Saturday, August 3 – Sunday, August 4

Some decent bench pressing on Saturday.  I did 6 x 135, 6 x 185, 4 x 205, 4 x 4 x 225, 8 x 185.  After the benching I did some work on the rowing machine, about 15 minutes at an admittedly leisurely pace.  No tries for any new speed records tonight.  I decided to take Sunday off from the gym,  though in the evening I had my usual Buddhist meditation session at the yoga center.  There was a different leader/instructor/whatever the term is, a pleasant middle-aged woman, and while the regular [whatever] is very good it was nice to get a different perspective.

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Published in: on August 8, 2013 at 2:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Thursday, August 1- Friday, August 2

A taste of the Bad Old Days

When I started this latest only-on-Long Island assignment I thought that I wouldn’t have to deal with the sort of traffic nonsense that had often plagued me when I was driving to the Bronx and Westchester and beyond.  Thursday was a very unpleasant reminder that the past is never truly gone, but rather lurks just below the surface, ready to rear its ugly head again.  Or something like that.

The assignment was in central Nassau County, very close to the Roosevelt Field Mall, about a 35-mile trip.  Getting there in the morning took me only about 40 minutes: Long Island Expressway to Exit 42 for the Northern State Parkway, maybe five miles on the Northern State to the Meadowbrook Parkway, and then less than a half-mile on the Meadowbrook to the Old Country Road exit.  Traffic wasn’t at all bad and I had no reason to think that the trip home would be any worse.

I had been at this worksite for a couple of days last fall, and one thing I remembered is that it was raining very heavily both days.  History repeated itself and it began raining around noon on Thursday.  Silly me, I didn’t think it would matter.

I finished up for the day around 3:15 and got onto the Meadowbrook easily enough, but then encountered a long slow line of cars waiting to make the exit onto the eastbound Northern State.  Not being too familiar with this particular routing I figured this was normal.  When I got onto the Northern State it was basically a parking lot, but once again I didn’t know better and figured traffic would speed up once the Meadowbrook traffic had been absorbed.  I spent about 20 minutes covering no more than a few miles, and (stupidly, in retrospect) did not get off a couple of exits that I passed.

Finally, I saw something I absolutely did not want to see: an electric sign announcing an estimated travel time of 27 minutes to the Expressway interchange, which was only a couple miles away!  Another sign soon after announced that there was a crash a few exits ahead with the right lane closed.  That’s right, knocking out one of two lanes was causing a backup stretching for close to ten miles.  Did I ever mention that I hated rush hour traffic?

Relief came in the form of a sign announcing Exit 35S, Route 106/107, just a half-mile ahead.  Of course it took me almost ten minutes to cover that half-mile, which would be a relatively slow pace on foot.  Finally, I got off the cursed Northern State and onto the Expressway … unfortunately, given that (a) it was well past 4 by this point, (b) it was raining, and (c) many drivers undoubtedly were using the Expressway rather than the Northern State, there were huge backups almost all the way to Exit 61 over 20 miles away.  I didn’t get home until 5:45, a beyond-ridiculous two and a half hours to cover 35 miles.  You can imagine what sort of mood I was in.

Thankfully, Friday was orders of magnitude easier.  My worksite was near Exit 57, less than ten miles away, and I had no significant traffic issues coming or going.  I really believe that another Thursday afternoon nightmare would have earned me a one-way trip to a padded cell.

Gym: on Friday night I used the rowing machine again, this time going at a much faster pace for a shorter time.  First, I did 2,500 meters, which took me just under 12 minutes, and later I did 1,000 meters in about five minutes.  I also did 4 x 10 of my homegrown exercise with the 20-pound medicine ball.

Published in: on August 5, 2013 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Tuesday, July 30 – Wednesday, July 31

South Shore = not bad

Both days’ assignments were on the South Shore, Tuesday’s in Nassau County several miles west of the Suffolk line and Wednesday’s in the westernmost part of Suffolk.  Neither day presented much of an issue in travel terms.  For Tuesday, I was unsure whether to take the Southern State Parkway or Sunrise Highway, but I decided on the latter because traffic can be very bad on the Southern State and using that route would require a bit of backtracking.  The downside of Sunrise Highway is that it ceases to be a limited access highway a few miles short of the county line, so to get to my worksite I’d have to deal with about ten miles of traffic lights.  I figured, however, that the lights are timed so that cars on Sunrise can travel at a pretty good clip, often having to stop at only every third or fourth light.  That’s exactly what happened to me, and the 40-mile trip took only about an hour.  As the day’s assignment was fairly easy, I finished up around 2:15, and therefore didn’t have to deal with rush hour traffic on the way home.  It actually took me a few minutes less than the morning’s trip – quite a change from my experience in Mount Vernon.  And no (obscene) tolls.

I was familiar with Wednesday’s worksite because I had spent most of the month of April working there.  In fact it was rather surprising that I had to go back so soon.  Once again I took the Sunrise, though this time I had to deal with only about two miles of the traffic-lighted section.  The downside is that the worksite was a good deal farther from the Sunrise than was the prior day’s location, and the 30-mile trip took me about 50 minutes, for a slightly slower pace than on Tuesday.  Still, that’s not bad, and even though I stayed until almost 3 there were no traffic issues getting home.

Gym: It was back to the rowing machine on Tuesday.  Once again I did 5,000 meters, this time taking 26:27, about 35 seconds faster than last time.
Wednesday was hot yoga, believe me I was glad to get back to it after having to miss last week.  The instructor decided to mix things up a bit and had us do some different poses (asanas, to use the correct term).  It went pretty well, my missing a week having had no apparent effects.  At one point the instructor demonstrated a highly advanced asana, which among other things involved wrapping her leg around her neck.  It was actually a bit frightening to watch, as I could not imagine my body being put in such a position without massive destruction of connective tissue 🙂

Published in: on August 3, 2013 at 2:57 am  Leave a Comment