It’s time to get stuck in!

So I did some playing around with the blog this week in case you didn’t notice 🙂 I changed the name, I changed the design, I changed the layout. I didn’t change the URL but if I decide I like the changes, I may well do that at some point. Thanks to my Crazy Cat Ladies for letting me bounce names off them endlessly.I’d love any feedback if you have any thoughts. 

Anyway! This week, after seven months of running for fun, I sat down and drew up a training plan! Because, people, I’m going to do some racing!

Actually I’m going to race TWICE.

me cycling margarita peninsula
Excitement Gauge Exploding

My first race is next weekend. I’m in absolutely no kind of race shape but I’m determined to run it as hard as I can with my current levels of fitness, and be satisfied with effort, no matter the result. The race is called the Marlborough Tiny Temple (it’s the little brother of the Marlborough Temple Trail Half Marathon, for which I’m very definitely not in shape). It’s 5 miles, starting and finishing in our new town of Marlborough.  The website is entirely devoid of details of the route – all I know is that finishers will get a medal and a buff. What more does a girl need to know, eh?

My second race is at the end of November and I’m taking this one more seriously. That’s the race I’ve done a training plan for – it’s the ‘Avebury 8-ish’ – so named because it’s somewhere between 8 and 9 miles. It takes place in the nearby village of Avebury with its famous neolithic stone circle. Once again, there’s no info about the trail course – no elevation profile, no route map, just a warning that it’s hilly, it can get very slippy or muddy and it’s likely to be wet and cold. This one doesn’t have a medal but it does give all finishers a locally made ceramic mug, which is genius!

One thing that’s struck me is how flipping cheap these races are. The Avebury trail race is 8 quid, with the option of making a donation to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Service. The Marlborough race was 14 quid – basically both well under $20! As such, the Husband has signed up for both races as well.


The other thing that’s interesting is that both races have a minimum age of 14 according to UK Athletics rules. This means the Dude can’t run either (he would have loved the 5-miler). I’m yet to find out how widespread this ruling is – is it all races over a certain distance, is it trail races, is it everything? Not sure yet. But I’m grateful we now have grandparents nearby who are delighted to finally be able to babysit their only grandson!

The training plan I’ve put together is fairly typical – I think I have a decent aerobic base after months of steady running but haven’t done any speedwork or structured hillwork. So each week will include:

  • One long run, starting at 9 miles and building up to 12 most weekends.
  • One hill session. Hills are not in short supply round here.
  • One speed session, which will be run on a tiny country lane. No athletics tracks for miles and miles around here.
  • Two easy runs, including parkrun wherever possible. I’m hoping to ‘race’ parkrun once a month and to run the other weeks easily with the Dude.
  • Bonus 2-mile family runs two or three times per week at Dude pace.

Hopefully this, combined with cutting back on those delicious British cakes, will get me in decent shape for Avebury, and will put me in good stead for starting a half-marathon training plan in December, with a goal race in February or March.

So that’s the vague plan. I’m really excited to be training again, as opposed to happily ambling! I’m excited to have a goal, and some mini-goals along the way. It’s time to run hard. It won’t be easy, it won’t be pretty but hopefully it’ll be fun!

Now I’ve posted this, I need to get outside and actually run…but it’s raining. Ugh. I’m not used to this weather yet!


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Good luck and have fun! (PS, Love the new name)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks…it was Jen’s suggestion!

      1. Smart lady, but you already knew that. 🙂

      2. Cathryn says:

        I pick all the clever friends 🙂

  2. gracechua31 says:

    The new names are cracking me up! Don’t change the URL, it’ll get lost in the wilds of my feed-reader! I am loving UK running culture. Teeny community races, totally random trail race distances, and unique swag…

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m so excited about getting stuck into the UK running culture. I think it’s very running club oriented – when I’ve done races in the past, most runners are either wearing club vests or charity vests. We’ll join our new running club once we’re actually living there, I’m really looking forward to it. Today I am less impressed with the UK running culture because it’s bucketing down with rain. I currently miss the Bay Area.

      1. gracechua31 says:

        I love love love the running club culture! I think that really helps people stick with it longer because you’re getting some social time AND your workout in…

      2. Cathryn says:

        Exactly!! I need friends…

  3. Jen says:

    Yay new blog and layout! Yay for cheap races! Are you reactivating runcoach?

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks for the genius new name!!! Ref runcoach, not immediately. Maybe November time once we’re in the house and I’m getting fit enough to think beyond the Avebury 8.

  4. bt says:

    Could you please comment on the use of miles for distances in England? I get that y’all invented it, but you don’t use it for driving, so what’s the deal with running? Yay? Nay? Sometimes?

    1. NicJ says:

      Despite being officially metric, we love to confuse things by mixing it up. All the time. Driving is all miles. By EU law the speedometers must show km in cars, but it’s all miles.
      For weights, most people use imperial but again EU stipulates metric. Which we ignore. So fruit/veg etc is priced by kg but I’d still ask for a pound of apple’s at the market.
      Races? Depends on the target distance. If it’s a 5 miler then distance markers likely to be measured in miles. If a 10k then they’ll be in km. And for the New Forest 10k there were no markers at all and it came in at 5.7m long. Kind of sums it up I think… Does that help?!

    2. Cathryn says:

      Nicola’s reply should answer all your questions…but we’re all about miles here, unless it’s a 10k/5k race etc which is a standard distance. Miles for driving/speed/distance…until I became a runner, I basically had no real grasp of the kilometer!

  5. NicJ says:

    Loving the new name and it’s been great to welcome you back to “The Shires”!
    The races sound really good – glad you’ve clocked the prevalence of hills – the joy of living on the Ridgeway. I’ve cycled up that for Marlborough tri and it’s a killer! I’d put money on both those races featuring hills. And probably mud. Enjoy!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m definitely going to get good at hills. Well…less awful at them. Have a great race this weekend.

  6. Andrew Thompson says:

    Let me know if you want me to draw up a training plan for you. It will involve cake. And beer. And occasional running.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I don’t like beer but you could drink my share? Thanks for the generous offer.

  7. Cathryn – I run a website called Great Runs. Would love to chat about your blog. I referenced one of your routes in the East Bay. Couldn’t find how to contact you on your site, so sending you this note. Thanks! – Mark

    1. Cathryn says:

      Hi Mark. You could drop me a note at Look forward to hearing from you.

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