Just a random assortment of typical thoughts...
1) It would seem that not everybody is athletic from birth. I get that, I myself never really did anything in the way of being athletic till I was 37 1/2 years old. I will never know what kind of personal records I might have set if I had trained for races when I was more youthful, I'm ok with that. My big question for myself is " If the average person peaks athletically at 27, and I'm 40 and still improving, then when will I hit my lifetime peak? I am incredibly inspired by some of the 50+ crowd out there doing these races, especially those who can out race me. They give me hope that my best days are still in front of me. Had I been athletic my whole life I would have went through these thoughts a decade or so ago when statistical probabilities would have indicated that I should expect a slow gradual decrease in athletic ability, so even though I'm still catching up to my potential, I'm doing it on a downward slide...like running up a down escalator...it's a great feeling and I can't think of a better way to spend my time, but every run, bike or swim I do there is a voice in my head asking me if this is the one, that one performance that will mark the best that I am capable of and ever will be capable of...scary stuff... I'm still setting PR's. I'm a PR chaser...no apologies.
2) Bitter sweet. Big Lick Triathlon. I'm in for the run leg as part of a relay team. I spent most of the spring and early to mid summer entertaining thoughts of doing the Big Lick Tri as an individual, and as my "A" race, but I was forced to admit that I have limitations and that I can't do it all. There will come a day when I will be "ok" with "just" participating in an event, but that day is not today. For now I expect a lot from myself and I chose to focus my routine around getting a marathon PR in Richmond this November and that meant not developing the mental and physical skills associated with open water swimming. No regrets, just choices. Time is valuable and many things in life come before event training (God, Husband, Father, Home Owner, Pet Owner, etc..) Maybe next year I will make triathlons more of a priority.
3) All these medals. I finally got around to displaying my medals and race bibs and sometimes I look at 'em and I'm just like "Wow, everyone of these has a special meaning, but at the same time, some of these are really special." Now that I've had to think about it, I think I may have to be buried with 3 of them. The kids and grand kids can fight over the other 15 (so far). When I do an event and crossing the finish line literally changes how I view myself, then I want to take a piece of that to the grave with me.