Under Armour What’s Beautiful: A Race!

Remember my #whatsbeautiful goal to break 21 minutes in the 5k?  Well, it only took me a few weeks of training to realize it’s sort of boring to work towards this goal without actually doing any 5ks.  I mean, that’s like buying a bag of chocolate chips without having plans for them!  Before you know it, you’ve eaten a bag of chocolate chips and have no cookies to show for it.  Wait, what? 🙂

All that mumble jumble to say, I did a 5k!

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m fairly confident it’s going to take me at least a few tries to achieve this goal.  It’s a tough goal for me and with an unsolved lower back injury, it’s even tougher.  But I can only make so many excuses for myself — none of which will help me reach my goal.

So, a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and signed up for a 5k in my hometown.  I figured, it can’t get much simpler than running on roads I’ve run my entire life, right?

The Race:

The 5k was this past Saturday, June 9th.  With my lower back bugging me again, I didn’t do a lot of running leading up to the 5k.  But I was still fairly confident going into the race since I’ve got a solid fitness base, plus I know I can tough out lower back discomfort for 3.1 miles.  My only real concern before the race was avoiding the cramping issues I seem to experience all too often in races these days.

Of course, I woke up Saturday morning to a steady rain – just what every runner wants to see on a race day. 😉  Actually, I love running in the rain, but seeing it doesn’t motivate me very much before a race.  Anyway, I gave brief thought to throwing in the towel and not running, but since I’d already paid for the race, I figured I might as well use it as my exercise for the day.  Even though my ultimate goal is to break 21 minutes, I decided my goal for the day would be to break 22 minutes.

Since it was raining, I sat in my car right up until race time.  I think this is the first race that I didn’t do any warm up beforehand – heck, I even jogged around a little before both of my marathons!  No warm up meant the first tenth of a mile or so felt a little wobbly, but after about ¼ mile, I fell into a rhythm.

My back started to tighten up about a mile into the race, but overall, I think it handled itself pretty well.  And so did my splits!  I have a tendency to go out a little fast in short races (because I’m just not used to running fast), but I did a fairly good job of pacing myself.  I forgot to set my Garmin to auto-lap (which would automatically let me know when I reached mile marks), but I remembered to grab my first and second mile splits: 6:51 and 7:01.  I forgot to look at my watch at the third mile, but from my finish time, 21:22, I figured out the last 1.1 miles were run in 7:30 (or 6:49/mile pace).  Not bad!

So, I didn’t break 21 minutes, but my time of 21:22 is a personal best for me by five seconds, and I didn’t experience any stomach cramping whatsoever, so I was a happy camper.  🙂

Race Clothes:

Even though weather was rainy on Saturday, it was pretty warm and humid, so I wore my trusted Under Armour shorts (the blue pair in the photo below).  I’ve mentioned it before, and I swear on ice cream I’m not just saying this because this is an Under Armour post —  these are my all-time favorite shorts.

I also wore my new favorite tank top for the race (also above).  I don’t know about you, but it’s always hard for me to find tank tops comfortable to run in.  I prefer running in T-shirts when I can, but when the weather gets warm, sometimes tees just don’t cut it.

I ordered the UA Escape semi-fitted tank last month, and I’ve literally been wearing it every other day since it came, ha!  It’s great because its semi-fitted, which means it’s not skin-tight, but you don’t feel like you’re wearing a bag.  During the race on Saturday, the tank top actually stayed fairly dry in the rain, which was nice!

The tank top can also handle the heat, though I wore the tank top when I was in Florida in May and it stood up to the heat and humidity.  What, if you were only 1 of 5 or so people in Downtown Disney at 8am, I bet you’d find your inner Cinderella, too. 😉

If I’ve learned one thing with running/workout apparel, it’s that when you find something you love, you should stick with it.  So, I’m definitely going to order a couple more Under Armour tanks for the summer.  They’ll be the perfect thing to wear as I continue to train towards my goal!

This marks the end of my “official” Under Armour What’s Beautiful posts, but since I’m still working towards meeting my 5k goal, you’ll be able to keep up with my progress all summer (and fall?) long over on my Running page!  I hope these posts have inspired you in some way to set the bar higher for yourself.  Thanks again, Under Armour!

As part of the What’s Beautiful challenge, Under Armour is giving away a $500 gift card! To be entered for a chance to win, answer the question: How do you keep motivated to achieve your personal fitness goals?


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