run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Race Report: Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon


Disclaimer: So, again, I'm writing a race report for a race that I didn't run. But, just like last year, I can't NOT say anything about this race. There will be lots of bragging and pride for my man, so if that grosses you out, come back later in the week for regularly scheduled cat gifs and bitching about my training. Today, I try to write the story of November 24, 2013.

Yes, you are reading that correctly.
Officially: 2:49:10

I've never gotten it. Why would a talented, fast runner spend all Fall training for a race with an elevation profile like the Monkey? Why would someone put all that time, effort, sweat, and pain into a race that was going to be hard as fuck to PR at? I used to just write it off as... Ohhhh... it's The KoB. He wants the challenge, he likes the park, and he's just fucking insane. And sure... those things are all true especially that last part. But, I think I finally got it this year.

The KoB didn't grow up a runner. He didn't run for high school or college. Every second that he improves in a race is earned. Nothing is given to him. In a lot of ways... the Monkey Marathon is The KoB. They are tough, quiet, relentless, and they don't get a lot of respect.

Probably 98% of the people who run the Monkey... only run it because they like being able to say that they've ran it. It has this cult-like following that lends a vibe to the race as being a brutal jog in the park. Which is fine. It's a small race, with great swag, an accessible and friendly race director, and a beautiful course. Jog it, enjoy it. That's what I did in the past.
 See how much fun it is!!!!

I see The KoB as a kindred Existentialist spirit. Running for him (yes, I'm putting words in his mouth) is how he lives an authentic life. Sure, he's out there just like the rest of us: running for health, to soothe our OCD tendencies, to offset that half of an ice cream cake that we demolished yesterday, and of course chasing those demons that tell us we aren't good enough. But he's also out there because that's who he is and who he wants to be. He's a runner and so he runs.

The story of November 24, 2013 isn't one that you see on other blogs of SURPRISE! I JUST RAN THE RACE OF MY LIFE ON MEDIOCRE TRAINING AND A DIET OF PROTEIN POWDER AND JELLY BEANS! HEHE. No, it's a story of hard work, patience, sweat, hard runs, easy runs, lots of miles, not enough sleep, healthy food, sacrifice (Ohhhh the beers he missed out on!!), being too tired to move, not taking your girlfriend camping when she wanted to go camping, foam rolling, questioning your workouts, and running when you didn't want to run. But, the best part... is that it paid off. And isn't that the best kind of story?

This is probably the most clothes you will ever see on
The KoB for a marathon.
It was a really cold day.

Unfortunately, I can't regale you with the story of how he felt at mile 22 or how many Gus he took throughout the race... that would be his race report. But I can tell you that from my perspective, it was a nervewracking 2 hours and 49 minutes and 10 seconds. I was at the start line, so that I could start my watch when the race started. After watching the runners climb up the grassy hill, Melissa Bitch and I headed to my car and drove to the stoned gates to run backwards and cheer on the runners.

So many clothes!
(I can't talk trash. I had about 15 layers on).

We saw The KoB three times on the course and each time I tried to gauge how he was feeling by the 3 seconds that it took for him to run past me. I had a good feeling. I knew his training had gone well and I knew that he was feeling confident going into the race. Those two things are HUGE. I gave him a Gu around mile 17.5 and tried to figure out if it was a good thing that he only wanted 1 of the 2 that I had. Or if that was a bad thing. STRESS.

We booked it over to the start line and hung out in the warm car until it was time for the winner to be close to finishing. Last year The KoB broke 3 hours at the Monkey for the first time and came in at 2:57:33. I started nervously watching for him at 2:40. My eyes were peeled to the hill when finally someone said... IS THAT HIM??

 Thank goodness this isn't a video.
Or you'd hear lots of screaming. And profanities.

 I kept looking at him and then looking at the clock.
BOOM. Sub 2:50.

He shaved 8 minutes off his time from last year. 8 minutes!!!!!!!!!!! What sub 3:00 marathoners do that in a freaking year??!?!?!?!?  Sure, he almost died at the finish. But thankfully, the most adorable dog in the world not biased licked his face and brought him back to life.

It was an epic day. And I was just happy that I was there to experience it with him.
The only time The KoB smiles is when
he's picking up his crotch crochet monkey for
coming in 4th overall.

To say congratulations doesn't seem like enough. But, it's all I got. Congratulations KoB! You inspire me and so many others with your hard work and determination. Now hurry up and recover so that you can pace me this weekend, m'kay? Thanks.


Gracie said...

That's pretty awesome, especially the crocheted monkey. But sub 2:50 on monster hills is awesome, too.

Melanie said...

SO awesome! Please tell him congrats from me as well!

Carina said...

Amazing race! Thanks for sharing it -- I ran a race with a very similar elevation profile a month or two ago and finished in almost exactly the same time as him. BUT... mine was a half and not a full. Holy crap! That's amazing!

Anonymous said...

I really like the write up. Always fun to read.


his name is Leo ....