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

Monday, November 30, 2015

Race Report: Flying Monkey Marathon

Alternate Post Title: That time I ran a 5:22 marathon and came away with a boost of confidence.

I don't think I've ever been so afraid of a race. Oh wait, except the night before my first ultra where I stress-ate an entire bag of hershey kisses. And it wasn't because of the hills or the fact that I hadn't ran more than 14 miles in... Hell, I don't know when. It was because of my head. My head has been haunting me for way too long now.

Here we go. You've been warned.
I think it started when I quit at the Rim2Rim at the Grand Canyon last year. I know it was the right decision for me, and I don't regret it, but, damn... that decision fucked me up. I think it was the first time I've signed up for something (rhetorically speaking, obvs) and had to quit. Sure, I'd DNFed a marathon before and I ran a half instead of the full at The Flying Pig one year, but this was different. There are always other races and sometimes you just have a bad race day, but this felt like a huge personal failure. Like, this hit my ego and even worse, my spirit.

Plus, I didn't have anything else on the horizon. No other races to train for and pull me through my funk. Instead, I scaled way back on my running, got fat, and continued to sign up for races that I ended up not running.

So, even though I wasn't trained properly, even though my brain kept telling me that I couldn't do it, that I would be miserable, that I should just bail on the race... I showed up with a Bib on on that Sunday.

And you know what? It was GLORIOUS.

My signature "running with my eyes closed" pose is still around.
And that's Vandy Montana running next to me!

Vandy Montana flew in for the race and we ended up running most of the race together, catching up and having a good time. It helped to have someone there to keep me accountable on walk breaks. But, man, it was so fun. I forgot how much fun "jogging" a marathon in a beautiful setting is. 
I did get sick around mile 20 or so, and had to slow down more than I'd like the last few miles, until I threw up and felt better. But, to be fair, my legs were pretty tired at that point anyway, so, I'm not sure how much quicker I would have been without the upset stomach. 

I finished the race and was thrilled. I am finally a marathoner again. And for the first time in a LONG time instead of having the feeling of... "Ohhh... I should really run today," I now feel like... "Ohhh... I get to run today!" 

This smile was for realz.

Watch out world... here I come! Very slowly, these days, but, I'm still coming.  

If you are looking for an actual race report, I suggest one of the other race reports I've written for this race:

2013 Monkey: Spectating The KoB's Bad Ass Sub 2:50 Monkey Finish.
2012 Monkey: Spectating The KoB's Bad Ass Sub 3:00 Monkey Finish. (Also where I yelled GO MOTHER FUCKER With his mother standing right next to me, unbeknownst to me. Always a fun introduction).

Thanks to Trent and all the volunteers for putting on such a great race every year.


Gracie said...

Good for you! Come back kid! Now please pass the motivation :/

Vandy-Montana said...

Yep, it almost made me want to do another one. But the training thing is for the birds.

Carina said...

Yowzas, with vomit? That is not making me stoked for my undertrained marathon this weekend -- I did get up to 14 on a treadmill on Sunday though, so at least I've covered half of it...

Amy said...

Carina: It was the drink on the course: Sword. It was the first time I'd had it, and it was clear and I kept asking for water, but inevitably always got handed the sword. It did not sit well.