Saturday, December 29, 2012

Two Crummy Runs and a Redemption

If you've been following along lately, you'll know that training has been going well for the Naples Half Marathon on Martin Luther King Day weekend, and I was starting to feel really optimistic about the race.  [My awesome Uncle John even shot me an e-mail suggesting I might be able to race it in under 2 hours, although unfortunately I think that might still be out of reach for this race].  But if you've been following along more than just lately, you might also know that I vote for cold in terms of favorite temperature to run in.  So I guess it shouldn't have come as a shock that running in Florida wouldn't be as swell as my last two long runs were in NYC's cool December weather, but somehow it still was.

How could you complain about spending Christmas here, right?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Unconventional Advice that Actually Worked!

At the start of this weekend I planned to try to build some strength and endurance by running my long run through the hills of Central Park.  I was hoping to get to 10 miles, but as long as I surpassed my 8 from last week that was going to be enough.  But then a funny thing happened that changed my plans.  I texted my friend Cam, to see if I could have a phone date with her later in the week to go over some ideas I had for continuing my race training.  Cam went from about a 2:15 half to sub 2 hrs in just 3 halfs, so I was interested in her opinion.  Our text convo altered my plan for the weekend.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Free goody?

No workout for me tonight - most Thursdays just making it through airport security, the taxi line, and traffic back home feels like enough of a workout in itself!

But...I am entering for a free sparkly running headband over at Crazy Running Girl's blog tonight.  Click on the hypertext to enter for a chance to win one yourself!  Good luck :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rock On

Head's up Happy Feet: Register for a Rock 'n' Roll Marathon event today & save $20!

Click Here to link to the site for you $20 off!

Posting this news at 11:30PM doesn't really give you that so much time to sign up - alas, the joys of working bummer hours  - hopefully it at least helps someone out!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keep Calm and Run Along

With the weeks ticking by and my work hours still keeping me at the office until the wee hours of the morning  far too often, I was beginning to panic about the upcoming Naples Half Marathon.  Was this going to be another Brooklyn?

But then I got to Naples for Thanksgiving and thought, you know what?  You are where you are and you have a little over 8 weeks left to make the best of it.  I got out the calendar and realized that if I started at 4 miles that very next day - whether or not I was over my head cold - I could add on one mile per week and end at exactly 13 on race week and suddenly my hope was restored.

Wouldn't hanging out here relax your nerves, too?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Great Holiday Gifts for the Runner in Your Life

Any running-related goodies under that tree?
Sure, anyone can head to a local sports or running specialty shop or website and pick up some great spandex sweat gear for the runner in their life - and [especially given the price of all of those fabulous little spandex numbers] your runner will probably love it.  But in case you're worried about purchasing shorts that will ride up on their runs or another top that they already have, check out my running themed holiday gift selections below for some unique suggestions.

Friday, November 2, 2012

In Defense of the Marathon

If you had told me on Monday that the city would be in this much turmoil about the marathon not being cancelled as a result of Hurricane Sandy, I wouldn't have believed you, but there certainly has been a lot of opposition and a lot of heated debates.  As evidenced here and here.

A view from our apartment: the crane that Sandy broke.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween in NYC this Year...

Most of the country is probably aware of Hurricane Sandy and her devastating impacts on much of the eastern cost of North America.  NYC was hit particularly badly, but fortunately I live in one of the few neighborhoods that kept power throughout.  As more and more stories surface in the aftermath of the storm, though, it seems that not having power is the least of some peoples worries and my heart goes out to them.

The weather has kept me in NYC for the week instead of Boston-suburb-bound, as is my usual weekly trek these days.  While home, I'm trying to take advantage of not having to eat three meals a day in a restaurant, and having the opportunity to work around my own schedule, which means the chance to build in some workouts and cook some nutritious meals.

Have you ever seen such a sadly stocked produce section?   Sandy's impact on Whole Foods.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Problem With Sprint Workouts

Adding sprints into the weekly run mix is one of the most commonly recommended workouts for runners looking to improve speed.  Ergo, it would make sense that I, someone who writes about wanting to become a faster runner, would heed that advice and attempt to run some sprint workouts.  But you may have noticed that I don't do this very often, and you may have wondered why.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not a Fluke?!

