Four days: The deal goes down

Oklahoma City is much as I remember: a lot of really cool businesses scatter-shot through seedy streets under ridiculously overdramatic skies. An extravagant grid — you can drive straight across the metro on empty roads at the speed limit for hours.

Did I mention the sky? It's pretty much the main character. And today it filled with miles and miles of towering black thunderheads, which were approaching about the time I was in the corner of a Wal-Mart parking lot waiting for my dealer to show.

Not drugs. Meat.

Farm-raised, grass-fed and finished longhorn beef, to be exact. Race week not the week to eat a lot of sodium-pumped chicken or sugared restaurant dishes. And hey, it's vacation. Eating trash does not fit in with a quality vacation, never has. Vacation is the time to treat yourself incredibly well.

Here's the story. I'm staying with friends in OKC and want to keep my diet simple in race week — veggies, fruit, nuts, eggs, and lean meat. I also don't want to put my friends out (and they are friends who would totally let me). So my plan was to buy my own groceries and be relatively self-sufficient.

However, OKC is grocery-challenged. (The ground has been broken for a Whole Foods.) So last week I searched online for grass-fed beef and found Plum Rich Beef. The Plum Rich beef folks were delighted that a traveling triathlete looked them up.

But they don't ship or have a storefront outlet. We made arrangements to meet at their regular pickup spot, the northeast corner of a suburban Wal-Mart. And under the darkening skies, as rain began to spit, Jessica from Plum Rich Beef and I transacted and even bonded, a good half hour in the parking lot trading hunks of meat for money, talking Paleo and racing and cross-fit training and bikes. Do people usually hug their dealers?

The beef's frozen, so I won't be able to report on how delicious these meatballs are until tomorrow. So yeah, you read this whole post and don't even get food porn. Frankly, I'm mostly just taking my mind off how muddy the trails are and that I probably won't get on the MTB before the race.

More time to hang out with my friends; we're just about to dive into some White Russians right now.