What’s your power word?

cropped-meandkiddos2.jpgIf you could choose one word to describe yourself, something to power your running or your life, what would it be?

OK, go!

And if you’re willing, please share your word in my comments section and keep reading to learn what mine is. 🙂

I was thinking about this today because my life and training often mirror each other and I’ve got a lot on my plate. I just finished my application for grad school and I’m probably going back to school in the fall, and I’m also training for Mount Evans Ascent in June.  All of that feels outside of my comfort zone, and that’s why I’ve been playing with words and mantras.  I can use all the help that I can get.

I LOVE words — I always have. Back when I was a newspaper editor one of my favorite things was writing headlines. It always gave me great satisfaction when I came up with a good one. I love how words can paint pictures in your head. This also happens to me when I pick a good mantra. I think mantras can help you stack the odds in your favor during training.  Obviously, nothing is a guarantee but when you’re training hard, you want to draw strength and inspiration from wherever you can. For instance, both of my kids did something cool recently that made me think of power words to describe them.

My son just tested for his next belt in karate. That, by itself, wasn’t a big deal, but he was the only one testing at his level, which meant he had to do it alone with everyone in the room watching him. Keep in mind he’s 8 years. I’m not sure I could have done that when I was 8. I was shy and probably would have cracked under the pressure, but he didn’t. He passed and I was proud of him, but most of all, I was floored by his courage. That leads me to my power word for him: “Courageous.” He’s always had a courageous heart and I admire that about him.

Last week my daughter gave a speech in front of her entire fifth grade class at school. Like many people I know, public speaking scares her.  Later she confided in me, after her presentation was over, that the first time she ever spoke in front of a large crowd, about a year ago, she cried afterward. This time, however, she practiced in front of me and she was better prepared. When it came time for her to do it she came off confident and happy — just the way she is when you’re with her in a small group or one-on-one. She blossomed like a sunflower, which brings me to the word that makes me think of her: “Ebullient.”  She’s always had a joyous spirit about her no matter what.

Last weekend I ran the Greenland 25K Trail Race in Larkspur, Colorado.  Here’s proof:

dirtyfeetGoing to the dirt side: No, that’s not five o’clock shadow — just the dusty remnants of my efforts.

greenland25KBaked runner: This was the path to the start of the race and that was about as shady as it got it.

Greenland was balls to the wall for me and the longest run (15.5 miles) I’ve done since the Tucson Marathon in December.  I knew I was under-trained going in but I went for it anyway.  It was exposed the whole time and my Garmin (timer) crashed at the first aid station, but I finished.  It was good training for Mount Evans in that it had some climbing and some less-than-ideal conditions, although I expect it will be windy and cold and miserable in a different way at high altitude rather than being baked. Still, Greenland was challenging and while it wasn’t a spectacular finish, it was a finish nonetheless and indicative of the power word I choose for myself: “Tenacious.”

I’ve always been a tenacious person and I’m a plucky runner. That’s my strength. I’m not an elite athlete, but I’m willing to work hard and train smart and see where it takes me. Sometimes that’s all you need. Next month I will run up Mount Evans, which is a 14er.  I’ve never hiked a 14er but I’ll succeed because I’ve made up my mind to do so.

“Tenacious” — that’s me.

What’s your power word?  Can you go outside your comfort zone?  I bet you can if you try.


“Aging is inevitable but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 3; Mileage for 2014: 293


Throw Back Thursday: 2012 Bear Chase 50K


Me running the Bear Chase 50K in 2012.

Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of an earlier time that you stepped out of your comfort zone, especially as you prepare to push yourself again. 🙂


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 5; Mileage for 2014: 276

Welcome to “Run. Work. Live. Repeat.”

“The secret of change is to focus on all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

If you are receiving this post today it’s because I was successful in converting my own blog, “Boston or Botox” and its content to my new domain name and site, “Run. Work. Live. Repeat.” (http://www.RunWorkLiveRepeat.com)  Hurrah!

