The 5K was a success. I managed to run it in 29:10, which - given that I usually jog on a treadmill at a pace of ~11 minutes/mile - I'm proud of. From the moment the gun went off, I tried to push myself. I identified people who seemed to be holding steady and stayed near them. Every few minutes I'd pick someone who was just a bit faster and follow them.
The course was fairly flat, and most of the inclines were downhill. It was kind of hot for mid-October, though. By the middle of the race, the sun was blazing down and temperatures were ramping into the 70s. I'd much prefer running in cool, cloudy, 40-60 degree weather.
By the last 0.2-0.3 miles, I was pretty worn out and had that worrying "It's possible that I could throw up any second" feeling... But I focused on breathing and tried to maintain my speed. As soon as I saw the finish line, I broke into a sprint. I like sprinting at the end. It makes me feel like I've truly given the race my all.
My immediate thought upon finishing was, Head towards the bathroom in case breakfast comes back up. Puking four feet from the finish line in front of dozens of people seemed like a non-option. But my queasy stomach settled quickly, and I walked over to the tents to check my time and grab a post-race banana.
I'm already planning the next 5K. There's a big one about a month from now that looks like a lot of fun. In preparation, I think I'll work on ramping up my base speed. I'm also going to do some casual speedwork once a week. I'd love to break 29 minutes in the next race.