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, August 28, 2011

14- Miler and Other Random Thoughts

So, yesterday, I had a 14-mile run on my schedule.  This is the farthest I have run so far in this training period (the farthest I've run in about 5 years, actually), so I was a little apprehensive.  I was telling my husband that, in training for my first (and only so far) marathon, I didn't remember having a "good" training run when the distance got to be longer than 13 miles.  There are many reasons for this: 1) - I was clueless as to the whole distance running thing; 2) - I was clueless as to proper hydration, nutrition, etc. DURING the run; and 3) - I was just CLUELESS.  I'd like to think that I'm going into this one a little more educated and, hopefully, just a little smarter. 

I began the run at 5:30 because I saw that the overnight low was only 65 (that's warm for here), so I knew it would warm up quickly.  It actually felt humid (weird sensation in Nevada), and by Mile 4, it was raining (another weird sensation in Nevada).  The rain actually felt good, but I suddenly started to wonder things like: Is my Garmin waterproof? Can my earbuds electrocute me if they get wet?  Will wet compression shorts chafe? (The answer to that is "yes"...ouch!)  Yes, the strange thoughts that go through your mind while running...  The rain didn't last long, though, and I actually finished the 14 miles pretty strong.  Only stopped running for two pit stops (HATE having to stop for that!  I know you're supposed to drink regularly, but is there any way to do that and not have to use the bathroom??  I'm open to suggestions).  Anyway, when I saw 13.1 on my Garmin, I thought, "Wow!  You just ran a half-marathon!"  That was incredibly motivating for me.  Made me think that maybe I can make it to a full after all.  We shall see.  Dramatic mileage increases (for me) in the next two long runs (16 miles next week and 18 after that...scary!)

I didn't run much otherwise this past week...only a couple of 4-milers.  It was a cut-back week, and, on this hike last weekend, I rolled my ankle on one of the last steep downhills.  I didn't want to say too much about that, because I was SO afraid I had done something serious which would stop my training.  I decided to completely rest it for a few days because it was a little puffy and somewhat discolored.  I still feel some twinges from it, but it held up yesterday with no ill effects, so I think it's going to be OK...phew!

Maybe it was the lack of running, or the fact that my husband was away on a hunting trip, but this week was pretty hard for me emotionally.  I think everyone must go through these phases of feeling OVERWHELMED by all that life throws your way.  That was me this week.  I go through these times of near-paralysis because of all of the things I feel I'm NOT doing!  Anything can trigger it.  In this case, something happened last week that shook me to the core (yes, on top of my son getting hit by a car) and really caused me to question my commitment to my family and making that my priority.  But, after the "triggering event", my thoughts tend to go something like this...  I look out in the yard and see weeds that need to be pulled.  There are things at my son's school that I should be involved in.  There are extra committees or events at work that I should volunteer for or attend.  I should help out at church more.  I should volunteer in the community more.  I should spend more time practicing my music.  I feel guilty because I feel like I'm short-changing my family, my job, my friends, and...well...everything.  So, what do I do?  NOTHING!  It becomes extremely difficult to prioritize when I feel this way, and I get laden with anxiety.  What usually gets me out of this funk is just a small little blessing (and, oh yeah, remembering that I'm NOT in control of everything...I pray regularly that God helps me to remember that). 

Yesterday afternoon, we were leaving the house, and a man was working on our neighbor's yard.  He asked us if we wanted him to cut our lawn.  My son was going to cut it that day, but we asked him if we could pay him to pull our weeds in the backyard (seriously...they were taking over).  He came by today while we were at church and did just that...and our yard looks beautiful!!

 We usually don't pay for luxuries like this, but it was WELL WORTH IT!  That's all it took for me to feel better.  I could cross one thing off my list, so it began to get easier to cross others off.  Now, my house is clean, the laundry is almost done, I'll take my son out to drive later (he has his learner's permit), etc. I guess the lesson is to just do something, realize you can't do everything, and fully rely on and pray to God to help you discern the things you can do that will most honor Him (and to please get rid of that self-imposed guilt for not doing the rest).  

Please tell me I'm not the only one that goes through this and that I'm not just mentally unstable. 


  1. oh, girl you are NOT alone! I have the same struggle. There has to be SOME downtime though.

    My hubby keeps telling me to take time to organize and that I'll get twice as much done. I have yet to see if that is really true :)

    Glad you are doing well after the ankle thing, and that your son is OK.

    Great job on the wet 14!!

  2. Jen. you are totally not alone. sounds like we definitely had the same type of week last week. i felt like there were a bunch of little things and then it just took one big thing to totally break me down to where i felt that i could NOT be productive. that has led to some stress this week. but i am totally like you...just trying to cross one thing off at a time! you are so strong individually and for your family...never forget that! i admire that in you!

    great great great job on your run! i so wish i could come run this marathon with you. i know you are going to do fantastic!

  3. FRIEND! want to let you know that I placed a check in the mail for your fundraising yesterday! hope you get it soon :)

  4. 65F is cold to us. It makes me happy to see you are healing. things will come along soon. Power of prayer.