I think most people go out on New Year's Eve, drink a lot, and wake up with a headache sometime in the afternoon on January 1.
Boring. Why not go swim over six miles mid-day, find somebody to cook you dinner, and then collapse before 10 pm so that you can run a 5k the next day?
Sounds like a plan to me. Which is why I entered myself and the about-to-age-up significant other in Potomac River Running's New Year's Day 5k 2012.
Well, that, and my official 5k PR as of 12/31/11 needed to go down. It was 29:10, yet my 10k PR is 54, I can do a 58 10k at the end of a (hot) Olympic-distance triathlon, and the last 5k of a half marathon I did in October was in the low 28s.
Yeah, so, um, that PR wasn't really indicative of what I could do. So when the race started, I went out. Fast. Note the heart rate graph.
Nothing like hitting 90% of your maximum heart rate 0.2 miles into a 3.1 mile race and not falling below that point the entire race. Well, maybe hitting 101% of your maximum heart rate, as noted above, is pretty cool.
(Yes, I know that a maximum heart rate calculated solely based on your age is not accurate. Let me feel badass anyway, OK?)
Now, while I didn't totally die, I did positive split (7:46-8:03-8:16 and then 7:44 pace for the end). However, there was a downhill in mile 1 and and uphill in mile 3. So I give that positive split a big whatever and embrace my new PR of 25:18.
Even though I'm a little irritated that it wasn't sub-25. Damnit.