Perhaps last night's 4 miles in 39:00 was "real" even despite my trotty training break at 0.4 miles - tonight I repeated the run (okay, it was seven seconds slower) with NO BREAKS!

And...I even snuck a mini inclined challenge in there.  For 0.25 mi I increase the incline by 0.5 at each 0.05mi.  Then I worked it back down to 0.  Crazy good hill workout, I know.  But maybe a gradual start back is what I need to keep me on track this time.

Here goes nothing!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back at it and Hopefully a Bit More Disciplined This Time...

About 3 weeks ago I pulled a massive fake out...I wrote my first blog post since work started getting hectic in June, and may have even conned you [myself] into thinking that I would actually be back at regularly writing....and more importantly, regularly working out.  The work outs, at least, have been a bit more regular since then, but still nothing to move the buckle on my ever tightening belt.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Secret to Running: Not Running

What better time to return to Trotting Tortoise post-running lapse than after reading a WSJ article that my dad e-mailed to me: The Secret to Running: Not Running?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wannabe Wednesday: Someone Whose Genes I did NOT Inherit

This edition of Wannabe Wednesday is about someone whose humility never ceases to amaze me.  How someone could run a sub 3 hour marathon and still not consider himself a good runner is beyond me!  Below is a Q&A I'm honored to post - a Q&A with my Uncle John!  Without further on for aspiring runner heaven: insight and stories from a fabulously fast runner!

Can you share some PRs of yours for various race differences?
Marathon - 2:49:46
1/2 marathon 1:13:42 (93 degrees that day)

6 miles - 32:05 (2nd place road race)
5 miles - 26:12
4 miles - 20:30 (2nd place road race, the winner had just come back from the Olympic trials!)
3 miles - 14:45 (1st place road race!)
5K  - 15:21
3K - 9:06
1 mile (censored - I refuse to embarrass myself, I had no opportunity to run it in college because there were many team mates that were btter)  

Tell us about your best marathon ever - your finish time, which race it was, etc.
I never trained for a marathon.  However, I did enter about 10 of them as workouts, and completed four.  Only once did everything come together, when I was an 18 year old freshman in college in between indoor and outdoor track - March 3rd, 1975.  I hopped in the Philadelphia Road Runners Club marathon and ran great for 23 miles.  Then the last three miles consisted of a walk-jog.  I went from 3rd place to a 6th place finish in a time of 2:49:46.  Not that amazing considering there were only about 40 finishers.  Imagine being in a marathon where only about 50 people are on the starting line.  I would consider this the most surprising run of my life, being it was only my second finish in a marathon.  I later saw in Long Distance Log magazine it was the 11th fastest time run for age 19 and under in the US that year.  That was because no one was running marathons in those days. Today it wouldn't be close to that.  I never ran more than 15 miles in training before it (because I was not training for a marathon!) and really didn't have any idea what kind of time I could run for a whole marathon.  In the same race the year before as a high school senior I ran 3:34:09.  That was my first marathon when my brother picked my up after the race.  I did throw up, but he did not carry me back to his apartment like the legend goes.      

How did you first get into running?  My next door neighbors, the Fanellis, were a family of runners.  The older brother Gary was a star and I wanted to be able to run like him - never did, but training with him through the years helped me immensely! 

Were you a speed demon right off the bat, or did you start out like the rest of us mere mortals and then work your way up? I was dismally slow in sprints (the reason I knew I was never going to be great in my first love - baseball), but had a knack for endurance almost immediately.   

Can you describe your progression and what types of workouts or strategies you felt particularly began making the difference? When I started running there was a common belief that LSD (long slow distance for laymen) was the answer to being good at distance races.  So I did a lot of that.  Later when I got to college I found out there was no such thing as slow anything, including distance.  My first college workout in September 1974 consisted of a 12 mile sprint through North Philadelphia with a bunch of upper class-men stars that were just out for a jog.  We averaged just a little over 6 minute pace for those 12 miles in the heat, and I puked at the end of the run.  That night I went home and said I will never be able to run for a college team.  It was an up and down four years that had a mixture of good and bad times, but in the end I learned that if you want to run fast, you have to train fast.  LSD is not the way to become fast.    

