Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Starts Off With a Bang

Happy New Year! Deb and I both got the new year off to a good start by running the inaugural Wicked Frosty Four race in Salem this morning. Fortunately, we didn't get any precipitation to speak of the last few days, so the ground was pretty much ice-free.

Spent the rest of the day bumming around the house, watching hockey. At 1, the NHL held its so-called Winter Classic, an outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo that saw the Pittsburgh Penguins edge the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in a shootout. Being a big fan of pond hockey, I thoroughly enjoyed the game, even though there were plenty of delays to repair the ice and clear off snow. The league had six days to build the ice surface after the Bills season ended and even though the temperature cooperated, it was snowing pretty hard at times and there were divots in the ice that needed attention. Still, it was an exciting game with good goaltending, hitting and fast action, not to mention 73,000 screaming fans in attendance. The NHL had a similar game five years ago in Edmonton, and it was fun, but it was 19 below that day and the action wasn't quite as compelling as today's game. I'm sure there will be future Winter Classics rolled out. Most of all, it made me want to get out and play some shinny on a pond, but unfortunately we've had too much snow and not enough consistent cold weather for good pond ice.

For New Year's Eve, we took the girls to the First Night festivities in downtown Beverly, which run from 3 to 7 p.m. and include face painting, clowns, storytelling and other kids' activities. I was psyched to see soul belter Barrence Whitfield performing on Cabot Street in the cold. He lives in town and is an amazing singer. I used to see him play with his band the Savages all around the North Shore back in the late '80s/early '90s. He's playing some local clubs in the next little while, so I might have to go check him out.

Ah, and it's time for the New Year's resolutions. Last year, I resolved to improve my marathon PR, play my guitar more, and do more non-work-related writing. I did all of those things in '07 and would like to build on them this year. This year, I plan to run two marathons and would like to get my PR (currently at 3:46) down in the 3:30s. The guitar thing still stands; I'd like to play enough where I'm actually passable. It's a challenge to find the time. And I've written close to 40,000 words through NaNoWriMo. I want to finish that book and then work on another. And as always, I'd like to keep getting better as a dad and a husband. Plenty of things to strive for, and all of them are achievable.

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