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.






Running missteps and “shouldering” on

Diving for home plate is a great idea when you’re a pro baseball player and you’re aiming to score the winning run to clench the World Series at the bottom of the ninth with two outs.

It’s a really bad idea, however, when you’re a middle-aged woman running the streets of your neighborhood one day and you trip and it’s how you land, smack with your left arm outstretch overhead and flat before you can catch yourself.

Yes, this is what I did back in July, just as I was getting ready to join my friend Pam as a pacer for the Vermont 100.  About a week and a half before her race I fell and landed on my left shoulder. I tore my rotator cuff and I had to take almost two weeks off running, plus I had to cancel on being a pacer for her race, which I was really looking forward to doing. The way I landed and fell, I still don’t know how I didn’t hit my head as well, which would have been worse. A guardian angel must have been watching out for me.

My shoulder injury was a first — it was running related and yet had nothing to do with my legs or lower body. Still, it has affected me and my running.  I had to ease back into running and my mileage as my shoulder was tender those first few weeks when I ran. Initially, the worst part of the injury was trying to wash my hair or pull off a jog bra over head. It also made upper body cross training almost impossible.

I’ve been in physical therapy for a few months now and I’m happy to report that I am almost back to full use of my left arm and shoulder, with minor or little discomfort, but it’s taken a loooooong time to heal, about three months now.

The whole episode has taught me many lessons: Pay attention when you’re running, even on your everyday route. Don’t take your health for granted because you never know when something bad can happen. Running uses more than just your legs — you need your whole body to cooperate and do well. You gotta take good care of yourself. Healing takes patience and lots of time, especially as you get older. Our bodies change, whether want them to or like it or not.

I’m not completely out of the woods yet, and I’ve noticed I get vertigo easier lately.  A few times since my accident I’ve caught myself almost tripping again, especially as I get tired over the weeks from my collective training. During the summer I took my son to a local amusement park and I tried to ride some of the big, crazy rides with him and I found myself struggling. I never got motion sick when I was younger and I used to love that stuff, but now I can’t do it anymore or have to be more cautious if I do.

This past week I swam for the first time and I have progressed with physical therapy to doing modified planks and only needed to visit my therapist every two weeks.  I am healing and grateful for it, but I also have no illusions. I’m going to have be careful with that shoulder from now on, probably for the rest of my life, so as not set it off again or re-injury it. I was lucky to not need surgical repair for it. Human beings are simply not built for “diving for plate” on concrete surfaces, even midlife ninjas like myself. No “Run. Fall, Heal, Repeat,”  is needed in my world and I hope I have filled my quota for awhile, thank you very much.

My training, despite the craziness of my mishap, is going well and so is the rest of life.  My husband has been participating in bike rides and races. My kids are getting bigger and more independent and they are doing well in school and their activities. I’m now a grad student at the UC Denver Urban Community Teacher Education program and I’m enjoying it, learning a lot and doing well. I’m running and training well, too. Here’s proof. In September I did the Equinox Half Marathon in Fort Collins, Colorado, as a training pace run for my next marathon, the California International Marathon.

The Equinox race is well organized and I loved the scenery. My only complaint would be that it takes place on road in Poudre Canyon and it’s kept open to traffic, which means you can only run on one side, you have to dodge cars, and it tends to be sloped heavily.  My hips didn’t care for the sloping/uneven pavement. Overall, however, it’s a good local race for Coloradans.

equinox2Me at the Equinox Half Marathon, Fort Collins, Colorado

Resilience comes in all forms — mental, physical and emotional.  While I would rather not repeat my shoulder injury I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and looking forward to running in Sacramento in December.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


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

Today is a rest day; Mileage for 2014: 1,338




Run “hoppy”

Last week a friend of mine and blogger, Caolan MacMahon (, nominated me to participate in a “blog hop.” The idea behind the “hop” is to tell people more about your writing style, who you are, why you write and then pay it forward by nominating two more bloggers in your post. Since I haven’t been blogging as much for a while now but needed motivation I said “yes” to her offer. Below are my answers along with nominations.


caolanPictured above: Caolan MacMahon, who nominated me for this blog hop.
(Thanks Caolan!)

  1. What am I working on?

My life has changed a lot since I first start this blog. For starters I changed the name from “Boston or Botox?” to “Run. Work. Live. Repeat.” to reflect who I am today. I’m still a mom, runner and writer, but as of last month I started grad school. I am pursuing my master’s degree in education and a license to become an English teacher, secondary education. I’m writing a lot of papers for school and I’ve learned to use Jing to create videos and oral presentations. I still blog on occasion. (I’m using this prod to get me more regular at it again.) I also continue to write on my own – mostly essays and short stories, and I’ve returned to writing a novel I’ve had in the works.

When I’m not focused on school work or creative writing I spend time with my family or run. I’m training for the California International Marathon in December and currently averaging about 50 miles of running each week.

