After seven different hotels and two houses, not to mention lots of driving, I finally made it to what will serve as a long-term residence in Birmingham. The car has been emptied, my clothes are in drawers, it's almost like living like a normal person. On Saturday I opted not to hit the road at the crack of dawn which meant that a couple of hours into my drive up I-75 and onto I-10 I hit some rain. I had been staring at incredibly dark clouds for almost the entire time but had been spared until I got west of Tallahassee. It was then that the skies opened up.
First it was your typical, annoying rain. Then it rained harder. And then it rained a lot harder than that. And then I started wondering if I was still on the highway because I could hardly see a thing. Given the fact that my destination did not have a deadline, I decided to take a little driving break and see if the storm might blow over and I could then drive the rest of the way minus the rain, steering wheel death-grip and fear of not making it to Alabama alive. I was forced to drive a couple of miles before hitting the next exit where I went and hung out at a McDonalds for a couple of hours. Please don't judge, it was either that or Dairy Queen. And Dairy Queen doesn't have yogurt parfaits.
I hadn't hung out at a McDonalds I don't think since college, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that they had wifi so I could look online at the weather and see the horrible line of storms I was in the middle of, complete with flood and tornado watches. I was definitely glad I had decided to pull over for a bit. It took a solid ninety minutes for me to feel like it might be safe to head out again and while there was definitely still rain, it was not the kind of rain I had been subjected to earlier, so I could press on without the fear of death.
The rest of the drive wasn't that fun. It's like, if I know I'm going to be driving all day long I don't care. But when I'm finally getting close to my destination that last three hours is just painful. Especially when about a hundred miles of it was on one of those highways that I could at times actually drive a decent speed on, but also occasionally spent extended stints stopped at red lights. But, finally, I made it.
Things are good so far. I'm staying at a nice place with my new friend Kelli, another triathlete and general triathlon enthusiast. We have a mutual friend who put us together and so far it's worked out just great. The weather isn't as warm as Florida, in the 60's mostly so far, but nice. Apparently I can assume it will get pretty warm pretty fast, which is what I need to get ready for Texas. It's funny, I never gave much thought to what it would look like around here but it actually looks fairly similar to home. You know, without the snow.
Not much else to say about it, really. Training has been fairly low-key because just about the minute I got here my rest week started, but it's been good to give me some extra time to sort of get my bearings and stuff. I'll be swimming at the local Y and I've been shown some nice places to run and ride and there are more options there to come. I will say that being here with someone is a lot better than being alone in Tucson!