December 23, 2007

New Year’s Eve Decisions

Oh, New Year’s Eve. It has the potential to be one of the greatest drinking nights of the year, but has so much pressure to fulfill that potential that it usually falls short. If you’re living in NYC, there is even more pressure due to what has become the typical way to celebrate: overpriced open bars.

(If you’re wondering what this has to do with fitness, the supposed topic of my blog, I promise the relevance will eventually become apparent)

The open bar is quite a conundrum because you have to order you tickets weeks in advance. You check out your favorite bars, check out websites and spam e-mails promising you “the biggest NYE blowout ever!”, talk to your friends, and yet no one is willing to make a decision. Because dropping $150 on a night of drinking, some would say, is irresponsible. Oh sure, we may have done that in a normal night (though we probably don’t remember the night), but it’s spread out over the course the night, and we certainly didn’t realize we were going to be spending that much before we started. And then there’s the pressure. If you are going to buy a $150 ticket to a bar, you better make damn sure that it’s a good bar where you will want to stay the rest of the night. NYE is not the time for bar-hopping as usual. In fact, you pretty much can’t do it because every place has the open bar with a huge cover (cash bars on NYE are very very rare). So – you pay without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. And chances are you will never get your money’s worth because the “open bar” actually means “open bar if you can push your way past all the other people we packed in here and violated the fire code but hey we’re making tons of money because no one can get to the bartender and actually order a drink.”

So this year, that’s obviously option #1. A bunch of my friends found a place that’s only $100 (only… ha) and invited me to come with them. Option #2, presented by my friend Kelly, is the “fit” option. The New York Road Runner’s club puts on the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run, a four mile race in Central Park that starts on the stroke of midnight. There is a costume parade, music, dancing and general revelry from 10-12, and then at midnight, fireworks go off to mark the beginning of the race. At mile 2, there is even a champagne stop instead of a water stop! (However, some past participants have remarked that they think it may be non-alcoholic champagne). So my idea was as follows: wear some kind of crazy costume. Avoid drinking before midnight (?! I know. Not a typical NYE, when the goal is usually to get as drunk as possible and not remember what happens at midnight). At midnight, take a shot (albeit of something not TOO alcoholic… maybe triple sec or something) and commence running. At each mile, take another shot (substituting champagne for a shot at mile 2). When the race finishes, stop at my apartment for a quick shower and change of clothes, and then head out to the bars. After midnight, the open bar is drastically reduced in price. Unfortunately, the number of cute guys who haven’t yet found a girl is also drastically reduced.

My biggest concern with this plan is the dangers of running while drunk. Although drinking and running are two of my favorite activities, I’ve never done them together. Paul over at Recovering Runner posted on Thursday about a new world record for the Beer Mile, which gave me hope. However, one mile is very different than four, and it also occurred to me that if someone is running a five minute mile:
A) They are in much better shape than I.
B) The alcohol has probably not had a chance to get into the bloodstream before they are done running.

Running four miles while drunk sounds like a good idea in theory, and I certainly wouldn’t be running it for time, but I also could see it spelling disaster. A cautionary tale to other runners: “this dumb girl tried to run four miles drunk and she ended up in the hospital.” This thread over at CoolRunning seems to indicate that other people have done it successfully, but I’m still a bit concerned.

At the same time, what a perfect start to my New Year! I will be posting later this week about 2008 goals and New Year’s resolutions, but for now I’ll just say that my goals have a lot to do with fitness. Starting the year running (literally) would be a great way to kick off 2008, and it could definitely make for a cool story.

Decisions, decisions…


3 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Decisions”

  1. Laura, I’m going to live vicariously through you. I’ve never spent a New Years Eve in New York but I can imagine it is incredibly exciting. Don’t drink too much. It becomes a habit. I will spend my New Years at home in Minnesota. I used to host New Years parties in Thailand and Anchorage and Denver and Saigon and Germany in years past but New Years in New York sounds wonderful. It has been years since I went out on New Years. Take care of yourself. I don’t want anything to happen to you….. Constance – someone who God has looked after for many years.

  2. Thanks for your kindness, Constance! I’m getting ready for the run right now and very much looking forward to it 🙂 Tomorrow I’ll post a full race report as well as some pictures. The places you’ve gone are so exciting – hope you have just as enjoyable a time in Minnesota. Happy New Year!!!

  3. Laura dear… Please don’t center your life on having a good time drinking – take it from someone who knows – who has drunk far too much vodka and brandy etc. You are a beautiful, young, slim woman – I can’t imagine any man (especially one of our hunky Minnesota outdoors men) not being attracted to someone as beautiful and intelligent as you are. Take care of yourself – Constance

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