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)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

As the wife, sister, and granddaughter of veterans, I'd like to honor those who paid the ultimate price so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we do.  Thank you, also, to those of you who have served or are serving this country in the military.  Your sacrifices are not unnoticed or unappreciated.  Thank you!!

I thought that Memorial Day was the unofficial start of summer.  However, we had this over the weekend. 
Yep, that's SNOW on our BBQ.  I'm glad we didn't have camping plans, as we often do this weekend.  Today dawned bright and sunny, though...hopefully it lasts awhile.  San Diego should feel very nice this weekend...can't wait!

Running's still going well: 
Friday - 4 mi (9:51/mi)
Saturday - 9 mi (10:38/mi)
Today - 5 mi (9:54/mi)

I did my own version of "speed training" (and I use that term loosely) today...I used the first 2 miles as warm-up, and ran approximately a 5k as fast as I could.
Mile 1 - 10:37/mi
Mile 2 - 10:14/mi
Mile 3 - 9:38/mi
Mile 4 - 9:11/mi
Mile 5 - 9:48/mi

I remember telling someone in February that, at my peak, I could probably run about 10:00/mi.  I guess I wasn't challenging myself feels utterly exhausting good to get out of my comfort zone a little bit!  :)

I took this picture during one of my runs last week.
While I complain about the snow and all the weird weather we've been having, I really do love living here in Nevada.  You couldn't ask for more beautiful scenery than the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We're within driving distance to Lake Tahoe, the ocean, and the desert.  No matter what you feel like doing, you can usually find what you're looking for.  I thank God every day for the beautiful world He has created!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

CW-X; My New Love

I hesitate to write this post, because I'm afraid everyone will think I spend all my money on running stuff these days.  Yes, I just got a new Garmin....yes, I had to get new shoes....yes, I needed some UnderArmour shirts....OK, maybe I've been spending a bit too much on running gear.  Well, I'm going to write about this, anyway.  Try not to judge me.  

For the past few months, I've been eyeballing these:

CW-X 3/4 Stabilyx Tights...Just so you're not confused, this is not me in the picture, unless you don't know me...then, why, yes, it is
I became increasingly interested in them when my hip began hurting after my runs.  The description of these on the CW-X website is:

The Stabilyx tights provide optimum targeted support to the core and knees. They're ideal for activities with lateral motion such as skiing and snowboarding and for athletes seeking our best form of knee support. The patented CW-X Support Web™ bands together the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg to stabilize the knee and reduce vibration for increased efficiency. The CW-X Support Web™ also harnesses the midsection, supporting the lower abdominals, hips and back to channel power through the core. Variable compression facilitates circulation during and after activity, minimizing lactic acid build-up so that you can be active longer and recover faster.

Hmmm...seemed too good to be true and, with a whopping $86.00 price tag, I wasn't willing to take the risk.  Besides, if my UnderArmour compression shorts weren't stopping the pains, than nothing would.  (As maybe you know, I'm very loyal to UnderArmour).

HOWEVER, I saw these on sale on (I HAVE to stop going there) for considerably less money, so I decided to try them out, thinking I could return them if they didn't do all they claimed to do.  Just a disclaimer:  I know NOBODY from CW-X and, alas, I'll never have companies courting me for sponsorships.  I WANTED to dislike these.  

You need to perform some interesting body posturing to get these on (seriously, they looked like tights for little kids when I took them out of the package).  The first time I wore them, I only took them on a shorter run of about 5 miles, because I was worried they would feel uncomfortable for anything longer (due to the tightness). Well, let me tell you, they felt GREAT!  My legs were much less fatigued, and I felt no pain. none. all day.  Even then, I was thinking I was just psyching myself out.  So, I took them on a longer run a couple days later.  Same result!  After awhile, I didn't even notice they were there...they are that comfortable.  And, again, I felt like I could go faster and longer.  No hip pain even after that run.  I've been wearing them non-stop ever since (well, on my runs...I don't wear them to work, etc.).
Wouldn't this be nice?

