Thank you for letting me take a little break from the blog to enjoy the weekend with my girls. I soaked up every moment I could with them and it was awesome. These girls are amazing and I’m so thankful to have all of them in my life.
Our adventures started Friday when I picked the beautiful Ashley up from the airport in Orlando. We did a walk-through of the wedding venue, had lunch with my mom, then headed to Track Shack to pick up our bibs for the OUC half.
We also stopped at Total Wine for some supplies for the weekend.
(p.s. the Sam Adams Merry Mischief is fabulous)
We met up with Mary, Ashley, and Kelly for dinner at Mellow Mushroom. Mellow balls, bruschetta, and pizza were quickly devoured.
Saturday morning Mary, Ashley, and I were up early for the OUC Half Marathon.
When we selected December 1st as the weekend for the bachelorette festivities, my sister noticed the OUC Half happened to be the same weekend. The OUC Half is a great local race that’s reasonably priced ($45 for early registration), falls on a Saturday, and only 15 minutes from my sister’s house (where we were planning to stay Friday night). Saturday was also Ashley’s 29th birthday (!!) and what better way is there to ring in birthday than running 13.1 miles?! It was a race that was meant to be.
Unfortunately my sister is currently recovering from an injury and had to sit the race out. We missed having her on the course with us.
In honor of the bachelorette weekend, the girls had an adorable “Runaway Bride” shirt made.
I also wore a “bride to be” tiara and veil. I think most people noticed the tiara and veil before they read the shirt. I had a lot of “run princess, run” while on the course.
Ashley and I had planned to run the race together with the mini goal of pacing her to a shiny new PR. Keep in mind, she had just the run the Philadelphia Marathon two weeks prior and wasn’t 100% sure it was going to happen. We both agreed that no matter what happened we would have fun and stick together through all 13.1 miles.
We said good-bye to Mary at the start line and headed to the corrals with the 10:00 mile group. Despite waiting in an extra-long porta potty line (and almost missing the official start) we were able to make it into the corrals without a problem and had a nice clean start.
I made the mistake of not turning my Garmin on until we were in the corrals and didn’t pick-up signal until about a quarter mile into the race. We were both so flustered at the start that neither of us had a chance to check the start clock when we went under. Basically we were running this race blind without a clear number of how far we had run or how long we had been running.
Our goal was to start off slow with 10:00+ min/mi, then gradually speed up from there. We were right on pace for the first few miles with a sub-10:00 minute pace, but Ashley’s legs started to cramp up and she needed to slow down.
I tried to take Ashley’s mind off of the race by talking her ear off. We talked about the wedding, I pointed out different landmarks around Orlando, we talked about the Philadelphia marathon, and we met a couple of readers (Hi Sarah and Becky!) along the way.
Ashley was amazing. She walked when she needed to, but made sure our walking breaks were never longer than 30 seconds at a time. She also kept a smile on her face. A new PR wasn’t in the cards for this race, but it’s somewhere out there in the future.
The race itself was great. There wasn’t a ton of crowd support, but the spectators that were out there were loud, lively, and had hilarious signs. If you know the area, the OUC Half is a very spectator friendly course, we saw the same set of spectators a good 4 or 5 times at different points on the course.
I also enjoyed the views. We ran by a total of 10 lakes and each one was beautiful, especially with the early morning sun reflecting in the water. The brick paths were gorgeous as well, but our legs weren’t as much of fans as our eyes were.
The 13.1 miles really flew by. Before I knew it, we were circling back to downtown and starting our final loop around Lake Eola to the finish line.
Ashley kept repeating “this is all I have left in my legs, I can’t go any faster.” I did the best I could to encourage her by making sure I didn’t say “we’re almost there” and instead broke the final half of a mile into parts. “Just two more rights and you’re at the finish.” “Do you see that stop light? We’re going to turn there and the finish line is right there.”
We made our final turn and could see the finish line in the distance. We also saw Mary on the right and gave a quick wave. Just as Mary was jogging out to run the last bit with us, Ashley takes off out of no where. She breaks out in a dead sprint to the finish. Ha! I guess the yearning of the race to be over outweighed how tired her legs were.
Ashley and I finished the OUC Half in a little more than 2:19 – not bad for a girl her just ran a full marathon two weeks prior. Way to go Ashley!!!
This race was just plain fun. I loved running with Ashley and I loved wearing the bridal get-up. I had a lot of “Don’t do it!” comments, but also a lot of congrats. It was a conversation starter that gave people a good giggle.
Obligatory post-race jumping photos.
After the race, we headed straight to my FAVORITE brunch spot in Orlando (Briar Patch) for some grub.
I ordered the Blue Heaven Wheat and Fiber Pancakes (best. pancakes. ever.) with a side of two scrambled eggs.
The girls surprised me with “Keep Calm and Say I Do” shirts (awesome motto) for our afternoon activities.
First, we celebrated Ashley’s birthday with mini cupcakes from Sweet!
Twenty-nine and lookin’ fine!
Then it was time for a little pampering.
A little afternoon pick me up
The girls booked a hotel in downtown Orlando for our big night out. 7 girls, 2 bathrooms, and can you believe we all managed to all glam it up in less than an hour and a half? Ow! Ow!
(p.s. My sister wins for matron of honor of the year for trading dresses with me when there was a minor hiccup with the dress I was planning on wearing. Seriously. Best. Sister. Ever.)
When my sister asked what the theme should be for the evening, I told her “sexy.” I wanted everyone to dress up, look good, and feel good.
Unfortunately that’s the closest photo I have of a group shot from the night. I wish I had another, these girls were HOT!
It was an evening full of jello shots, penis straws, complimentary champagne, and amazing friends.
I won’t share all of the evening’s secrets, but I will say that ordering a salad for dinner may not have been the smartest decision I’ve ever made and I truly have the best friends and family in the world.
So much fun. Even if I don’t remember all of it.
I’m going to do a separate post for the bridal shower. Trust me, it deserves it.