Who am I?...

In the past my response to this question will be “I’m me” with the expectation of people understanding who I am, but in actual fact I suppose it was my way of avoiding the question and being reluctant in telling people about me. This was my attitude when I was younger and less wise. I am no longer that person-So I am a; Black woman in her early 40’s a runner who has run for too many years that I can’t actually remember, I am a mother of 3 children and 1 grandson. I had my first child, my son at the age of 21 years, yes a young mum! I was born and live in London, UK. I am a self-employed personal trainer, run coach, Pilates instructor and sport therapist. 



On Running...

My running, I run and I train. I’m a member of my local running club Eton Manor based in Leyton East London. I’m known as a club runner, this is where I compete in grassroots racing amongst other revival affiliated running clubs within the UK. I’ve won prizes as in medals and trophies for my performance based on my age category; apparently I’m a good runner as a 41-year-old female runner. My running distances range from 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon distance of 26.2 miles I am yet to say which is my favourite distance is, back in the day I use to run for PR I am now at the point where I run out of enjoyment and appreciation of the fact that I can run and remain injury free. My training runs are based on the following disciplines-speed, threshold, endurance and Kenyan hills on different terrains such as track, off road, trail and hills.



On my first run...

Sorry ladies, I’m ashamed to admit that I can’t remember my first run I’ve been running for so long! My 8 year old daughter runs everywhere, walking is a challenge for her. She, like me likes to keep moving in the form of running and most likely I’ve been running since I was a young child like her…however I can remember when I sustained an injury, a stress fracture, during my injury phase I also picked up a lung infection as an asthmatic this was a serious illness for me. With the injury and lung infection I was out of the running game for close to a year, I remember slowly returning back to running which was a great effort and felt absolutely horrible! I had no energy and felt so weak, running for half a mile was a big ask, I practically remember feeling depressed at this stage when people who where slower than me started to beat me in races, within time, patience and following a training plan I became fitter and stronger again.

Street culture...

I was raised in London and have witnessed many different changes to street culture; it will be best to say that street culture is different depending on the borough you live in, in my opinion. 

London street culture is about art, fashion and music. The younger generation their street culture is based on the current craze of grime (Grime is a genre of music that emerged in London in the early 2000s. It developed out of earlier UK electronic music styles, including UK garage and jungle, and draws influence from dancehall, ragga and later hip hop) and drill music, “Drill music is a style of trap music originating in the South Side of Chicago. The genre is a prominent feature of Chicago hip hop, and is defined by its dark, grim, violent, nihilistic lyrical content and ominous trap-influenced beats”. Whereupon my generation the mid forties still hold onto the old skool music and attitudes.

On running culture...

The current running culture is that everyone runs, running has become so popular over the years and I think the turning point was when the Olympics and Paralympics 2012 was held in London. Before 2012 the general attitude was that skinny looking undernourished men who are really fast teamed with a handful of fast fit looking women only ran, thankful this attitude has changed and it seems like many people from all walks of life has taken up running, this is certainly evident during the London Marathon when you see people of different abilities running on this eventful day for their own reasons. 



On gadgets...

Useful objects for specific training, I own a Garmin Forerunner 620, my 3rd garmin from the forerunner family. I currently wear my garmin without my heart rate monitor, however when training for a race-I will wear it for the VO2 aspect of my training schedule. There was a time when I never worn a watch and ran on feel, I know many runners who run without a GPS watch…

On injury...

I’ve been injured once in my life as a runner and this was due to overtraining and general weakness. Since then I’ve made changes in my training plan such as including strength training coupled with core development and fortnightly massage, I’m also a Pilates instructor and incorporate a Pilates routine within my schedule at least 3 times a week. To me an injury is an indication of some form of weakness somewhere in our neuro-muscular system, which is often discovered when we increase our training load. Understanding that cross training and rest should be apart of a runners training plan will go far in helping with injury prevention. 

On achievements...

In running-sticking to my training plan whilst training for The London Marathon which enabled me to finish at a quicker time than in previous marathons.

In life- Building my successful personal training and fitness business with high client retention and managing to run a family home and complete my studies as a sports therapist. 

On Future goals...

