Mission accomplished: I finished my first 5k. This is me at about 15 minutes before the start wearing my official race shirt. Notice the blue sky above. The race was scheduled to coincide with sunset. We'd start in the day and end at night. About 5 minutes after the gun went off, it started pouring cold rain. Oh well, too late to back out. I finished completely soaking wet, but very hot, in total darkness.
I knew I couldn't run the whole thing, so my strategy was to run for 2 minutes and walk for 2 minutes. This worked very well and I finished in 46:15. That's an average of 14:48 per mile; a huge improvement over the 16 minute miles I've been jogging. My next goal is to get under 45 minutes and hopefully eliminate the walking.
As a bonus incentive to sign up for another race, I won 3rd place for my division, Women 35-39. What? Me? A ribbon? Shut up!
Guess I was lucky that only 2 other women were in my division!