Bullet Train

When I worked in D.C. I had client work in New York and used to take Amtrak from Union Station to Penn Station. The Acela was a little bit more expensive than the standard Amtrak… and newer… and had nice desks for working… but it only got there about 15 minutes faster than the cheaper (older) train. It turns out the train could go faster, but the tracks weren’t built for the trains to move at any higher speeds.

I was caught by the train again today on my run. I think I’ve just stumbled onto the schedule. The train rolls across the Steel Bridge at noon every Wednesday. Reminds me of Taleb’s Turkey Problem.

This time it was actually moving…and then stopped. Same thing happened. It’s such a fascinating study in behavior and group dynamics. Guy next to me says, “you could go under…”. I briefly calculated the acceleration of a stopped freight train… reasoned that it probably wouldn’t move backwards… and could be crossed under the train close to the wheels in the direction the train was rolling and then concluded: absolutely not.

I walked down the cars again, found a ladder between two tankers, climbed up and over, jumped down the other side and started my watch. I never saw the guy next to me again.

On the way back I realized that I can continue running straight up Naito Pkwy and stay on the sidewalk that goes through a tunnel *under* the tracks.

No more train jumping for me.


Lactate threshold training again today – I like doing it on the flats as it’s much more of a controlled environment; straight and flat. I might start going to the track, but I can’t stand the thought of running in circles. This area is an industrial zone, just warehouses and machine shops, not much traffic…kind of dirty and gritty. I like it.



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