Me Run Pretty One Day

pamandme2015Me and my bestie running buddy Pam at the Garden of the Gods 10-Miler, June 2015

Greetings from “Run. Work. Live. Repeat” (formerly known as “Boston or Botox?”).  It’s been a long time since I posted, and yes, my title is a nod to one of my favorite authors and humorists, David Sedaris, and his book, Me Talk Pretty One Day. (The book is about is his move to France and trying to learn French.)

Here’s a quick run-down of what’s been going on with me since my last post. In January, I left the graduate teaching program I was doing. Unfortunately, I hit a wall with my student teaching placement in my second semester and was placed in a school district almost 40 miles from my home. This wasn’t going to work for me and my family so I took a deferral from the program. In the meantime, I began some soul searching (Who me, right?), and I decided to look for part-time work during the interim.  I came across a great full-time position that piqued my interest. I sent in my resume and lo and behold, the Universe (yes, capital U) threw me a U-turn. (Wouldn’t U know it?)

I interviewed for the job and I got offer the position. I’m now a staff writer in the development department (translation: fundraising) at National Jewish Health (one of the leading respiratory hospitals in the country).  It’s been a great opportunity and mission to support. (Thank you Universe for having my backside.)

OK, that’s enough shop talk. Let’s talk running.

The Universe also has a sense of humor.  When I renamed my blog — “Run. Work. Live. Repeat” a year or so ago — I had no idea I was manifesting a literal interpretation.

Since returning to work full time, here’s what my typical day looks like.

Get up at o’dark early. Run for an hour or so (or whatever is on my training schedule dictates).

Get home and walk the dog; then get ready for work.

Wake up the kids (because that’s when most civilized people rise, as opposed to running-obsessed, frenzied working mothers.)

Finish getting ready and leave.

Drive for 45 minutes. Work for 8 hours (or whatever it takes).

Get back in the car and drive for an hour-plus (commute always takes longer returning home; don’t know why).

Get dinner on and help the kids with homework and/or chauffeur them to after-school activities (soccer, swimming, piano).

Clean up after dinner and make lunch. Then go to bed.

Get up at o’dark early the next day and repeat the entire sequence until the weekend arrives.

Yes, indeed, I now make the Energizer Bunny look like a freakin’ slacker.

Run. Work. Live. Repeat.

After working from home for many years, my new normal has been challenging and much like learning a new language (Me Talk Pretty One Day?).

Course á pied? Oui?

Some days, I am so tired that I miss my workouts altogether or I end up running in the evening instead of the morning, which jumbles everything to heck.

I’m managing though and still running a fair amount.

Do I like my new working life? Yes, for the most part. It’s rewarding.

Do I like what it’s done to my running and family life? Well, not always but sometimes you gotta put on your big girl panties.

C’est la vie.

I like my coworkers (they are warm and kind) and the mission of the hospital (it’s compelling and I get to do some cool stuff).

I don’t care much for plopping my butt in traffic for almost two hours a day (Who in his right mind does?) but I don’t have other choices there. (There’s no convenient public transportation near my workplace.)

I’ve often said that life and running mirror each other. Marathon training has shown me that I can rise to what’s needed. My “new normal” is a case and point. Is the journey without bumps? No, but I’m working on it.

Me … Run Pretty …  One Day …

When I consider all that I am juggling, I think I’m doing alright.

My next marathon is in December and I’m gearing up for it as I write this. I’m not sure how I will make it happen but I don’t need to know everything yet. I’m running steady and taking it one day at a time.

That’s it for now. I will honestly make an effort to write sooner and not let so much time lapse again (sigh).

Until then … I’m not searching for my fierce anymore … I am living it.

I hope you are, too. 🙂


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

Mileage today: 5

Mileage for 2015: Guesstimate 1,000+ (Gotta catch up on my log, too, Sigh.)

P.S. If you need a good laugh and read, and aren’t easily offended, I recommend “Me Talk Pretty One Day” (David Sedaris). He’s deliriously funny.






Mother’s Day 5K

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …”

Oops, I almost forgot! It’s May, not December, and today is Mother’s Day, although you wouldn’t know by the snowfall we are getting at the moment in Colorado! Luckily, I did most of my weekend running yesterday and not today. That’s when my kids and I did a local 5K together. It was their Mother’s Day gift to me. They know how much running means to me.

