race reports running

Cinco de Mayo

Distance: 5k
Time: 36:20
Pace: 11:34/mi

“Mm, made of pancakes, I am. Eat me, you will. Eat me … you will.”

Well, this was a rough one. All of my additional mileage over the past couple of weeks has led to a sore achilles tendon, which I honestly haven’t paid as much attention to as I should have. My goal was to try and get a sub-35 minute 5k but it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m honestly surprised I was able to get the time that I did.


Not much to say about this one. I ate a small breakfast of oatmeal, almonds, and coffee, waited until I felt like pooping, then did that and then waited until it was time to go. This race took place in Milwaukie, Oregon, at the Elks Lodge, which reminded me of all the times my dad’s band would play at the Moose Lodge back in Nampa, including that one time they played and when I came to help them unload their equipment afterward (at like 11pm), a shootout happened just down the street. My van was parked in the direction of the shootout, which was fun. Here’s a tangential diagram:

The Elks Lodge was waaaaay less sketchy.


Bib pickup was a hoodie which is a little too tight already and probably will shrink in the wash and a can of caffeine seltzer or something that I haven’t tried yet. This was also one of those races where they give you the medal at bib pickup, which I kind of hate, mostly because at the end of the race, nobody had their medals on because it’s not like they’re going to run with them. I ran with mine in my pocket though, mostly because I forgot about it.

After the race were pancakes, beer/cider/yerba mate drink (which is what I got, and it was good). There were a couple of tents for local businesses, like usual, but they were SO FAR AWAY from the general camaraderie that it almost felt like they didn’t exist. I don’t even know if they were giving away anything, because I didn’t walk over there.

Honestly not a lot of swag. The hoodie is very nice though, if a little cheaply made, and I hope it does not shrink in the wash.


Pre-race of the post-race space. That peach-ish colored tent toward the left of this photo was a sponsor/vendor tent. See how far away that is?!

Suitably festive for Cinco de Mayo, which is, like St. Patrick’s Day, one of those holidays that Americans have completely stripped the meaning from (or did know the meaning of in the first place). We’re good at that. We like to party and culturally appropriate things but god forbid we know why. You could probably just say that Cinco de Mayo is a Christian celebration of the five times Jesus ate bread and most Americans would love it and shoot an AR-15 in the air.

I do appreciate that since it’s a Cinco de Mayo race, the DJ was only playing Mexican music. Also, I forgot to get a picture of it but there were banners hung up that read “This way to the fiesta” and those banners were hung in front of the entrances to the toilets. BIG fan of that.

The Race

Eugh. This was a bad one. I still ran well, but my right achilles tendon hurt nearly the entire time. Basically, my right leg is a mess overall. It’s the black sheep of the family.

That said, I did get a 1 mile PR of 10:12, and the first mile honestly felt pretty good. My pace was all over the place for that mile though, which I think was just a desperate attempt to slow down, something I ended up not doing. I really didn’t feel too bad (other than my achilles) and managed to eke out 1.2 miles before I had my first walk. The rest was just me battling my achilles and my breathing. My perpetual battle with my VO2 max, which feels a lot more like a VO2 min.

This was also a race that went across active streets, which I am not a fan of. At one point running back from the loop I saw a car waiting to turn left and it looked like there was a gap between the runners, so I slowed down and gestured for him to (quickly) pull in. But I guess some guy behind me was going faster than I realized because he ran by me and just said “NO” as he did. I was honestly kind of mad at him for sounding like a dick at the time but thankfully I had about 20 minutes of running time to think about how the guy probably was running at threshold and literally couldn’t say more than “NO” at that point. Ah well.

Oh, the elevation of this run was mostly downhill, then mostly uphill, which killed whatever momentum I had. By the end I was just clinging onto getting as close to 36 minutes as possible. Overall, not my best race but the fact that I still got the time that I got means that my run training and mileage is working.

I placed 102nd out of 295, slowly but surely creeping past being completely average into slightly above average. My gender place was 49th out of 100–completely average. And my age place was 11th out of 18. So below average there. However, if I was in the 40-44 age bracket, I would’ve been 8th out of 14. Completely average. So there you go.

The guy who won the half marathon is 42, which means that I too could one day win a half marathon at 42. Why are you laughing?


Pancakes! From the same people who worked the Lilac Run. Yerba mate-adjacent drink called Vida Mate, blackberry lemonade flavor. Was pretty good. And that was it. Said hi to some friends there and then drove to Burgerville to get a 1/2lb burger for protein to start healing my damn achilles tendon.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to run the first of four (five? something like that) 5ks put on by Portland Parks & Recreation. But it’s a walk/run so I am going to walk it, for sure. Then, next week is MY BIRTHDAY and also the Pacific Coast 5k in Long Beach, WA. Until then!