Did you do much cross training or did you just run, run, run?  I normally just did fast distance, or track work.  I hated track work because I stunk at it, but it was very important, so I did it.

How did you learn to pace yourself throughout races and your workouts?  Much of my pacing was just how I felt or who I was with.  There were no running guides to teach you how to train.  

So many running articles recommend that you add sprints or tempo runs to your workout, but it can be very difficult to figure out how much is pushing yourself the right amount to (1) make it through the rest of the workout, (2) not be so sore that you can't workout in the coming days, (3) not get sick after, and (4) not get injured.  With so much to keep you guessing, what do you recommend for people trying to start incorporating more "efforts" into their "workouts"?  Wow what a question, but a good one.  I would say that pushing yourself is very important, unless you never want to improve.  But not getting injured is even more important or your career will end like mine did.  Get to know your body by going easy until you are a more experienced runner, then push yourself gradually until you have achieved new levels in  a realistic time-frame.  Don't let what works for other people be your guideline.  Be glad you have real running shoes to train in to help avoid the injuries.  Look up Nike Waffle Trainers (probably in the Smithsonian Museum by now!).  We thought they were great because Steve Prefontaine's coach invented them - but they were a disgrace and caused many of usirreparable damage.  

Did you typically create your own training schedules for races (and if so - what were some of your staples that you would always like to include, or could you provide a sample idea of what one might look like, etc.) or did you usually follow a published one/hire a coach/etc (and if so which one did you use)?  I did not have any training schedules that went out more than a few days.  It was mostly just how I felt, or what the coach made me do.  It was a different time.  My college coach had a favorite workout - 20 quarters (400 meters these days!!) in 70 seconds each with a quarter jog in-between.  Believe me, you were spent at the end of that one, and I was normally doing the last few in over 75 seconds.  He also had a killer of four 1/2 milers in 2:10 with a quarter jog in-between.  I can still feel the pain from that one!  There were very few big races to look forward to and train for months a head of time.  I wish I could be 30 years younger and be involved with running today, I would have enjoyed tocamaraderie and access advice from those that were better than me.    

What's your favorite type of training run? I always remember in the winter months I would run my 17 mile course with a friend where we ran the first 12 miles at a sensible pace, then always tried to do the last 5 at less than 6 minute pace. For several winters in the late 1970's we were doing this in intense cold and ice covered roads. 

What's your favorite distance to race? 5 miles was the most common road race distance in those days, but I did better in distances between 5 and a half marathon.  I never won a five mile road race, but finished 2nd several times.  I also always wanted to get down to 25 minutes for it, but never even broke 26.  That was a disappointment because it was the distance I would have liked to be the best at.  

Most embarrassing moment that ever happened to you on a runDropping out of the Caeser Rodney Half Marathon in Wilmington (I think it was 1975) and my sister and her husband had come out out watch me finish.  I had a spell in 1975 after the surprising marathon time I ran where I was dropping out of races because of mental problems and ended up quitting running for about 9 months before I realized I needed to get back into it.  I'm glad I did.  Unfortunatley I lost my entire sophomore year and led to a less than impressive junior year with my college team.  Luckily by senior year I had made a great comeback.
Are there any conventional "rules of running" that you threw out the window and in retrospect wish you'd obeyed?  I can't think of any, because like I said, running was unpopular.  There were no conventional "rule of running" I knew of, and without the Internet, it's hard to find anything out!  Believe it or not, I was never on the Internet until I was 40!  Imagine life without it now.  I wish I could have a chance to be young and be a runner again in this much more enlightened age of the Internet. 

Can you guys believe he NEVER TRAINED FOR A MARATHON and posted a sub 3:00:00???  So impressive!!!!! Now if only those family genes had been passed down to me....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fan Fare Friday: Blank Park Zoo's Tortoise Trot

How could my blog be named the Trotting Tortoise and me not give a plug to the upcoming Des Moines, IA Tortoise Trot race?

The 5k will be held June 16th, 2012.  If I weren't traveling so much for work right now I might actually consider registering and flying out there.

