I attempted to run my first 100 at the ripe old age of 46. It was a failure full of introspection. I had experienced enough early failures ultrarunning (finishing nearly last or not finishing) that it caused me to conclude that I was probably too old to become an ultrarunner. But in reality, the average finisher age for those who ran my first 100-miler was age 44.
So at age 46 in 2004, I mistakenly considered myself too old to be a serious runner. After all, I knew that for most professional sports you are over-the-hill by your mid- 30s. I was still recovering from a torn meniscus and believed that I would always be a back-of-the-pack runner because of my age, and my knee.
As I started to love the sport of ultrarunning, I wished that I could have found the sport when I was much younger, wondering how well I could have performed without an aged, broken body. I wished I didn’t have a bad knee, believing that it would always limit my speed and distance.