To complete my BSc degree in History and Politics and to complete a half marathon in 1.30hrs. I’ve 4 minutes to knock off to achieve this goal! 

On your social media...

To increase my Instagram followers by 10% within the next 6 months and to make a point on linking it to my website which needs updating, I’m currently looking for a reasonable priced website designer.

On pink...

I used to until recently dislike the color Pink which is probably to do with the sexist marketing around the color-Pink is for girls, pink represents the softness and somewhat weakness in girls who long for a strong man to support them, pink is soft! 

My views around Pink has now changed for 2 reason; the first being I meet a strong lady who doesn’t take no shit, she is a personal trainer like me and can left heavy weight. she, like me has a element of tomboy in her and she likes pink, her color combo is pink and brown, everything she owns is pink and brown-she’s cool and I like her a lot! 

The other reason is that we’ve just recently moved into a new house and like everyone else who as at the stage of decorating I’m looking at color charts-I’ve discovered that there are many shades of pink, my eyes has been closed to pink for the reasons I mentioned above, I’ve resisted the color! With a little research I also discovered that the color pink represents: compassion, nurturing and love. Pink is a combination of red and white-red is for action and white is for insight, it is a good mixture of color for success coupled with purity, openness and completeness. I am all of these things. I’ve also learnt that the deeper the pink the more passion and energy it exhibits-this is a good thing as I like the deeper shades of pink. 

Pink also inspires the possibility of a positive outcome; my favourite shades of pink are Fuchsia, which represents confidence, assurance, and maturity, more responsible and controlled. And hot pink, which stands for, inspires passion, playful and sensual love, excludes warmth and happiness with a love of life. This is me! I love pink.

On pain...

Pain is only temporary, it doesn’t last for long! Once you come to the end of a race or a hard training session that pain disappears.


On women’s running...

Why shouldn’t we run? We are capable; we have the ability so why shouldn’t we run? Apart from that running allows us time to discover our strengths-lacing up your trainers and getting out of the front door is a big ask for a lot of women especially if we are mothers of young children, putting ourselves first requires a lot of willpower and strength, running builds self confidence and positive body images, running gives us thinking space and time to reflect-these things we don’t offer have the chance to do.



On the past...

I can’t remember myself as a non-runner, I’ve no advice apart from remember to travel to as many different countries to run and explore.


When I die...

I like my tombstone to say “she loved life, she loved to explore and meet people, she loved running, she died running” I’d like to think that I’d be running until my body gives up saying “ok Taryne, I’ve had enough lets rest”.



#RunRevolution


Totalsports hosted a race on the 9th of August in Johannesburg and Cape Town. I attended the Johannesburg edition and even though I was supposed to run. I decided to take a break from the streets and support from the side lines. 

With the tickets that the blog received, I entered my mother and my aunt into the race. They always have fun at this race. 

Meanwhile on the instagram account, I asked Kim from the pack and share her day... 








While I was on the side of the road taking pictures of the runners. Below are a few shots. 








Check out the Full Album on our facebook page here

#RunRevolution


On who you are… 

I’m Enrica, but most people know me as La Tommy. I come from the sunny South of Italy but I live and work in Milan. I’d like to present my personality throughout my favourite flower: the sunflower! It looks like a smiling sun with yellow color, it symbolizes enthusiasm and energy, it is like me… smiling and cheerful! I love all things sport related but I also love food, travel and “la dolce vita” too LOL. 

On Running…

Running is not one sport, or one pursuit: it is dozens. From different distances to different terrains, from solo runs to group runs, from races to long slow ambles. And I love it all. I love the relentless comforting monotony of the track session, of bashing out endless training reps of 400 or 800 or 1200 metres, of even pacing and jagged breathing. I love the broken-up toughness of a hill session – run up, jog down, repeat until fade. I love a long and steady run along a promenade, early on Sunday mornings when only dog walkers, other runners, and yet-to-go-to-bed revellers are around. Why do I love it? For as many reasons as there are races. I love the clear-headed exhaustion that follows a hard run – body spent but mind miraculously clearer than the foggy-headed state I started in. I especially love the cake that follows those half marathon races. I love that running as much as I do means I can eat whatever I want – but that I don’t, because I won’t run as well if I eat nothing but cake. I love running because of the people! In my opinion, runners are just great people. I can not tell you how many races I've done where I've easily started chatting with a group of other runners, making fast friends. This thing we have in common really binds us all. I learn this lesson in every race, I can attest that running brings together, funny and like-minded people.



