently ran into a problem with a SharePoint Online site that had previously been created on BPOS and moved around through various iterations of Office 365. None of the site users had ever used the OneNote notebook associated with the site, but the link was present in the side navigation bar. When I tried to access it, I got the infamous “sorry, but something went wrong” error page. (For another day: discuss the Fisher-Price-ization of service error messages; the low information content doesn’t scare end users but makes it impossible to troubleshoot problems.)

A little binging turned up a plausible solution: “SharePoint 2013 OneNote Notebook something went wrong error“. I was a little leery of turning off the feature for fear that it wouldn’t turn back on. However, I took the plunge. After disabling the feature and re-enabling it, I was able to open the OneNote Online notebook, but I wasn’t able to use the “open in OneNote” link until I added some content in OneNote Online. All’s well that ends well. This may not be the only solution for this problem, but it has a 100% success rate for me so far.

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