The weather was perfect as we walked out of the airport and grabbed a cab to our hotel where Deb was waiting for us. Seeing how it was Valentine's Day, Deb had thought ahead and made early dinner reservations at Grille 401 which was a restaurant that wouldn't be all couples. She figured worst case scenario we would just cancel the reservation if we didn't want to eat that early. In the end we were all hungry and hadn't eaten since we left our respective airports so the 5:30 dinner reservation turned out to be perfect! Marilyn had told us to send her pictures so she could see what she was missing. We obliged and sent her a picture of us toasting to her.
The meal was wonderful and we were even treated to complimentary chocolate covered strawberries and champagne since it was Valentine's Day. After finishing dinner, we did some window shopping and people watching. Boy were there some interesting people in Fort Lauderdale. Once we made it back to our hotel we decided to have another drink at the hotel bar and make plans for Saturday.
One of my high school friends had agreed to take us to breakfast and to the expo to pick up our packets. We had a nice breakfast at O-B House and then made a quick trip to the expo to get our packets. Once we were dropped off at the hotel we decided to spend some time on the beach. It got a little chilly so we headed back upstairs to get ready for dinner. My friend was kind enough to suggest a lot of good restaurants in Fort Lauderdale so while we were still in our hotel room, I went online to see what would work best based on the suggestions we had. We decided on the Casablanca Café and ended up sharing a ride with another family who was going to the same area. In the short trip we found out that they were from Columbus, Ohio and they were there celebrating their triplets 13th birthdays. Upon arriving at the restaurant, we were told there would be a pretty significant wait so we headed into the bar to see if there were seats. As luck would have it, things cleared out pretty quickly and we were able to sit at the bar. We decided we would just order and eat at the bar at that point. The food just kept getting better! Steak and seafood seemed to be the theme of the weekend (for Deb and I at least as Nikki isn't a fan of seafood). With dinner complete we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the 1/2 marathon on Sunday which started at the crazy hour of 6 AM!
My alarm went off around 4:15 AM and I didn't feel rested at all. For some unknown reason, I kept waking up Saturday night. I don't know if I thought I was going to oversleep or what but it was quite annoying. After hitting snooze I few times I got dressed and then had my pre-race breakfast. We were out the door in plenty of time to walk the 1/2 mile to the finish line to catch the shuttle to take us to the starting line as this was a point to point race.
Nikki headed off to find a restroom and Deb and I stepped into the starting corral. I was a bit chilly so I went ahead and texted my friend requesting a t-shirt at the finish line in case I were to get chilled after I finished. With minimal fanfare we were off. My plan was to just run comfortably and hopefully finish under 2 hours as I am pretty comfortable running at that pace. I didn't really look at my watch much at all for the entire race. I did come across "Dr. Dribble" who was dribbling two basketballs while running. I don't think I have the patience or coordination to do such a thing! The weather was really idea for the run and I was glad we had started at 6 AM. Towards the end of the race we were running by the water which made it very enjoyable. I kicked it in a bit at the end and finished in 1:56. Happy with my sub-2 finish and negative splits for the most part, I grabbed my medal and a water and then met up with my high school friend.
|Google him as he has quite an interesting story!|
I decided to go for a short run on Monday morning to take advantage of the gorgeous weather one last time since we would be welcomed back home by snow. For some reason I didn't take any water and I quickly realized I regretted that decision. While it was only in the 60's when I got out there, it was a sunny day which made it feel much warmer. I had originally plan to run 6 miles but cut it short at 3 miles and walked the final mile back to the hotel. It was still quite enjoyable. Once I got back to the room, we all got ready and headed out to grab a bit of brunch at a Mexican Restaurant just down the street from our hotel. The food was great but there was just too much of it!! We spent the rest of the morning/afternoon sitting outside enjoying the sun before our flights. Deb had considered getting an earlier flight since Nikki and I were leaving earlier than her. In the end she was glad she hadn't because the earlier flights ended up being cancelled due to weather in Chicago. My high school friend took Nikki and I to the airport and we were able to get on our plane with no problems. Of course once we boarded the plane we sat on the runway for what seemed like forever. I have no idea what that was all about. We arrived back in Cleveland within 5 minutes of our scheduled time. I checked on Deb's flight at this point and it was already delayed 2.5 hours. When I got home, Deb called and let me know the status of her flight. In the end her flight was delayed over 3 hours and she had to take a cab home because her husband couldn't get the car out of the driveway. Have I mentioned that all of us hate snow at this point? Yeah, well we do and we are so over it!! Nikki and I lucked out and both arrived home minutes before the snow started coming.
|Yuck! Welcome back to reality!|
We had a wonderful girls weekend but truly missed Marilyn. It just wasn't the same without her!
Complete a half in all 50 states status: 13 states and D.C. completed
Completed states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Up next: State #14---potentially in Kansas in April.....just waiting on confirmation from the 50 states girls!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!