Race 13.1 Wilmington- Mexican, Ice Cream, and Fish Medals

Better late than never right?

On February 21, I ran my first half of 2016 in Wilmington, NC. Here’s a recap of all the awesome things that happened over our weekend there.

Saturday

My friend Morgan and I both got Race 13.1 season passes (#leahandmorgans131adventure) and we traveled down together. Road tripping is fun, guys. Especially on the first nice weekend in months to a place that is slightly warmer than your home.

When we pulled into where packet pickup was, we both kind of thought, “This is it?” Pickup was on what I would kindly refer to as the sketchy side of town. It was pretty much just a bunch of strip malls. Minor panic ensued over what the heck we were going to do the rest of the day. It’s near the ocean, there should be beachy things, not strip malls!

The panic was put aside as we drove toward our hotel. Things gradually got nicer, and looked a little more like a beach town should. After checking in and putting our stuff in our room, we asked the desk girl how to get to the beach. She gave us some very bad directions, but we eventually found it.

I love this Snapchat geofilter!

Wrightsville Beach

When we got there I was super excited becuase it was just like what a beach area should look like in my mind. There were touristy shops (aka Wings) and lots of places to eat, and a beach access every block. One of the great things about being there in February was that we didn’t have to pay to park at any of the accesses, and could just park and walk out there.

I love that our first race of the year was at the beach, because we got to enjoy a walk on the beach in February (and it was around 60 outside), something that we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise.

 

It did eventually get a little cold, so we decided to explore the shops a little. I can’t resist a good tourist shop so we went into Wings and each got a t-shirt (2 for $15!) and a sweatshirt (buy one get one free! oh and they also matched).

While on this trip I discovered my superpower is picking random restaurants to eat at. Morgan said I had to pick dinner since she picked lunch. The sign for Tower 7 Baja Mexican Grill looked interesting, and everyone loves Mexican, so that was my pick.

When we went in, I knew that I was going to like it purely from the aesthetic. It’s kind of half surf shop, half Mexican restaurant as far as decor goes. I also immediately fell in love with their chips and salsa.

My main course didn’t disappoint either. I got pineapple, bacon, and shrimp enchiladas. They were so good that I really wanted to be able to eat both, but they were huge! Consider this a shameless plug to eat there if you ever find yourself in Wrightsville Beach.

The superpower of picking places really showed itself when I decided I wanted ice cream. I found a place online called Boombalati’s and figured we should go there for no other reason than that it had a funny name.

I’ve had a lot of ice cream in my life, and I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the best. It’s handmade in the store in small batches and it will blow your mind. They’re also geniuses because one of their sizes is a 4 mini scoop sampler so you can try multiple flavors of amazingness.

Sunday

Despite all the food we were eating fun we were having, it was time to do what we came to do, run a race.

I’m not going to sit here and give you a blow by blow of all 13 miles. I will tell you that this course was a fast, flat course that helped me get a 1 minute PR. Had I been training a little harder in the month or so leading up to the race, I would have probably beat my time more. But it’s been cold and I’ve been strength training.

The course was had some really boring parts (on what I think was a Greenway/bike path thing) but we ran on the campus of UNC Wilmington and that was really interesting. Since I work on a college campus, I enjoy seeing what others have to offer πŸ˜‰

The weather was way warmer than I imagined when I signed up for a February race! Considering the weekend before I was running the Wine Lovers 5K in dangerously cold temperatures, I found it very amusing to be running in shorts and a tshirt for this race. The only downfall to that is that I’m not used to running in warmer temperatures right now, and I think I let myself get a little dehydrated.

During the race I felt absolutely fine until mile 10. I was running faster than normal but keeping a good pace, I wasn’t very tired (I owe that one to the complete lack of hills), and I felt great about my food and water intake (there was a small incident where I almost choked to death on a Sport Bean, but I survived). Then something happened between 10 and 11. It felt like the longest mile I had ever run. I kept thinking I had missed the marker and would eventually come up on 12. Nope. After that I kind of fell apart, but luckily I only had to make it through 2(.1) more miles.

It hurt, and it sucked, and I walked for the only time of the whole race during the last mile, but I still managed that 1 minute PR (2:12:35)!

Note to self, make sure photo background is not facing the sun next time.

Race 13.1 has some great finisher medals this year, and I had been dying to get this one. I’m not really sure why exactly, but it has a fish on it and I just thought it was really fun. We named her Wilma and she’s glittery.

I love Race 13.1 events, and I can’t wait to hopefully earn my 13x jacket with them this year!

Tentative Calendar:
05/01- Knoxville, TN
05/15- Greensboro, NC
05/21- Richmond, VA
06/18- Roanoke, VA
9/25- Charlotte, NC
10/8- Raleigh, NC
10/22- Fayetteville, NC
10/29- Charleston, SC
11/12- Asheville, NC
12/3- Baltimore, MD
12/10- Durham, NC

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