Greg Lemond is quoted as saying, "It doesn't get any easier, you just go faster."
You see, I made a goal for the year to ride 500 hours. My previous top year (in recent years anyway -- I've kind of reset the clock since I was peak bike racing many years ago) was 2013, when I had 459 hours. That was the same year I did the Leavenworth Gran Fondo.
Anyway, like a good little engineer, I made up a spreadsheet to track my riding time, with a daily average, how far I was behind (or ahead) for the year, etc.
On February 10th, I was about 10 hours behind my needed total to that point to make 500 hours by the end of the year. So in typical Type-A behavior, I got on it. I made sure I logged at least the needed daily average, plus a little bit more to catch up. Eventually.
It felt like it was taking forever to make up that time. Minute by minute, though, I chipped away at the deficit.
And currently I am about 5 hours ahead of pace. But with the daily average at 1 hour and 22 minutes (and 12 seconds, if it comes to that), it wouldn't take long to fall behind again. And with things like vacations planned later in the year, and inevitable days off due to life, I don't really feel this to be a comfortable cushion yet.
So that gets me to the whole subject of getting faster, and how that sucks.
I've got some "normal" loops that I ride during my lunchtime at work. I get in early most days to make up the time that I ride on a longer-than-regulation lunchtime. Anyway, I get about an hour and a half of saddle time each day. But those loops are taking less time as I get faster. So in order to keep at the 1:30 (ish) mark, I have to start extending the loops.
But extending the loops means going "around the block" at some point on the loop. Out in these areas, "around the block" can be several miles. So it doesn't just add 5 minutes. And it means I have to juggle more time vs. getting back to work. Perception (of co-workers) gets around when it comes to job evaluation. None of my co-workers are anywhere near work when I show up -- some by several hours.
Sure, I could slow down....