The Boston or Botox T-shirt challenge

Hurrah — they’re here — Boston or Botox T-shirts!
I broke mine in this weekend racing at the Canyonlands Half Marathon in Moab. I got several comments from runners.

“I’d choose Botox,” one silver-haired, grandfatherly type yelled out to me at mile 4 when I passed him.

“Too late,” I told him, “I already spent all my Botox money on plane tickets and a hotel room to run Boston.”

“Hey, I’ve done Boston before,” he retorted, “How come I don’t recognize you?”

I couldn’t resist a wisecrack: “Must be all the Botox. I hardly recognize YOU anymore either.”

He chuckled.  

Inquiring minds at Moab asked the real burning question, “How can I get one?”

Check out the blog and you’ll find out, I told them.

Here’s the answer: The Boston or Botox T-shirt challenge.

I don’t know if you remember but when I set out blogging in unchartered territory back in August 2010  I created a big goal for myself: To log 1,770 training miles — the flying distance between Denver to Boston — in the year leading up to when I’d run the Boston Marathon. (I started out with about 450 miles under my belt, from mid-April to mid-August, and I kept adding on from there.)

Now I’m up to almost 1500 miles and just a month out from the race. I’m going to come close but probably not make the whole 1770 miles by April 18th — the date of Boston Marathon. I’m guessing I’ll be about 100-125 miles short, depending how things go from here.

When I got sick several weeks ago it set me back. Occasionally life’s demands trumped my training. That’s the way it goes. Rather than become discouraged I chose to forge forward, not look back.

I could push it  and still get those miles, but then I’d risk overtraining and possible injury during the final weeks. I don’t want to do that.

This is where YOU and the Boston or Botox T-shirt challenge come in. 

The FIRST FIVE readers to contact me and share a week of their workout miles during this last month — March 20 through April 18 — will get their own Boston or Botox T-shirt FREE.

Then if you are willing, I will add your miles to my own virtual log from Denver to Boston to get us ALL across the finish at the Boston Marathon.

I’m asking for readers to send me a log of what they did — how many miles they ran or walked each day over a seven-day period. (How much you do is up to you, based on the honor system.) If possible, sending a picture of yourself doing it would be great but it’s not necessary.

The T-shirt is black, technical material for working out, vee-neck, women’s cut with “Boston or Botox?” and the blog’s website printed on the front. I have a bunch in sizes medium and large.

The one I wore at Moab and will use at Boston is a slight variation. It has “Boston or Botox?” and blog’s website on the back and my nickname (“Donna”) on the front so the crowds at Boston can cheer me on by name. 

If I get enough responses from readers who want the T-shirts I’ll cowgirl up and technically wrangle a second, set-up for buying them online. PLEASE let me know if you want this. (Also, I’ll offer a men’s version,if I hear from enough of you.)

My hope is that I’ve inspired you during these several months to be the best you can be; that great things are possible when we believe and are willing to work for them; and we can have fun doing it.

I intend to continue Boston or Botox and the spirit it embodies — marathons, motherhood and midlife triumphs — after I run Boston and to keep writing profiles about dynamic individuals.

My story began with the courage to take a single step out of my comfort zone. I pushed myself farther than I thought I could and the result has been more than I could have imagined. 

If you believe, you can do it, too. 

The Boston Marathon is exactly four weeks from today. “Take my hand. We’ll make it I swear.” (Bon Jovi, Livin’ on a Prayer).

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

Mileage today: 9.5; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1477; Miles left to go: 293.

It ain’t easy being green …

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, coming up fast, I finally did it  …

I ordered the “green monster”  — my Boston Marathon jacket; item description: “intense green and black,” women’s size medium;

Kermie, here I come!!

A few weeks ago I found out I could order this online instead of having to wait for hours for it at the race expo.

Also, upon closer inspection of the website I noticed they offered two women’s jackets for sale.

Here’s the second option below.

The second option has a bigger Boston Marathon 2011 logo on the back and is more black than “intense green” than the first one — the “Kermie model.”

Also, the Kermie model, which I blogged about earlier, has removable sleeves so you also can wear it as a vest. (Very fashionista — Miss Piggy would approve. Don’t you think?)

I went back and forth about which to get. Then I decided: “intense green” it is.

After all, marathon training itself can be best described as “intense green.” Or at least my marathon training feels that way some times.

Anyway, I don’t care how froggy this jacket makes me look. I will wear it with pride.

Tomorrow I’ve got another 20-miler slated. After that it’s two more weeks of hard work and tapering begins.

I can’t wait to get my Kermie jacket now. 