We took all these pictures yesterday morning. It was still about 70 degrees. (That’s Colorado weather for you. If you don’t like it, blink.)

RSCN0232My daughter running to the 5K turnaround at yesterday’s race.

RSCN0233Thelma & Louise plus five kids meet again …

Don’t you just love it when things come together when you least expect it?! My kids and I had just picked up our race packets and were headed to our car to drop them off when we ran into my friend Becky and her two boys. It turns out they were running the 5K, too, but neither of us knew until we got there. How cool is that?

Becky is a runner/mom friend I’ve blogged about before. (See Iron Skillet Moms and Thelma and Louise Plus Five Kids.) Becky’s youngest son is my son’s best friend. They ended up running the whole thing together, which made it even better. It was their first 5K for both of them.

Our two families ran the whole thing together and everyone finished within a minute of each of other. (We all came in around 37 minutes.) I was pleasantly surprised at how much all the kids actually ran. I expected to be walking a lot more of it. Afterward we stuck around and enjoyed a pancake breakfast together. It was a beautiful, sunny morning (unlike today) and we had a blast. My kids even told me they want to do another 5K with me soon. Yay! More future runners in the family!

The other thing that I thought was so cool about this experience was showing my kids how healthy running can be for everyone. When you get into long distance running, it’s easy to forget that the 5K and 10K are really the backbone for everything else and these shorter races are how most of us got started. I loved talking to my kids and pointing out to them how so many different kinds of people were out with us — in all kinds of shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. I mean really, you see a lot of people out when you run a 5K — moms, dads, kids, parents pushing strollers, people with dogs, people getting in shape, uber-fit people running fast (like this one woman I spotted wearing the same Boston Marathon shirt from the year I did it), couples running together, people running slower, people walking it. It really is pretty cool when you think about it and it’s so inspiring to see so many people getting fit together. I just love that.

RSCN0230This is exactly what I mean about how great a local 5K can be. I snapped this shot of a young couple holding hands near the end. If I had to guess, I think it was her first 5K. He was talking her through it and helping her finish.

I can’t wait to do another race with my kids. I don’t know if they will ever take to it — all the running and racing and long distances — as I have but that’s OK. They don’t have to. I just hope they run and have a ton of fun along the way.

And really, isn’t that what it’s about anyway? 🙂


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

Mileage today: 6; Mileage for 2014: 401


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.” (  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:

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


You’re never too old to run marathons or anything else … unless you think so — part II

20140310_163119Brownie, our dog, is greying a bit around her muzzle. She’s older than we thought.  Our vet said the Aussie rescue where we got her probably stretched the truth about how old she was so she would get adopted.  It’s not a huge surprise really.  Most people want puppies over adult dogs, but she almost didn’t get a second chance because of her age. What a shame that would have been. She’s a great dog.

These days I’m contemplating changing careers, and I can’t help but wonder, what if, just like Brownie, my age makes it harder for me to get a second chance?.I sure hope that doesn’t happen, but I think it’s a valid concern. I believe we live in an age-obsessed society that often values youth over wisdom or life experience. This worries me.

For the last several weeks I have been researching going back to school to become a teacher (getting a post-baccalaureate teaching license). Under the best of circumstances, if I were able to start school by the fall, it would take me a year and a half to two years to complete. However, it’s likely I will need some prerequisites before I can start. This would push back the time frame more.  In either case, if I take those paths, I will be almost 50 years old by the time I finish!

I can’t lie — the thought of starting over again at 50 (probably surrounded by everyone in their 20s) freaks me out!

Growing older, however, can be freaky.  It often feels like jumping into the deep end of a cold pool. The initial shock can be harsh, but once you get used to it, it’s really not so bad. The way I see it is … time will pass and I will get older no matter what I do so I might as well make the most of it. Why not  follow a dream?

Like mothering and parenting, and being a journalist and a writer (which also have been my calling), I believe teaching is a noble profession  — and one that society sometimes undervalues, but it’s still worth it in my eyes. This, too, is keeping me going.

