Race: Downtown Doubler 15K/30K
Place: New Albany, Indiana
Date: September 8, 2019
I can’t miss a race when it happens on my training grounds, right? RIGHT?! Also, it totally coincided with my marathon training and worked as my weekend long run. Also, as I have never ran a 30K, it would be an automatic PR for me too. Can’t argue with any of that!
Welcome to my past Sunday morning!
Treating this as I have all my long runs leading into my marathon thus far, I went to get my “magic sushi,” at Dragon King’s Daughter the night before, because it’s been working as night-before-a-long-run fuel. And why mess with something when it’s working, right? Also, I got up as if it were a usual long run morning, giving myself plenty of time to hydrate, eat a small bowl of overnight oats, get dressed, slather on sunscreen, fuel with my Maurten 320 Drink Mix, and get to the start of the actual run. I had 40 oz of water (and 2 Nuun tablets) in my Nathan Hydration vest, and was carrying a Maurten 100 Gel for when I felt I might need it. Other than that, I was wearing the new Newton Distance 8 and all the pink I could find in honor of my mom! I had actually slept really well after going to bed early the night before, so I felt good. Not even nervous. Not even with the change from “using this as a training run” to having to throw down about 7/9 of the race at Marathon Pace. THAT…I was NOT excited about.
But I had a plan. Use the first 2 miles as a warm-up. Then hit it at my marathon pace for the next 10-14 miles (whatever my legs were feeling that day). Use the last 2.6 as a cool down, perhaps kicking it back in for that 0.6 at the end (although I usually don’t have a kick).
Did that happen? Ehhhhhh…
As I stated previously, I arrived to the start of the race about 30 minutes prior to the actual start. I met up with my friends Laura and Michael, and we decided to make use of the flushing toilets while there weren’t any lines. They went to warm up, and I met up with Christine and the rest of the MRTT/SRTT group that was in attendance at the race. A group pictures was taken and we all started to make our way to the start line to line up.
I was originally going to run this with Christine, but with my marathon paces now having to be a thing, it wasn’t happening. Dang it. We did meander to the start line together though, her laying out her plan to execute in the race. Our other running partner, Ron, was doing the 15K and was going to start with us.
We were given the basics on the course. Turn around at the cone. And 15K come in to the finish on the right side…30K, stay to the left and make the turn to head back out. It was a 2 loop course for those of us doing the 30K. And in my head, I was thinking how smart the 15K people were. HA! After that…the horn sounded and we were off!
I took off and ended up running with Ron down the stretch leading into the first mile. I could tell we were going fast. Faster than a warm up would have been. And when we hit the first mile he shouted that we were at 7:28. He said he was going to race, I told him to go on, but opted to just run the first 10-14 miles fast and back off and cruise in at the end instead of my initial plan. I mean…I just did a 7:28…might as well keep with the momentum. I remained about what I figured was about 1/10 of a mile behind him on pace through the first 4 miles. At the turn around point, he grabbed water and I skimmed past him. He caught up with me and as we were coming into the 7th mile, he said, “At this pace…slow it down at Mile 10.” I promised I would. We headed up the hill, and after crossing the flood wall, I went down the hill and remained just slightly ahead of him at this point. I took the rest of my Maurten at Mile 8 and headed to the turn-around point to make the loop and head back out.
At Mile 10, I still felt good, but I did ease off the accelerator. Slightly. Ron was right…I didn’t want to work up a recipe for injury, but my miles were still really fast. Apparently he said told Cathy that I was going too fast. But, as promised, I did ease back a little. With the looped route, I did get to see my friends at different points on the course, and cheer in the leaders as they passed me as I was heading into the turnaround point. It was fun. And, as I said, I’ve run the Greenway so much, my legs knew when the hills hit and when the wooden bridges would slow me down…all the things. When I did turn around at Mile 14, I did ease it back even more. I knew that Daniel didn’t want me racing the whole thing, because that would mean a lot more recovery time. So, I went to my base pace speed and started to make my way back to the finish line.
Here is where I want to give a HUGE shout-out…
…to the Urban Bourbon people at the water stop were AWESOME. They called everyone out by name and cheered them on. And that was AMAZING. I loved it. And since we 30K peeps saw them 4 times, it was nice to always have someone cheering you on on what would have been a lonely course otherwise.
At Mile 16, I went ahead and took my Maurten 100 Gel to give me a little push to the finish line. I had to run up the last of the hills heading over the flood wall again, and my legs fought it a little bit here. But I just eased up it and rode the downhill on the other end. I knew I was heading into my last 1.6 miles…and technically, my watch was a bit behind where the mile markers were placed. I was running with my watch covered, so I wasn’t sure how much it was off…I just knew it was. Whatever. It happens.
I knew the finish line was close though, so for that last half mile, I found myself picking the pace back up. I felt amazing, mind you. I fueled properly…I hydrated every mile…I felt like I could have kept going. And as I headed into the finish line, I had friends there holding out hands for some high fives. I gladly gave them. And I was shouted out at the finish line, and they even said I looked like I could have kept going. It was a good morning for me and I was thankful to have the strength, endurance, and speed to carry me through the miles.
The course was 18.52 miles according to my watch…so I did a cool down, easy jog, to get me to the 18.6 miles total. I received my medal and then had to wait around for official results to post to see if I placed at all in my age division. It took a little bit of time, but that was okay…because I got to cheer in quite a few of my friends while we waited.
Turns out that I came in 2nd in my Age Group. I was surprised (my age division is pretty competitive). That was a nice bonus for sure. After cheering in more people, Cathy, Ron, Shawn and I decided we would head up to Heine Bros. for coffee. So, up the stairs (that sucked, BTW) we went to head over the tracks. And I heard the train. And then the train stopped. And then the train didn’t move for 30 minutes. I sat on the stairs and just waited it out, but some people climbed up onto the cars (and some ducked under the train) to get to their cars. It wasn’t worth the risk of death, honestly. I called it the “Darwin” test and really got pissed when a guy with a toddler did it.
The train did clear out and we all met up for coffee and some chatting. Then I went home to shower, grocery shop, shop for last minute trip stuff, and await my schedule from my coach for the following week. I had a good race.
My official results of the Downtown Doubler 30K are that I finished in 2:26:39…which is now my standing 30K PR. This world needs more 30K races, for real. I did look at my 15K split and I was only 3 seconds behind my 15K PR (set at The Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY back in 2013)…so that’s a win, right? I was 28/108 finishers overall. I was 9/51 female finishers. And I was 2/11 in my age division. I had a great time at this race. There was so much support from the other runners, the water stops, the finish line, and the turn-around point. This was definitely a confidence boost I needed in my training. I will take those because they have been few and far between.