I am 47 and I have been a life long competitive athlete. Soccer and track in high school, swimming and track in college, and competed in national surf lifeguard championships. Military, masters swimming, and I still work out the beach patrol, plus I surf, ski, and swim (masters). I kept it up, eat right, and generally take care of myself. Lately I have been lazy and lift instead of running.
I tell you this because while I believe you have made incredible gains and have achieved what you claim.... **I** cannot keep up with what I was at half my age. No fucking way. I'd love to think I can, then I do a 3 mile ocean swim with 21 year olds (hell 30 year olds) and always come to shore near the back of the pack when I used to the first or second out.
While there undoubtedly are guys half our age who cannot keep up with you - do NOT fool yourself into thinking they are in anyway competitive in their age group. When I compete now I have to stick to Masters... in the Open age group I get chewed up in all speed events and most endurance.
Life sucks/rocks, whichever, then you get old.
Don't you wish you'd have had this mind set when you were 17?