Good luck to anyone running it who might happen across my humble little blog!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day!

There are a lot of "National [fill in the blank] day" days that you probably didn't know about, like National Pancake Day, National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, National Arbor Day and then some.  But today is National Running Day, and I hope you got a chance to "celebrate" it.

In New York, the New York Road Runners hosted events that included running with coaches and pro athletes.  I hope some of you were able to enjoy similarly special events.  Here at my hotel in Philadelphia I celebrated by heading out for a run along part of Rocky Balboa's famous training route - steps and all - but you'll have to wait for more on that post tomorrow because I forgot to pack my ipod cord, which would allow me to share images with you.  Perhaps tomorrow.

So for now, I'll leave you with a coupon for up to $20 off the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series races.  Click here to register / get the coupon, but do it today because it's only for National Running Day!

[Special shout out / thanks to Jen for passing along - Thanks Jen, you ROCK!!]

Happy National Running Day Everyone :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Hammer Time!

I recently got a question from a friend and TT reader about help finding the correct running shoes to help with her Hammertoes-ies.  Frankly, I probably have a bit of that MC Hammer action going on myself.  Well, my friend, we're in good company.  Check out the likes of Cameron, Jennifer and Kate to see that you're not alone!  It turns out that many fashionable ladies shoes are not so wonderful for your feet, but I guess most of you could have figured that out after less than a night out on the town in them.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Race recap: American Heart Association Wall Street Run

Last night I ran the American Heart Association's Wall Street 3 mile run, which was yet another step in the right direction to getting me re-energized about running, and for no reason other than it was fun.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bring Back...That Loving Feeling...

Oooh oooh oh...

Memorial Day weekend and my trip to Chicago may have brought back that loving feeling.  Maybe all this time I had just, in the wise words of Austin Powers, "lost my mojo," and needed a run on a familiar, favorite route to get my running mojo back.

Let me share my beautiful photography skills...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thinking Ahead Thursday

So...I bombed the Brooklyn half [I think I took the "No Sleep til Brooklyn" stuff a little too seriously, among other things, outlined here].

Monday, May 21, 2012

I PRed this Weekend!! And lessons from the Brooklyn Half.

Gotcha!  Not that kind of PR.  Not the good one. I broke my personal record of not having walked in a half marathon before.  Not that there's anything wrong with walking.  In fact, check out this 2009 NY Times post about Tim Deegan, a 25-time marathon runner who improved upon his recent race times and qualified for Boston by walk-running...clearly, it has its merits.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Flashback Friday: My First Half, Plus a Little Carbo Chit Chat and more...

Part 1: Flashback Friday: My First Half

The first half marathon I ever ran was the More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon, which is essentially two laps [plus a little] around Central Park the hard way.  Between the new PDR [personal distance record] that I would be facing and Central Park's not insubstantial hills, I knew I'd have to take a training plan seriously.  And I did.  I was following Fitness Magazine's half marathon training plan pretty diligently and determined that a reasonable goal for me would be to finish in 2:20:00.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm screwed.

If you had asked me what my goals were going to be for the Brooklyn half when I signed up for it I would have enthusiastically listed my a, b, and c goals for the day - a being if everything went great during training and the weather and my body were feeling great on race day and c probably would have involved just besting my current PR of 2:17:43.  "Why?" you ask.  Well, I began preparing with what I felt was enough time, I now have the confidence of having completed a marathon under my belt, and the course is supposed to be incredibly fast [mostly flat].

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pit Stops

This week was my company's annual training "retreat," and while we all love to complain about going to it, I guess I really shouldn't because it is, after all, where I met James four and a half years ago.  [If you're very observant / confused how I could have met him four and a half years ago at an annual event, gold star for you, and the answer is that they changed what time of year they hold the event]

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Doggin' it to the Finish Line

We could use this time to go over the fact that I only completed about 9 out of the 30 goals I set for April and how that's not going to help me happily make it to the finish line or the Brooklyn Half, much less PR.
Tears of disappointment over my failure to meet April's Hold Me To It goals....

There's Always Some Excuse....

