Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daytona 5K

Yesterday morning, we arrived at Daytona International Speedway to run their annual 5K. It's held the morning of the 24 hour race. We parked in the lot, and took this tram to get to the infield.

Here's our family, wearing our "Weinrichs run this town" shirts from Dave and Jodie.

Mom and Dad Weinrich did the 2 mile walk, which started 5 minutes after the 5K.
Putting on our chips for timing.

There were about 2000 people involved, a large field for a local race.

We began on pit row, with a view of the grandstands.
Jonathan we so excited when we saw grandma and grandpa!
He and his friend Christian ran with Karen. They just had to run to the top of the track...

...but it's much harder coming down. They needed some help from mom.

Alexander finished in 26:30; Benjamin finished in 30:11, and Jonathan finished in 44:30! Great times for all of them. Grandma and Grandpa made it just a few seconds before an hour. After they walked through, the staff dismantled the finish line!

We all had a good time, especially the boys, who went crazy when they saw the Crispie Cream donuts at the end. I told Benjamin he could only have 2, but I was a few seconds too late. "Ooops," he said. Looking forward to next year's race.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Creative play???

Nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon??? Why not build a robot out of old boxes in the recycling bin, and then smash it to bits??? Boys will be boys, I guess.

Jonathan lost his second tooth on my birthday. I pulled it out. After a LOT of screaming, he calmed down and was all smiles. Yes, he asked me to pull it out. He just didn't realize what he was in for, I guess.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sleet in Florida

Here is the video Chris took on Saturday morning. Look carefully and you can see the sleet bouncing off of our roof. You can also hear the boys screaming in delight in the background.

The boys were so excited. Sleet is a big deal here in Florida.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Disney Marathon

The day finally arrived - January 10th - time for the Disney marathon. We booked a room at Port Orleans, which is only a half mile from the starting line. Disney provides transportation, but you must be on the bus by 4AM. Walking to the start sounded much better to us. The alarm went off at 4AM, we ate breakfast, and were out the door by 5. The temperature was somewhere around 26 degrees, hence all of the clothing. I'm wearing 4 shirts, two pairs of gloves, shorts under the pants, and a hat. We had planned to slowly shed the clothing as the race went on, but as you'll see, it never really did warm up.
Most people had to wait an hour or two at the starting line, but we only had to wait about 20 minutes. We wrapped ourselves in old flannel sheets, which we eventually discarded around mile 2.

This is how far back we were from the start line. It took us 13 minutes to get from our spot to the start. 24,000 runners were registered, and almost 17,000 finished.

Our first park was EPCOT, but it was still too dark to take any decent pictures. From there, we ran down a long highway toward Magic Kingdom. The EPCOT ball you see is actually a hot air balloon. I wonder if they were warm.
Next stop, Magic Kingdom! It was very exciting to run on to Main Street. Many, many spectators were there cheering us on. The runners are on the right, spectators on the left.
The whole time, it was just a mass of runners.
I snapped this picture as we were approaching the castle. He looks awfully happy, doesn't he? That's because we're only at about mile 8 at this point.
We asked a Disney Cast Member to take a picture of us in front of the castle. This marathon certainly reminded us how much we miss our Disney passes.
From Main Street, we wound through Tomorrowland toward the castle.
As we approached the castle tunnel, we were serenaded by these trumpeters. Disney sure knows how to do it right! Then we ran through the castle and out into Adventureland.
After a LONG run, we finally made it to Animal Kingdom. Here's me in front of the tree of life, looking a little more ragged. By now we're starting to feel it.

Chris posed in front of Everest.

Now begins the worst part of the race - from about mile 17-20, we were on a highway, with nothing much to see. The wind was howling, and I was feeling it. Chris kept pushing me to keep on going. At mile 20, we unexpectedly saw some spectators we knew, which picked me up and kept me going.
Finally, we made it to Hollywood Studios. This is where Chris was really struggling. There were characters all over the marathon route, but this is the only time we stopped to pose. It helps that there was no line.

Ah, the best part of the marathon - as we entered the Studios, they had CHOCOLATE!! Hershey's miniature, to be exact. And they let us grab the ones we wanted. Opening them in gloves was a bit of a challenge, but it was still too cold to take them off. I had 4 Special Darks, and was ready to go. Chris said this was the only time he was excited to see chocolate! We now have only 3 miles to go.

We ran through the backstage tour building. At least it provided some shelter from the wind.

We emerged from the tunnel at New York Avenue. Were we running the New York City marathon?? Were we delusional?? Almost there.

From the Studios, we ran through Disney's Boardwalk and the EPCOT countries. It is a mile and a half around the countries, probably the longest mile of our lives. But all of a sudden, we left EPCOT and the finish line was in sight, with a ton of cheering people! We crossed the line at 5:23:26. Yes, that's 5 1/2 HOURS. The winner made it in 2:22 minutes! Amazing. I was proud just to finish. Not many people can say they've run a marathon. I checked my scores, and saw that I am in the 50th percentile for my age bracket, which, at least for the next few days, is 35-39. Come Saturday, I'll graduate to the next one.

I have never been so cold as I was at the end of the race. We were wet, and it was about 40 degrees and windy. We got these great blankets to wrap around ourselves, but they kept trying to fly away. Finally a helpful worker showed us how to tie them so they would stay on. We grabbed our food, and walked as quickly as we could to the buses that take us back to the hotel.
Here is Chris, showing off his medal. We did it! We stayed together the whole race. I am definitely a slower runner than he is, but neither of us could have done it alone.
Was it fun? I don't know that fun is quite the word to describe running a marathon. Will we do it again someday? I don't know that, either. Maybe it's like childbirth, where you don't remember the pain after awhile. The hardest part of this whole thing was fitting in the time to train. It was quite an experience, however, and I'm glad that my first marathon was Disney. And now I can always say that I did a marathon the week I was about to turn 40.

"Snow" in Florida

When we woke up on Saturday morning, we saw a "wintry mix" coming down from the sky. It was mostly sleet, but there was just a tiny bit of accumulation - look at the edge of the flowerbed.
Look carefully and you can see some on the palm fronds...

and on our roof....
...and in the back yard on the log.
Our retention pond was frozen yet again.

Monday, January 4, 2010

High School Basketball

Chris was asked to do the play-by-play for a few of Seabreeze High's basketball games. They are playing Flagler-Palm Coast tomorrow night, and will be broadcast on the internet. Tune in here at 7PM to hear him!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Day by Jonathan

I gave Jonathan our camera on New Year's Day. Here is just a small sampling of the 50+ pictures he took. It's fun seeing our house from a different perspective.