race report: riverside pain physicians tour de pain, day 2 {8.2.2014}

Read about Day 1 of Tour De Pain and the 4 Mile Beach Run here.

Of course, with my awful sleeping, I was awake before the alarm rang, way too early, on Saturday morning. The course for the 5K road race was much closer than last night’s race, so we didn’t have to really rush, but with a 7:00 AM start time, we needed to be out the door by 5:30 or so.

I’m not going to lie: my stomach was unsettled. Not just because of the 5K, but because of the 5K, and having to make it home for a birthday party, then regroup and take little man back to his grandparents’ for the night and then make it downtown for the one mile sprint, all under the threat of thunder storms. It was a lot for me to process, which was probably for the best in a way, because I wasn’t focused on the actual running part of things.

And breathe.

All that to say I had to use the port-a-potty twice – there weren’t that many and the line was pretty long the second time. In fact, I was actually afraid I would miss the start of the race.

Fortunately, I was able to get in and out and line up with minutes to spare. Eeek.

However, I do think that burst of adrenaline and fear helped my running overall, so I can’t complain. The course was a flat, shaded loop down a main road and then through some residential streets. I felt pretty comfortable the whole time, but stopped once for a quick sip of water because I was getting thirsty. What made my day was the family who had set up a table in their driveway right after the official water stop. The kids were handing out what looked like pink lemonade. I didn’t take any, because I didn’t know what it would do my tummy, but I waved and thanked them for being out to cheer us on. It was really cute.

After the race, we didn’t hang out long.

We had water and I snagged a banana for each of us to have for later.  Then we grabbed bagels and coffee (iced for me) from Dunkin Donuts on our way home to shower, change and get ready for little man’s friend’s birthday party.

It was nice to get some downtime with friends and let the kids play arcade games and chow down on pizza. I was definitely sorry to have to pack it up and head out.

At home, we changed into running clothes, packed our race bags (again) and loaded up the car to bring little man back to his grandparents’ for the night. We chilled out there for a little while, before leaving for downtown and the One Mile Sizzler. I was very anxious about parking and the weather.

And, let’s be honest, I was losing my mind over having to sprint one mile.

I am not a sprinter. From day one, I have had distance in my sights, not speed in shorter bursts. I can’t breathe correctly on a good day, let alone for something like this. The intimidation had a firm hold on me.

The closer we got to downtown, the worse things got. The clouds were rolling in fast, thunder was rumbling, and there were definite stabs of lightning forking through the threatening skies. We were about 90 minutes early, and it looked like the race organizers were setting up for a go ahead.

We parked and walked around a bit. The rain was sporadic, but frequent peeks at the doppler seemed to show that the storm would be passing us by. The big benefit of the rain and clouds was that the weather had cooled significantly. It was still humid, don’t get me wrong, but not having the late afternoon sun beating down on us would be a a blessing.

As we waited for our friends, we tailgated a little.

We kept a wary eye on the weather.


As we met up with our group, we moved our way down to the staging area. The Sizzler would be a double loop around one city block, next to the Jacksonville Landing.

It was organized in four waves: Master’s Men at 4:30, Open Men at 4:45, Master’s Women at 5:00 and Open Women at 5:15. The waiting was awful. For some reason, I had it in my head that I wasn’t going to finish. That they were going to run out of medals before I crossed the finish line. That there wouldn’t be any finish line by the time I got done. I was a hot mess, and really struggled to get a grip. I blame exhaustion.

To distract myself, we chatted and took lots and lots of pictures. The threatening sky made for a powerful backdrop, and our city is quite beautiful, so it only made sense to take advantage of it.

And yes. For the first time in my running history, I was wearing shorts. I bought them for Crocodile Crossing a few weeks ago and was surprised by how comfortable they were, and how not hideous they appeared on me. While I usually run in skirts, and they are usually satisfactory, I somehow felt I needed a change. On race day. While running a distance that intimidated me. Go big or go home, right?

