Let me begin by introducing myself. Some of this is on the ‘Who on earth?’ page but I wanted to talk a bit more about the background to me starting this blog. I’ll talk about my heart in another post.
My name is Cathryn. I’m 37, I’m British and I live in California, just south of San Francisco on the peninsula. I’m married to The Husband (very happily so, actually) and we have a two and a half year old son, known henceforth as The Dude. I am a Stay At Home Mum and I honestly love it. The Dude is great company and I love being with him all the time – being there for new words, new developments, hugs and kisses. I am incredibly grateful to be able to do so. We have lived in America for nearly two years and we utterly love it. We love the weather, we love the country, we love the people most of all.
I am a Christian. Not going to hide this, it makes me who I am. But don’t worry, I’m not going to shove it down your throat.
I have run on and off for 20 years. I didn’t really get into it properly until I was 26 when I got ditched by this AWFUL boyfriend that I had. I lived in London at the time, was about 10 pounds overweight and deeply unhappy. When he broke up with me, I was heartbroken but also relieved as I knew he wasn’t right for me. I remember thinking clearly that I could either run or eat to mend my heart. I chose to run. I trained for a 5k, the Race for Life on Hampstead Heath. I ran, I loved it, I lost those pounds and I felt amazing. I bought a new outfit, I ran the race, I did it in 30 minutes more or less and I was hooked. So I did a 10k, then a half marathon and then eventually the London Marathon in 2004. By this time I had met a new boyfriend, a lovely one who I ended up marrying. He and I ran it together. I finished in 4.32. It was one of the best moments in my life.
I also was madly in love with cycling. Particularly cycle touring. I started touring in Austria with my friend Jess when I was about 26 and was totally hooked. I adore touring, it’s just the best way to travel. The Boyfriend (who became The Husband) was also up for a tour or two, so we spent our holidays cycling around Europe and sometimes elsewhere.
I cycled as much as I could for many years. It took over from running as my passion and my sport. Please don’t think I was ever fast – I’m not built for speed in any sport. During those years we left London and moved to Yorkshire in the North of England. We got married. We had four fantastic years together as a married couple and then in 2009, the Dude arrived. I cycled throughout my pregnancy and ran up until 20 weeks roughly and felt pretty fit throughout. I cycled 15 miles on the Sunday before the Dude was born.
Since his birth, cycling has proved problematic. We have a trailer which he actually quite likes but it’s heavy and the going is slow. It’s also a lot of hassle to carry the bike and the trailer down from our second floor (first floor, UK) apartment, then set it up, get him in it etc. So although we do cycle, running has taken over as my main sport again. Sometimes I run with the Dude. If possible, I run without. And over the past year really, running has become a real passion again. I love it. I love the sense of freedom, the sense of achievement, the peace of early morning runs watching the sun come up, smelling the jasmine.
So that’s the basics. That’s my starting point, as far as fitness goes. I run quite slowly – anywhere between 9:30 and 10 minute miles. I ran a half marathon in San Francisco in February this year in 2.06.16 which was 5 minutes faster than I had expected and I am currently training for the San Francisco Half in July which is hilly and thus won’t be as fast. But I can’t wait.