American Distance Project's Wendy Thomas Withdraws from Chevron Houston Marathon
by Jon Gugala
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2012 New York City Marathon--or what might have been--has claimed another victim, this time the American Distance Project's Wendy Thomas. The 33-year-old, who was slated to run the 2013 Houston Marathon on January 13, has announced her withdrawal due to injury.
Thomas, who set her PR of 2:34:25 at the 2012 Olympic Team Trails Marathon almost a year ago, was one of the many elites committed to racing the New York City Marathon in November. When the race was canceled, she says she took a week off and then jumped back in, refocusing on Houston.
She started feeling pain in her left IT Band three or four weeks ago, but was able to train through it. "It was more denial," Thomas says. "'I just ran 22 miles. Of course my leg hurts.'"
It was two weeks ago that the pain became unbearable. So she spent a lot of time on her ElliptiGO cross-training, and she began undergoing therapy. A lot of therapy.
Thomas says she went through massage, Active Release, acupuncture, dry needling, and several more that sound equally unpleasant. She and coach Scott Simmons of the ADP were banking on the reserve of miles she'd already built up. There were times, she says, that she felt like she'd turned the corner, as recently as this past weekend. But on Tuesday, January 8, going out for a seven mile run, she says at six miles her knee locked up, leaving her stretching and crying.
"We tried to fight," Thomas says, "but you can't run 26.2 miles if your leg's not working right."
"It wasn't fair to anyone, including her, to race," Simmons says. "We will look to solve her challenges and then look for a marathon when she is ready."
Thomas isn't alone; with few examples, most of the 2012 New York City Marathon field that has chosen to find alternate races in the fall/winter season have raced poorly. Andrew Carlson, sixth at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials Marathon and one of the NYC field, reported on Saturday that a late Achilles injury had brought his participation in the Houston Marathon into question. He has since confirmed his entry.
Though injuries are frustrating enough, Thomas says the worst part is that she's now trained for two marathons--Houston and New York--neither of which she was able to run. The plan now is to take a couple weeks off, get healthy, and then get back to it--and sooner than you think.
"I definitely want to run a marathon sooner rather than later," Thomas says.
Follow RunBlogRun for this and other stories about the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon, on January 13.