As most of you know, the last time I raced was a dismal performance at the 2014 New York City Marathon. The race was a bit of a disaster, but I felt lucky to come off it without any real soreness or injury. About a month after NYC I started to get back at it and doing easy track sessions. I started to feel some pain in my knee. At first I could manage it, but after spending most of December cross training and patching together runs, I realized something was very wrong. In January I was having surgery on my meniscus. This was a blow to my psyche and was not how I had envisioned starting 2015.
I started my comeback from surgery as quickly and as safely possible. Then I had a setback when we had the snowiest February on record. My knee was not happy about all the slipping, and I had to back off and cross train again. During this time I made a promise to my coaches. As soon as the knee swelling went down, I would come back as slowly as they wanted. I would be silly conservative and I wouldn’t push anything. My goal is to make a third Olympic team in 2016, so why would I be worried about rushing into fitness now? The new goal became to not have another injury from February 2015 until the Olympic Marathon trials in February 2016. The last time I was healthy for a full year? That would be 2009, before my son was born.
Things have been going great and I have really been enjoying my training and running. I have backed off in mileage and shifted to try to get a little speed back. I had no intention of racing anytime soon, but the last few weeks I’ve felt pretty good and started to get an itch to get out on a track and see where I am at. So, I am racing the 5,000 meters tomorrow night at the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic. I am not expecting to run the world standard of 15:20 or to even qualify for the national meet by running 15:26. My hope is to run something around 15:40, dip my toe into the racing waters, get information, and go back to Boulder to put in more work. I am excited to be spiking up, but this is the very first step in a long road back from nearly 5 years of injury and frustration. Yes, I am hoping to only run within 45 seconds of my 5,000 meter personal best, but for me I am excited. I am healthy, my training has been consistent, and I am happy. As long as I stay this way, the next year could be my best in a long time. Thanks for the support as always and hope you are doing great in your endeavors as well! -Kara