Then, it was time for Mr PugRunner and our friend’s dad to line up. Poor Mr PugRunner learned that he is, indeed, at the ripe old age of 40, considered a “Master,” so he got to go out in the first wave.  It was absolutely jaw-dropping to watch those athletes sprint. I wanted to throw up when I saw the first finisher come in at 5:08. That’s not even human. We cheered like crazy as our guys crossed the finish line (Mr PugRunner kicked butt!), and then we cheered two more times for the Open Men and Master’s Women.

Finally, the Open Women were up. There was a sense of urgency because even darker storm clouds were rolling in and of course, they wanted everyone done in case of lightning.Once again, our time would be from the gun, so I lined up as close to the front as I dared. My stomach was in my shoes. I’m pretty sure I was shaking. I needed to run.

When the gun sounded, I sprang out. I know it was way too hard and way too fast, but that was the point: run as fast as you can and vomit later. In my head, I had it worked out. Eight lengths of street and then straight through the finish. I wish I could say I ran the whole thing. I can definitely say I ran most of it. It was hard and it hurt and the crowd on the streets was so close and so loud, even over the music in my earbuds. My legs were in it, but my lungs and throat weren’t (because they never really get on board for these moments), but I did what I could, and somehow, I managed to finish at 10:09.

This picture pretty well sums it up.

Obviously, I had no idea there was a camera anywhere near me.

I didn’t see Mr PugRunner, and the crowd was so tight, with people in line for pizza and beer and cookies. I had to get away, and found a tiny patch of curb behind one of the race company’s trucks, so I could just take a few minutes to sit and decompress. I was fine, just overwhelmed and so very happy to be done.

When I rejoined the group, we were ready to celebrate! We got our complimentary beer, but I couldn’t stomach the pizza at that moment, so I got a cookie instead.

We pulled up a piece of curb and waited for the awards presentation. Our friend T won third in her age group! Rockstar!

At this point, I think we were all just flat-out exhausted. Twenty-four hours of being mentally “on” for racing can do that a person. We said our goodbyes and Mr PugRunner and I decided to get dinner at one of the Landing restaurants. Zoning at the bar was just what we needed.

All in all, it was quite the experience. I actually really liked it (except for the lead up to the Intimidating Mile). I don’t think it’s a race series I would feel compelled to do every year, because it’s hard and brutally hot and really leaves you drained, but I also wouldn’t mind doing it again, either.

Everything was well organized. The volunteers were wonderful. There were plenty of water stops and water at the finish line (although it would have been nice if they had more water on ice). I didn’t notice if there was food after the 4 Mile Beach Run, but there were  Dunkin Donuts, munchkins, bagels and bananas after the 5K Road Race and munchkins, pizza, cookies and beer after the 1 Mile Sizzler. The only thing I really didn’t love was the gun-timing, but I did my best to compensate for those lost seconds and it wasn’t a huge deal.

Summer racing in Florida is serious business, and Tour De Pain was no exception. In spite of it all, it felt good to take part and push myself in a different way. I don’t know if major “series” racing is for me, but I enjoyed the challenge and overcoming the hurdles that are uncomfortable for me.

Is there a distance that particularly intimidates you?

How do you distract yourself during the wait for a race to start?

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21 Responses to race report: riverside pain physicians tour de pain, day 2 {8.2.2014}

  1. I’m always on my phone before the start of a race, tweeting, instagraming and searching for fellow runners to hook up with after the race. I actually have to be careful because I’ve lost my battery prematurely at a few half marathons because of this.
    Congrats on the finish. I’d love to do this race one year. I hear it’s amazing.
    I love all your pictures. The stormy weather makes a couple of those shots look absolutely gorgeous! Nice photography skills!
    Haley @ Running with Diapers recently posted…Hub Family Organizer App ReviewMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I am so worried about my battery life for the marathon in January! I am almost debating carrying an external battery pack or getting one of those charging cases. Eek.

