Saturday, December 13, 2008

Almost 44 years old

Six days post marathon and for the first time I am not suffering from a lack of focus or post marathon blues. I don't know what my next race will be but it will be a long one and it will be soon. CIM buzz is still there and I want more of it.

One day before my 44th birthday and the issue is whether I need to start becoming comfortable with the onset of a steady decline in performance. I feel awesome during most of my workouts, as good or not better than I did 10 years ago. But peak performance for endurance athletes is not on this side of 40. My saving grace is that I have trained mostly like an idiot for the last ten years. No speed work, no hard day easy, and certainly no attention to nutrition or training. So if I were to actually pay attention to any of those "secrets," I might combat the slight percentage declines in performance each year I get more mature.

But I'm not sure if I really want to do that. There is a certain pride I take from doing things the stubborn way. I know not resting after the marathon hasn't been wise. My left quad hurts since I went right back to running 5-6 miles. But I like being the guy who doesn't rest. I like being the person who leaves the party early so he can run at 3:00 am on a Saturday before an early flight. I like having Rebecca try and talk me out of doing pullups every day. That is my equivalent of winning a race because I live for the spontaneous admiration as opposed to the planned, expected one. It's why I don't like my birthday. Once a year, everyone has to pay attention to you, give you props. And that feels cheap and forced. I'd rather get their attention for just being me on a normal day. The surprising attention is more exciting, even if I make it happen by doing things that I know will get it. Like working out every day. Or doing pushups at OAK gate 5.

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