By bike, it is eight minutes from our house to the light at the first main intersection. After you turn onto the valley road there, you can ride for hours without ever hitting another light. Seven hours is the longest I’ve ever tried, but you could probably do more. You can go back and forth in the valley for countless short intervals, or you can reach the end, head up and over the hill, and have miles around the reservoir for tempo efforts. Any weekday mid-morning, you’ll basically find every pro in Marin looping the reservoir hard.
I do not generally drive to ride my bike. I do not ride junk miles (mostly). If I don’t do short runs from my house around the neighborhood or up and over the trailhead, then I typically drive the six minutes to the ponds or the eight minutes to the state park — on the way I pass my pool at the JCC. [The best place in the world to run is a 20-minute drive away, which is mostly for weekends, fun, and when I’m already headed that way.]
My point is: I have a system. And I don’t think I could actually work as much as I do (contrary to popular belief) and train as much as I do and still sleep as much as I do if I had to factor in things like other people or logistics or wasting my time. Choices and figuring things out take energy; I don’t make choices in these things, I just zone out and do whatever fits into the system.
We’re getting close to the end of the year. You can smell the toasting. You can feel in the air how done things are. How little patience there is left. If you try to waste my time right now, I might punch you in the face with whatever tiny bit of energy I have.
I’m not sure this system is sustainable forever. Both of us are less than three weeks out from Ironman and you can tell by looking at our house. Eventually it may be necessary to move somewhere we can both work from home without having to shove things off the couch. Eventually I may have to write an actual book or work a job at an actual office (unlikely, however, given that I haven’t applied for any). Eventually the system may come apart at the seams. But eventually also my upper back is going to completely seize up and my foot is going to give out and my jaw is going to grind down so hard that I bite right through my already-fake teeth. Eventually. Right now, we’re holding everything together with duct tape and glue and momentum. If you just start running the same route out the house that you always run, then you’ll be halfway around the loop before you realize you’re going.