My First 5K. At Midnight. On New Year's Eve.

January 1, 2013

Nothing like starting 2013 right with yet another stupid idea. And beer.

When the email announcing the <a href="">2nd Annual New Year's Eve Midnight 5K</a> showed up, the initial reaction from my Goddess Group was lukewarm at best (see my series <a href="" target="_blank">Triathlon Chronicles</a> for more information on the Goddesses). "This might be fun," was the first response. My reply was "Doubtful. But I can be talked into it. Maybe." Feel the enthusiasm there?

Thoughtful and considerate women that we are, we realized we needed to convince the husbands to join us. It was New Year's Eve, after all, and you should celebrate with your loving spouse if at all possible, right? It was clear that the hubbies were pretty content with the usual New Year's celebration of food, drink and falling asleep on the couch before midnight. Mine just rolled his eyes when I first suggested the idea of a 5K in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan at midnight on New Year's Eve. The other responses ranged from flat-out "Uh, no" to "Why would anyone want to do that?" Wait, that last one was my reaction. But the boys, they were a unanimous "no" on this.

Guys, do not let your women spend the day shopping together when you know they are trying to talk you into something. We have way too much time to strategize, and we really only needed about 2 minutes to come up with the It's-At-Bar-Louie-You-Can-Sit-And Drink-Beer-While-We-Run Plan. Bar Louie has a fabulous draft beer list - dangling the promise of microbrews got us a reluctant OK from the men.

You know where this is going, right? We started off with the casual you-could walk-it conversations, lightly applied every few days or so, which got all three male participants to agree that if the other guys were walking, they would too. We quickly signed them up before they could change their minds. Or before they figured out one of us had lied about their spouse's participation. Three men, three women, age range 50-57, varying fitness levels, 6 inches of snow, 28-degrees of coldness...sounds like a blast, doesn't it?

We got to Bar Louie at about 10:30 pm, which, for future reference, is about an hour too early for pre-race hanging out on the patio. Even with the propane heaters and 50+ people milling about, it was chilly. The costumes were great - tutus are the big running accessory this year, and the guys in tuxedo jackets and running tights were looking very sharp. The best part? Other than a little pre-race beer*? Walking through the restaurant, filled to capacity with folks in New Year's Eve finery - while wearing running gear. I'll put my fuschia Adidas up against the glitter stilettos any day.

We counted down to midnight and off we went. All you partying people in downtown A2? You are awesome. High fives from nicely-dressed people all along the route, people waving from restaurant and bar windows - and you smokers outside of Sava's? Your cheering section was fantastic - your secondhand smoke, not so much.

Oh, and to the girl whom I did not even run into really while rounding the corner and Main and Washington - I still can't hear out of my right ear. You have a future as Screaming Girl #2 in some future slasher movie.

Did I mention I've never run a 5K? I hate running (and yet, I do it anyway. Too many kinds of crazy, that.). My plan was to run/walk. I ended up only walking a few blocks - not sure if that was a testament to my stamina or simply needing to stay warm. My feet finally thawed out by Mile 2. And my beer was still cold and oh-so-good when I got back to Bar Louie, 39 minutes later (or so - no timing chip but they did have a finish clock). My companion and I were last in our group to arrive, even though a couple of the guys walked the route - which was puzzling until we realized that they took an "accidental" shortcut. My husband, who also had never run a 5K, finished in 34 minutes. Ran the whole thing, no shortcuts. Yeah, the eyeball-roller up there in paragraph three.

Here's to a few more dumb ideas in 2013! And beer.