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, July 25, 2011

Minnesota Music and Memories

I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since my last post!  As you may remember, I was on my way to Minnesota.  I was very excited about all of the events that I had on schedule, and they were EVERYTHING I expected and more.  It was such a great week, but it's also good to be back home. 

My son and I started out our time there by running in the Isaac's Foundation Hope Run.  After our flight landed, we met up with my sister and her family at a hotel in Melrose, MN on the night before the run.  I was a little worried, because the weather forecast called for some possible thunderstorms and a heat advisory (I do not like running in heat or humidity), but the day started out cool and cloudy, and the run wasn't too bad.  I ran about 10 miles, and my son ran about 5 miles.  I was very proud of him, because the most he had run before this was 3 miles.  We did stop quite a bit, because at approximately every mile a little booth was set up honoring a child who was currently fighting cancer, had fought cancer and is currently free of disease, or had lost their battle with cancer.  It was very touching and humbling to see those innocent faces who had to go through this terrible ordeal.  Anna's stop was at mile 5, and that was where I turned around.

The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with my sisters and their families.  I got to meet a new nephew for the first time and watch my other nephews play T-ball. 

My nephew, Luke

Nephew, Isaiah (the runner on base)
New nephew, David

I should mention at this point that I managed to keep on track for all of my scheduled runs.  However, remember when I said I don't like humidity?  Well, this week was the WRONG week to run in Minnesota...more on that later.

Tuesday through Friday of last week was spent at the National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts. This was FABULOUS!  My son and I were inundated with pure talent the whole week.  So many gifted artists and musicians gave their time to make this week truly special, and I enjoyed every second.  The sessions were informative, and the worship services and concerts were indescribable.  Uninhibited beauty!!

The most beautiful pipe organ I've ever heard

Our time in Minnesota ended with the First Annual Anna Rogotzke Memorial Kickball Tournament.  My mom, some aunts, and two of my brothers were able to travel from Wisconsin to be there, so more family visiting time and a WONDERFUL day playing kickball, remembering Anna, and raising money to KICK CANCER TO THE CURB.  It was extremely successful for a first-time event, and the date has already been set for next year.  I hope to be there!
My little niece, Amelia, wants to play kickball, too!!
Anna's Army team (I'm second from the left)...double elimination..we lost our first two games.  :(

So, about my running.  I was able to get in all of my scheduled runs while away from home.  It was a cutback week (thank goodness), so it wasn't too hard to get the miles in.  HOWEVER, the heat and humidity were awful.  My sister recently posted this on her blog, which basically compared her running to mine.  She also said that with the bugs, humidity, and various varmints commonly found in farm country, it was more difficult for her to run than for me.  I came back from my run last Monday, and told her that SHE WAS RIGHT!!  I woke up at 5:00 a.m., and it was already 80 degrees (I'm used to 55-60 degrees at that time of day) with about 75-80% humidity!  How do you people who live in these conditions do it?  I came back a sweaty, drained, wilted MESS after each run.  Pure torture.  It was frustrating because, since I train at altitude with hills, I felt it should be a piece of cake to run at basically sea level on flat roads.  NOT SO!  My breathing was easier, but that humidity just saps your strength.  The heat index one day was 125 degrees at its worst...ugh!  I was able to pull out a good 10-miler on Saturday when it was cloudy with a fairly cool breeze, so I ended the week on a high note.  I've been resting these past couple of days after our trip back home, but I'm anxious to get running in the relatively cooler temps tomorrow.

Now off to catch up on everyone's blogs!


  1. Glad you had such a fun time on your trip! I have read some other complaints about the midwest weather...don't think I have a BIT to complain about here :)

    Love the pic of your new nephew :) Cutie!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip! I am so glad. :) I was just in NY and had the same heat experience as you. MISERABLE!

  3. I MISSED YOU SOOOO MUCH! It sounds like you had a wonderful and much needed trip though...I am so glad you were able to have the time with your family. And both events just sound amazing. Wow! Inspiring, fun and for such a great cause.

    great job keeping up your running while you were away. i am traveling home to KY for the month of September and am already dreading the humidity...eeek! I would much rather run out here as well :)

  4. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for the follow!

    Sounds like you had a great trip. What a loving and supportive family you have.
    Love the Kickball Tournament idea!

    I look forward to following your journey as well!

  5. glad you got some wonderful family time! And your son is awesome, 5 miles woohoo.
    Humidity is everywhere. Eeek!

  6. Welcome home!! I'm glad you has such a great time with your family and such successful events. That run sounds awesome! So neat that your son ran 5 miles with you. What a cool thing!! I don't think I would survive running in the humidity. I have a hard time as it is in dry weather. hahaha!!

  7. I loved all your family pictures! What a great time! I don't think I could do the humidity thing either. It sucks all the life out of me! Glad you got your runs in though in spite of it and I'm glad you made it home safely!