On your First Run...

I started running 4 years ago, the Romeo & Juliet Half Marathon, held in Verona in February 2015 was my first half marathon I ever ran. My biggest nugget learned from my first half marathon? People don't run races because they are easy. People run races because it feels flippin’ amazing to finish something you set out to do.

On Street culture…

Running is the most sociable of sports – anyone can do it, there are no barriers to entry, running clubs (particularly mine) are friendly and fun. Everyone has a tale to tell, a race story to unfold, advice to give. Milan has a lot to offer including street sports such as non-commercial and non-professional running communities. These growing running communities have added an extra dimension to running.

On Running Culture… 

Running makes me remember, everything I need is already inside of me. I realize that winning doesn't always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself and totally enjoy it!


On Gadgets…

Running certainly brings a lot of things to us...You can steer yourself in any direction, you have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes and you have MEEDAAALS in your hand !! 

On injury…

It may seem surprising to learn all of the different ways that running can improve our health, but the truth of the matter is that these are just a few of the many benefits that it can offer to our body. Running is really incredibly beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit, and even short runs can leave you feeling more energized, more focused, and better able to enjoy all that life has to offer. For injury prevention, you take care of your body, and your body will take care of you. 

I learned a lot about myself through this. Here's what I've learned: be patient with my first running injury, dealing with first injury, keep calm and how I obsessed with running 😄 

On Achievements… 

As I look back, I can hardly believe my milestones. And why not, my failures as well. My main goal is to show you what facts and consistency can help you achieve. It's not easy and will require hardwork. But once you have reap the rewards, you will not regret it. 
The ups: The rewards are awesome. I can not deny them. There are plenty of milestones I have achieved without realizing: running 200km in a month, running in the rain, keeping track of my runs and my cardio, many happy moments, new friends, lots of medals ...

The downs: I wish I could tell you that everything has been good news. But I'd be lying. Now that I look back at these events, I think they could've been avoided. Or at least, mitigated the outcome. 

You need to be content with small steps. That's all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance. 



On future goals… 

The road is simple. I'll continue with my schedule: run every other day and all you have is that next step and nothing else. It's the next step that's important. That step will help you live the present moment and enjoy your run. I'll push myself (and body) to its limits without putting myself in danger. I want to see what I'm made of! Ah, and one more thing: have fun! 

On your social media… 

Social media is a fantastic opportunity to share experiences and memories trough pictures, facts and descriptions with people who share the same passion for running, both close friends and people from around the world. There is a closeness about people who run. We become better friends, athletes and better women by the company we keep, running has given me friends for life! Among other things I share my running experiences on Instagram @la_tommy_enrica



On Pink…

Pink is a strong color both visually and symbolically to support the fight against breast cancer.

On Pain…

Reasons to run are infinite, when I do, there's always a chance to start unknown and to finish unforgettable. A chance to overcome all obstacles, to fight through pain and suffering to test your emotional limits and boundaries, to experiment with the potential of the human body and discover just how far you can push yourself. And a chance to feel like a completely different person, a person who inspires others, and who they strive to be. Then believe in superman, believe in magic, believe in Santa Clause, believe in your dreams, but you must believe in yourself and say: I can do it. If you do not, who will? 

On women’s running…

Murakami once described running as "both exercise and a metaphor." The real marathon is life. It's the doing every day. Running does not need to be justified or applied to some end. You run because keeping a healthy body and clear mind is part of your job as a human being. Because it's a commitment you made to yourself that you're obligated to keep no matter how tired, how busy or how burnt out you feel. In other words, it 's practice - proof of your ability - in having an extra bit extra in you. And women are “extra”…



On the Past you…

Running, and you must, you really must. Because there will be days, weeks, months, maybe years when you can not. And every day that you say yes is the making of a ritual that builds the force like the tide. Running strengthens more than my legs, it nurtures my relationship with the man from whom I inherited the running gene in the first place— my dad. He's always been my #1 fan, and it's been incredible to share my newfound love of running with him. 