 I still felt there might be other explanations.  Was I trying to talk myself into liking them?  Were my muscles just improving in strength, and that's the reason for no pain?  So, on Monday, I went back to my usual compression shorts.  It was a shorter 5-mile run.  My legs seemed more tired at the end of that run and were sore ALL DAY.  Now I'm wearing this one pair of tights 5 days a week.  I'll have to save my pennies for more CW-X shorts and tights, so I can change them out occasionally (sigh).   Maybe that's why my husband sometimes is acting like this when I get home. 

Hopefully, that's the case....maybe he won't mind me spending some money on more of these.  

Training the last few days:
Saturday, 5/21 - 9 mi (10:50 average pace)
Monday, 5/23 - 5 mi (10:16 avg)
Tuesday, 5/24 - 6 mi (10:22 avg)
Wednesday, 5/25 - 6 mi (10:08 avg)   

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This is my husband and love of my life, Bill.  He'll hate that I'm putting this in my blog, but I figure people get tired of reading only about me.  I mentioned in another post that he took up hand-cycling late last year.  He was in a motorcycle accident about 17 years ago, which left him paralyzed from about the chest down.  That generally doesn't stop him from doing what he wants, though.  Since I've met him, I've come to love four-wheeling, camping, kayaking, and, occasionally, shooting.  One of the things I love about him is he doesn't let anything dictate how he's going to live his life.  He was looking for a way to get in better shape and discovered hand-cycling.  He is now a member of Achilles International, whose mission, as stated on their website is:

He will be participating in the Rock 'n Roll San Diego Marathon on June 5 as a member of the Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans.  How awesome is that?!?  I couldn't be more proud of him, and am so excited to cheer him on.  

This is a picture of the entire hand-cycle.  Pretty cool, I think.  Since I have no upper body strength whatsoever (and biking isn't really my thing), I am in awe that someone could propel this forward with just their arms. 

Brief running updates (because I have to talk about me a little bit, right?)

Yesterday (Friday) - 4 miles - Average pace.....wait for it.....9:57/mi!!!! What?  How did that happen?
Today - 9 miles - was hoping to average 11:00/mi.  In reality, 10:50/mi.  Very pleased.  I had to force myself to slow down in some spots (and no emergency bathroom stops, which always helps).  

And, now, a quote to put things in perspective.
"The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals." (Hal Higdon)

Wow!  Doesn't that make you just want to go out and train for a marathon?!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

30-mile week

Just a quick update (shhh...I'm supposed to be working). 

So, this week is my first 30-mile week in my mileage build-up schedule.  I ran 5 mi on Monday, 6 mi yesterday, 6 mi this morning, sheduled for 4 on Friday, and 9 on Saturday.  My 5 mile run on Monday was GREAT!  I felt really good the whole run.  A couple of times, I looked at my Garmin for pace and it was in the 8's!!  ....Didn't even know I could go that fast.  Ever.  Not even for a short distance.  It's nice to know what certain paces feel like as I'm running.  Again, I'm not big into time, but I feel as the marathon gets closer, I'll want to set some kind of a time goal in which to finish, and it will be good to know what pace I'll need to reach that goal.

Tuesday's run also felt pretty good.  Today, it was rainy and I forgot my Iphone at work yesterday, so I didn't have music (yes, I believe those ARE good excuses...think what you want).  I felt pretty sluggish the whole time.  I kept waiting for that wonderful point mid-run when you suddenly find your rhythm and feel like you can run forever (happens in almost all of my runs).  Never happened today.  I think the rest day tomorrow will do me much good.  

 Hope that all who read this are having a great week!  Happy running!!  :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Water woes

First of all, I have to introduce my new toy.
YES!  I got a Garmin!!  This was on such a good sale on (I think they're discontinuing the model), that I couldn't resist.  I've been suffering from "Garmin envy" for quite awhile, and now can intelligently converse about average pace, etc.  I used it today on my run, and LOVED it!!

