Sunday, June 27, 2010

Running With the King

Our family with "The King", Elvis!

Almost a month ago our family ran (for the 5th time) the Running With the King 5K. Since Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, several events are held in this area each year to commemorate his birth and death. Each year the Elvis Festival is held the first weekend in June.

The 5K route runs right past Elvis's birthplace, and the post-race refreshments include homemade peanut butter and banana sandwiches (supposedly one of Elvis's favorites). A prize is awarded for the best Elvis impersonator runner (yes, some people run a 5K race in June, in Mississippi, in full Elvis attire), and another Elvis impersonator always provides pre and post race entertainment. He also tirelessly poses for photos! This year the "Elvis" was an actual friend of ours. We took a lot of pictures with him.

I ran with my friend Dorothy, and I had a goal, again, of trying to run the race in less than 25 minutes. I would be happy with a race time of 24:59. Even though the race began at 7:30 AM, it was still very HOT, and very HUMID! We did our first mile a little too fast (right at 8:00), and then our second mile around 8:16.....we were slowing, and we even walked for 10-20 seconds after mile 2. I have never walked in a 5K race before, but Dorothy and I were both completely exhausted. Dorothy was suffering from side stitches, and I was pushing myself as hard as I could. We rarely talked during this race (another first for us....we usually gab the entire time....I bet we shared only two or three sentences).

The end of this race course includes a steep uphill followed by refreshing downhill. We picked up speed again at the end, but we did not meet my goal. Our finish time was 25:24. I absolutely ran as hard as I could, and after I crossed the finish line, I couldn't catch my breath! I stumbled to the side and went behind a tree, trying to inhale. Thankfully Jimmy found me and stayed with me until I was out of danger of having to call 911! He said it must be exercise-induced asthma. It has happened a couple of times before (always when I push myself too hard), and it is frightening. When I finally determined that I would survive, I decided that was the last time that I am going to push myself that hard. I am too old to be setting such high goals, and then risking injury and making myself so miserable trying to meet the goal. I am done!

The rest of the morning proved to be pleasant. We visited with all of our friends while waiting for the race results. Sweet Julie was the overall female winner, and we were so proud of her! I am always amazed by her speed. We were also proud of Olivia who won her division, and also of Clay who ran a great race too! Jimmy placed too....but I can't remember if he won 2nd or 3rd in his age group.

In the running world, when you turn 40, there is an additional award for the fastest runners aged 40 and over (called Masters Division), and for the fastest runners aged 50 and over (called Grand Masters Division). In the Running With the King 5K, for the first time since I turned 40, I won first place in the Masters Division! I felt old! Since Dorothy let me cross the finish line one second ahead of her, I won Masters, and she won first place in our age group. All of the winners were awarded Elvis Festival beach towels, and Julie also won a stadium chair.

After the race festivities, we joined the Mims Family for breakfast at Atlanta Bread Company.

All of the children outside the restaurant
notice Julie and Olivia--always crocheting!

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