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Posted at 09:23 AM ET, 11/13/2012

A 5K that you don’t need to train for, but a sense of humor is required: 32 before 32

For Leilah Reese’s next dance party, can Nicki Minaj provide inspiration for an outfit? (© Danny Moloshok - Reuters)
As I sit here sipping black coffee with two packets of Sugar In The Raw, I’m reflecting on the past two weeks. I’ve completely lost my mojo, and I desperately want it back. With Hurricane Sandy hitting, having a sore throat and cough, working Election Day/Night, overcoming the sore throat and cough only to end up with a head cold and a horrific back spasm last Thursday that had me on the couch for a day, I’ve missed out on hitting the gym. There was one fun-filled event last Friday night that got me moving again. However, it wasn’t quite enough. This week that changes.

If you don’t recall my mention of using coupon sites to discover fitness options, let me remind you that they are amazing tools for finding alternative ways to move that body. Friday night’s event, hosted by LivingSocial (in partnership with d.light and Mercy Corps), was no different. Two of mis amigas (my friends en Espanol), Coral and Nilda, participated with me in what should be the only way to walk or run in D.C.: a 5K Dance Party. You’re probably wondering, “How does one walk or run and dance at the same time?” It’s not easy, but we did our best. We might have looked foolish, especially when I attempted a grande jete (ballet leap) and almost tripped up some “serious” runner, but it was well worth it.

Along the route, which went from RFK Stadium to DC Armory, there were stages and DJs spinning dance mixes, including the ever so popular “Gangnam Style” by Psy. We took full advantage and danced like no one was watching. Oh, and there was singing. Nilda serenaded Coral and I like she was on stage at karaoke. I would have sung too, but my lawyer told me not to perform for free without a written contract. Joking. Or am I?

Did I mention that the race took place at night which required us to wear glow sticks? No? Well it did. That added to the fun and excitement. Also, folks in D.C. tend to use any excuse to cut loose, and the getups of some of the other participants did not disappoint. Men wore neon tutus. Some ladies were wrapped in Christmas lights. You name it, I saw it. It was like being in a parade. The girls and I are already plotting on what we’ll wear if LivingSocial has the 5K Dance Party again. I’m thinking a pink wig a la Nicki Minaj.

At the end, we all poured into the D.C. Armory to boogie down some more and enjoy a free libation. Folks under 21 had soda, while us more mature racers enjoyed a beer. I had a Bud Light, don’t judge me. Unlike 5Ks that I’ve participated in in previous years, this one was done solely for the fun of it. I wasn’t trying to beat an old time, and I sure didn’t train for it. In the end, vigorously walking did its job of making my calf muscles burn.

Can’t wait to try more “oddball” exercises. Glow in the dark 5Ks, moonlight bike rides and maybe, one day, rock climbing are the kind of fitness alternatives I’m finding myself drawn to. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore, and with options like these it sure as heck hasn’t been.

Leilah Reese is a news aide at The Washington Post. For more updates on her fitness goals, follow her on Twitter and check here each Tuesday for a new blog post.

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By Leilah Reese  |  09:23 AM ET, 11/13/2012

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