However, that was about the only good thing about today's run (other than I finished it).  I set out at about 7:00 a.m. for a 9-miler.  I have really been trying to experiment with what works best for me as far as hydration.  I've tried waistpacks, but found I really didn't like having anything around my waist while running.  I've also used a camelbak back pack, which has worked fairly well.  It keeps my hands free and carries stuff that doesn't fit in my pocket.  However, it's a bit bulky, and does cause my back to get fairly warm while wearing it.  I've been looking at the handhelds (a water bottle with a strap that wraps around your hand), and have tried them on at stores.  They felt pretty comfortable and have gotten great reviews, so I bought one and tried it out today.  HATED IT (at least for running)!  The first thing I had to do was dump all the ice out, because my hand was freezing.  It also just felt awkward to carry it while running, and I always felt like it was slipping because of my sweaty hands.  I know a lot of people use them and like just wasn't for me.  I was ready to chuck it after a mile, but the zippered compartments on the outside of the band were carrying some of my other essentials, as well, so I suffered through the whole run with it.  Some people stash water bottles along their route before heading out to run, but I worry about people taking them, or worse, tampering with them.  Maybe I'm a bit paranoid that way.  I think the camelbak  is going to be my go-to hydration on long runs.  It really is barely noticeable once I get going other than the warmth.

That wasn't the only water problem I had on this run, however.  At about mile 3, I - shall we say - felt nature calling.  Sometimes, I can run through this, but the call was getting louder, and I knew there wouldn't be a bathroom available for quite awhile.  This was at a pretty quiet section of my run.  On one side of the road is what's usually a dry lake bed, but right now looks something like this (minus the boat, a lot more reeds, and taller mountains in the background).
I carefully made my way through very dense reeds to find a spot with appropriate coverage.  I thought I found the perfect place, stepped down, and was over my ankle in marshy water.  So, when I resumed my run, not only did I have a slippery, sweaty water bottle, but also one soaking wet foot.  To my extreme dismay, Fortunately, I had about 6 miles to go, so my foot could thoroughly dry out.  Oh well....I know not every run is going to be perfect! Sometimes, too, it feels like a much bigger accomplishment to finish a run like that, and this was definitely the case today. 

In other news, here FINALLY is a picture of my new little nephew, David, and big brother Caleb.  I just LOVE this picture, and can't wait to meet the little guy in person.

Also, a HUGE congratulations to my brother, Jon, who graduated from college today.  I know it wasn't easy with a full-time job and a family.  Love and miss you, Jon! We're so proud of you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Every Run is an Adventure

Thanks for all the kind responses to my Mother's Day post.  It's very motivational to know that a few people are reading (even if you're doing this)!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

As we prepare to celebrate Mother's Day tomorrow, a lot of thoughts are going through my mind:

1) - How eternally grateful I am that I get to experience the joy of motherhood.

2) - The thankfulness to God for my own mom.  It couldn't have been easy to be such a wonderful mom with 8 kids!!

3) - Sorrow for my sister, who has to experience her first Mother's Day without Anna.

4) - Gratitude to my mother-in-law for raising the wonderful man that is my husband.

5) - Happiness for my other sister, Katie, who is experiencing her first Mother's Day as the mother of TWO children.  (This picture is actually her, her son Caleb, and Anna...again, I wish I knew how to post pictures from facebook of the new little guy). 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So "hip" (not in a good way)

So, the good news first.  I finished my training goals last week with little problem.  On Saturday, my 10-mile run felt great...I felt like I could run even longer. 

HOWEVER, that afternoon I felt some hip pain...ergh.  This happened last year, also, when I was trying to up my miles.  I have been VERY careful this time to only gradually increase my mileage, stretch, and all that good stuff.  It's difficult for me to tell if it's one of those pains you work through, or if I should just rest it.  So, of course, I ran Monday and Tuesday to see if I could just work it out.  I have a pretty good idea that, since it's just one side and pretty localized (and not going away with running), I should stay off it for a day or two and see what happens.  It's not a horrible pain and doesn't hurt while I'm running (only after), but I don't want it to become this: