June 16, 2006

The Traffic, It Stops And Goes. Sometimes For No Reason Whatsoever

Morning Workout
1 hour 40 minutes
Heart Rate Zone: Aerobic (Zone 1)

Afternoon / Evening Workout
30 minutes

3100 yards
Main Set: 5 x 400 yards off 20 seconds rest

1.32 miles

Random Comments: I hate traffic. With a passion. It is, without question, the single most annoying thing about Los Angeles. The fact is that the traffic doesn't stop in this city, it just varies in it's levels of absurdity. Sure it's slow going during the work week, that I can understand and effectively avoid. But what's with the bumper-to-bumper traffic every single weekend?! I mean, that's just not normal. And if that's not bad enough, there will be random days when, without warning and for no apparent reason whatsoever, traffic throughout the entire city will be at a dead standstill. It's like every single person in the city decided to drive at exactly the same precise moment. There's gotta be lottery winning odds for that one. The thing is, it happens time and again. Tonight was one of those nights.

I was supposed to meet friends for cocktails at 6:00 in Westwood. So, fresh off my abbreviated swim, I left Santa Monica at 5:45 to get to the restaurant. On any normal day, the fifteen minutes would've been more than sufficient time to make that drive. Today, however, was not any normal day. Traffic was at a complete stand-still. A ridiculous stand-still. I mean, sitting in the same place for ten minutes, not moving an inch type of stand-still. No matter which short cut I decided to take, nothing was moving. At some locations, it took me ten minutes to travel two blocks. Absurd. It makes me want to move to some remote town fifteen miles outside of Bumblef**k, Nowhere.

After over an hour of this nonsense, I was steaming. My mind was homicidal and I knew I was about to snap. Finally, 75 minutes and two miles after I started, I was still over a mile away and, following some quick calculations, I deduced that the mile would take me another 30 minutes to drive. I can't stand this, I thought. I want to kill somebody. Anybody will do.

Do I want to spend 30 minutes driving another mile? Hell no. For Godsakes, it'd be faster if I ran there.

That's about when the bells started going off in my head. And it was also about the time when I remembered that I was an Ironman athlete with a clean set of workout clothes in the trunk of my car. Within seconds I made a U-turn and jammed the car into the first parking spot I could find. I grabbed my workout clothes and did a Superman-like quick-o change-o in the front seat of my car. I shoved my dress clothes in the backpack, strapped that to my body and off I went. My fourth workout for the day.

Not but ten minutes later I was in the restaurant, a bit sweaty but much more relaxed from the run. I hopped into the men's room to change my sweaty body back into the dress clothes and just like that, I was sitting with my friends having a nice cold beer.

And somehow this all seemed normal to me.