This is a topic I have been wrestling with for the past 10 years. How can we stay motivated and enjoying a sport we put so much of ourselves into when we know we may not see another PR, or win another race?
If you are new to the sport, ot have been racing for several decades, there will come a time when you will no longer go as fast as you once did. We know we can keep this decline minimal for quite a while, but how we handle it can make all the difference in out outlook toward the sport and lifestyle we love.
Training and racing triathlon is not a zero sum game. The irony is that the sport attracted driven type A personalities, but to be successful, one needs to take a long term view, and as Joshua Medcalf says in his book Chop Wood/ Carry Water, you need fall in love with the process. As we age as athletes, we can begin to appreciate good health and the ability to push ourselves. Over time there will be a decline in performance, which we cannot control. What we can control is the rate.
I have come to enjoy racing and training more then ever before. I no longer take health and the ability to train for granted.
what i have learned is that when I focus on the process and enjoy it for its own merits, the outcome are almost always favorable. The medals and trophies will collect dust, but the lessones learned out on the road last forever.