Wednesday, May 27

I really don’t like that train

Being able to go into work a little later than usual today, I drove to Ronkonkoma to get the 8:31 to Penn.  It was surprising to see how jammed the south side lot was when I arrived about 8:15.  All the spaces were full, even the ones right by the woods on the east end, and I had to park on the mud dirt across the roadway which runs along the lot’s south end. There might have been some spots in the extreme southwest end of the lot, but parking on the dirt as I did was actually much closer to the platforms.  The economy-caused ridership declines of recent months seem to have gone away, although it’s possible that the construction work on one of the northeast lots is partly responsible for the south lot’s crowding.  Only partially, however, as the closed lot is only a small fraction of the south lot’s size.

My assessment of the 8:31 is that it combines the worst of both worlds.  It has the overcrowding of a rush hour train, yet makes the endless number of stops characteristic of an off-hour train.  It qualifies as a rush hour train because it’s scheduled to arrive at Penn just prior to the 10:00 am cutoff.  I have no doubt whatsoever that’s a deliberate move on the part of the LIRR, designed to get higher rush hour fares.  To his credit, at Hicksville and subsequent stops, the conductor announced over the PA to boarding riders that it was a rush hour train, and that there was an off-peak train with lower fares just a few minutes behind.  Somehow I suspect that LIRR management does not approve of such announcements.  Speaking of Hicksville, the train was pretty much packed by then and had standees, at least in the mid-consist car where I sat.  A man in his 30’s took the seat next to me at Deer Park and spent almost the entire ride talking loudly on his cell phone.  Fortunately my iPod was able to block out some of the sound, and in any event he was talking in a foreign language (from what the British would once call “East of Suez”) and therefore it wasn’t too distracting.  I had started on a new book, Evening in the Palace of Reason, and read a chapter or too.  While we got to Penn on time, I had to wait a long time for a 2 train to Fulton, something around ten minutes.  It was well past rush hour, so I can’t say the wait was too surprising.

No long subway waits after work.  In fact, I got a 2 at Fulton so quickly I was able to get the 5:22 to Ronkonkoma, instead of the 5:41 as I’d been expecting.  It was pretty crowded, though I found an aisle seat next to a 30something woman who for some reason was wearing a fairly thick coat even though it wasn’t cold at all in the car.  This detail is relevant as the woman was somewhat wide-bottomed, though not really overweight, and the coat made the space squeeze a shade tight for me.  I know, it could have been worse, and I took further solace in the fact that the ride was unlike yesterday’s and nicely delay-free.

Gym: it dawned on me as I was heading into the gym that I should have done deadlifts yesterday.  Doing them today would mean an 8-day gap.  To make matters worse, I just wasn’t motivated to deadlift tonight, and for a demanding exercise like deadlifts you really need to be motivated. I started out on the treadmill, running at my usual 5.4 mph pace, hoping to do two miles and therefore fulfill my weekly 6-mile quota.  One thing lead to another and I just kept running and running.  I ended up covering four miles, making eight for the week.  Cool.  I then did some Hammer Strength decline chest presses, even though it’s been only two days since I last did some.  It might be good to do chest work three times a week, using the Hammer Strength machine, until hopefully I’ll be able to do some decent free weight benching once again.  My session on the Hammer Strength represented some progress since Monday: 8 x 250, 8 x 270, 5 x 300, 6 x 250.

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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