This past weekend I ran the three race series in Jacksonville called the Tour de Pain!
The first race was a 4 mile beach run at 7pm on Friday night. It was an out and back style run on Jacksonville Beach just south of the pier. The two miles down was not that bad, but the two miles back wasn’t pleasant for two reasons. First, the whole time I could see the pier in the distance and for the first mile back I thought I would NEVER make it! Second, the sand had not only been trampled on by over 600 people on the way down, but more than half had already run in front of me on their way back. The sand was a bit tougher to run in. The second half was definitely slower than the first half. I finished this race in 45:38 at an 11:25 minute pace – although my NikePlus watch clocked the course a little longer than 4 miles and my pace was a little closer to 11 minutes.
After a pasta dinner to refuel, compression sleeves for recovery and a good night of sleep I was ready for the next race! Our hotel was on the river in downtown Jacksonville and we could see the stadium lights for the Jaguars game from our window – they got trampled by the Dolphins 27 to 3.
The second race was a 5K road race at 7am on Saturday morning. It was a early enough to miss the real heat of the morning and the course was through a quiet neighborhood. I wasn’t going to push too hard knowing that there was one more race to go! David stayed at the hotel and slept in. He had a terrible trip home from Houston on Thursday night/Friday morning that resulted in less than less than two hours of sleep before he joined me on this journey to Jacksonville. So when he kindly asked to sleep in, I obliged! I finished in 33:10 (only a minute over my current PR).
We spent a little time resting at the hotel, got ready for the day and explored Jacksonville a little bit. My only complaint was the length of time between race 2 and 3. The last race wasn’t until 4pm, but I was ready to run and get home by about noon or 1pm.
The third and final race was a one mile sizzler at 4 pm on Saturday afternoon. Sizzler… they weren’t kidding! Not only did I run my fastest mile ever, but the temperature was hot and the humidity was outrageous! Before my wave (I was in the last of four waves) we got to watch amazing athletes complete the mile in as little as 4:30! Amazing athletes! I finished the mile in 9:21. David told me if I was over a ten minute mile that I was driving home – motivation!!! This was the first race that I ran in a sports bra and running shorts because it was just that hot!
It was a great experience and I would do it again because it tested my limits and pushed my body! I was impressed with how my summer training (even with its inconsistencies) carried me through! I was so thankful that David was able to come with me. While I could have gone by myself, it was so nice to have his support and encouragement. He helped my take my shoes off my tired feet, had a bottle of water ready for me, and reminded me to stretch!