The same might hold true for elite runners. Being an older mid-pack runner, there are many reasons to exit. Our aging bodies slow us down. health issues and aching bodies may present a challenge, motivation wanes, it takes longer to recover. None of these things has had me think about an exit strategy. Its made me think about managing expectations, managing my runs, and managing my health. So, it is all about managing oneself. At 58, relatively speaking, I am running better than I have in many years. It would be difficult for me to think about exiting and nearly impossible to actually do it. I'm sure that day will come but I think it will hit me all at once.
Some companies try to be more than they are and think they are more valuable than they are. I run the way I can and the way I am. I can't think that I am an elite runner when I'm simply not. But within the context of where I am in life, I can be the best I can be. In March, I ran 3 half-marathons three weekends in a row. For the first time in nearly 25 years of running, I pulled in two age group awards with some seriously good runs. My age-graded times were better than my pure times when I was younger.
Some people want to exit when they are on the top of their games.I just want to be in the game as long as I can. I have been through the valleys where I could have easily hung up the running shoes. I have also run well enough, in quantity or quality, where I could say, it's enough, I've reached my goal and its time to exit. Running, particularly races are great because there are age groups. Every five years, you are the youngest in your age group. We not only get to reset our expectations, but we can be rejuvenated and drive past the exit ramp.
We need to look for more entrance ramps, maybe even entrance strategies to keep us going and motivated as opposed to exit strategies; new distances, volunteering, age-graded times, new events, new states, new countries anything that keeps us int he game, the one that has given our life meaning.