MMMmmmm! My sister surprised me after work with a homemade banana and Nutella birthday cake. Isla approved! (just kidding, that kid doesn't even like sweets. She took one bite just to make a mess, smiled, and then moved on. I hope she always stays so resistant to chocolate, unlike her mother :)
I was on the track Tuesday finishing a workout that scared me a bit. It was 3 x 2 miles, and I was pretty sure I couldn't hold the pace prescribed. I was able to secure an additional 15 seconds per mile from coach to take the pressure off of the workout, and I proceeded to complete my first track workout as a 37-year-old.
And I felt so much closer to the age of 40 than ever when I was finished. I thought...why? Why am I on the track fighting for these seconds? At what age does the battle end? Will I even get faster? Am I just maintaining? What is the point of all of this? (insert mini mid-life crisis here)
One answer is "yes." I will continue to get faster. I am faster as a 37-year-old than I was as a 27-year-old, relative to the distance I race. I have lost top end speed, but I am faster across all distances. This is partly due to the fact that I was able to better tolerate running once I had knee surgery for my pesky soccer injuries in my early 30s. I had 2.5 good years of running followed by pregnancy, which resulted in some more time off. So, I figure I haven't put in my maximum number of healthy running years, and that is good news. I have more in me!
But, I can't think of anything that gives me the same pleasure as nailing a training session, or even better, nailing a race. My goals seem to be shifting a bit, and the "why" questions are a little different now. That must come with a little more age and experience. It is definitely more about the journey now and less about the outcome. But how about a little birthday wish that I reach a few more goals and have a few more magical races in the future? :)
So, I am 37, and still a triathlete. I love this sport.