As much as I like to think it will change or be different next race, there's always some excuse for why training didn't go as well as I hoped and I'm sure there always will be!  Actually, maybe that's not true - for the marathon I managed to stick pretty steadfastly to my training plan (probably out of sheer terror over what was awaiting me), but for anything shorter there seems to be a recurring theme.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Don't Need to Walk Around in Circles, Walk Around in Circles....

...walk around in circles...[Remember that song from the 90s???]
My handy route map from the Garmin - in case I wasn't sure where I went.... turns out I DON'T need to walk around in Circles, because I did quite alright running them instead :)  After a moving-centric, Beatles-sound tracked weekend (shout-out to James for helping me paint

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tulips and Raccoons and Friends, Oh My!

It's April 19th and the Brooklyn Half Marathon is officially 1 month away!  It's been dawning on me that with the race nearing so quickly my mileage should really be looking a lot better than it has been lately.  I also realize that you can't try to push yourself during every single workout, or else you'll risk burning out, injury, or just not being able to get through the workout.  With all of that in mind, I headed to Central Park on this gorgeous night and decided to let my legs decide the workout.  I wasn't too optimistic, given that they were still feeling pretty tight from Monday's Leg workout and Wednesday' hill workout.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hump Day Hills!

Happy Hump Day, Everybody!  The week is half way through, and it seemed a bit poetic to infuse my workout with some humps of its own.  Additionally, getting back from my road trip at 10PM made a short sweat sess enticing and hills seemed like the perfect way to justify the brevity of a half hour run.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Love Your Legs Workout...Not so LOVEly

It's not secret that I'm behind on my lunge-a-licious leg workout (it's not - you can check out the Brooklyn half training log on the right to see that I've only done it twice this month, when I believe by now I should have done it at least 4 times to be on track for my April goals).  I thought it was hard to consistently make time to run [except maybe for during marathon training where I pretty much accepted that that was my priority all the time, and I do mean ALL the time because when you're running a 5 hour marathon those pesky training runs take up enough hours to fill a part time job!), so I don't know why I thought it would be any easier to try to get more consistent about running again AND suddenly start being good about cross training, too.  Maybe I thought that the impending bathing suit season would motivate me more?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday Night Lights!

Tonight's run was one of those magical [I debated using magical at the risk of sounding cheesier than usual and losing you] nights in Central Park.  I didn't happen to have my Garmin or Ipod tracking devices with me and I generally hate running without being able to track my metrics, so I decided to head out for a short 30 minute jog to at least get some miles in.  (Plus, it was pretty fitting to run without checking in on any devices after the Born to Run lecture which emphasized focusing purely on the enjoyment of running). 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I love to read about running.  I love to read stories about people who accomplish amazing things - or have worked at it so much that they've made huge improvements.  I love reading about running so much that I sometimes forget to um, do the running (you may recall my recent "epiphany": Reading about how to become a fast runner will not make you a fast runner.  You have to actually DO THE STUFF THEY get faster).  Anyway, back in February when I started this little bloggy blog, I put Born to Run, my favorite running related reading material to date(1), on the list of things I wanted to write about.  Whether you like a good suspense story (who will win the big race whose creation is chronicled throughout the book / finish line nail biter brings it to a close?), Malcom Gladwell style findings from research and scientific studies (Blink meets Runners World, anyone?), or anecdotes about incredible athletes to inspire you to get out there and go for your best, this book is for you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Scotland Run Review: It's Not about Winning, It's about Looking Good

This weekend brought the NYRR's annual Scotland run - along with about 7,000 runners, face paint, and an awesome amount of plaid.  My friend Kathleen and I signed up for the race together to ensure we'd have some intermediate goals to keep us on track for Brooklyn Half training.   Kathleen e-mailed me after registering, "PS can we wear kilts or at least something plaid for the Scotland one?!"  and I was immediately pumped for the race.  I'm a firm believer in, "It's not about winning, it's about looking good," because, let's face it...I wouldn't even win if they let me into the old folks' category.  Case in point, the Women's Age

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lunchtime Running to the Rescue

