Exit the monkey

It’s been a roller coaster year for my running. 8 PRs this year, including back-to-back 10 miler PRs (-10 minutes each time) and a PR by 55 minutes (3:39) at Flying Pig. Then came a rough showing (4:42) at the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon, followed by tendonitis and an SI joint injury. My physical therapy ended September 25th, so the Flying Monkey marathon came just 8 weeks + 3 days after physical therapy ended. I made it up to 50 miles for one week prior to tapering (40, 30 and 14 miles for the 21 days prior to Monkey).

We had a send-off for a co-worker (beer involved) on Friday, and then wine Saturday, so hydration wasn’t optimal.

On to the report:
It seemed to take forever to get to Mile 2. This was no trick by the Monkey RD; my Garmin 305 confirmed that I was only at mile 2. There’s nothing like wishing a MARATHON was over at mile 2. This feeling continued through mile 6. I managed to get a little benefit on the first couple downhills, but my joints paid a heavy price for the extra speed I gained. The downhills also caused so much friction that a large, heart shaped blister formed in the front arch area of my right foot. (The good news is, my forefoot actually went numb from the pain).

It was at this point that I resigned myself to slower marathon than I had hoped for that I started enjoying the scenery. The trees provided a nice autumn picture, the sun highlighting the trees at times. At each water stop I paused, mostly to rest.

By the second half, I couldn’t control my stride enough on the downhills to get much benefit from them, and had some pain reminiscent of SI joint pain at mile 18, and had to walk the downhill. …I had several miles in which I had to break stride and walk, principally miles 19-20, where the full elevation was scaled in two miles, mostly in 19. Amazingly, I had something in the tank left for the last two miles, and managed to get my second best marathon time (4:30:30) on minimal time to train after recovering froom injuries.

Due to the cool conditions, I held things together here better than my Hatfield-McCoy performance. I’m certain that a summer Harpeth Hills course would have been far more brutal than H-M. H-M has one huge hill and some relentless small hills. Flying Monkey has several relentless large hills:

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 4:30:30 10:21 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 4:30:16 10:21 pace
Distance (mi ) 26.10
Elevation Gain (ft) +3,850 / -3,849
Temperature (°F) 46.4°F avg. 51.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) S 6.0 avg. S 6.9 max.

Elevation Data

Elevation Change Total (ft)
Total Elevation 7,699
Elevation Gain 3,850
Elevation Loss 3,849
Net Elevation Change 1

Vertical Speed Average ( ft/min) Maximum (ft/min)
Ascent 14.2 288.1
Descent -14.2 -219.0

Grade Average (%) Maximum (%)
Overall Grade 0.0
Ascent Grade 5.7 22.5
Descent Grade -5.5 -23.3


1 9:16
2 8:16
3 8:24
4 9:10
5 9:02
6 9:11
7 8:47
8 10:07
9 9:20
10 9:49
11 10:09
12 9:54
13 10:39
14 9:42
15 11:26
16 10:02
17 11:04
18 9:56
19 15:01
20 12:36
21 10:15
22 13:33
23 11:32
24 12:48
25 10:10
26 10:09

3 responses to “Exit the monkey”

  1. Congratulations!! What an accomplishment, what a great day. I’m glad you listened to your body and modified your goal, at least you were able to enjoy the scenery (which from the website looked beautiful). Hope you are injury free!

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