As I ponder my options it helps that I am a runner and a marathoner and very much an optimist who believes in grace to guide me. Plus, most of the time I don’t feel someone who’s just a few years shy of an AARP card. (Hey, Michelle Obama just got hers!)   I know my driver’s license says that I’m that old, but I honestly feel much younger. I  am healthy, and happy, and young at heart and spirit, especially when I run. Having qualified for and run the Boston Marathon showed me just how much I’m capable of and that I can do anything if I put my mind and heart in it.

Being surrounded by other runners also helps me. If there is one community I know that doesn’t shun people for their age, it’s runners. Most runners I know embrace those who take up the sport and don’t fit the mold.  That’s especially true when you see young runners reacting to older ones. When I see runners older than me, I think,  “Hey, look at him (or her) and how strong he (or she) is.  That’s how I want to be when I’m his (or her) age.”

And heck, with running and racing, growing older or “aging up” as it’s called when you move into an older bracket when you race can even work to your advantage if you stay healthy and strong and even just keep going. (The age groups tend to get smaller with less competition.)

Ultimately, I believe I will overcome any “ageism” I might encounter, but just like how I’ve trained myself for marathons, I want to be ready for whatever comes my way.

When we got Brownie a few years ago, all she wanted was a home and family, and somewhere she belonged.  In essence, I think we all want this in life no matter where we go or which path we choose.  It wasn’t too late for Brownie to find her new “home”. Hopefully, with a little patience and fortitude, it won’t be too late for me either.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. LewisC.S. Lewi

I’m not too old to take on this; the journey begins today.



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

Mileage today: 5; Mileage for 2014: 213
C.S. Lew



You’re not too old to run marathons … unless you think so

michelangeloChange is in the air. Can you feel it and not just the cold from the Polar Vortex?

Welcome to Boston or Botox in 2014. Yes, I am a little late on the New Year’s thing. So what?  I have always been a late-bloomer of sorts and that is precisely why I am asking this question today, “Are you ever to old to (Fill in the blank)?

The “blank” can be running a marathon, qualifying for Boston, finally writing that novel that lives inside of you so the rest of the world appreciate it, starting your own company, changing careers, or living out whatever your heart desires and your dreams may be.

To answer that question let me throw out another great quotation for you to ponder:  “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford.

Goal-setting requires that you get your mind in the game first, but how do you do that?  That, my friends, is where it often gets as dicey as the roads here in Colorado after another hard winter storm.
If you are like much of the country these days, we’ve had a lot of storms to weather this winter. Whew! Those storms can be tough and so can jump starting your goals and dreams.
Whether we like to admit it or not, all of us get preconceived notions when it comes to aging, our bodies and our goals — from what we read, magazines and news feeds, advertisements, from what our family and friends tell us, notions passed down to us from generation to generation, yadda, yadda, yadda, etc., etc.
In the end though it comes down to this: How do YOU define yourself and what you want?
A few years ago Runner’s World did a cover story on the popularity of qualifying for Boston and my blog got mentioned in it. I was interviewed for it but the editors choose to highlight some other people’s quotes. The questions they asked me centered around why qualifying for Boston attracted so many women in their 40s. My answer, distilled down, was that I think the 40s are a time that many of us choice to redefine ourselves. I know I did, first by pushing myself to become a marathoner and then qualifying for Boston. These were huge mental and physical accomplishments for me.
Since then I have been searching for what’s next and I’m I honing in on it. Right now I am looking at going back to graduate school and starting “my second act.”. My first was as a journalist and newspaper. I am not ready to reveal all the details yet but I am excited about the possibilities I’m considering and energized by them.
It’s definitely had me pondering the question, “Are you ever too old to shift gears and start something new?” (i.e, Fill in those “blanks.”)
I don’t think so.  If you look around you can find proof and here’s an example. Check out this Youtube video on Johanna Quaas, who, at 87, worlds the Guinness World Record of being the world’s oldest competitive gymnast.

The way I see it, if Johanna can turn cartwheels in her 80s (Check out how strong her core is — dang!), surely I can accomplish a few mental flips and changes in my 40s.

I am not too old and I refuse to buy into that message. How about you? What are your dreams? What, if anything, holds you back? I encourage you to go for it.

Johanna surely did. Rock on, Johanna!

In the coming days I’m going to be exploring this theme more on Boston or Botox.

Get your “brave,” folks. You”re not too old, unless you think you are.


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


Mileage today: 5; Mileage for 2014: 123

Each marathon teaches a lesson: Roar!