TucsonMaraMe, shown running at the Tucson Marathon, December 2013

My kids, aka, “Tarzan and Jane” (their blog pseudonyms), ages 8 and 11, still keep me on toes.  I help them with their schoolwork; volunteer at their school and as a Girl Scout leader, and chauffeur them to soccer and swim team practices and meets. My husband, kids and I like to hike and bike ride in the summer and ski in the winter. We also enjoy spending time with our extended family and our friends.  Life is never dull and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  🙂

  1. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I started this blog after being published in the Runner’s World Other Voices blog. My original essay was “Boston or Botox? Beating Midlife with 42 Kilometers for 42 Years.”  It’s a humor piece about how I became a marathoner and pursed a Boston Marathon qualifying time in my 40s. After it was published I started a running blog with the same name, “Boston or Botox?”  I recently renamed it “Run. Work. Live. Repeat” because it was time for both me and writing to expand.  I was a print journalist and now I’m becoming a writer and a teacher.

lastrockyA screenshot of The Rocky Mountain News from
I used to work for The Rocky. The newspaper folded in February 2009.

My writing background: Journalism, pre-digital era. I am a former presentation editor for The (Denver) Rocky Mountain News.  I graduated from Indiana University (Ernie Pyle School of Journalism) and I was trained as an old school print journalist so my blog started out more column-like with essays compared to other bloggers. My focus was midlife inspiration through running, especially marathons and how Boston had become a hot commodity for midlife women runners (ages 40+). I did a series of Boston Marathon profiles and that’s how I met Caolan — I wrote about her. (I’m thinking of bringing back those profiles, along side with those of midlife men who’ve qualified for Boston.). Writing those profiles was a lot of fun and I made some great friendships through them. I’ve also written about my training and juggling motherhood. I’ve chronicled my children’s growth (“Tarzan and Jane”) and my own personal growth and reflections, too.  When I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011 I got to write about it.  My Boston Marathon experience felt like being Bon Jovi in running shoes for 26.2 (or what I imagine he must feel like giving a concert).  The energy was amazing — once in a life. The people of Boston welcome marathoners each Patriots’ Day with opened arms and I’ve never experienced anything quite like it since.

cropped-bib.jpgMy Boston Marathon race bib, which was signed by Kathrine Switzer — the first woman to run and finish the Boston Marathon wearing an official race bib. She did it in 1967.

  1. Why do I write?

I write because I love writing and it’s always been a part of me. I’ve always had an offbeat, creative streak, even when I was a kid. When I got to high school, I signed up for a journalism class the first semester of my freshman year and I took to it like a duck to water. I loved everything about journalism clases right away – reporting, writing, photography, layout and design. Back then it was done on paper; we used typewriters and pica poles and proportion wheels for scaling photos. I was good at it, too.  By the time I was a senior I was the managing editor of my high school newspaper. The summer before I graduated I was nominated by my journalism teacher, Mrs. Gillard, to go to high school journalism institute at Indiana University. At that time, IU was among the top 10 journalism programs in the country.  My experience that week sealed the deal. The next year I started journalism school at IU.   By the time I graduated and left Bloomington, Indiana four years later I had completed a double major in journalism and Germanic Studies.

After college I worked both in newspapers (The Santa Fe New Mexican, The Rocky Mountain News) and in Corporate America (a teacher editor at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Hewlett-Packard). I’ve also worked as a marketing copywriter for a website design and SEO company for the last few years.

  1. How does my writing process work?

The process I use depends on the type of writing I am doing. For example, with my school work or at a job, I schedule time into my calendar and work during those time slots to meet my deadlines. This keeps me from procrastinating.  If I’m blogging or creative writing, my process is more organic. I tend to go with the flow and write when creative inspiration hits me. Sometimes it takes a half hour to do; other times I will write for hours, absorbed in the creativity with the characters or scenes I’m creating or in the essays or stories that I am writing.

I keep what I call a “dog bones” file. When I get an idea but don’t have the time to flesh it out, I jot down the idea as a snippet of paper and bury it for later. Then when I have more time I go back to the idea and work on it.

Lately I have started to schedule time into my day to work on the novel because otherwise, it’s easy for me to set it down and not get back to it. I think writing and the process of writing is much running and marathon training. You often get what you put into it and if you want to get better at it, you need to be consistent, not give up, and work hard at improving.


Thank you again to Caolan for choosing me to do this and for giving me a needed push in my writing and running. (Caolan also happens to be a terrific coach and she’s RRCA, USATF and Lydiard certified.)

My blog hop nominations are Ryan Anderson, and Lisa Roehn-Gensel,

ryanaRyan, who lives in Boise, Idaho, is an incredible runner who lost 135 pounds in 11 months in his fitness journey before becoming a marathoner. He then became a Boston qualifier and an ultrarunner. We met through the

finish-joyLisa, who lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, is also a marathoner who qualified for Boston around the same time that I did (a few years back). She didn’t start running until after she had kids and turned 40. She and I met through mutual friends.

Both Ryan and Lisa are inspirational runners and bloggers and I think you’ll enjoy their stories so I encourage you to visit their blogs, too.

Keep up the great work, Lisa and Ryan, and I look forward to your blog hops, too.


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

Mileage today: 6; Mileage for 2014: 1,077

Throwback Thursday: Jump Around

In honor of Mother’s Day (this Sunday) here’s a blast from the past. This song always reminds me of the party scene from “Mrs. Doubtfire’ where Robin Williams dances on top of the dining room table. (FYI, this is on my iPod for when I choose to run with music along with a lot of other eclectic stuff.)

To all you mother runners out there, and everyone else, too, have a Happy Mother’s Day!  Get out this weekend, put in your miles when you can, enjoy being with your moms, and have fun!


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

Mileage today: 3; Mileage for 2014: 387

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


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