The following is a guest blog by Kyle Feldman, taken from her Training For the Trials blog. Kyle competed for the GBTC (and competed quite well) for a few years before moving to North Carolina last year. Injuries derailed her training and racing for a while, unfortunately. Although it’s tough to come back and face the reality of not being in tip top shape, Kyle still ran an 18:13 and was the 5th woman (23rd overall) this past weekend at the Kernsville 4th of July 5k. Here’s Kyle’s recap, along with an interview video.
You have to start somewhere – Thoughts after my first race of 2014
Yesterday I ran the Rotary Club of Kernersville 5K in Kernersville, NC. This was my first race of 2014 and my first time racing since last October. Needless to say, it was a true rust buster.
I wish the reason I had been off the racing scene for so long was because I have just been training hard, day in and day out, getting fitter, faster, and stronger, but no, unfortunately, it’s the result of a string of injuries that I have been plagued with since December of 2012.
From December of 2012 to May of 2013 I was battling one injury (a pinched nerve). Then once that was resolved, I got in a few good months of training, but I returned to high intensity and high volume too quickly, and was hit with another injury in October. I tried to push through this but it ultimately led to a string of smaller injuries throughout the spring of 2014. So really, going into yesterday’s race, I only had about 8 weeks of what I consider real training under my belt, including only two track workouts at a moderate effort.
The reason I am writing all of this out is because I need to remind myself why this race was NOT my best result, and is in fact one minute and a half off my best result to date. That’s a big difference for a 5K. It’s about 30 seconds per mile slower and it’s really hard for me to wrap my head around it and not feel discouraged. There’s nothing worse than coming back from an injury and finding out just how unfit you have gotten. It’s one thing say you are out of shape because you haven’t been training, but it’s completely different when you actually find out for sure just how out of shape you really are. It’s a horrible feeling. And unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about it except stay positive and remind myself that I have to start somewhere.
And where I am starting is an 18:13 5K. This is by no means a bad time, and I am somewhat encouraged by it, because as I previously mentioned, I really haven’t done much training yet. However, when you’ve broken 17 minutes in a 5K, running 18 minutes feels bad. I felt embarrassed and like I should be ashamed for getting so out of shape, but it wasn’t a personal choice, it was the hand I was dealt, so I must accept it and move on.
Now that I know exactly where I am starting, I can train appropriately and fight to get back to where I was just a year and a half ago. It’s not going to be an easy journey, but it was never meant to be easy. I know with patience I will get back to where I was and that’s really what this blog is all about. It’s not just about being fast and running PRs every single race (although that string of wins was certainly nice), it’s also about the set-backs and the hardships too. It’s about not giving up when everything else in your life says to throw in the towel. It’s about taking chances and it’s about dreaming big.
My proudest accomplishment yesterday was having the courage to share my post-race video on Facebook (below). It’s hard to admit how out of shape I am, but I did it. It’s hard to admit I came in 5th place, when I really wanted to win, but I did it. This is where I am at. This is where I am starting. I am not giving up on my Olympic Trials Qualifier goal. You have to start somewhere.