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, September 10, 2011

18 miles??? Piece of Cake.

Maybe it was the Green Bay Packers win over the Saints on Thursday night...maybe it was the morning I couldn't get out of bed because my hip was hurting extra "rest day" I took this week...maybe it was because I went back to wearing my CW-X capris instead of shorts.  Whatever the reason, when I began my run this morning, I felt strangely confident that I could do 18 miles today.  I was debating between doing the 16 I failed to finish last week or the 18 that was called for on my schedule.  I just decided to start running and see what happens.

Normally, I try to run a loop regardless of mileage.  I despise out and back (I think it's because I'm always looking for that turn-around point..."I'm not even half-way done" is the thought that keeps going through my mind).  Today, I tried a 10-mile loop I've done in the past and then added the 8-mile loop I run every Tuesday morning before work (2 different loops...2 different directions).  That way, if I needed to stop at the house for extra water, supplies, etc., I could.  I also thought that maybe there would be a psychological benefit to finishing up with a shorter run loop (like my body would think that I didn't just run 10 miles, and I could breeze through an easy 8 miles - ha ha).  

Miles 1- 4:  kind of slow and sluggish; I stop drinking water about an hour before I run, so why 2 pit stops in the first 4 miles???  This happens every long run (I know you don't really care about this, but part of the reason for this blog is for myself to keep track of what went right and what went wrong on the long runs, so I have to include these types of details).  I kept the Garmin going the whole time, so some of the mile times were downright depressing.

Miles 5 - 12:  I felt on top of the world; no fatigue, no aches, and had to slow myself down to keep in the 11:00 - 12:00 / mile range (I KNEW if I didn't do this, I'd be dead - not dead tired...just dead - before mile 18).  Stopped at a park briefly (to use porta potty - of course - and stretch) at mile 11.  It felt wonderful to pass by the street to my house at about mile 10 and not take it...I felt too good to stop. 

Miles 13 - 15:  Still felt pretty strong, but my legs started kind of doing their own thing independent of what my mind was telling them to do;  could feel some tightness in the ankles and achilles area.  Remember I gave myself the "out" of only having to do 16 if I felt like it.  The moment of truth came at an intersection about mile 14.5 where, if I went straight, it would be 16 miles...if I turned right, it would be 18, no matter what...whether I ran, walked, or crawled, it would be 18.  I turned right.

Mile 16:  The most mentally tough mile of the run.  Slowed to a walk in order to put on chap stick (my lips felt like they were glued together) and adjust my camelbak.  Walked for .25 mile...almost threw in the towel and walked the rest of the way home.  I had run 16 - the most I have done so far in this training - good enough, right?  Then I reminded myself that this is what I would feel like about mile 22-23 in the marathon (hopefully not before), too, and I NEEDED to get used to this.  Starting to run again was SO hard!  But, gradually, my legs started cooperating again and I was running.
 Mile 17 - tempted to more mile...1/2 more mile...1/4 more mile...DONE!  18 miles completed.

Yes, 18 miles completed...FEELS SO GOOD TO SAY THIS!!!



  1. Great job!!! That's got to feel like an awesome accomplishment! I will have some of these runs coming up over the next few months and I can imagine it's truly a mental battle! Great job sticking it out and not just going for the 16! You did it!

  2. eeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!!!!! LOVED reading this!!!! so excited for you. this run definitely sounds like one that has made you stronger! congrats!

  3. Awesome job on getting it done!

  4. So AWESOME!! I love that you stuck through the tough part and got to the end. No regrets =)

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