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Fall is a great time for runners who got started in the spring and summer to check out a local road race.
Don't be intimidated: If you have worked your way up to running, or even run/walking, for 3 miles, you can try a 5K. Treat it like any other 3-mile run, and if you feel like picking up the pace, don't do it at the start. Just start running as if you were on a normal run, and then during the second mile, focus on someone a bit ahead of you who looks like they are going about the same pace as you are, and start picking up the pace and see whether you can pass them. Once you pass person A, look ahead for someone else.
But, if you feel like you are running out of steam, slow down a bit, and walk if you need to. Also, use the water stop (there should be at least one in a 5K) as a break if you need it, or just run through it if you are feeling good and it is a cool day. You don't HAVE to drink any water during a 5K; you won't get that dehydrated.
If you try a 5K and decide that the road race scene isn't for you, that 's great, too. Just keep running, and enjoy yourself!