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, March 29, 2012

Let Go, Let God

This post will have little to do with running, so, if that's what you are interested in, you may want to stop reading. 

I don't talk about my job much on here.  Suffice it to say I work full-time and enjoy the environment in which I am employed.  A little over four years ago, I was promoted to a "dream job".  I loved this job.  It was challenging, interesting, and presented variety, which is important to me.  As with all good things, the honeymoon period ends at some point.  I still love this job, but absolutely DON'T love the strain it puts on me and my family sometimes.  I've had to come in and work on approved vacation days.  I'm "on-call" some holidays.  There's no certainty on any given day about when my work day will end, which causes issues with obligations outside of work.  It got to a point where I was unhappy and stressed, even when I wasn't at work.  I've considered asking to be reassigned back to my old position, but felt that, if I did that, people would view me as a quitter or someone who just couldn't hack the demands of the job.  In addition, you get used to a certain level of income and wonder if you can survive if that gets cut back. 

Just in case you think I'm spoiled, I'd like to add here that, prior to my current place of employment, I worked about 14 years in the restaurant / hospitality industry.  Many of those years were in a management position.  I know what it's like to work 50-60 (or more) hours per week and not get weekends or holidays off.  I get that there are people who deal with scheduling problems every single day.  I am GRATEFUL to be in a position now where that doesn't apply (to that degree, anyway).  However, those same feelings of lack of control over my life were surfacing again.

Last week, I nervously approached my supervisor and asked to be reassigned.  Since then, other people in authority have been brought in, and every single one of them has been WONDERFUL.  I didn't hear, "Well, that's what you signed up for when you applied for this job."  They were understanding, compassionate, and willing to do everything they could to help.  It looks like it will work out for me to go back to my old and much less stressful job.

Why does it take so long to try to change your life for the better?  I knew I was unhappy.  I knew I wasn't always pleasant to be around at home.  I knew I was tired, drained, and irritable.  Yet, I was concerned about the perception of others.  Would they think less of me?  Will my family suffer from the reduced income?  Bottom line doesn't matter (well, I don't want my family to suffer, but I think you know what I mean).  Who cares what people think?  And, I think my family would prefer some quality time with a nice wife/mother over a little extra money.  I finally prayed, prayed, and prayed some more asking that God would help me to trust that He was leading me to this decision and He will take care of the aftermath.  And, you know what?  As always, He did take care of it, is taking care of me right now, and will always be there guiding my every step (when I let Him). 

In fact, the best times in my life have come from FINALLY letting go of the feeling that I must control everything and giving it all to God.  You'd think I'd learn by now, right? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Things I Love Right Now (about running)

I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted last!  I'm constantly thinking of things I can write about, but the time always seems to get away from me. 

Generally speaking things are going well with running.  On Friday, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for this:

American River Parkway Half Marathon
I'm glad to have something to train for again.  I generally have a little more motivation if I'm working towards something.  There have been a lot of races I've wanted to sign up for, but there aren't many in my area.  So, running a race means paying the entry fee, gas to get there, and, usually, a hotel the night before.  That gets pretty expensive!  This one is just a couple hours away, and the entry fee isn't totally outrageous.  (I was thinking about signing up for the R&R San Diego half-marathon if my husband participates in the full again this year...$135...for the half!!  I.don' 

I also continue to work on "speed" and core exercises, and see some improvement in both of those areas.  My IT band has not been an issue, although I've felt some left-hip discomfort which comes and goes (that's always been an issue with me). 

Anyway, you're probably wondering what any of this has to do with the title of the post.  Not much!  Just wanted to give a little update for those who are interested.  :)

Everybody has their go-to gear, nutrition, etc., when it comes to running.  Mine seem to change as time goes on.  Right now - when it comes to running - I am LOVING these things:

Nite Beams... A few months ago, I won an arm band and a leg band in a giveaway hosted by Jamoosh.  I am in love with these things.  I have been looking for a good way for people to see me in the early mornings for quite awhile.  I used to run with a headlamp, and that was just awful.  After one unfortunate incident, when the headlamp slipped down and slammed into the bridge of my nose, I was done with that.  These just wrap around your arm or leg and you're good to go.  They don't irritate my skin and, after awhile, I don't even feel like they're there.  You can set them to glow continuously or to flash on and off.  They not only help you be seen, but they're bright enough to illuminate dark roads, as well.

Iron Girl Fitted D sunglasses
From Allied Medal Displays
Wrist ID Sport

The items in the above pictures are items I won all at the same time in a giveaway hosted by April in November (yes, I was pretty lucky in giveaways for awhile). 

The Road ID and the medal display are items I've been wanting for quite awhile, but never quite was able to pull the trigger as to spending the money.  I was close with the Road ID, because, yes, I get that it's for safety and all.  But the medal display...well let's be honest...I don't think it'll be jam packed with medals or anything. 

In fact, this is what mine looks like right now.
The two on the right are actually my husband's
Hopefully, we can fill that up a little bit more.  :)

 The Running Chics shirt is sooo comfy, and I've worn that a few times.  The sunglasses I wear every Saturday on my long run, and I love them.  Every other pair of sunglasses I've bought steam up when I start to sweat (so...immediately).  These don't and they are very comfortable.  I haven't tried the short sleeve shirt from Balancing Act, yet, because it hasn't been warm enough, but it looks really cute and comfy, as well. 

And, then, of course the trusty sidekicks I don't think I'll ever replace!
CW-X Stabilyx 3/4 tights
Garmin 305
Under Armour Cold Gear Compression Mock...this is all I need all the way down to 20 degrees.  Anything colder, I just add a light long-sleeve shirt, and I'm good! 
The last thing I'm totally loving right now is this Scheels commercial.

So motivating!

One other thing I wanted to share...on Monday, I actually ran at sunset!!  Normally, once I get home from work and eat dinner, I'm DONE!  But, I didn't get my run done in the morning, and I was feeling like getting outside.  It was actually a pretty great run!  And, you can't beat being able to see where you're going and getting sunset pictures. 

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  (1 Cor. 9: 24-25)