We're 5 days into April and I've basically already done more this month than I did all of last month.  I had some legit excuses, but whatever, the point is not to hate on March, but rather to say that I think I'm on the right track for working towards a strong go of it at the Brooklyn half this May.  Of course, I got a little freaked out when Kathleen pointed out that it's only about 6.5 weeks away, but let's focus on the things I can control; currently, the time-space continuum is not one of them.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Turn Up the Training Tuesday

If you read about it, speed will come.  Subconsciously, I think this has been my mantra - and problem - for some time in running.  This is not the Field of Dreams, people.  I have read about a zillion articles (I am a really efficient reader) on how to improve your running - I probably read about 2/3rds zillion of them while training for the marathon before I came to terms with the idea that I wouldn't be able to run a wonderful sub

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March and Weekend Review, New Goals, and Maaaybe I can be a Fast Runner!!

March in Review
March was not exactly what you'd call an example in how to set and meet your goals.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it this month, though.  Excuses though they may be, I'd call doctor's orders, bronchitis, and a 103 degree fever pretty good excuses to miss your exercise goals for the month.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Faux-thello: To Run, or Not to Run?

TO RUN, OR NOT TO RUN, THAT IS THE QUESTION.  Okay, so that's Hamelt, not Othello, but I just couldn't resist.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Really Exciting News and AliOntheRunBlog Rules! (does that kind of rhyme?)

And it's official!!!  James's + my offer/rental application has been accepted!!  I am absolutely smitten!! Smitten about my new roommate!!  Smitten about our new apartment!! Smitten!! Smitten!! Smitten [Can you tell?]!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hello, Exercise! Have You Missed Me??

After just about two and a half weeks of no exercise and signing up for the Brooklyn half along with a gaggle of awesome girlfriends [did I just call you girls a gaggle?  I'm not even sure what a gaggle is...] , I decided tonight's the night!  I have a few races coming up and cough or no cough, I simply couldn't wait any longer to exercise.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fan Fare Friday - Texas Style!

Today's Fan Fare Friday is about Cam, who is the epitome of a good friend.  Whether she was getting me stoked for the NYC marathon (by sending good luck notes or singing "Baby You Were Born to Run" into

Thursday, March 22, 2012

HUNGRY to run again!

Come onnnnnnn Amoxicillin! Between the amazing weather Philly and NYC have been experiencing and I am hungry to get run again.  Too bad my lungs still have the shake, rattle and roll bit going on.  The Amoxicillin must be doing something, though, because it is clearly wreaking havoc on my stomach.  (Did I mention I have a stomach made of steel?  Psych!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Motivating Monday and a Crack Addict-esc Subway Ride...

Understatement of the week: Jen and Gillian did GREAT in their races this weekend.  Jen PRed by OVER 7 MINUTES and Gillian completed her very first half in UNDER 2 HOURS.  How's that for motivational?  The girls have each provided me with some juicy jems on speed-focused parts of their training routines that I will try (and share with you!) in the coming weeks.  Unfortunately, it might be a while before I get to try them, though...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fan Fare Friday!

The original name of this post was going to be "It's My Birthday and I'll Run if I Want to [even though I don't feel 100% better]" but it turns out whatever % better you need to feel to be up for running - I was not today.  But....believe it or not...this really happened...super amazing awesome friend Jen and super amazing awesome sister Susan both got me a Runners World magazine subscription for my birthday - AMAZING!!!  That's right...if they thought they were going to make me faster, they were wrong - they made me DOUBLY faster!!! Woohoo!  I couldn't have been more pumped, surprised, or confused when the two RW emails came :-D  (I will have a little chat with RW to make sure they don't just send me the same one two times every month, cause that would just be ridiculous)  Thank you amazing lovelies :-D

Anyhoo...on to FAN FARE FRIDAY!!!  I'm excited to send some speedy vibes (okay, I don't really have any speedy vibes to send, but good will?  cheer?  love?) to my friends Jen and Gillian who are each running a half this weekend.  Let's go ladies!!!  For more on their respective goals, planning and races ahead, read on!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thin Thighs Thursday and When the Heck Can I Run Again??

