My first post graduation run was also my first Parkrun, first time running without music (since week 3 as actually didn't start using podcasts until then when my watch died!), and first time running with a group of people.
Although it didn't really turn out quite like that. Everyone bunched up at the start. I picked a place in the middle, right behind a man pushing 2 children in a buggy. The beginning was strange. We set off, then whoooosh.......most of the group sped past me. And then I was on my own, more or less until the end. Apart from when I was lapped by some people (2 people smashed the record and did it in under 15 minutes!!). I found it difficult to set my pace at first. Then I settled in, but found the first half quite hard. Our course is 2.5 laps of the park. I felt slow and like hardly anyone was behind me. There was lots of kids in front doing so much better! So for the last km I dug deep and sprinted(ish).
I was flabbergasted!! I really thought I was over the 30 minutes. It had felt quite a stuggle, but now I see I was obviously pushing myself more than usual. Looking at the tables after I can see that most people do it in under 30 mins, although there are still quite a good portion over that, the longest taking 50 something minutes. I came 82nd out of 141 people and was the 12th female.
I'll be back next week. Great way to spend a Saturday morning. Hopefully I can match my time. But I'll be happy with anywhere around 30 minutes.