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)

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Tale of Two Runs

Two runs in one run, that is...

But first, thank you for all of the nice comments on my last post.  I'm a little less anxious for this half-marathon coming up this Sunday because of your suggestions and kind words. 

I had a 20-miler on the schedule for Saturday.  We had plans to go here,
Candy Dance in Genoa, NV
so I was up before 4:00 a.m. eating a piece of toast with peanut butter and banana.  I was out the door by 5:00 a.m.(seriously? on a Saturday? what kind of person does this to themselves? ...these are the questions running through my mind as I left).  My plan was to run two different loops again with my house in the middle.  Started out in the pitch black of night (this is not unusual for me, but it wasn't one of my usual, it just seemed wrong on a Saturday), and I was NOT feeling the run.  I was anxious and I had dogs barking at me and roosters crowing (it's pretty rural) continuously.  Did I mention that it was dark?  Imagine hearing dogs running up towards you barking ferociously, and you have NO IDEA if they're fenced in or not...pretty terrifying stuff.  My stomach was in knots and I just didn't feel well.  This lasted the entire first 10 miles. For my 18-miler a couple of weeks ago, I felt great and did not stop at my house.  This time, I stopped (I may or may not have considered stopping for good), refilled my water bottle, changed out of my capris and put on shorts (I love my capris, but they were really uncomfortable that day), and picked up my ipod (it had needed charging when I first started).  It took about 10 minutes, but I'm SO GLAD I did this.  Started out for my second 10 miles...sun was out (finally!), I had some music, and my stomach had settled down.  It seemed as if I had a whole day's rest instead of just a 10-minute break, and those last 10 miles felt like a completely different run. 

As always on my long runs, there were points when I felt like I could conquer the world and points where I wanted to stop and walk.  I apologize to the people who cheerily said, "Good Morning", only to get a twisted grimace in return (no, really...that was a smile).

Final result:

Yep...20 miles done.  My goal was 11:30 average pace, and it came out to 11:33 average pace.  I did pause the Garmin when I stopped at the house, but I'm not going to count that, because I'm very proud for finishing this run strong (and, by strong, I mean still "running"), especially after how it started.

I have not lost my original motivation for training for and running this marathon.  Whenever I feel tired or that I can't go on, I think of Anna and all of the other children who have had to endure the horrible disease of cancer.  They must have so many questions as the sickness and then "treatment" ravages their little bodies and causes them so much pain.  Some, like Anna, can't run because their "marathons" ended way too soon.  Some can't run because they are stuck in a hospital going through chemo.  Some can't run because they can't go outside for fear of germs that their suppressed immune systems can't handle.  I am sure that there are many times they don't want to go on and, yet, they are forced to endure.  I am blessed.  I am blessed with legs that can run (maybe not fast, but they can run).  I am blessed with a healthy son.  I am blessed with a loving husband that supports me through all of this.  Why not run for those who can't??

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Please take a moment to support those families who are dealing with this, whether it be to say a prayer, to financially support research, to volunteer in a children's ward at the local hospital, or whatever you are comfortable doing.  Kids are counting on us!




  1. AWESOME RUN!!! 20 miles at any pace is always a great accomplishment. I had to laugh at your thoughts of leaving the house so early. So many times when I've been on the road alone in the dark, I think to myself, "I have to be the only idiot in this whole city doing this right now!" Great job!

  2. amazing! so inspiring that you pushed through and completely turned this run around! proud of you and excited for you! your story of the dogs in the dark reminded me of this past weekend: they started a fright fest at the amusement park I went to on Saturday. Starting at 7pm or dark...they have workers dress up as zombies, hide in the park and scare you. it was terrifying and i hated it!! haha!

  3. You should feel so proud and it should give you a lot of confidence going into your marathon! Not to mention what it will do for your 1/2 coming up! You'll do great and it will be worth all the early mornings, dogs barking, and upset stomaches. It will all be worth it!

  4. AWESOME 20 miler. Doesn't it FEEL great??

    I echo you about the animals in the dark- dogs are scary unfenced. I love the ipod too, when it's light. :)

    Thanks for the reminder about childhood cancer awareness month.

  5. Nice job on a 20 miler....I'll be putting in those kinds of miles soon, I would be thrilled with an 11:33 pace. Great job!

  6. GREAT run!!! u rocked it girl, and u will do the same come CIM. :) a LOT goes on for 20 miles and u summed it up just right: u have moments of feeling invicible and moments of doubt. the thing that helps me is remembering those strong moments and telling myself that i just have to push thru the icky times a bit longer and then they will pass. :)

    as for the half coming up: have FUN! don't be nervous, runners are fun and awesome folk and always friendly. just don't step in a cowpie. jk. :)