Monday, September 17, 2012

The Devil is in the Details and My Shorts!

Today I learned a valuable lesson.  Open your possibilities and wonderful things can happen and quality of life matters.  I also learned to check where you sit down to change your flats.

Normally when I come to Austin, even though I have a place, I find it easier to stay in the camper.  At this point, it is my odd little home, the tiniest of duck ponds.  I have traditionally parked in an RV park very close to downtown but in an ugly, nasty neighborhood.  I don't think it was particularly unsafe, just depressing.  This time, I could not reach anyone there and had to book at a different park.  I settled on one that is to the west of the city on the edges of Hill Country.

I got lost coming in last night and parked the camper in the dark.  The campground seemed fine, normal, dark.  When I got up this morning and walked outside with the dogs, my jaw dropped.  The park is beautiful with trees everywhere, flower beds and granite retaining walls lining the drive ways, and astonishing views of Hill Country.  The vistas allowed me to see for miles.  A camera cannot even do it justice.

I drove into town and got where I needed to go in a very respectable 25 minutes (as opposed to 15 at the other park).  The road in feeds into the side of the city that I utilize most.  The drive was beautiful, astonishing, breathtaking.  Every bend offered scenic views of this unique, rugged landscape.

The feel of the park is wonderful, friendly, healthy, and the owners like to swimbikerun.  Nearby there is a vast reserve of multi use, hike/running, mountain bike, and equestrian trails with access to open water swimming.  Also I am right in the middle of the best cycling area central Texas has to offer.  I guess I didn't realize until now how unhappy I had become with my surroundings.  Austin I love... but that RV park?  Not so much.  In a single morning, I switched my whole list of priorities and will be calling this new RV park home from now on.

 I did my swim (a great consistent effort- the kind I have struggled to produce with this shoulder) and then drove some suggested routes to find a good three hour long ride.  There is an amazing 50 mile loop that starts two miles from my door.  I decided to do that, packed up the bike and drove to the starting point.  I would have ridden out but it was getting close to rush hour and the two mile stretch gets a little dangerous.

As I aired up my tires, I realized I had a flat.  I took the wheel off, sat down and set about changing said flat.  Lots of experience with this; nothing to worry about.  As I tried to put the new tube on, I realized that the valve was much shorter than the one I had taken off.  (Ow!  scratch) Sure enough, it was too short for the rim depth on my training wheel.  (Ow dammit, scratch, scratch) Now I had a half changed flat and no tube. I knew that the tubes back at the camper were all the same.  I resolved to go home, do my tomorrow interval work on the trainer with my race wheel on the front.  (OW OW OW!!  Scratch butt furiously in a public location.)

OOOH, the Devil is in the details.. and my shorts!

OOWOWOWOWOW!!!  ANTS!!!!!  I have ants in my tri shorts... LITERALLY!  The mean, red Texas style ants that raise a cattle brand welt on your backside!  ARRRGHHHH!!!!!

I had plopped my happy, flat changing ass down in an big ol' mess o' Texas fireants!

Now my ant- bitten ass is smarting and I am looking forward (ahem) to spending the next couple of hours in the saddle.

As a follow up to my last post which was written about a week before I was able to publish it, I have been feeling much better.  My energy returned slowly but fully.  By the weekend, I realized that I felt better than I had in months. DW said that the energy that I had now was what I should have had all along.  Accepting a fatigued state as normal was actually undermining my training and my life.  It all caught up to me but now that I have bounced back, I am truly on my toes.  He is letting me race this weekend and I am looking forward to my first Olympic distance of the year.  My endurance is a bit damaged but overall, my base should be good enough to go and get familiar with the longer distance.  I may not race it, but it should provide a nice bump in fitness and set me  up for the next and final race of the season.

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