Pier Plunge 2004 -- 01/01/04

Pier Plunge 2004!

Yes, I did it again this year... splashed into Narragansett Bay at noon on January 1st.

Jill and I ran the Pier Plunge 5k race at eleven this morning. Now that was work! The race is held on the beach, so you're running on sand for the whole 3.1 miles.

This is only the second year for the 5k race and it is still a relatively small race. This is the 16th annual Pier Plunge into the bay and there were far more people there to run into the water than there had been to run along the beach.... and a crowd of hundreds more come to watch and cheer (and laugh). Jill was willing to get up "early" to go running (she'd gone to bed around 4:30 a.m.) but no way was she going to go swimming. The crowd of plungers included men, women and children of all ages -- including entire families going swimming together -- people in bikinis and people in costumes -- there were hula dancers, wearing grass skirts and performing pre-plunge dancing to Hawaiian music on a boom box, there was a group of penguins (wearing large bird beaks held on by elastic strings and tuxedo jacket type costumes and with various "cool" slogans on the back), etc. (Oh, and the "plunge" is not a dive from a pier, it is running across the beach to the water and then running through shallow water, running and running through frigid water, seemingly taking forever to even get past knee deep. The "Pier" part in the "Pier Plunge" name is because this takes place on Narragansett Town Beach which is located near the village of Narragansett Pier.)

Last night we had our typical wild and crazy New Year's Eve celebration -- family members over for dinner and a movie. Janet (Nancy's sister) and her husband and their two teenage daughters and Nancy's mother plus Nancy and me and Jeremy and Gillian. Jill took off after dinner to go to various parties, but Jeremy has been sick for the past few days, a very bad cold.

Typical party fare (at least at our house) -- various chips and crackers and cheese and a collection of veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber slices, snow peas, green beans) and dips (french onion dip and salsa) plus some boneless buffalo chicken pieces (yes, served with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks). Dinner was lasagna (with ground turkey and spinach) and salad and bread. Dessert (baked by Nancy) was applesauce cake and an almond-raspberry coffee cake. The post-prandial movie was Pirates of the Carribean (fairly entertaining, Johnny Depp's performance carries the movie, excellent CGI special effects) followed by a Simpson's episode on DVD (to fill the time until 11:30) and then Jay Leno. Brought out a platter of shrimp with cocktail sauce to ward off any potential starvation while waiting for midnight. Champagne (oh, okay, sparkling wine) for a midnight New Year's toast as the ball drops in Times Square.

Guests gone home by 12:30. I went to bed a little before two and then had trouble sleeping -- too much food. I've been sleepy all afternoon, tired from lack of sleep and from the run.

Happy New Year!

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