Running for Anna

On December 12, 2010 our family was devastated by the loss of my niece, Anna Rogotzke, on her fourth birthday, to a rare cancer called Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. On December 4, 2011, I ran in the California International Marathon to raise money for the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, a leader in the fight against sarcomas. This blog is created to update those interested in my journey and progress as I train for this event and events thereafter.

....And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Running in the Dark

My goal in training is to run 5 days per week (rest days on Thursdays and Sundays).  Last week my goal was:
Mon - 4 miles
Tues - 4 miles
Wed - 4 miles
Fri - 4 miles
Sat - 8 miles.

I did pretty well staying with this, except for Tuesday, when I was feeling some pain from my left hip down my thigh.  I did not run that day, but chose to rest, and it seems to have worked.  No pain since.  This week my goal is:
Mon- 4 miles
Tues - 6 miles
Wed - 4 miles
Fri - 4 miles
Sat - 9 miles

I've already blown this, as I did not run 6 miles today, which brings me to the point of the post. 

Other than Saturdays, I run in pre-dawn hours.  Other people can run at lunch or after work or in the evenings.  I am not one of those people.  If I run at lunch, than I feel I have to shower, etc. before returning to work...takes too long (plus I can't eat, which is the point of lunch, in my opinion).  I have zero motivation when I get home from work.  Once I step in the door, I can barely bring myself to make dinner, much less run.  Evenings are just bad...period.  I can rationalize not doing ANYTHING at that time of day.  So, for a 4 mile run, I'm out the door by 4:45 a.m. at the latest.  For a 6 mile run, I'd have to be out the door by 4:25 or 4:30.  I have my body pretty well conditioned to arise at 4:20, but it's tough to roll out of bed earlier than that....hence, only 4 miles today.

Running in the dark can be exhilarating, exciting, nerve-wracking, or terrifying.  I wonder if the occasional cars driving by can see me.  I jump when, running past someone's yard, a dog suddenly starts frantically barking.  I think I see someone crouched by the side of the road waiting to pounce and I pull out my pepper spray (yes, I'm "armed"), hyper-alert, only to pass by a mailbox when I get to that point.  Rabbits are the worst, as I never seem to see them until they dart out directly in front of me.  I usually can't tell if the increase in heart rate is due to the running or from being startled throughout my run.  But, it's mostly very quiet and I can think and reason through all my worries and problems without being concerned with petty things, such as pretty scenery, conversing with other people, etc. 

Saturdays, I'm usually out the door as the sun is rising, and I'm AMAZED at the difference.  It's just beautiful here as the sun rises and it starts to warm up.  I can take my time without feeling the pressure of a work day upon me, and marvel at God's creation as the mountains turn from mere shadows to stunning, clear vistas.  And, I still get home in time to enjoy the day with my family. 

The only thing I have to worry about is remembering those sun glasses!  :)

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