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)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Half-Marathon... Yikes!

In the last couple of days, it's kind of dawned on me that I'm running my first (organized) half-marathon a week from Sunday!  It's this race:

For some reason, I was still thinking that October is sooo far away.  Now I realize it's less than two weeks away!!  I'm SCARED TO DEATH  a little nervous about this, and I'm not sure why.  I've run two 14-milers and an 18-miler in my training, so I know I can do the distance.  I think it's because, other than a select couple of races, I haven't run in many.  I knew I wanted to sign up for a half, as I wanted to get the feel of a "race atmosphere" before the marathon on December 4.  This race fits in perfectly with my training schedule, as I'm scheduled for a 14-miler for my long run that weekend. 

Here are some issues that I foresee for myself:

1) - I am used to running alone.  The routes I choose are not crowded, and I pass few people.  When I do see people, I speed up, because know...well, I don't know why.  I know they really are not concerned about how fast I'm going, and I'm pretty sure they're not laughing at my slow pace or anything (and, if they are, I don't care about them, anyway).  So, I'm really trying to think about how I will keep my pace steady on a course filled with other runners and spectators.  They do have pace teams, so I'm wondering if I should at least start with one of those. 

2) - Being tempted to stray from my fuel plan during the race.  I rarely drink sports drink on my runs, choosing, instead, to use water and shot blocks or something similar.  It works for me most of the time, but I know as I pass the aid stations with other possible choices, it will be hard to resist thinking that maybe that particular item will help me more!

3) - I'm going to assume that some little thing that I haven't thought of will happen (tripping over someone, getting my arms tangled in my earphone cords, etc.)  I also know that, if it does, I will make a big issue of it and it will become a huge mental hurdle in preparing for the full marathon in December.  I need to remember to take those things and learn from them rather than let them affect my attitude leading into the remainder of my training. 

While I am anxious, I'm also excited!  My husband has also signed up for the hand-cycle division of this race, and my son will be running the 5k.  I'm glad they will be there for moral support, and that we can share this experience together.


1.  Have you run with a pace team before in a race?  Was it helpful?
2.  Any tips for a first-time half-marathoner?


  1. JEN! I am so unbelievably excited for you and know you will do amazing! PLUS I love that it is going to be a family event :) I would say...just run your race. Yes there will be plenty of other people around but dont let that overwhelm you...stay within yourself and run the way you are used to running!

    I have tried to stick with pacers before and I never do that great of a job with it. Maybe this next race I will do better ;)

    I will BE SURE to be thinking about you on 10/2!

  2. I have thought about running with a pacer, but I'm pretty slow and alot of races don't offer my pace group...bummer. Tips - just go out and have fun!!! It will be a GREAT experience!

  3. You are going to do great, Jenn! It's good you are willing to try the race drink, etc.., but i would bring and use what you are used to and just use theirs as a backup plan.

    As far as pacers go, I would try sticking with your planned pace on your own, but keep an eye on those balloons. They make a great target and you can still visit with the people in the group without feeling pressured to run with the pacer who may/may not be off target.

    Have fun in Sacramento! Best wishes to hubby too. :)

  4. I wish this race was on Saturday!!! Have a great time!

  5. All the best with your first half! With the training youve been doing you are MoRE than ready for this. Run the way you trained, at a pace that's comfy for you. Fuel the way you fueled in training. Do not go out too fast, I've only run with a pace group once and it was awesome!