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)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trust Issues

I am where I am, and God will handle it for me.

I read these words on this postIf you don't read Raina's blog, you should.  And I don't know if she knows it or not, but she gave me the words for my new mantra these days.  I hope she doesn't mind the fact that I stole it for awhile.

I haven't posted in awhile, and I had a moment of panic when I saw the number of days left on the countdown to marathon I have in the upper right-hand corner of my blog.  Does that really say 22 days?!? 

When I've considered what to post, I've had a hard time deciding the attitude I wanted to convey.  Depressed that when I went for what was supposed to be my long run of 23 miles last Saturday, I was hobbling by mile 3?  Frustration due to the fact that this is NOT where I want to be 3 weeks prior to the marathon?  Just try to be positive that it will all be OK? 

You may remember that I decided to lay off running for a week.  This was two weeks ago.  Last Friday, I attempted a short 4-mile run.  My knee was killing me by mile 2.  We had some snow the night before, and the roads were icy, so I tried to tell myself that my form wasn't right and my joints were just "cold".  I set out for my long run on Saturday.  It was supposed to be 23 miles, but I was just going to go as far as what felt right, and I was OK with that.  I started out, and it actually felt pretty good for awhile (I tried wearing a brace).  At about mile 2.5, my pesky IT band just flared out of nowhere!  I stopped and turned around for home.  In case you don't know, I can run through a lot.  As many runners can attest to, you just get used to pushing through pain.  I cannot run through this.  So.....

This past week, I became friends with:

I don't like hanging around these "friends" (well, I do like to sleep, just not when I'm supposed to be up running.)  DVD workouts are pure torture, in my mind.  (However, I do feel that some muscles were worked that I don't work while running, so maybe that's a good thing.)  I like my old Garmin, my running shoes, exercising OUTSIDE, etc.  The frustrating thing about this IT band issue is that it feels perfectly fine while doing anything but I think I'm good and then bam!

Today, I have off from work, so I had some time for an attempt at a SLOW run.  I walked for about a mile to warm up, and then started to run.  I'm not going to lie....I felt some twinges all through the run, but it wasn't ever bad enough to make me stop.  I left my Garmin at home, so I have no idea as to pace or even how far I ran because I tried to run only on flat roads, which is nothing like my normal routes, so I ran a few circles here and there.  I'm guessing it was between 4 and 5 miles. 

So, that's where I am.  A friend from work who has run many marathons (her initials are P.R. - how cool would that be to have those initials as a runner?) tells me I'm OK.  I've built up a good base, I've run two 20-milers as part of training, and I have some time to heal before the marathon. 

But, of course, I have trust issues.  Do I feel entirely confident that I will be able to finish the marathon in a few weeks?  No.  Do I trust that I have built up enough base to counteract these weeks of drastically reduced mileage?  No. 

But, then I realize that when I think like that, I'm putting my trust (or lack, thereof) in the wrong place - me!  While it may sound corny, I do believe that, whatever happens, God led me to do this, and He has brought me to this point for a reason.  Maybe He's telling me to just lean on Him, and to not rely on my efforts.  Don't get me wrong...I realize that there are more important priorities in life than running a marathon.  I get that there are people who go through more extreme hardship than having doubts about finishing a race.  I understand that this is not a life or death matter.  But, I also believe that God understands our disappointment or anxiety when we've worked hard for something, and it may end up being for nothing. 

So, bottom line...will I be at the starting line for the marathon on December 4?  Yes!  Will I maybe have to throw all of my time goals out the window?  Yes!  Am I 100% confident that I will finish?  mmmmm.....maybe?  So, I just keep remembering.....

I am where I am, and God will handle it for me.

Sorry for the long, wordy post...see what happens when I don't run enough?


  1. Jen- I can't tell you how much it meant that anything I wrote could (possibly),(at all), be encouraging to someone else. Truly hoping your ITB gets better quick. I have faith that God will see you through this and has something special set aside for you in it. So thankful for your reminder to lean on Him today; I need it every day!

  2. I am having IT Band issues and my Running Doc recommended a deep tissue massage (i'll get one Monday). If you have not had it checked out, you may want to, just to see how bad it is or isn't. Hang in there!

  3. It is very hard to let go of time goals and to put up with injury and pain. To the extent that I think about God and my running, I figure He is using it to teach me something about myself and the world, and, no matter what, I will get something out of it that I need (even if it's not what I *want*). Not always comforting...but in the end it's all good. And I think your marathon will be too.

  4. stay strong!! injuries can always wreck havoc with ur 'trust' issues, but TRUST in urself because u HAVE built up a great base and are doing everything u can right. ease into those runs and if it means reassessing ur 'finishing' time, so be long as u do it.

    as for the IT, i know ur pain, but keep up with the advil, and at this point u might want to think about that massage. also, if u have access to an elliptical or bike, or aquajogging at a gym, that would be a great way to maintain that strong aerobic base u've built up.

    believe in urself and hang in there!!

  5. Praying for you girl!
    It is normal at this point in any normal training period to have all of those crazy self doubting thoughts...but throw in an injury and it just puts the brain on overload!
    God is good and He will see you through till the end!
    I am 100% confident you will cross that finish line!

  6. i am SO glad that you posted. I have been missing reading your words as they are so inspiring to me...but what speaks even louder is your actions. your determination. your heart. your desire. I am proud of you for pushing through this. things dont always turn out the way they expect but they often work out the way they are supposed to...we just arent sure what that is yet :) I am thinking of you as you approach your marathon day and you better believe I will be channeling your words and strength as I start my own marathon on the same day! stay strong friend! you are ready!

  7. Thinking about you today, Jen. Hope you are getting better!