This weekend, I had some time off from running marathons, and to be honest, it felt kind of weird. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. My friend Jackie was coming to visit from Maryland, and we had an epic weekend planned – including, obviously, a race. You see, one of the few things I love more than running is convincing other people that they too should love running. While some people embrace it and some don’t, I figure this is just like what my dad told me every time I complained about having to take piano lessons : “You’ll thank me later.” For the record, he’s still waiting.
SO Jackie has lost a ton of weight (something amazing like 60 pounds) and had started running in the past few months. She has been working her way up to the 5k distance, and lo and behold, the annual St Pats “Get to the Green” 5k was being held on the weekend of her visit! I picked her up from the airport in Charleston and we headed to Columbia to pick up our race packets and enjoy an adult beverage.
AJ came over around 9:30 and we had great intentions of leaving for the race the next morning by 7 am so we could meet up with Kristen at the parking garage at 7:30. Except we left at 7:20. And by the time we got to the parking garage, there were no spots left, so I parked my truck in an illegal spot. Because Kristen is
bad at directions sometimes forgetful, she happened to have left her timing chip in the car and was back at the garage when we got there. We powerwalked to the start of the race and ended up at the very back of the pack. I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said “Couch to 5k graduation day” and it took every ounce of restraint I had not to run up to her and hug her and tell her that the Couch to 5k plan is how I started running marathons and that SHE TOO could live this glorious lifestyle. But AJ was with me and I’m still tryna play it cool, so I didn’t.
We were only at the start for about two minutes before the gun went off. We kind of slowly moved forward with the mass of runners, walkers, dogs, strollers, and children that were surrounding us. Jackie had never run outside before (THE HORROR) and the course had some hills, so we had planned on taking a few walk breaks as needed. She did really well and we walked shortly after mile 1, then saw my friend Elisabeth rocking bright green hair at the water station. Around this time, I began showering Jackie with my inspirational running quotes, which Kristen enjoys and other people at races seem to also. It turns out that Jackie did not appreciate my quotes because she
lacks compassion was getting really tired and apparently has the 5k version of my marathon hate. Lots of people were running in festive costumes, including some that were a little too festive and maybe could bringt their longer leprechaun shorts to the race for next year, if you catch my drift. Nonetheless, Kristen ran back at the end to meet us and me, Kristen, Jackie and AJ crossed the finish line of Jackie’s first 5k in something like 39 minutes.
After the race, we quickly showered and headed back to the festival, which started at 10 am. We didn’t want to miss any of the
drinking festivities, and we managed to catch the parade. The best part? The gay pride float, natch. It reminded me of being back in DC for Pride weekend. Except it was one float. And I was constantly worried about people throwing stuff at it. But other than that, same.
Noting that free koozies were being given away with the purchase of pretty much any size beer, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity early and grab some of the big koozies – the kind that go on 22 oz cans. What can go wrong when you start drinking deuce-deuces at 10 am? Nothing.
Deuce-deuces number 1-4 passed relatively uneventfully despite the fact that that’s the equivalent of about 8 beers. Somewhere around that time, I noticed people holding giant plastic mugs of green beer. And that was the beginning of the end. I grabbed AJ and Jackie and made them schlep all the way across the festival to Sharkey’s, where I got the last, yes, last plastic mug.
It would be too much to recount every event that happened after I got the green beer, but I’m pretty sure green beer has at least 40-50 times more alcohol in it than regular beer. That’s the only thing that explains it. So here’s the highlights:
- While standing under an overhang to try and get my albino skin out of the sun, I noticed a velvety green hat sitting on the table next to a bouncer checking IDs at one of the bars. “Sir, may I please wear this hat for St. Patrick’s Day?” Check. Jackie and AJ couldn’t believe it.
- I found some of the ADPi’s I used to advise and
belligerently forcedasked them to take a picture with me and Jackie because “OMG she’s our sister too!!” And Miley Cyrus thinks it’s hard to be a role model. HA!
- Shockingly, the velvet top hat started to get hot, so I decided to give it to someone who seemed worthy of wearing it. I picked a kid who, if memory serves, was wearing a long pink kilt, no shirt, and possibly had purple hair. “Excuse me, would you like to wear this hat for St. Patrick’s day? I think it would look good on you.” AJ and Jackie just shook their heads.
- Sometime after this point, the memories get fuzzy and the high-fiving began. That’s right, high-fiving. What’s that? You don’t like high-fiving? Well I don’t like you.People I high-fived included, but were not limited to: drunk people, sober people, police officers (two), men, women, and a sleeping baby’s foot. Yes, a baby’s foot. I am told the mother was not amused.
- I saw a man being arrested and I said “Sir, it will be ok! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” He winked at me.
- Kristen found me, picked me up, and carried me away. I didn’t know it was her, but I am told I was generally unconcerned that someone was carrying me. Then we took some epic pictures.
- I guess I continued to high-five more people, and I guess AJ and Jackie were no longer amused, because eventually we started walking back to the car and I started my “DON’T. TOUCH ME!” routine. Then they told me to strap myself into the back seat, and I didn’t, so I rolled off when they stopped at a light and somehow got a flesh wound on my knee.
- We got back to the house and AJ and I took a four hour nap. Then we all went to Mexican, in celebration of the true spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. My hang over kicked in about 2 hours later, at 10pm.
So Jackie ran her first 5k, I high-fived a baby’s foot, and AJ, um…for some reason still loves me. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all!