Well, I can tell you a couple of things you should definitely not do.
Like don't forget that you have asthma until you're thirty seconds into the race and it's too late to go back and get your inhaler.
Other than the lack of oxygen to my brain and the cough I had afterward that made it sound like I was a lung cancer patient, I had a great time at my first 5K! I've always been opposed to these kind of big group races on principle because I hated the thought of running in a group.
The only times I've ever run in group settings have been in school, and it was the worst. I'll admit, I am not a big fan of running in general, even though I love walking and hiking. Probably has something to do with that pesky asthma thing. So in school I would always come in close to the end and I resented the whole ordeal.
Then last year I made a new year's resolution to go running and it lasted for awhile. I found out that I don't mind running when I'm by myself and can go at my own pace while listening to music. Sometimes I even like it. But still I resisted the idea of a race because I don't like crowds and noise and people in general.
So when I got an email at work about the upcoming Springville Art City Days Family Fun Run 5K and found out that a bunch of my coworkers had been running it together for the past few years, I was hesitant. I guess I got positive peer pressured into it. I signed up, but I was still on the fence about whether or not I would actually go.
Even this morning as I arrived and saw everyone walking up to the starting line, I considered turning back. But I'm glad I didn't. It was a good experience. I didn't run the whole thing; I mostly walked. But I finished in a respectable time and it felt good to know I had done it.
Plus the best part was at the very beginning of the race when I realized that I didn't have to run with anyone at all. I saw a few of my coworkers at the starting line and a few more said hi along the way, but for the most part I ran all by myself, with just my iPhone's pop playlist for company.
The other cool part was seeing how many different people came to participate. There were people of all ages and sizes and ability levels. I definitely didn't feel out of place.
All in all, I had a great time. Thank goodness for peer pressure, huh?
After the race there was a raffle with lots of cool prizes. I didn't win anything. Maybe next year.
So many people. And I didn't have to run with any of them!