A good way to figure out if your loving parents read your blog or not: post about your 103 degree fever (I can't wait to be 100% over this thing!) and see if you hear from them to make sure you're alright.  It would appear my parents do not, in fact, read my blog.  Now I know why my mom was asking if I'm able to tell who reads my blog...

On to the nemesis of many a woman...the pesky task of obtaining thin thighs.  (Before I lose the boys...this post could alternatively be titled "Strong Legs for Strong Running and When the Heck Can I Run Again?)  After several days with the flu and not having the energy to eat, it's pretty much official: I will never ever have super model thighs.  That's okay.  I mean, besides the fact that Christy Turlington's super model legs enabled her to beat me in the marathon by about 40 minutesmost super model thighs would probably not support my goal of becoming a faster runner.  Doing loads and loads and loads of squats, however, will likely help my running (Incidentally, Minka Kelly claims that they are the secret to her bootylicious body, telling People Magazine that her key move is, "Lots of squats. Oh, honey, hundreds. It feels like a million!")

People always complain that celebrities only have perfect bodies because they have the time and money to spend on personal trainers and dieticians, etc.    While it's true that I'll never have the time nor money to devote to obtaining the perfect Jessica Biel beach bod, I realized that tons of magazines are throwing exercise routines at me every month - tailored by the very people who train these Adonis-like celebrities.  With workouts designed by the likes of Gunnar Peterson, Jackie Warner, Harley Pasternak, Bob Harper, and Jillian Michaels (to name a few) DELIVERED TO MY DOOR, what am I waiting for?  Why have I not been following their plans religiously? And how can I complain that I don't have access to the "secrets" that give the celebrities the upper hand?  Granted, the moves often look supremely idiotic and win you some really priceless looks from strangers at the gym, but whatever.  You're not there for them.  You're there for you.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekend Two: Epic Fail.

Thursday night I came home from a nice dinner with my relatives to feel one thing only: utter lethargy.  I was sure I'd be able to crank out a set of leg exercises and push ups, if not a few miles to boot.  But the only thing calling my name was a big fluffy pillow.  "No big deal, if I make it home to NYC early enough on Friday, I'll get a nice early evening jog in followed by me new-favorite-yoga class (6:30PM at NYSC on 62nd and Bway)."  Again, the pillow won out.  Not just for the jog, but for yoga and my whole afternoon/evening.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wannabe Wednesday: Fast-Legs-Megs!

As you may have guessed from Monday's post, you witty thing, you, this week's Wannabe Wednesday is inspired by my friend Megs, a true athlete whose ultra-competitive racing spirit is masked in day to day life by her equally sweet personality.

Megs ran in both of the More/Fitness Half-Marathons that I did and proved a supportive cheerleader in the run-up (pun obviously intended) for both.  I vividly remember Megs inviting me to join her for a long run in the lead up to what would be my first ever half marathon.  Although elated by the invite, I told her that I was pretty sure we can't run together given my pace and she cheerily responded that it wouldn't be a problem and she was sure I'd be awesome.  Flash forward a few weeks to the finish line: Megs comes in 13th.  Out of 6,385 people.  I came in, roughly.....3,168th place.  The following year an extra 1,150 runners participated, causing Megs to drop 1 - you read that right - just 1 place to 14th.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Weekend One: Off to an A-Okay Start!

Still not sure what would be considered a reasonable amount to lose to Neil by, but I used the weekend to start crossing things off my 31 Goals for the 31 Days of March list.

Friday night - took the most amazing yoga class.  Shoulder rubs in the middle of tough poses with minty-eucalyptusy icy-hot type lotion?  Yes, please!  The 55 minute class flew by and I left feeling like a new person. Cheesy?  Absolutely.  Refreshing - also yes.  Thank you, New York Sports Club. #18 on list of 31 - complete.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

31 Goals for the 31 Days of March + a new Challenge

What better way to kick off a new month of running (or end to my umpteenth week on the road for work) than shoes!!! Heeeeeey, I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right... :)  Well, surprise flowers from the boyfriend was equally nice (even though I like the smell of the shoes better... err...for now anyway....that will probably only last until the first wear.....) 

Oooh, I love you, new shoes!  You even smell better than the flowers!! Mmmm!!!

