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)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Running Buddies and 12-miler

In the running world you hear about varied opinions as to whether it's better to run with friends or by yourself.  Some say that running with others really inspires and motivates them to run better, farther, and faster.  Others prefer to run solo.  I'm definitely in the latter category.  I love running alone in the wee early hours of the morning with nothing but my thoughts (and music) as company.  Well, on Tuesday, I got to run with some new friends, but probably not the kind you're thinking of.  I was running past a house when two little pitbull-type dogs came racing out of the yard at full speed, barking furiously.  Scared me half to death!!  I completely stopped and begged for my life said some things in what I hoped was a gentle, non-threatening voice.  After only a moment, they calmed down enough to where I felt like I could start walking again.  I started walking, then running.  I knew they were somewhere behind me, but figured they would just turn around and go back home.  Ummmm.....apparently, they had some pent-up energy.  I was scheduled for 8 miles that day...they started running with me at 1.5 miles and ran the remaining 6.5 miles with me all the way to my house.  I used what I thought to be the very firmest voice I could muster several times and told them to go home, but they were having none of that.  When I reached my house, I went in the side gate, and could hear them scratching the wood behind me like they wanted to come in.  I said to myself that I would take a shower and see if they were still out there at that time, but they had left - hopefully back to their home.  Were it not for the fact that we already have two dogs, they probably would be new additions to our family right now.  :)

Good's OK

So, yesterday I had a 12-miler on my schedule.  Not sure if you remember the my last disastrous attempt at 12 miles.  I'm not going to lie.  I was pretty anxious about this second attempt.  I wanted it to go well, and, while I didn't run the same route as last time, there were still some pretty good hills on this route (as is the case with all my runs...they're unavoidable).  I started out ultra-conservatively to try to keep some gas in the tank for the later miles.  Turned out to be a dream run!!  I felt good the whole time, and my last miles were actually faster than the earlier miles, which I frequently struggle with.  I felt great during the run AND after the run.  Yay!!  I feel like right now I could complete a half-marathon (which I will at this race in Sacramento, CA in October), and that makes me very satisfied with my progress.

My "official" marathon training starts next week...yikes!  I have spent the last 4-5 months just building a solid mileage base.  Thinking of running that 26.2 miles distance still gives me some anxiety, but I am confident that I am doing what I am supposed to.  I have gone from short run paces of 10:45/mile to now knowing that I can run about a 9:45 pace for at least 6 miles.  My long runs have increased from 4 miles to 12 miles.  The fact that I can run 12 miles right now with no injuries to report whatsoever makes me pretty confident that my training plan is working and that I will be ready to go come December 4!!  Yes, marathon, you who kicked me in the patooty about 4 1/2 years ago and made me vow to never run another one will be my friend this time it??  And, this time, I won't arrive limping across the finish line, but running strong and confidently!
Not this
Yes, like this!!
Of course, this time, I'm not running just for me.  It's in memory of Anna and for all those other children fighting the dreaded disease of cancer.  These innocent little ones do not deserve to endure their pain and suffering, so what's a little discomfort for me?  That - and, of course, some prayers - is what has kept me going through my training, and that is what will bring me across the finish line with a smile on my face (and maybe tears... but, we'll ignore that part).  By the way, did you happen to see the amount raised so far has just surpassed $2000?  Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those participating in this journey with me. 


  1. Pitbulls??? SCARY!! How crazy that they followed you for so long.

    Congratulations on your 12 mile run. That is so awesome. I am so happy for you and the progress you have made. It is so neat to look back and see how far you've come and the improvements you have made. You will have a great half in October and be ready to rock that marathon come December. Keep it up girl!!

    That is also so wonderful the amount of money raised. Way to go!

  2. ahhhh! I used to get chased by dogs all the time where I ran last fall. I am totally a dog person but seriously...its kinda scary and anxiety-provoking, especially when you are just hoping for a nice peaceful run alone :)

    SO EXCITED to read about your run! sounds like you are exactly where you want to be and are doing great. It made me excited that we will be running marathons on the same day...I will definitely be channeling your and Anna's inspiration that day! you have been an incredible inspiration to me during my training! you have come a long way and will totally conquer 26.2 this december. Plus I know you will only improve and grow from here!

  3. I would have freaked out. They would have smelled my fear and probably attacked me. Way to keep a cool head. And how nice of them to keep you company =)

    Love that your 12 went so great. It's those runs that make us fall in love with this crazy thing we do.

  4. For that very reason I don't "do outdoors" much with my exercise. I would have peed in my pants! :)

    What a wonderful journey you are on! May He continue to bless you as you persevere.

  5. thats scary! my hubs has been chased by dogs, eek!

    congrats on your $$ raised!! SO AMAZING!