It starts today!

I’m a month late.

No, not like that! Those days are finished. That cervix is closed. Those ovaries are over.

Me Dude Baby Newborn
Bad puns are a great excuse to use this photo

No, I’m a month late starting my training for the Healdsburg Half on October 9th.

I am super-excited about this race. It’s my favourite race memory EVER and I have such love for the course. I am really excited to run it again. And in my head, it’s a magical course that leads to PRs beyond my wildest dreams because that’s what it did last time. So I’m kind of hoping that the Course Magic IS real…because my current state of fitness is not conducive to PRs.

We are back from 2 1/2 weeks of road-tripping that included Ironman Cheering, 2,000 miles in the car, 26 miles of family hiking and 39 miles of running. Not bad, I know, but not good. Because whilst it’s not too hard to run whilst travelling, it’s actually quite hard to TRAIN whilst travelling. When you don’t know the local roads, it’s hard to know where’s best for speed sessions or where’s safe for long runs or where the best hills are for hill reps. And I’ll be honest – the recent spate of ‘jogger murders (let’s give the women some dignity and say ‘Runner Murders’) rattled me when it came to running round unknown towns.

(Check out Angela’s post please about how to stay safe when running).

In addition to that, my commitment to healthy eating faded away about a week ago, when the endless succession of pizza, pancakes and veggie burgers wore away my resolve.  So I got back from our road-trip ‘several’ pounds over my happy weight and ‘several more’ pounds over my racing weight, such as it is.

How I feel this weekend
How I feel this weekend

The one thing that I did do well was my long run, getting long runs in every week. Not necessarily at the paces I’d hoped for but I notched up those miles. I’m up to 11 slow miles on my long runs.

Long Run Bliss #inbend
Long Run Bliss #inbend

Which gives me eight weeks. Healdsburg is eight weeks tomorrow. So what can be done?


I’ve built myself a training plan for the next eight weeks. I was hoping to get a coach for this race but that plan has been deferred for the next training cycle. The plan includes activity every day in the week with just one rest day but it includes two cross training days. I’ve used the Hal Higdon plan as my base and tweaked it a little because real life!

The cross-training days will initially be cycling-based because I’ll be cycling 76-miles around Lake Tahoe in September and I haven’t ridden my bike for a month. Then I’ll be adding in some swimming (eek) and some yoga (yawn). But cross-training will happen.



Hopefully a little faster than this
Hopefully a little faster than this


I’ve also done myself an eating plan for the week. I’m going to be quite prescriptive about what I eat so that I get enough nutrients. Healthy breakfasts, healthy snacks and healthy lunches. I haven’t planned dinners yet but I’ll do that on a week by week basis. I’m cutting myself down to two sweet treats a week and two alcoholic drinks for the week – I know I can manage those limits for eight weeks. I’d like to lose those road-trip pounds in a healthy manner and I hope this plan will achieve it, as well as fueling me properly for a training cycle.

No guilt here!!!


The forgotten, least-cool part of training. I hereby commit to having my lights out by 10.30pm every school night.


This is where my blog comes in useful – I’m going to be recording my training, nutrition and sleep on a weekly basis here. I’ll try to keep it interesting and not yawny, I promise, but I need that accountability and structure.


I have no idea if I’ve scuppered my chances of a PR at Healdsburg but I’m going to train as if I were training for the Olympics and I’m going to go into this race believing in the Healdsburg Course Magic.

My fortune cookie in July. Let's make it happen, Healdsburg!
My fortune cookie a while ago.
Let’s make it happen, Healdsburg!

1.51, I am coming for you!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Even if a PR doesn’t happen, it will be a fabulous weekend filled with wine and laughs. Good luck!

  2. Julie says:

    1.51 would be amazing! Ok you’re are now officially accountable!

    1. Cathryn says:

      1.51 WOULD be amazing, but I’ll give it a shot! 🙂

  3. Grace says:

    Go you! I believe in you and in the Healdsburg Course Magic!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m counting on you to keep me accountable with it all!!

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