Tuesday night, yesterday, I ran a 6k tempo on the track, and it took me 22:12, which is 5:57 pace per mile. It's pretty exciting to be doing a workout at sub 6 minute pace, but it's also a long way from the 20:12 6k tempos that I ran back in 2011 and 2012.
I don't know what is next for me. In many respects I've accomplished what I set out to, I was on Team USA, and I climbed Mt. Everest. The motivation changes as I age. Yes, part of me knows that what I have done is not enough, not as much as is possible for me, and racing faster and climbing more challenging routes still call, and are very possible for me, but then again the couch also calls after work some days when I just don't feel like exercising.
Perhaps this is my seven year sabbatical from difficult physical sports? In 2010, being unemployed, I played a fair amount of video games, ran in the middle of the day, and read quite a lot. While I didn't like it at the time, applying for every available job I could find, in hind sight it was nice to have that break, at least for the first two months.
In the moment, it's hard to really know the extent that something has an effect on you. It's also terribly hard to identify having peaked. Meb Keflezighi ran his fastest race and won the Boston Marathon at age 38 in 2014. When I saw him at the 2007 Olympic Marathon Trials in New York struggle to the finish in 8th, I thought at age 32 his career might be over. A win in New York and Boston, and fourth place at the London Olympics later... I was obviously wrong.