1) Running with a group of 200 people is not like running with 100 or so folks at my twice-weekly coached runs. Especially with many of them are kids.
2) It is very difficult to anticipate which way another runner will move (if at all) when they hear you coming up from behind them.
3) Even on a closed race course, the sound of the police escort motorcycle right behind you will still unnerve you.
4) Running with earbuds in both ears is not necessarily a good plan for me.
5) It's hard to drink a cup of water without spillage - even when walking - so be prepared to wear some of it. It was definitely worth it anyway.
And confirmed a few things I already knew:
1) It's so much more fun to run with a friend.
2) I really need to hold off on the base layer of long sleeves until the high temp is in the 40s. I was a little too warm, especially since there was almost no shade on the course.
I'm so glad my husband and kids came along - I have some great photographs and had a great cheering squad! I'm posting just a couple of photos - because many of them are close-up with photos of other folks I don't know, and because I'm still a bit self-conscious about how I look in my running gear :)
|Attaching the timing chip to my shoe. I was geeking out just a little bit....|
|Approximately one mile in the course. Got to see my family again at the 1.5 mile mark - what a treat!|
I was really surprised to learn that the timing chip saved me 14 seconds on my time! The group was large enough that it took me 14 seconds to get across the starting line once the race began. I opted to start near the back, not knowing how my pace would compare to everyone else's. I quickly realized that I was a little too far back, pace-wise, but that's just a part of the learning curve, I suppose.
The most exciting thing - besides crossing the finish line - was realizing that I finished nearly 4 minutes faster than my end-of-training goal! It wasn't my best run - the music threw my pace off a bit, I think, and I got tired early on - but I still did well. It was also a relatively flat course compared to what I usually run, which probably worked in my favor. Nevertheless, it gives me a new goal to work towards!
For now, I'm looking forward to running with my running buddies again and sharing the lessons that I learned in my first 5K!