Wannabe Wednesday and Some Pie

There's always going to be someone faster who you can look to for inspiration (unless of course you're Paula Radcliffe).  For the most part I'm inspired by everyday runners instead of professionals, because I mean, hey - I'd expect you to be fast if that's your job.  Ironically enough, though, I'd like to write my inaugural [that it hard to spell!] "Wannabe Wednesday" post about one Ms. Paula Radcliffe.

First things first, though:  Okay, so where did I leave off on my last post?  Oh, right...I'm soooooooo competitive and going to outrun Neil....who saw that I had pulled into the lead and texted me:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Motivation

Admittedly I've been slacking since the NYC marathon this past November.  I guess you could say I was burnt out.  But there's nothing to get me going again quite like a little friendly competition.   You see, I'm pretty competitive.  Unfortunately, I'm kind of the "jack of all trades [that part's probably flattering myself] master of none [that part's very accurate]" type of person, which makes it tough to be competitive.  Because

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Running [Wo]Man

Young adult-aimed or not, I’ll admit: I’ve got Katniss fever.  I listened to the first Hunger Games book on tape while training for the NYC Marathon, finished up the next two almost overnight, and then mourned the end of the series.   So this weekend my boyfriend suggested we watch THE RUNNING MAN, because the

Friday, February 24, 2012

Here Goes Nothing!

A few months ago I posted “Here Goes Nothing” along with a picture of my NYC marathon entrant bib on facebook.  It was the night before marathon (my first ever) and I’d been excited and obsessing about it for what seemed like forever.  I didn’t know how it would go - if I’d even finish, or just quit - but I had been itching to do it for so long and it was time to get after it. 
As I attempt to bang out these first few lines of “my blog” I’m having some of those same excitements and nerves.  I’ve been intrigued by this idea for a while (since my awesome friend Jen started sending me inspirational blog posts during my marathon training, really) and I don’t know if I will keep it up or quit in frustration, but it seems time to get after this, too. 

I’m sure I’ll tell you more about me, my running, and randomness in due time, but now, let me answer a few questions:

  • What’s the point of sending these random thoughts into cyber space?  Isn’t it like talking to a wall?  Well, yes it is.  But hey – my friends usually tell me, “You could talk to a brick wall,” so I might as well go for it, right? Maybe I’ll even hold myself accountable to training more meaningfully if I feel like I have my [imaginary] readers to answer to.  And if I’m really lucky, maybe some of you will even post some tips, motivation, and techniques that could help me to transform myself from a tortoise into another slow animal that’s slightly faster than a tortoise!
  • Why the “Trotting Tortoise”?  I run slow and get the “Runner’s Trots” a lot.  I suppose instead I could have gone with "The Sh*tty Runner," but I thought this might be more universally appropriate.  Yes, yes – we all know old Aesop’s “slow and steady” moral. Listen, I’m never going win the race - I just want to get a little faster – set a few PRs this year, possibly try to break a 2 hr ½ marathon at some point in the next year or two, and maybe, maaaaybe even (*pretty please?*) become a little more resistant to running induced tummy tantrums.  
  • Did you say “Runner’s Trots”?  Tantalizing!  Please, tell me more!  Okaaaay, if you insist.  I don’t have any specific disease – that the doctor’s can tell anyway (more on the questionableness of their input likely to come later), but rather IBS.  IBS is what they tell you they have when they’re tired of testing you for random shit (figuratively and, more-or-less, literally).  Attempting to run fast is already difficult for me, multiple pit-stop races are not doing my race times any favors, either.
Then again…maybe it’s not medical afterall.  Maybe I just can’t help myself from stopping at every bathroom I see!
  • Anything else I NEED to know before waiting in agony for your next post?  Why, yes!  Thanks for asking.  My dream job is to be Kelly Ripa’s co-host.  It has been for quite some time, but it wasn’t until recently, with Reg’s retirement, that I realized JUST HOW POSSIBLE it is for that to come true.  So, you know, if you have any way to hook a Tortoise up, DOOOOO IT!
Well, there you have it, my first post.  Hoorah, I’m up and going!  Speaking of which, what better way to seal off my first blog entry than getting up and going on a run?  Happy trails!