      Despite all the challenges, it was a lot of fun.

      At the end of the day, taking pictures is one of the things I love most, so I’m glad I get to combine it with my running. 🙂

  2. ooh I am not a sprinter either that would have killed me. I am doing my first Ragnar in a few weeks and it’s going to be tough to run 3 times in 36 hours with no sleep. Ooh that sounded scary when I wrote it. Nice to discover your blog today :0
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Spreading the SwirlGear love-Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      That sprint was rough rough rough! Ugh! I would have run the beach portion eight times over in exchange for that one mile.

      I cannot WAIT to read about your Ragnar experience. Some of my friends and I are looking to form a team in 2016, so I am excited to read recaps and reports from people’s experiences this year! Glad to have you! Adding you to my reader!

  3. This looks so fun! Awesome job on getting it done AND your sprint!!! Woohoo! I wish they had something like this near me. I’ll have to do some research!
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…ALS Ice Bucket ChallengeMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It’s a great concept, in my opinion! We also have an “extreme” version in the winter months: a 5K, 10K and half marathon. That’s a little more than I am willing to push for, though.

  4. Angie says:

    The 5K sounds nice! That mile sprint…I don’t know. I have pushed myself for a mile, but it would be intimidating to start with people who run a mile in 5 minutes while battling a Jacksonville summer afternoon. It does sound like a fun challenge though. I may look into next summer.
    Angie recently posted…The New House!My Profile

  5. The 5k actually intimidates me because I feel like you ave to be fast for a long (short distance) time. It’s like constant speed work. Congrats on finishing it and rocking it! !
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Getting Back Into ShapeMy Profile

  6. Aye, Yi, Yi! That is quite a day, I would be stressed too! I am glad the 5k went so well, but overall to me, running the mile is a douzy! I literally have no idea in the world how to run it. THe only time I ever have I literally jumped into the Mickler Mile in STA while visiting home last year in the middle of the run. It sounds like you handled it really well!

    Great job on tackling something so intimidating as a three prong race in Florida in the Summer! Can’t say I’ve ever had the courage to race in the Summer 🙂

  7. megan says:

    your pics of the one miler came out so well – the storm definitely looked like it was brewing in the air. congrats on finishing 10minutes for a mile would be super fast for me!!
    megan recently posted…Thinking Out Loud Thursdays 2 {Link Up}My Profile

  8. I HATE the mile. Truly, utterly hate it. I have yet to run a “strong mile” race, yet I keep getting drawn into them.

    The last time, I was with a team that my company had established. The gun started & I went out with everyone. Only there were people who started out sprinting & faded fast. And there were people who can run the mile at a subhuman pace. I was hoping for 7:00:00 — but they had someone reading a stopwatch at the quarter mile mark, and he read 52-seconds when I crossed him.

    Needless to say, I did not maintain that pace. I ended up finishing at 9:12, WAY slower than I know I’m capable of, but I ran a pretty decent 400m dash, I guess.
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted…Where random wins the dayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Isn’t it the worst??? Ugh. Some people are truly such great, fast sprinters. It’s so amazing to watch them in action. I can run that hard for about 200m but that doesn’t really get me the whole way there LOL!

  9. Jess says:

    The mile was definitely intimidating. I was afraid of going out way too fast and killing myself. I like to go sprint a mile when I’m feeling crappy, so I knew I could do it, but it was still a little “how much am I going to screw that up?”

  10. jan says:

    Congrats on finishing all three races!! I’m glad you were able to get that mile in despite the weather. We were at a race that was delayed an hour due to weather…talk about nerves! Your mile time is great, especially given that it was on the heels of 2 other races!
    jan recently posted…HyVee FitKids Triathlon {Quad Cities}My Profile

  11. Pingback: race report: tour de pain – 5k road race & 1 mile sizzler {8.8.2015} | Runs With Pugs

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