I like to experience new things, which does not necessarily mean I like all new experiences.
Yesterday's adventure was exploring the Austin Capital Metro bus system. For now, we have one car in our family, so we have to schedule our outings around one another. Last night, however, we both had places to be, and there was no reasonable way to share the vehicle, so I decided to take the bus.
I actually love public transportation. It is probably what I most miss about living in Chicago. There is nowhere I could want to go in Chicago that I cannot reach via train and/or bus. When we lived there, I had a monthly pass, since I took the train to work every morning. As a result, I could go anywhere I wanted without additional cost. I had no gas to buy and no traffic to fight. I did more crossword puzzles than I can count. It was great.
These days, I don't have a commute, which is even nicer. Even if I did, the less-extensive infrastructure would likely leave me with no option but to hit the highways anyway. Still, it's good to have another option for getting where I need to go, and I've been meaning to try the bus for a while. Yesterday was my chance.
Let me first say that the system itself is pretty good. While my experience wasn't the best, this had less to do with Capital Metro and more to do with my fellow riders. The buses are pretty much the same ones that they use in Chicago, though much cleaner. Every stop has a sign with a scanable QR code that will tell you when the next bus is going to arrive. They're on time within a few minutes of the schedule posted online, and at $1 a ride, it's tough to beat for convenience.
The adventure came from those around me. Bus one included a preschool class taking a trip to the park. That's ten children under age 4 crammed into a few rows behind me. Cute, but very, very loud. Bus two was quieter, except for when one guy said he was going to shoot another guy. Let me be clear, I don't feel that anyone was in any actual danger at the time, but it's still a little disturbing to be four feet behind Man A who wanted Man B to pay him $20 that he supposedly owed when Man B says, "Why don't I just blow your head off?" I would be lying if I said I didn't walk a little faster from my stop to my final destination than I otherwise might have.
Heading home, I got a ride to my second route, choosing to skip the one with all the threats. I did not think about the fact that this route ran through campus and it was Thursday night. Good Lord, college students are loud. They were significantly more annoying than the 10 children of bus one, but I buried my nose in my book and tuned them out as best I could. Once we reached Sixth Street and they all poured out, I even had a nice conversation with the guy across the aisle about running.
Thinking about all the details, I can conclude that my bus experience was bad, but taking a step back, it is simply not the case. I needed to get to somewhere else on time, and I needed to get back home. I did both. The bus experience was good, because it was everything I needed it to be, and this is a great view to take with running.
A workout might be slow or mileage may be cut, but you don't really know how your training has gone until you cross your finish line. It's why you need to take it easy when your schedule tells you to do so and why the taper is important. You can't judge your progress by one run.
Just like you can't judge a bus by one death threat.
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