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)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I am a Runner

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."
--John Bingham

"I often hear someone say I'm not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner."
-Bart Yasso

Yesterday morning my alarm went off at a time with a 3 being the first number.  This happens once a week.  For some reason, even when it's only 20 minutes ahead of when I normally get up, it feels more like the middle of the night.  This particular morning, I heard the sound of rain beating against the house and the wind battering the windows.  The first winter storm of the season had moved into the Sierras, and we were getting hammered even in the valley (thank goodness the snow stayed in the mountains... for the most part...more on that).  It was very tempting to snuggle back into my pillow and call it a "rest day".  Then I remembered I'm going out of town this weekend, and it might be difficult to get any running in, so I better get something done during the week.  For the first time this season, I donned a long-sleeved base layer and a winter hat.  Stepped outside...felt the rain on my neck...stepped back inside, but only to pull on an additional hooded sweatshirt.  I started slogging through the wet streets thinking that this wasn't so bad.  In fact, it was kind of cool running in the rain...a different world.  I thought to myself that I probably overdressed and would be hot by the end of the run (haha...silly me).  I headed north for about a mile...turned west for about another mile and 1/2.  Turned south...okaaaay...the wind had to be coming from somewhere, and it was definitely coming from the south.  By this time, the rain had increased in intensity and was now coming in stinging little arrows (that's really what it felt like) directly at my face.  I could barely see...there were literally sheets of water streaming sideways.  I stepped in more puddles than I care to count.  I was cold, I was soaked, I was....well, I was happy! 

You see, I sometimes struggle with calling myself a "runner".  I'm not the fastest.  I'm not the strongest.  I'm definitely not even the most "book smart" about running.  But, yesterday, it finally dawned on me.  I got out of bed at 3:45 a.m., stepped out into driving rain and howling winds, and ran 8 miles.  Yes, I am a "runner"...and I kind of love it. 

Of course, we won't mention how I felt when I stepped out THIS morning to a very light dusting of OCTOBER... 


  1. haha. SAME weather here my friend. snow. ahhhh. totally not ready for it yet. but you are DEFINITELY a runner. and inspire me daily with your dedication! don't ever think that you are NOT a runner...because you are strong, self-motivated and just amazing! hope the weather clears up just a little bit for us though ;)

  2. SNOW - it's way to early for that. I love this post though. I tell people all the time, I run, but I'm not a runner, because I do tend to think that because I'm slow that makes me not a real runner. I need to be better about just owning it. I do run. I did 13.1 this past Sunday, and even if it was slow, that's a heck of lot more than most people could even fathom doing! I am a runner :)

  3. Wow! A three on the clock! THAT is hard-core (even without the weather you dealt with). Great work. You absolutely are a runner. (I hope you got to take a cozy nap later.)

  4. u just epitomized the meaning of a runner. u got GRIT!!! 'nuff said. :)

  5. This sounds a LOT like my run last weekend. Except mine wasn't as long. :)
    You are doing great, Jen!

  6. sister anyone who gets up in the 3 hour is a RUNNER!! I am in love with every aspect of running, but i'm not sure I'd function at that time