Tucson MarathonPhoto credit: The Tucson Marathon,

It’s T-5 days until I run my next race: The Tucson Marathon. I’m excited.

Each marathon training teaches me some new life lessons. While I’ve trained for Tucson I’ve mastered the art of surrender and when it’s simply time to let things percolate until you’re ready to “wake up and smell The Consciousness.”

Now I’m ready to go after what I want with the ferocity of a tigress ..


Perhaps that’s why we face tough or unexpected challenges in life? So that we can use them to define us, not break us.

Last month, for example. someone hacked this blog and website and it took me some valuable technological time to recover from that. The clean up I had to do was a fitting twist to the kind or crazy, strange, unexpected year I experienced in 2013. I won’t bore you with mundane details but I will say this: I could have choose to let some events beat me to a pulp. I didn’t. I’m still standing, and I’ve bounced back better, stronger, and happier.

I plan to run a solid race at Tucson. I’ve followed Hansons for my marathon training. It has gone well. Whatever comes on Sunday I’ll hold my head high.

I’ll post more in the coming days.

Let the tigress spring forth …


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

Mileage for 2013: 1,934



Man’s (or woman’s) best running partner

Get out your hankies … this post may tug at your heart if you are a dog lover.

It did for me and my family.

A few weeks ago I did something out of character: My family and I adopted a dog.

It was out of character for me because I did not grow up with dogs. Except for a short period where I owned a dog with my ex-husband, I have never had a pet. (I will explain more as I go.)

The dog’s name was Thor. That’s a picture of him above. He’s an adult lab/husky, about 5-6 years old, from a no-kill rescue here in Colorado. He’s beautiful and will make the right person a great running partner or companion. He and I ran well together while he was in our lives.

Sadly, Thor turned out not to be the right dog us. The rescue he came from advertised him as “good with kids of all ages” but when he met my 18-month-old niece, he constantly growled and barked at her. It scared me. (FYI, my two little nieces — a 3-year-old and the toddler mentioned above — are moving into my neighborhood. That’s why it was crucial he get along with them, too.)

I consulted with an animal trainer about Thor after the incidents. She concluded Thor wasn’t the right match for us, or us for him, and it would take a lot of rehab to get him comfortable with the little. Even then, it wasn’t a sure a thing. It never is, but it’s especially unsettling when you get off on the wrong paw … A bite would be a disaster for him and us.

The experience blind-sided me. I cried like I’d just lost a friend. My kids and I were heart-broken. I realize dogs often don’t know what to make of toddlers, BUT he was fine with my kids. It’s one of the reasons we picked him. Also, I did research on labs and huskies. Both breeds are supposed to be kid-friendly. I was so disappointed when he turned out to be otherwise.

Adopting a dog was a leap of faith. I wasn’t allowed to have pets when I was growing up. Both of my parents were born in Europe and they grew up on subsistence farms. In their culture NO ONE kept animals as “pets.” Yes, there were cats and dogs on their land, but they treated them like livestock. My mom, for example, was a shepherd girl. She had a dog, but he was there to herd and protect the family’s lambs from wolves. They didn’t give the dog a name or keep him in the house.

My mom still doesn’t get the whole American concept of “pets” and she says they are filthy. To a degree, she’s right. If you’re a neat-freak, dogs and cats are like dumping a barn in your house.

But just like running — which we also often do with hearts, not just our heads — being with dogs and living things connects us to nature, and our world, and each other. Dogs and cats don’t just shed hair — they shed light on our humanity; that’s why we’re attracted to them.

That is also why I said “yes” when my kids begged for a dog. I remembered how hard it was growing up pet-less in a dog- and cat-crazy world. (FYI, cats are out of the question. I am allergic to them. If I ever owned one, I would name it “Asthma.”)

I know you can’t expect to teach children REAL responsibility by having a dog. (Yes, I will push Tarzan and Jane to HELP feed and walk and pick up the doggy poo, but I know it ultimately will fall on me and the Dude.)

Dogs, however, are still a great way to show children life lessons in caring as most of us are likely to outlive our dogs.

And just like dating, I have learned it’s important to be patient and wait for the right dog to come into your world. That’s exactly how the dog trainer we worked with, Carie Grant, of Denver Dream Dogs, put it. She helped us with Thor and has continued to guide me as we search for our perfect mutt match. I’ll share a picture and our happy ending when we do.


