Running in October

I’ve always loved the first of November. I didn’t know why until I was 20 when I remarked on this to my Mum and she said, ‘Oh didn’t you know? That was the day you had your heart surgery‘. This year marks 39 years since the doctors at the Royal Brompton saved my life, and I never fail to be grateful.

So yesterday,  November 1st, I woke up cheerful. As I’d posted the night before, I still missed my running friends but the sun was shining, I was feeling significantly better after my mild food-poisoning and I was simply glad to be alive.

So let’s look back at my October running goals and set some November goals.

October’s goals

They were nearly all a total failure!!

Run 120 miles  – I was SO on track for this, with just 10 miles left to run over two days, but then I started throwing up on Sunday night and it would not have been sensible to try to run. So I missed this goal but I notched up 110 miles which is still significant for me!


Continue with structured training – With the house-move, the hill-repeats and speedwork totally fell by the wayside. Okay, that’s life.

Do two parkruns –  Nope, didn’t do any. We moved house instead.

Get back down to my happy weight – Nope, failed too. Although food poisoning helped. (Is that really twisted or just a human admission?).

Run with Nic at least once – YES! My one UK running buddy and I caught up before she headed off on holiday and got in eight sunny chatty miles which was utterly wonderful. Please come home soon, Nic.


Investigate and maybe join in with local running clubs whilst we’re at the parents’ – YES! We had a great night with the Shrewton Running Club and I’m all set to run with the Marlborough Running Club as soon as I’m feeling better which is probably next week!

Bonus Goal:  do a race – Nope.

So basically I didn’t achieve many of those goals but I still think October was a good running month. I got in a really good number of miles, I’ve investigated several routes around our new home, I’m starting to feel comfy running on trails by myself here, I’ve started following several British runners and running organisations on social media to try and get into the community a little more. It’s not been a bad month.

So November Running Goals:

  • 100 miles as a distance goal. Bonus points if I make 120.
  • Race the Avebury 8 the best I can on the day.
  • Run with the Marlborough Running Club every week, assuming I’m healthy.
  • Do one parkrun – Swindon seems to be our closest, half an hour away.
  • Seriously…get back to my happy weight. I don’t want skinny, just happy.
  • Do four speedwork sessions and four hill sessions.
  • Run one new trail route.
  • Do three gym classes at the local leisure centre.
  • Invite one new person to run with me. I can’t FORCE people to be my running buddies, but I can make an effort, at least.
  • Sign up for a December race to keep me motivated.
kaiser 5k medal
Bling motivates me!


Other October stuff I wanted to share…


I tried out as many British running podcasts as I could find this month and apart from Marathon Talk, they were all dreadful. America, you do crush the podcast.  Any Brits reading – any good podcast recommendations?


As we unpacked, I was reunited with my book collection and seriously, I impressed myself with its size and scope! But I don’t remember many of the books so I’m re-reading. This month I reread ‘101 Reykjavik’ which I remember loving but it proved annoying this time round. I also read, for the first time, ‘A tree grows in Brooklyn’ by Betty Smith and I LOVED it. Utterly beautiful! I’m currently rereading ‘Requiem for the East’ by Andrei Makine…it’s proving hard work. 20-something Cathryn was a much more intellectual reader than 40-something Cathryn.


We’ve had dreadful wifi since we moved in, so we’ve watched very little but I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that we have developed a very British love for Strictly Come Dancing. It’s tripe, it’s utter tripe, but we love it – the Dude is obsessed. We swore we wouldn’t become TV addicts when we moved back, and we’re being very selective about what we watch…but Strictly? It’s so good!


Catching up with friends and family that we haven’t seen for a long time.



Going to a British Halloween party. British Halloween is ALL about skeletons, ghosts, witches etc…it’s not the Fancy Dress free for all that we loved about American Halloween. I dressed as a French person and this confused people…except one genius who asked if I confused ‘Ghoul’ for ‘Gaul’. Clever.


Celebrating out 12th wedding anniversary in a very low-key way. We spent the day doing jobs around the house. Fun!


Exploring the local area, especially Savernake Forest which looks like gorgeous running!



Since we moved, we’ve not eaten particularly well. We’ve not eaten badly, but dinners have been cobbled together rather than planned, shopped for, thought out. That changes today. I’ve done my meal plan and my grocery delivery comes tonight. The two things I’ve been making like an obsessed woman are Pumpkin Bread and soup.

Pumpkin is interesting – it’s SUCH a big deal in America and it’s not a food-stuff here at all. I had to scour the shops for canned pumpkin (thanks Waitrose). But I found it, I’ve stockpiled and I’ve made Smitten Kitchen’s Pumpkin Bread about four times. I made it for the Dude’s school teachers once and I genuinely was asked about it by random strangers who’d heard about it. I’ve sent the recipe to four people. It’s the best.

And soup? I’m obsessed with soup anyway but I recently found the Covent Garden Soup Company’s wonderful book and I’m working my way steadily though it. Their Cauliflower Cheese Soup is the best!

So there we are. October’s done and dusted. It had many highs, some lows…it was a tough month. But now we’re in November and boom, it’s on!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. NicJ says:

    I’m an achieved goal!! Whoop!
    I’ve been getting in some USA training, despite the dodgy leg/foot. One trail run in the Smokey’s. I ignored any wildlife concerns. Second run in Nashville (ignoring any safety concerns) and 3rd time this morning alongside the Lower Mississippi (Ol’ Man River) in Memphis! My running gear has now been boil washed thanks to my friendly B&B landlady!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Your holiday running sounds lovely!!! I’m impressed with your ignoring wildlife concerns in the Smokies…I’m a sucker for wildlife concerns!!

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