Boston 1/2 Marathon, 2005
Yes, there is no Boston 1/2 Marathon. After running in, and completing, 5 marathons, I finally failed to finish one.
I hadn't run a marathon since Beijing in 2003, and I was itching to get another one under my belt. However, things just seemed to keep going wrong, I spent a bunch of time in 2004 having a Chinese doctor cure (!) a lifelong ailment, but that really got in the way of my training. In fact, if kept me from running in 2004, but it was worth it!
I kicked off my training for 2005, but was immediately sidelined by what we thought was a blood clot in my left leg, by the time we did enough tests to determine that it was not vascular and not life threatening, I was out of time for training. Or was I?
During a visit to Malaysia a month prior to the marathon, I visited the Batu Caves:
I effortlessly climbed the 272 steps, which got me thinking that my cardio conditioning was still there. What if I began training, ramped up quickly, and then treated the marathon itself like just another run in the ramp up? It was worth a shot.
I IM'd my long time running buddy Bao, and asked him if he was going to attend the marathon, either running or spectating. No, he had no plans, but asked why. When I told him, he responded that it sounded really stupid, so I should count him in! Ha!
Well, the ramp up went pretty well, but the day did not. I started slowly, felt really good until right around mile 10, when I felt a sharp pain in my left Achilles tendon. I walked for a bit, but as soon as I started running again the pain returned.
Discretion is the better part of valor, so I stopped at the 13 mile mark, half way. Having set a slow pace and then walked most of miles 10 - 13, I got there about 30 minutes after I normally would have, and Bao hadn't yet arrived. Poor Bao, for him I guess it was only a matter of training, had I not stopped he wouldn't have either, but when he saw me waiting there with my crew he was happy to call it a day also.
I hate failure, I'm already training for my next one. And yes, I'm glad I tried, the month of ramp up really helped my conditioning!
Here's a few pictures, I brought my camera with me this time to try to provide a little bit of a runners view:
At the start:
At the start, looking behind us. Quite a few runners, huh?
Around Mile 10, runners spreading out, no sign of Bao. I'm not in last place!!
Just before Wellesley College, some fake Wellesley 'babes'!