Speaking of “dog days” … right around the time we met Thor, the Dude (my husband) broke his collar bone and suffered a concussion while riding his bike and training for an organized race. He was forced to skip the event because of his injuries. He is healing and it is taking time.

Tarzan and Jane started school. Tarzan is in first grade, which means he’s big boy now and there all day!

That means … it’s a brave, new world for me, both in terms of my work and writing, which you will be seeing a lot more of again on this blog after my summer hiatus. Woohoo!!

My next post will be Boston or Botox profile #21, Michelle Moreland Walker, of Evansville, Indiana.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading.


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

Mileage yesterday: 4.5; Mileage for 2012: 806

Drinks with umbrellas

Boston or Bahama Mamas?

Lately I’ve been daydreaming about drinks with umbrellas in them and pools with swim-up bars near beaches with turquoise waters while I plod the many miles away in the cold.

I’ve got just 12 weeks to go until Boston …

Truthfully, it’s not really a drink I’m craving. (I’m a teetotaler most of the time.) 

I want what that drink symbolizes for me: completion, success, embracing some much deserved R&R. 

Maybe I’m feeling this way because of Saturday’s windy run.

Or maybe it’s because it’s January in Colorado and blustery outside.

Or maybe it’s because on some training days my tired legs feel as watered down as a TGIF margarita.

It’s probably a combination of all of the above.

Whatever the cause, the effect and outcome is the same. I lust for a day soon where I can swap the lactic acid coursing in my veins for the laziness of Captain Morgan’s in pineapple juice.

Yes, I’m glad I’m doing my Boston training and I like many aspects of it. There are just times, like last week, when I’m not running strong, it feels punishing. That fatigue gets compounded by the obligation I feel to complete my virtual log to Beantown.

Panic also set in when I took some extra, unscheduled recovery time.

What if I can’t make my Denver to Boston mileage goal? Do I give up? Or do I rename the blog and run a shorter distance to a closer East Coast city?

Somehow “New York of Botox?” or “Philadelphia or Botox?” doesn’t capture the same je na sais quoi.

Just when I thought panic would get the better of me, today’s run (9.25 miles) was a turning point. I felt like I got spring back into my step.

I have decided to make some modifications to my training and build in more rest. I’m going to alternate my weeks — running four days one week, five days the other. I’ll throw in extra mileage when I can in the form of more warm-up and cool-down miles.

My concern is staying healthy and injury-free. Otherwise I risk not only “Boston or Botox?” but the marathon itself.

Run smarter, not harder — that’s my motto, and keep my focus on the big picture.

If I can do that, I believe I’ll still make my Denver to Boston mileage goal.

When I finally cross the finish line on Bolyston Street I’m going to celebrate afterward with something  colorful, festive and fruity.

Something yummy I can slurp happily with a pretty umbrella in it.


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

MIleage today: 9.25; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,168.75; Miles left to go: 601.25.

Room service and a run

Here’s something I learned from my friend Pam the other day that blew my mind.

Did you know that Westin hotels worldwide offer running concierge services in about 30 cities? 

That’s right — if you’re a runner staying in a Westin in Chicago, Dallas or Fiji, for example, you can request hotel concierge staff take you on a designated route and run with you instead of gutting it out alone on some hotel workout-room treadmill.


Imagine the possibilities — someone to guide your morning run and keep you from slacking while you’re on vacation or business, followed by room-service breakfast and maid service, too.

Come to mama — I might have to run away and hole myself up at one of those for the next four months of my training!

Seriously, yesterday one of my friends and I ran 15 miles on a snowy trail together. By about mile 7 I think we both were seriously wishing we had bellhops to haul us home.

It was rough, hard work. 

Alas, no hotel superheroes crossed our path. We did, however, pass some homes that were bigger than a Super Walmart and probably employed as much staff as a hotel.

Anyway, I looked it up and there’s a Westin Copley Place in Boston. I wonder what they’d say if I stayed there and requested a concierge to run the Boston Marathon with me? I may have to call and ask, just to see the reaction.

He’d sure earn one heck of a tip.


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

Today is a rest day.  Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,044; Miles left to go: 726.