Southie Sunday

Ok. Ok. I’ll stop with the alliterative titles…

I woke up late and gulped down half a cup of tea, grabbed a cola and an energy bar for the ride, and headed down to South Boston for the 26th annual POW-MIA Race for Freedom.  I happened to make some good guesses driving and ended up right next to the race area. Luckily too, as there wasn’t much time after registering before the start. Had a sip of cola and scarfed down the bar while chatting for a moment with a fellow who asked about the VFFs. He was interested in the transition and benefits and how I was getting along with them and, as we know, I couldn’t say enough about how much I enjoy them…we wished each other luck and shortly after they called us up to the line. Once lined up, a woman asked if I was running barefooted as I now had my VFFs in my hands because I had decided I’d run my usual 2 or so miles bare, switching to the VFFs as needed, to which I replied “yep… for a little while at least as I’m still getting the soles used to running bare…” and she seemed excited to hear about that also stating that she had “been hearing more and more about going bare” which I thought was cool…hopefully she and the earlier fellow I spoke with will give it a shot.
I lined up a little too far back and spent the first mile or so picking my way through the crowd…feeling fine despite my warm-up being a quickie jaunt around the race start area (a huge parking lot at an expo center..). The course was nice, running along the bay mostly…planes coming in low as they lined up for Logan making for a good distraction as it was quite humid and I was soon feeling it. At around the 2 mile mark I decided it was time to put the VFFs on, which sounded good to me as I felt like I could use a rest, so I pulled over and slapped them on. The next couple miles were uneventful…watching the planes and people…I tried to slow things down a bit as I took off a little too fast again in the beginning and was feeling pretty low…a water stop helped and soon enough we looped around and were heading back towards the starting area. Come mile 3.5 or so and I’m really feeling it…so I walked a couple spots to regain some strength and soon felt well enough to continue running, or so I thought anyway, because shortly after starting up again I caught a really nice cramp the likes of which I’d never felt before and it worried me for a second because when I reached down to stick a couple fingers into it, as that seemed like the thing to do, it almost felt as if I had herniated something since it was really quite painful for a second, forcing me to stop again and try to stretch and breathe it out. That seemed to work and soon enough I had started running again and before I knew it I was in the home stretch.
A couple cups of water and a banana later and I felt much better. I didn’t stay for the awards or raffles, but I spent a moment or two cheering on the racers that were still coming in.
I will post my official time when they do…my Garmin shows 4.8 miles in 40:46, so something is amiss there..will try to figure that out… thanks for reading!

26th Annual POW-MIA Race for Freedom

EDIT: The official time was 45:41 (9:09 pace) A bit slower than last race although that was a 5K… Not sure why there is a >5 min discrepancy between my watch and theirs, I know I stopped for about 30 seconds when I put the VFFs on…oh well…

I forgot to mention the POW-MIA’s…can you imagine sending your child off and having someone say “Um..yeah…we don’t know where or in what condition your child is in.” When I registered, they asked me if I’d like to “run for a soldier who is MIA” so they gave me a small red ribbon to wear with a soldiers name on it. I got “Mullen”. That’s it.. “Mullen”. Who is this person? Where and how are they? Are they at all? They had many red ribbons in that bag and I’m sure that was a fraction of the real number of folks either MIA or in a POW situation. Wow. I found another ribbon on the course that must have detached from its host, so I picked it up figuring the person is already lost and I didn’t want it to happen again… It said “Bott”. I put Bott back into the bag when I got back to the start area… back in with all the others. Mullen is now a part of my bib collection and I won’t soon forget about him or her. Nauseating. Thanks again all.

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~ by Barefoot Bonehead on June 28, 2009.

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