When I die…

There will be a day when I can no longer do this. Today is not that day!

#RunRevolution
Boston Strong! 

That's the dream right ??!?!?1? To qualify for the speedy speedy marathon. Did you know that at some point in time women were not allowed to run marathons because they were seen as too "fragile" to handle such a distance. 

Then there was... Katherine Switzer

Photograph: AP (www.theguardian.com)


Photograph: Elise Amendola/AP (www.theguardian.com)

Who is she? The first women to finish the Boston Marathon, during a time when Women were not allowed to enter. The year was 1987 and she did it... The year was 2017 and she did it again 50 years later. 

Reason being she is our Monday Motivation for today. She did something that others said she couldn't. Our challenge for the week for you... 

Do Something they say you can't! 

#RunRevolution

On Who You Are...

I absolutely love God because I wouldn't be surviving this life thing without Him, usually very shy and reserved until I get comfortable and acquainted with one, have a playful, sarcastic and witty humour all at once (life's too short to be serious all the time), love family and friends, the worst at hiding my reactions and facial expressions (frowns)... and I'm very passionate about the things and people I believe in, like that one time I went to the Coldplay concert (laughs).


On Running... 

Running is fun, my first love to be exact. I was a track athlete from grade one to matric and then began long distance running in the last year. It's not only my sanctuary where I can clear my thoughts at times but also a great stress release. It's my therapy and happy place all at once. It can also be really painful and test ones character while pushing the limits. But the rewarding feeling thereafter always makes up for it... before your adrenaline dies out at the finishline & stiffness awaits you of course, haha.




I am currently training for my first Cape Town marathon in September this year with the assistance of my running partners Stanley Mwawa and Thabang Mokoena, and maybe Comrades is the on the cards one of these years... (giggles).

On Your First Run...

I started running last year. Two friends of mine and I dared each other to run the Soweto half marathon in November. It hit me in August, that I hadn't done anything to prepare for it, so I signed up for the FNB 10k race (my longest distance at the time). Thereafter, Nike had a long run, so I tried my hand at it and that's where I met Yusuf Stemela (who was my first pacer ever and has become a good & dear friend of mine since), then race day. I enjoyed the run and conquered those Soweto hills with pacers helping me reach my then goal to finish it in 2h15min (I ended up finishing it in 2h12m). Thereafter, I joined the Braamfie Runners, do my weekly NRC runs and have never looked back. It has literally became a part of me.


On Street Culture...

Living in Johannesburg exposes one to the different types of street cultures and certainly goes beyond just seeing people as cool kids, hippies, fashionistas, etc. It is some people's form of best expressing themselves, their beliefs, passion, looks and form of a lifestyle. It's also become a platform for many brands to start finding their relevance in the various spaces and marketing themselves through the different cultures that we see, which is refreshing and inclusive in how it celebrates being different, in it's own right. I appreciate how old school things always come back and trend and believe in preserving vintage clothing as it is forever timeless.


On Running Culture... 

The current running culture and movement that we now see is fantastic! It's a great era to be running in since we are living in times where people are health conscious and fitness junkies because "it's the in thing to do" and who can forget vitality points (grins). I love that it's also a place where people from different backgrounds come together and are united by this common love of running. So networking and socialising have also become a normality, which is really cool if you ask me

On Gadgets... 

I'm not a big techno or gadget nerd and am still learning the ins and outs and which ones are good and terrible, but, I'm quite the apple lover, after all, an apple a day keeps the doctor away


On Injury...

I got my first injury a few years back while playing basketball and ruptured my Achilles' tendon. That made me realise how powerful the mind is (when aligned with the body) as I pushed to come back better and stronger while staying positive. I started becoming more aware and taking better care of myself thereafter, despite my career adding to that knowledge. No big ones have really bothered me since (sigh of relief). The last injury I had was during the MTN race a few months back where my ITB and calf started niggling during the race and interrupted my sub-2 goal for the day and ended up delaying me by 5 minutes. Thankfully, nothing was torn, as it could always be worse.



On Achievements...