I ain’t easy being green, but I think I can get used to it.


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

Today’s a rest day; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1,413; 357 left to go!

The coveted jacket

Kelly green and black jacket, anyone?

Yowza — that hurts my eyes!

I guess when you run the Boston Marathon they think you’re the Incredible Hulk or that you should look like him.

For years I’ve heard about the “coveted” Boston Marathon jacket. Apparently people stand in line for hours at the race expo waiting to get one.

Now here’s my chance to get one and it’s going to make me look like Kermit the Frog.

The whole line of official Boston Marathon 2011 athletic gear uses this same color scheme, from tights, to shirts, etc.

The Boston Marathon qualifier gear (below) in traditional royal blue and yellow used by BAA is more tasteful in my opinion.

I haven’t decided if I will still get the official green one or not for nostalgia sake.

What do you think? Does ANYONE look good in that shade of green? Is it still worth it?

I worked hard enough to earn it — that’s for sure. I guess if I buy the green one you’ll be able to fine me in the dark. Or I will learn to croak like Kermie.

On a separate note, I didn’t get to run today but I hope to hit the track tomorrow.

Let me know what you think of the “coveted jacket.”

Stay tuned.



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

Denver to Boston miles logged: 1305; Miles miles to go: 465.

Gear bites

Today’s post comes in the form of gear bites — sweet runner products I wanted to share.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine offered me a shopping discount at a local store and I scored these great tights: Adidas Supernova brushed running tight, P91159 .

Here’s a picture of them, at right.

These tights conquer the three F’s: form, flatter and function. They use compression technical, which is supposed to aid with muscle fatigue. I’d never tried compression tights until these and now I’m sold. They were warm and worked great. They run about $56-$70, depending on where you find them. (My friend got me mine half off at $30 — woo-hoo!)

When I looked them up online I was surprised to find out that they are in fact men’s tights!

I’ve never tried or owned men’s running tights before. I have girly hips, not Deena Kastor’s boy-straight build, but somehow they worked out great anyway. I found them placed in the women’s running section at the store so I guess a clerk made the same mistake I did. When I looked at the tags again later nothing indicated they were men’s.

Who knew??

This next item is clearly girly and for women unless you are drag queen running the Bay to Breakers 12K race in San Francisco (a very fun, crowded event, by the way).

I love my SweatyBands headband, which honestly doesn’t slide or slip when you work out wearing it.  Here’s a picture of the one I’ve got:

It’s stylish and practical, and they run $15-$18. I also use it everyday when I’m just doing errands and need to keep my hair back or wash my face in the morning. It’s a good product that delivers what it advertises — keeping your hair back and looking good. It come in tons of colors and designs.

OK, that’s my retail therapy nibble de jour. (I’m time crunched today so I will deliver a more substantial post later this week.)

I ran 8.25 miles on the treadmill today, including three 1600s at an 7:45 pace for speed work.

I’ve got more Boston qualifier profiles in the works. If you know of more women you would like to suggest, please send them my way.

Happy shopping and happy Wednesday!


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

Mileage today: 8.25; Denver to Boston miles logged: 1177; Miles left to go: 593.

Stocking stuffers …

Today I got in a 10-miler in on a hilly trail run near home with a friend. Then I continued my online retail reconnaissance from a few days earlier.

This time I was on the look out for stock stuffers under $20.
Yes, GU, PowerGels and BodyGlide are always practical for us runners, but here are a few creative options, too:  

1. Magnets for marathon runners at Cafe Press: Marathon nutrition chart magnet and I run because …
(If you don’t like these, they have tons of other, too.)

2. An ornament for the diehard runner girl: “I know I run like a girl … try to keep up.”

3. For getting your caffeine buzz after the run: Running chick mug.

4. To feel and smell great post-shower, Bath & Body Works Warm vanilla body lotion.

5. I liked this pretty shade for camouflaging blackened toenails: Sally Hansen, Diamonds and Ruby nail polish shade.

6. This option lets you feel human again when you can’t get to a shower soon: Nathan Power Shower Wipes

7. These are great for racing in instead of long-sleeve T-shirts on cold days: Asics arm warmers

8. DeFeet makes cool socks with funky designs, from girly flowers to biker-chick skulls. These socks remind me of my days in New Mexico: DeFeet socks — chile pepper design

9. This clip-on flashlight is practical and fun: Spotlight, Title Nine

10. And always a a winner: an iTunes card to load up the play list on the iPod.

I hope this helps you and Santa. Have fun!


