It seems like many people are PRing and running their very best race times. This is fantastic. I bring this up having just read an article on Roger Federer, perhaps the greatest male tennis player ever. Why is he considered so? Its because he maintained his optimal performance level for so long(still right up there as the # 2 ranked player in the world). If he wins this year's US Open he will go back to # 1. Bottom line, he and athletes like him are the exception rather than the norm. Most hit a peak and either over train and get injured, slack off or simply break from the amount of hard work it takes to stay on top of their game.
In the DC area I can think of a few who have stood the test of time and remained on top or near so for a long time.
(and yes, Mike Wardian). He is 34 and 35 is coming on.
Philippe Rolly(He's been running hard in the area for 10 years)
There are probably a few more but the point is, these folks have survived the rigor of hard training coupled with busy lives to remain on top of their game without burning out.
Whats the trick? Is there one? Is it genetics and luck that allow some to keep going and others to drop? Don't know but the answer is one many crave to own.
The question for some of you is what do you do now that you are peaking? How do you stay on top without losing fitness but also not tiring yourself out and getting hurt. The body is so fragile and this feat of keeping things going at an optimal level is an interesting challenge.
Perhaps you all can see yourselves like knights of the round table on a quest for the Holy Grail..........(OK, enough)