Achievements are great incentives that we should always stop to acknowledge and celebrate but should never make us too comfortable, as someone is always competing with you to try fill your spot, whether you know it or not. I am a basketball conditioning coach for the Wits first team and we recently achieved first place at the SA university championships. In the running space, I believe that every run and race completed is a great achievement in it owns right and we should always be proud. I think completing the Comrades marathon or the Washie will certainly be one of my greatest sporting achievements one day. 



On Future Goals...

With regards to my future goals, there's still so much to look forward to, still so many races to run, mountains to climb, sights to see, etc. I would definitely love to go for a lot more races next year and get some PB times, I want to open my own practices as a Biokineticist, make a mark in the corporate wellness space and even invest in property, career-wise. Kilimanjaro is on my to-do list and travelling the world, as much as possible because it's not only fun but exposes one to different places, cultures and broadens ones thinking. Thoughts on the future excite me!


On Social Media...

My social media has become a place where I've let people into my running journey for the most part, but I also enjoy sharing aspects of my basketball life and random snippets of my friendships & everyday living. I am generally a private person as you have to sometimes be cautious and protective about what you reveal to others in a public space because not everyone always has your best interests at heart despite your pure intentions at times.



On Pink...

Pink, the artist who was really angry back in day or the colour (thinking aloud)? I can't help but think of a newborn baby girl whenever I think of the colour pink. Ask me about yellow rather (giggles)

On Pain...

Pain is an interesting topic for me. I remember refusing morphine after my Achilles tendon repair to try and test my pain threshold (because I've seen the addictive effect it has on some). I genuinely think we are stronger than we tend to believe we are. But because of the many things in before us that give us an easy way out at times, be it through medication, therapy, etc, we give into pain much easier than we should. Another reason I like running is to remind myself that it's sometimes okay to push through the pain and realise that you actually can make it, though many may beg to differ (shrugs shoulders)


On Women...

Women should run because it reminds us that we are capable of activating the alpha females in anything and everything that we do. That we aren't limited to just being wives, mothers and businesswomen but can also be amazing athletes and look amazing while doing it. It is also a nice break and release from our daily responsibilities and keeps us in great shape, so why not? I sometimes get told I'm fast for a woman. Why can't we just be fast? Women are walking miracles because of all that we were anatomically designed to do and are capable of.



On The Past You...

My non-running past self was always very sporty but never would've seen me running this much to begin with (laughs). I would tell her that she mustn't rule things out without trying them out, that being competitive and challenging oneself doesn't always have to be so serious and that protein shakes aren't so terrible after all, haha... I would've encouraged myself to start it sooner!

When I Die...

When I die I want to be remembered as one who never gave up and fought til the end for everything I believed in, loved passionately & unapologetically without shame and really did just live my life to the full - as cliche as it may sound...1. I absolutely love God because I wouldn't be surviving this life thing without Him, usually very shy and reserved until I get comfortable and acquainted with one, have a playful, sarcastic and witty humour all at once (life's too short to be serious all the time), love family and friends, the worst at hiding my reactions and facial expressions (frowns)... and I'm very passionate about the things and people I believe in, like that one time I went to the Coldplay concert (laughs).



#RunRevolution 

The running tight... 
The running essential... 

It can be short.
It can be long. 
It can be tight. 
It can be bright. 
It can be used be new, used or blue. 

Most importantly, it must be used for the run. 

Below, a selection of the coolest running tights for Women from a selection of Running Brands worldwide...


  • Maxed Elite 

Cropped Leggings from www.mrpsport.com
  • Nike 

Nike Epic Lux (Space Blue/Turbo Green) on www.nike.com
  • Under Armour 

Fly-By Printed on www.underarmour.com
  • Adidas 

Run Sprintweb by Stella McCartney on www.adidas.com
  • Puma 

Active Everyday Train Graphic Tights from www.puma.com
  • Tracksmith 

Bislett Pants only on www.tracksmith.com
  • Asics 
RUN Tights - Performance Black/Diva Pink on www.asics.com
  • Oiselle

KC Tights - Midnight Tribeca Print available on www.oiselle.com
  • New Balance

Impact Printed Premium tight available on www.newbalance.com

Which one is your Favourite? 

Take Your Pick, Lace Up and chase these streets... 

#RunRevolution