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

Mileage today: 10.25; Denver to Boston miles logged: 934.75; Miles left to go: 835.25

Retail therapy

This time of year many people love to shop. 

Near my neighborhood there’s a huge retail area visible from Interstate 25 in south metro Denver called Park Meadows Mall. It’s only about 10 miles from my home.

Each time I go by Park Meadows it’s packed with people and cars. If you didn’t know any better you wouldn’t think there’s still a recession based on how busy it is.

Park Meadows has valet parking and an American Girl Doll store with a hair salon — for the dolls that is — not human girls. (Lollilocks, another fancy place up the road, takes care of their beauty needs.)

The dolls at the American Girl Doll salon can get their ears pierced. 

Only in America …

This suburban bubble is a far cry from the current economic woes of the rest of the country and how I was raised.

The daughter of steel workers and immigrants from Eastern Europe, I grew up in a brick ranch-style house in a blue-collar neighborhood in Northwest Indiana.

The nearest shopping mall to us had one fancy store — Carson Pirie Scott and it did not have a salon for dolls or professionally pierce the ears of toys.

I’m explaining all of this because while I enjoy fashion, a clothes horse and shopping maven I ain’t.

At least I’m not a true shopper in the current standard of conspicuous consumerism that seems to define Park Meadows.

I think it’s because the older I’ve grown, the more minimalist I’ve become and closer to my roots. 

That’s not to say I don’t like a good bargain when I find it.  Who doesn’t?

I just make it a point to keep my retail therapy and my pocket book in check.

OK, now that I’ve cleared the air on that I also have a confession to make. 

This blog is about … well. shopping for running gear because ’tis the season after all.

When I do shop for gear I like stuff that’s functional, fun and good quality.  I also look for flattering cuts.

The list below cover things I like or think are fun. They aren’t necessary in my book but in the sage words of a Depression Era surviving relative of mine:  “Need has nothing to do with it.”

Perhaps these items can help you with the residual Santa shopping left on your list. Have fun! 

1. Sierra Trading Post, Micro Melange Shirt — It’s got some cute colors and a flattering cut as does the similar  Saucony Melange Tank.

2. Athletica Lululemon isn’t cheap but it is fashion forward. I dig the Heart Tank ,  Ultra Crop pants and Flow Y Bra. ( Plus their tops and bras come with removable bra cups.)

3. Road Runner Sports, Nike Long Y-Back top (it’s got nice colors and a better than average built-in shelf bra) and Women’s RR Pro Velocity Tight . (Nice slimming design in the photo.)

3. Nike skull cap with ponytail slot, shown on Nike site. I saw a friend wear one of these on a cold run. It’s cute on but functional, too.

4. Inspired endurance jewelry — the build your own bead bracelet for marathons and triathlons are kind of cool and unique.

5. At See Jane Run, Nike Convertible Mittens . My hands turn into popsicles in the winter. I love the idea of these because mittens are warmer but it’s nice to have an option that gives you dexterity.

6. Last I threw these in because if you are built with curves like me Adidas shorts are forgiving on bigger hips and thighs.


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

Mileage today: 5; Denver to Boston miles logged: 915.5; miles left to go: 854.5

Motivation, Part I: Schwag-a-delic

Patty, my sister-in-law, has a finisher’s medal from the Disneyland Half Marathon that I swear she must have stolen from a gangsta rapper. Seriously, it’s so big it could use its own zip code. 

Let’s face it: Elite runners run for the prize money and gold medals. The rest of us mere mortals find our motivation wherever we can.

For Patty, it’s about bling. One year she and I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco so we could score silver Tiffany necklaces. Men dressed in tuxedos handed them out at the finish. The event also included technical Tees and freebies such as food, makeup and hair ties.

Another friend of mine recently won her age group at a local 5K because of a store promotion. This boutique retailer advertised that if you won a race wearing one of their outfits plus a bib number and brought in a picture of it, they would give you free clothes — kaching!!

The Skirt Chaser 5K races around the country include skorts for all participants. The Surf City Marathon (Huntington Beach, California) gives away surfboard-shaped finisher medals.

Great schwag makes the miles fun and can push you to the finish.

In the next few posts I’ll talk about what motivates me and other runners I’ve met.

Before I go I’d also like to give a virtual shout-out to the Colorado Columbines’ Distance Divas who ran the St. George Marathon today. Jane Potter, whom I profiled in an earlier blog, qualified again for the Boston Marathon at age 62, and several others set PRs. Congrats to Jane and everyone who ran — you rock!!

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

Mileage today: 15; Denver to Boston miles logged: 675; Miles left to go: 1,095.