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, October 29, 2011


This has definitely been an up and down week as far as running.  As I said in the last post, I was pretty on top of the world - feeling great - nothing's going to stop me now. 

Last Sunday, I was feeling some stiffness in my knee when I walked down stairs or stood up after sitting for a long time.  This is nothing new.  I've had IT band issues in the past, but they really haven't bothered me at all training for this marathon.  I figured a day of rest, some ice, and ibuprofen would take care of it just as it always has these past few months.  On my Tuesday 8-mile run,  it started really nagging me at about mile 5.  Wednesday, I cut my run in half due to pain.  I rested Thursday.  Yesterday (Friday), I ran my 4 miles I had on schedule, but my leg bothered me all day after that.  So............. I made the very difficult decision (with my husband's "encouragement"/ insistence) to rest for a full week. 

I have basically started training for this marathon in January and I think I can count on one hand how many training days I've missed up until this point.  In the past, I've been the type of person who would have welcomed a week off of running.  I was lazy.  I loved those slow recovery runs.  I looked forward to rest days.  Well, I am apparently not that person anymore.  The thought of a full week of rest is terrifying me.  Will I lose the effects of all that training?  Will I gain 20 pounds if I don't run for a week?  If I get to sleep past 4:00 a.m. for a full week, will I even have the desire to get up and run anymore?

I know these are silly questions (right?).  I also know that, if I pushed myself to run this week, I could make things much worse, and I do NOT want to do that.  All that counts is being healthy and ready on December 4.  This is a cut-back week, so I think if this had to happen, this is the right time. 

What this means for a week:
  • No hooking up my Garmin practically every day to check my splits, etc.
  • No obsessing about what I will wear on my runs or what the weather will be like (is it cold enough to wear my base layer?  should I wear a cap or a winter hat? capris, pants, or shorts?)
  • No falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 p.m. (who am I kidding?...I'll probably still do that)
  • Probably most stress reliever!!  
What will I do?  I'll have to clean my house, stain our fence, seal the concrete, or something.  OK...maybe not.  But, I can't remember the last weekend where I didn't do a "long run" (today my long run was only supposed to be 8 miles).  I'm feeling out of sorts, so I guess I'll start off the time by going to eat the ribs and corn-on-the-cob my husband is BBQing on the grill ( come those 20 pounds!)


  1. awwww Jen...i am so sorry to hear about your pain. i can totally relate to all of your concerns and fears/anxieties. i have had ALL the same go through my mind when finally making the decision to take a week off. but keep in have been ONE of the MOST dedicated people I know...seriously. your determination, attention to detail in your training and dedication has been beyond inspiring and admirable. if anything, your body will likely welcome this time off to rest, heal and come back stronger than ever for 12/4! sending healing thoughts your way!

  2. Sorry about the knee - hopefully the week off will do you a lot of good and you'll come back even stronger! Lots of healing vibes coming your way!

  3. Jen, sorry to hear about this! Try to think of it as practice for "taper madness." You are doing the right thing and your head knows it, even if your heart and your body are rebelling.

  4. i'm so sorry jen!! injuries are always a evil lurker in the world of running, so my heart goes out to you. but you are being proactive, and the good thing is that it is a 'rest week' anyways so if u had to choose a time this is better. if you are up for it, you can always try and cross-train on the days you would have run...that can work wonders at keeping the cardio up and for me it's also a portion of helping keep me least i can do something! lol. but either way, you will NOT gain 20 lbs...haha...the first priority is making sure you get that leg healthy! :)

    PS-u inspired me to write a post about that blasted IT Band...i'm sending u all my positive thoughts! :)

  5. Oh, no good to read. :(

    The timing is good, but it is stressful to take time off during training. Have you looked into the causes for ITB? Maybe there is something you can do to help with it down the road. I will say, from experience, you will be fine with a week off- no fitness lost, lots of rest to go back into it. Hopefully the leg will be happier too. Hugs!!!

  6. I know this frustration and helpless feeling. Rest is definitely the best thing you can do. Coming from experience - when you think you're rested, rest a little more. I have gotten myself into more of a mess by rushing a comeback before I was ready.

    Hang in there!

  7. Sorry to hear about that - seems like you and I are having similar knee symptoms. have you tried doing exercises for stabilization of your hips. I have had this problem in the past and I do exercise to strengthen my hips and butt which helps keep my knees stabilized. Hopefully with some time off and stretching we will both be back running!

  8. Maybe I can help lift your spirits a little...
    Check out my blog post today...something special for you!!

    Praying for a quick recovery...a week off will not hurt your can take more of a mental toll than anything. I experienced the same thing last month before I ran my marathon. Believe me resting up and being strong at the starting line is the most important thing.

  9. I am feeling you! I had the same issues when i was training for my marathon. It's usually due to overtraining. It sucks, but your knee needs rest, rest and more rest. Tell me you are taking Glucosomine Chondrotin too?? If not, then get on it. I never had knee pain again after i started taking two lovely pills a day.

    Good luck!