Healdsburg Training: Week One

Last week was the first week of my 8-week training plan for the Healdsburg Half Marathon and I have to say it was one of my best weeks training EVER! Not because I’m suddenly ready to qualify for Tokyo 2020 obviously, but just because I did every single workout on my plan, nailed all my goal-paces and threw myself into it with a real relish.

I went into the week flabby from a 2-week road trip, feeling heavy and slow and like a Healdsburg PR was out of reach. I finished it feeling so much better about myself and my running. A PR will certainly take a lot of work and a lot of luck, but I feel like I’m in the game at least!

Healdsburg 2012. Best. Race. Ever.
Healdsburg 2012. Best. Race. Ever.

The week was actually 9 days because I started on the preceding Saturday. Here’s how it went down.

SaturdayLong Run

This was last week’s long run – 11 miles around town.  No pace goals, I’m trying to build up distance. I was tired and a little sore by the end but I got it done and happily sat down on the sofa for the entire rest of the day watching the ‘lympics. 11 miles @ 10.08

Sunday – Recovery run

VERY easy six miles to build distance without killing myself. 6 miles @ 9.59

Monday – Tempo run

This was so exciting. After a mile warm-up I ran 2 tempo miles. I freely admit I stopped after the first mile for a minute to recover, which clearly isn’t race-day practise but I needed to let one of the dads from school get far enough away from me that it wouldn’t be awkward if I passed him. I felt like I was dying the whole time for the tempo miles and was so frustrated at how hard it felt…until I saw I’d done them at 8.03 and 7.51 so I was utterly thrilled. 4 miles @ 9.04 overall.

Tuesday – Bike trainer session

My first trainer session on the bike for a long time. Golly, it’s boring. It would have lasted precisely six minutes but I gave up on the worthy Danish film I’d started and instead watched my first ever episode of Gossip Girl. Clearly it was dreadful but kind of amazing, and it kept me going for 50 minutes on the bike. Estimated 10 miles, no idea of speed. 

hoka clifton
My new Hokas arrived today. They are very green and very beautiful. #greengoblins

Wednesday – Speedwork

The Dude started 1st grade today so I took myself to the track in our park to run laps. This track is ‘The Short Track’ as it’s 0.22m, so I measured out ‘a lap and a bit’ which came to 0.25 miles and ran that. 8 x 400m at Full On pace with 300m recovery jog. My Full On pace turned out to average 7.31 which is slower than my last track session a month or so ago but I’m totally cool with it as my starting point. 4.67 miles at average 9.15.

ThursdayLong bike ride

In preparation for my 76-mile ride round Lake Tahoe in a few weeks time, I went out for my first long bike ride (eek!). I split it into two sections – 20 miles before 10am, an hour off to go to Bible Study and demolish the snack table there and then 30 miles afterwards. Loved the whole morning. Legs felt good the whole time. Bible Study Cake was delicious. 51 miles at 12.8mph.

I somehow managed to take a selfie whilst clipped in without falling off!
I somehow managed to take a selfie whilst clipped in without falling off!

FridayBlessed rest day!

Saturday – Easy run

I took my new running shoes out for a very easy spin round Redwood Shores. They’re not magical straight out the box but they felt okay, I’ll see what happens.

Sunday – Long Run

My goal was 12 miles at easy pace. I was out the house at 5.45 and started running in nearly Belmont at 6am, getting in 2 easy miles before meeting Lisa at 6.20 – she had to run 8 miles for her Healdsburg plan. I then planned get in a final two miles afterwards. Lisa’s Canadian so we both wore our national flags for the run, which made us feel like Olympians.

Team GB and Team Canada!
Team GB and Team Canada!

The run was tough – 4 miles uphill, gaining 700 ft in elevation. We got to the top and looked out over the mountains and the fog and it was all worth it, especially when we got to run back down, on a trail to boot!

Foggy mornings!
Foggy mornings!

By the time we got back to the cars at Starbucks, I’d run out of time for the final two miles so we got coffee and headed home. I then snuck those sneaky miles in later that evening, on an overly-full stomach and tired like a dog. 10 miles @ 10.27, 2 miles @ 10.18


I ate much better this week and lost two pounds of my Road Trip Bloat, so I was really happy about that. Two sweet treats. two (generous) glasses of wine. Some semblance of self-discipline!


I committed to have my lights out by 10.30 each night. I managed it on 5 nights which is a good first week!

All in all?  Cracking first week!!!!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Great job this week! Don’t peak too soon! And I didn’t realize that Lisa was running Healdsburg too?! Awesome! 😀

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, three of my friends from church are running it, it should be a party!

  2. Angela says:

    Woohoo!! That’s how I felt when we came back from Ireland–like a big flabby mess. Amazing what just a bit of consistent training will do for how you feel!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yes, it doesn’t take much to feel better again. Actually LOSING the road trip lard from my belly is proving more problematic!

  3. Grace says:

    Oh! You’re killing it 🙂 Certainly better than I’m doing, between solo parenting all week, work, and life!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Solo parenting makes training impossible, or at least much harder! Well done for surviving that!!

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