huckleberry jam 2019

Not quite ready to give up on racing after the Highlander Half Marathon, I signed up for an 8-miler just two weeks later.

I wanted to run this just for fun, but I was still experiencing some nervousness, which did not abate upon seeing some very serious-looking runners at the start line. It also started pouring just before the gun went off, so Michael and the girls waved goodbye to me from the car.

We were all on a paved trail, and so there wasn’t much room to maneuver around people in the beginning, which unfortunately meant that I went out way too fast and ended up maxing out my heart rate in the first two miles. Eight miles is a strange middle ground between a 10k and a half marathon, and I wasn’t sure exactly how to approach it. Trying to run it the same way I run the Monument Avenue 10k turned out not to be such a good method!

I have to be honest, it felt hard. I was tired through the whole thing, but I kept pushing as hard as I could.

The trail was scenic, and it was my first time doing the whole Huckleberry trail. I’d definitely say it was challenging with some hills. The rain let up for a little, and then came pouring down again around mile 5.7. I finished with an average pace of 8:44, so not too bad.

I ended up being 4th in my age group, 13th woman, and 50th overall, which was honestly better than I was expecting! Everyone got these engraved railroad ties as medals, in honor of the original railroad that used to run along the same trail starting in the early 1900s!

Michael is the real MVP. He is always there at the finish line, rain or shine, with an armful of babies. He’s the best!After this one, I was ready for a break from races for awhile. Here’s to running without a training schedule!