For a while now I’ve been feeling like it was time for me to make a change with my blog and then God and the universe prodded me to do so. My response was creating this new site and domain name.  I also signed up to run the Mt. Evans Ascent Race today (gulp!) — which bills itself as “America’s Highest Road Race.” It starts at 10,600 feet of elevation and finishes at Mt. Evans, 14,264 feet.


Photo credit: Wikipedia.com

The way I see it — you either gotta embrace change or run really fast in the other direction from it if you don’t. Climbing Mt. Evans will push my limits, and isn’t that what life’s about anything — changes and pushing the envelope to new places?

I’ll have more to post in the coming days. Thanks for sticking with me as I completed this transition.


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage yesterday: 7; Mileage for 2014: 269


My new “committed relationship”: Foam rolling + running

Have you ever avoided something you knew was good for you? Something you didn’t do even though you thought you should?

Until recently that was my relationship with “Freddy.” That’s my nickname for my Orange Grid Foam Roller (Retails for about $40). I confess: I avoided “Fred” and the idea of foam rolling for the longest time even though I knew it would help my muscles. Why? Because just like a real human relationship foam rolling has its ups and downs.

fredFor those of you unfamiliar with the benefits of foam rolling for muscle recovery and stretching here’s a link that explains it: Roll Away Injuries: The Benefits of Using a Foam Roller (Competitor, Feb. 2013).

Foam rolling can help keep you healthier and it’s certainly done that for me as I’ve ramped up my mileage to prepare for the Tucson Marathon in December. (I’m running around 50+ miles a week these days using the Hansons Marathon Method to train.)

I credit Fred in part for helping me this go-around, but I also can’t lie. This committed relationship is definitely a love-hate one. Yes, my body and muscles feel better after I foam roll, but Holy Moses!! Does it ever hurt sometimes when I’m in the process of doing it?! My husband often stares at me in disbelief as I roll on the floor, wincing and occasionally yelling in pain. When I hit the right spots — the muscles that are too tight — it can hurt like crazy and I find myself having to breathe though it. The upside is I feel tremendous relief when I’m done and my running form has improved again over time. I don’t know if I will ever “fall in love” with foam rolling but as long it keeps me healthy, I’m sticking to it.

(Oy, “Hurts So Good” … some musical inspiration for foam rolling from a fellow Hoosier …)

And here’s the other thing I’ve learned — my “Boston or Botox” epiphany — from foam rolling regularly. As we get older it’s even more important not to avoid things that make us better and healthier. When you’re younger you can get away with shortcuts or pushing your body too hard without paying the consequences. That’s not true when you get older. Your margin for error grows slimmer to the point where you can’t afford not to do things that benefit you.

Is there something you know you should be doing to be healthier or become a stronger? Maybe it’s remembering to put on sunscreen or a hat before you go outside to protect your skin? Or maybe it’s staying better hydrated when you run? Whatever it is, I encourage you to share it here. Start your own new “committed relationship” like I did. Your body will probably thank you later.

OK, it’s time for me to roll out my muscle once again … ooohhh and ouch! Keep breathing and keep getting stronger. 🙂


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage yesterday: 8; Mileage for 2013: 1,558






See K.C. Run and BorB is Back!

“Running isn’t about how far you go but how far you’ve come.”
–Bart Yasso, “Chief Running Officer,” Runner’s World

kc1 Me and K.C. Compton, moments after she finished the See Jane Run Half Marathon — her very first half marathon — June 8, 2013, Alameda, Calif.

This POST has been a LOOOONG time coming …

First off, WELCOME to the NEW Boston or Botox, now on WordPress!

The reasons for my long hiatus were: 1) I was in the process of converting this blog; and 2) It’s been summer. My kids were home while I’m also working; and my life has been busy and chaotic.

But I’m back now and just like Rocky Balboa, in fighting form and better than ever!

If there’s one thing that defines a runner — most of us, anyway, it’s our ability to “Rocky up” and persevere.

Yes, while most of us challenge ourselves to go LONG in the process, it really is more about how FAR we’ve come when we look at where we began ….

On that front I have two accomplished to talk about today.

This summer I not only learned WordPress, but on June 8, 2013, I coached an old friend, K.C. Compton, through completing her first half marathon ever.


