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)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Different Kind of 6-miler

Today begins a cut-back week, so I only had 6 miles on the schedule.  My husband left on a hunting trip this morning, so I had decided some time ago that my 6 miles would be a hike in the mountains with my son.  SO HAPPY we did this! 
The hike up was a significant elevation increase of 1900 ft, and the trail is rated difficult.  Wow!  I think my 12-mile run last week felt easier.  :)  Coming down felt first.  By the time we got back to the car, my thighs and knees were begging to be on level ground again. 

We weren't sure if the hike was going to happen because last night my son was on a bike ride and he got HIT BY A CAR!!  I received a call from him asking me to pick him up.  Now, my logical mind was telling me that, since he was able to call me, he was OK.  My "mother" mind, though, was imagining all sorts of horrific scenes and I may or may not have driven faster than the posted speed limits to get there.  I was unbelievably relieved to arrive and find him walking around and fine but for some soreness and a scraped knee and ankle.  He was crossing a street and an older gentleman turned at the same time...I guess he just didn't see him.  I'm counting my blessings today that it wasn't a full-speed crash.  He woke up a little sore, and I made a deal with him that if it got too bad once we started the hike, we'd turn around.  But, we finished it.  Let's just say I cherished this time with him maybe even a little more than usual. 

I accomplished all of my scheduled runs this week.  I also reached a special (for me) goal.  My schedule has frequent 6-milers, and I try to make at least one of those a tempo run (not sure if I'm using that term correctly), where I warm up for a mile, run 4 miles at 30 seconds - 1 minute faster than my goal marathon pace (this is more difficult than it sounds, since I have no idea at this point what my goal marathon pace is...right now I would guess it's 10:30/mile), and then cool down for a mile.  I really don't care what my overall time is, but I've been trying for some time to break an hour.  On Wednesday, when I finished mile 5, I looked at my Garmin and thought that maybe I could do it this time.  I ditched the cool-down for the last mile and finished in 58:06:14!  I know some faster runners would scoff at that, but that is a HUGE accomplishment for me.  The breakdown was:

Mile 1 - 10:49/mi
Mile 2 - 9:11/mi
Mile 3 - 9:39/mi
Mile 4 - 9:47/mi
Mile 5 - 9:09/mi
Mile 6 - 9:29/mi

This run was just what I needed, as my runs on Monday and Tuesday just felt rough.  I finished the miles, and my times weren't worse than usual, but it was one of those phases of sluggishness that I think all runners go through occasionally (at least that's what I'd like to think). 

One last thing...
The husband of a friend of mine ran the Pike's Peak Ascent today.  That's 13.32 miles with a 7,815 ft vertical gain.  Congratulations on a great race, Randal!!  I'll just put it on the record today that this race will never be on my to-do list. 

Hope all are enjoying the weekend as much as I am!  Until next time...remember to cherish those moments.


  1. I wish we had such beautiful places to hike. I love to hike, but only get to do it if we travel somewhere outside this city.

    Nice run! I would love to be able to finish 5 miles in the time you did 6!

  2. Wow, quite a reminder to cherish the moment.

    Your hike pictures are amazing!

  3. The best workouts are the ones when you take the family along. Quality family time + workout = AWESOME! Great times on your run and a great reminder to cherish every moment. SO true....Love it!

    Have a great week!

  4. Beautiful scenery on your hike. I bet you guys had a great time!

    Praise God your son is okay! I can't imagine how scary that would be.

  5. he was hit?!! oh my! so glad he's okay. And wow, what a great run you had with that view!

  6. SO glad to hear your son was okay. wow. definitely a great reminder to cherish the moment. sounds like your running is going amazing and wow...those splits...way to go!! seriously impressive :) love hikes like that...the ones that are just gorgeous. you can enjoy the moment with others. and they just push you. but its all so worth it :)