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, June 21, 2011

On Your Mark...Get Set...Go!

The motivation for me training to run my second marathon has begun!  Wave 1 of the requests for contributions to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative has been mailed or will be distributed this week.  If you don't receive one in the next few days, and would like the info, contribution form, and self-addressed stamped return envelope, let me know (  I am trying to set up something so that people can donate online, but haven't quite figured that out, yet.  There are free sites that will set up your own page, but they take a certain percentage of the donations, so I'm not sure I want to do that.  If you have experience in this, and have some good ideas, let me know.

Today I was reading some other blogs, and a certain post really caught my attention.  The poster was - for a lack of a better word - complaining about using running to raise funds for charities.  I think, overall, it was mainly about marathons and other races "holding" race entries for charities, but it started me analyzing what I'm doing here.

I just want everyone to know that nobody is obligated to donate anything to my cause.  I think, for me, this is a goal to reach for while working through my sadness regarding Anna.  When we lose any loved one, there is a feeling of frustration and helplessness.  I think this feeling increases by ten-fold when it's a child that is lost.  We are supposed to protect them and make sure they are safe and secure.  That ability is ripped from our grasp when a deadly disease strikes.  While at times sporadic about it, I've always enjoyed running and I figured this would be a good way to regain some feeling of control, get in shape, and do my own small part in possibly helping to make sure other families don't have to experience such a tremendous loss.

So, while the post I read definitely made me think, I also remember something I received in the mail a few weeks ago.  I don't think this person would want to be named, but she heard what I was doing and sent me a very encouraging card with a check.  She said she would like to see this disease "knocked out" in her lifetime.  She has a stake in this, as she was very close to Anna, but it reinforced my desire to see this through.  Even if that check is the only one I receive, then it's worth it for me to do this.

So, yes, nobody is obligated to donate.  I would not be hurt or offended in the least if you receive the request in the mail and decide not to contribute.  Times are tough, and it seems like there are worthy causes everywhere that are vying for our attention. (Hmmmm...seems like I'm giving a lot of reasons not to contribute.  I guess that's why I'm not in sales.)  Having said that, even a small amount would be GREATLY appreciated. 

My training is still going well.  My mileage since my last post is:
Saturday - 10 miles (10:41 pace)
Monday - 6 miles (10:21 pace)
Today - 8 miles (10:50 pace) I tried to make this run really easy, as my legs felt pretty tired and stiff.
On schedule for tomorrow - 7 miles

The mornings have been absolutely perfect for running with temps in the 50's and low 60's.  Reno is situated in the high desert and has amazing weather.  We get all four seasons, but none are overly extreme (unless, of course, it's this year when it snowed on Memorial Day weekend).  Even though it's been getting close to 90 during the day, it almost always cools down overnight, making it comfortable for those early morning runs.  Great way to start my days!
I LOVE this place!


  1. I think it is wonderful that runners can do what they love while raising money for a charity that they believe in! Enjoy your training!

  2. Really?? there was someone knocking the charity runs?? that makes me incredibly sad because those are some of my favorite runs! We are out there doing what we love and supporting a good cause...can't get much better than that! I would LOVE to donate and will throw you a shoutout tonight to help out! How soon do you need the donation?? I have a couple payments I need to make but would love to send something out to you at the end of the summer if it is still okay?? I will send you my address :)

  3. thank you for sharing such honesty hear. Giving from the heart is what matters most. right?

    Good luck with the training jen!

  4. Great post! I am so glad I found your blog. I love running for charities and am excited to contribute to yours.

    I lost my brother to a car accident when he was 21 years old and I can definitely relate to your story.

    I am excited to follow your blog and your training.

  5. great job on the runs! And I totally respect charity runners, doing something thats bigger than yourself is pretty much amazing.