Here she is at 64 and fabulous and a half marathoner FINISHER!


Back in January she contacted me to be her coach. At that point she’d never gone farther than a 5K.

She asked me if I thought she could do it. My answer was clear: Absolutely!

The other quality I believe defines most runners is our audacity and K.C. is someone I’ve always known to possess it in truckloads. After she hired me on she was a pleasure to coach.

Throughout the years I’ve known her (almost 20), K.C. has donned many hats: Single, working mom; newspaper columnist; returned college student and grad (in her late 40s); musician and performer; newspaper managing editor, and most recently, senior magazine editor for Mother Earth News.

I’ve always considered it a blessing to know her and she continues to inspire me today.

And now she bear a new title: RunnerGirl!

I am so proud of her and honored to be her friend AND coach.

So what’s happened with K.C. since her big accomplishment? She got back on the training band wagon and was doing OK for a few weeks. Then, unfortunately, she experienced another real-world runner lesson. She got injured and sprained her ankle during her next phase of training. She’s now recovering and working her way back to Rocky fighting form.

It was tough for both of us when it happened but she got medical treatment right away and I know she will be OK. She’s one of the most “coach-able” I’ve met and she’s already on her way to getting better. She is setting her sights on a sprint triathlon for next year. I believe we’ll get there again healthy, safely and gradually.

As for me — the blog conversion is done. I signed up for the Tucson Marathon and I’m in the process of getting myself back in true physical Rocky fighting form, too. Now that the blog is on WordPress and the kiddos are back in school, I am ready to pick Boston or Botox again. I have several profiles in the works.

I can’t wait to see how FAR I and Boston or Botox will go next.


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 7.5: Mileage for 2013: 1,182





“Strong” is the new black

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Mine would be strength but not the Superman kind. Sometimes you need physical strength; other times mental; but most of all you need both. That’s what my super power would cover. Then nothing could ever stop me.

Me finishing the Colorado Half Marathon in Fort Collins, May 5. My clock time: 1:53:10 and my Garmin: 1:52:10. (I don’t know how they were off by a minute but close enough!)

Until mid-March I was training to run the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins. I kept my training quiet because I was coming back from an injury (Remember my “elephant foot”?) and secretly I hoped to qualify for Boston again. I didn’t want to jinx myself.  It turns out I didn’t have to. Other aspects of my life boiled over like a foaming pot. That’s when I made the decision to pull out of the marathon. I ran the half instead, and I’m at peace with it.

I believe the mind, body and spirit are connected. When one of those is off for me, it affects my running. Marathons especially require me to be on my game.

If you’ve ever over-boiled a pot while making spaghetti or something, you’ll know what I mean by the following analogy. An over-boiled pot can make a big huge mess on your stove. The only way to stop the foaming and boiling over is to turn off the heat. Then you have to wait to cool it down to clean up the mess. BUT if you wait too long or don’t clean it up at all, an even stickier, yuckier mess gets cooked on. It’s best to suck it up and deal with it on time.

That kind of thing happened in my life and my marathon training, metaphorically, back in mid-March. I had to turn down the burner. I hated it when it happened. In my heart I wanted to Superwoman, but part of being human is know when to step back. To be honest if I had tried to run that marathon anyway at that point, it would have been like throwing half-cooked spaghetti against the wall to see if it would stick. That’s not the way to race a long distance.

The good news is … no one got burned. Life has returned to normal, and it’s even getting better. I’m not physically injured right now. (Hurrah!) I’m just keeping it all — home life, work, family, children, running — at a controlled simmer for the moment.

There are reasons and season for everything in life. I truly believe that. Sometimes you push hard and past an obstacle, and other times life requires that you slow down and shift your focus to return to balance.

Has that ever happened to you?

I hope to run a marathon by the end of the year. I’m eying Tucson or California International.

In the meantime I’m enjoying the Zen of running and life. I’m coaching some people right now and I love being part of making their dreams come true. It’s truly an honor. I plan to race some shorter distances (5Ks, 10Ks, halves) locally and I would love to trail run with friends and family this summer. My heart and soul could really use that balm of being out in nature, and closer to God and creation.

Now I know I’ve been saying this for a while BUT I’m finally getting my shit together. I intend to move this blog over to a new web host, finish out the Boston or Botox women’s profiles and start a series on the men of Boston or Botox soon very soon.

Given what happened in Boston 2013 I believe the world needs the heart, hope, and humor in which I first started Boston or Botox more than ever.

No matter what comes our way I believe we can choose to don own capes and stay strong.

“Strong” is the new black. Wear it well.


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 5: Mileage for 2013: 834.

Running in your own skin

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death.”
–Anne Frank, from The Diary of Anne Frank.

Hope — that is the focus of today’s post. The following was written on the morning of the Boston Marathon 2013, just 6 day ago. I was getting ready to post it when my cousin from Phoenix called to see if I was in Boston after hearing about the bombings. Luckily, I hadn’t posted this essay yet that day. I am, however, posting it as it was written today. In the light of what happened in Boston, I hope it brings you some lightness.


Happy Patriots’ Day! Today is the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. Two years ago today I ran the Boston Marathon. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long ago.

To all my running friends in Boston today: BEST OF GOOD LUCK! I am there with you in spirit.

Me, near the 20-mile mark of the Boston Marathon, April 2011.

Yes, today I’m nostalgic. That’s why I’m asking this poignant question of myself and of you, too: If you could turn back the hands of time, would you? Have you ever wished you could re-live a day or event in your life? Perhaps even correct a mistake or two?

Those were the days! Me, during the 1990s in Santa Fe, NM, running the Big Tesuque Race. I was 25 when this was taken!

Ah yes, the Mount Evans Ascent Race is nothing compared to those shoulder pads and puffy hair! Boy, they were BIG back then!

My answers to those questions are clear: NO — I would not go back, especially if I couldn’t take my 40something wisdom with me. What would be the point?!

Also, people often ask me if I ever want to go back to Boston and run it again? My answer to that is, probably not, although I would like to run another Boston Marathon qualifying time.

Don’t get me wrong. I am human, after all, and this blog is titled, “Boston OR Botox.”  Yes, I want to keep running strong. Yes, I would prefer not to repeat my life’s mistakes. And, yes, I miss my flawless 25-year-old skin. When I look at pictures of me from back then, particularly the one with me and my mom (shown above), I think to myself, “Dang — I won the genetic lottery.”  I had such a great complexion (thanks to my mom) and I didn’t even appreciate what I had at the time. I remember finding flaws with myself instead. What a shame that can be — how we tend to be own worse inner critics.

But here’s a valuable lesson I’ve learned since my 20s and 30s. Sure, my face and life’s path had few blemishes then, but only because I was just getting started. I hadn’t taken too many risks yet.

No one’s life is perfect. What defines a person isn’t he’s made mistakes or had failures; it’s how an individual chooses to rise above them — or not.

Everything that’s happened to me through the years –the good and bad — the easy and the hard — the achievements and disappointments — wrinkles, injuries, childbirth, and hardships and mistakes — have shaped me into I am today. I am grateful for who I am and what I have today. That’s why I would not want to go back.

One of the blessings of growing older, I think, is becoming comfortable in your own skin — from the inside out. The other day I got to run with some Columbine girlfriends. All of us who were there that day are in our 40s. I always get the sense when I’m with them that they, too, feel this way — comfortable in their own skin today. You can’t buy in an anti-aging serum.

Obviously, I am not one to take the whole physical aging process without a fight but that’s also where running helps. Exercising, eating well, leading a healthy lifestyle — are the best remedies I know of for this.

I do dream about qualifying for Boston again but I would not want to return to 2011. My memories are great. That’s enough. When I qualify again, it will be a step forward, not back — whatever age I am at that time.

That is what running comfortable in my skin is about for me. How about you?


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 10.4; mileage for 2013: 717

Running bucket list and bucket lust, part I

“Jane” and I can’t get enough of “Chopped” — the cooking competition show on The Food Network where contestants get a basket of mystery ingredients and must compete with themselves and each other to win. We both love the creativity the chefs put in and marvel at how fast they come up with their ideas.

Jane asked me how I think they pull it off. My answer was similar to what I would give if someone asked me how to master running: Lots of patience and lots of practice. When you watch people who are skilled at something — whether it be cooking or running — they can make it look effortless. That’s what years of dedication creates, I believe, a mastery that flows so beautifully it looks second nature.

Lately, I’ve been diligent myself, and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t been writing this blog as often. I haven’t wanted to jinx myself in some way. For the last month I’ve focused on “slow-cooked running” — lots of miles, mostly slower with a sprinkling of speed every week. (Think “simmering” for the fast miles.) It has done wonders for my body, my heart and my psyche. I logged 160 miles of running in January and 41 “Brownie Points, ” my dog walking miles.

Yes, I am counting Brownie Points in my total mileage because I am up with my dog at o’dark early almost every morning and many dark, cold winter evenings. Plus, ultra-runners get to count miles where they keep moving forward, whether it be fast or slow, so I am, too. About 10 weeks ago I was at ground zero with running because of my injury. Logging 201 healthy miles in a month just a few weeks later is an incredible blessing. I am very grateful.

I’ve also had this epiphany in the last few weeks: I’ve driven myself very hard emotionally over the last few years and allowed myself to be hijacked by other people’s else bucket lists and bucket lusts. Bucket lists are the things that are truly in your own soul to do or accomplish versus bucket lusts, which are those dumb things we are susceptible to doing when we cave in to other people’s ideas.

Do you ever feel pressured to keep up with others, even when you know in your heart it might not be such a good idea? Maybe it’s not necessarily with running. Perhaps it’s keeping up with the Joneses or some other area of your life? It doesn’t matter how or why you turn on this pressure cooker within yourself, the result can be the same — destructive.

This is what I was feeling by the end of 2012, so … I’ve sent myself back to “virtual culinary school” to return to what matters most to me. And you know what? It’s been really, really great. I am enjoying my running again very much.

“Train, don’t strain.” Arthur Lydiard

I’ve got more reflections on this subject but this is where I will stop for today. Look for part II in the next few days.

The flavors of a good, happy life and joy with my running are coming back to me.



Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 7; Mileage for 2013: 208.

P.S. Also, a shout-out to all my Colorado friends who are running the Rocky Raccoon in Texas this weekend: Best of luck and soar like you are on the wings of eagles!!

Christmas mojo for your running

I ran like “Buddy” from the movie, “Elf” today.  Have you ever tried it? It’s a lot of fun. If you haven’t seen the movie, I also recommend it.

We got a white Christmas in Colorado and about four inches of snow. After my family and I opened gifts and had breakfast, me and Brownie (my dog) went for a run. I used my new Yaktrak and wore this new Under Armour shirt Santa left for me under the tree. (It was snugly warm and the colors were candy-cane happy.)

As I broke fresh trail I started singing, “I”m running!! And I’m in the snow!! And I’m running!!”

Brownie sniffed the ground, then looked back at me like I was a big goofball (which I am), but other than that, we were by ourselves. Even if we weren’t, I would not have cared if someone heard me. There are times when it’s good for the soul to run like you don’t care what anyone else thinks. After several weeks of being injured and finally returning to running I am truly grateful to be back.

Runners run for all kinds of reasons — to set goals, to meet PRs, to get fit, to get healthier, to compete against others, to lose weights and a bunch of other things, too, but how often do we run for the pure joy of it like a happy, little kid anticipating Christmas morning?

Last weekend I completed a 10-miler — my first “longer” run since I returned to running after my injury. All the running I’ve done lately has been pain free and my health is good again; my family and I are well; and it was gorgeous day — I could not ask for much more this Christmas.

Running pain free may not sound like much at first, but I can tell you that all the big things I’ve accomplished with my running these past few years have been built on gradual, small steps. Put them together and they add up to a lot.

Run like no one is watching, and ENJOY it, too — that’s how “Buddy” would do it. He would sing, too.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to singing loud for all to hear.” — Quotation from “Elf

I wish you and your families the blessings of the season!!


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 3; Mileage for 2012: 1,302.