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)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Davis Stampede 1/2 Marathon Recap

Yes, it's been a month since the 1/2 marathon.  I realize I'm not the best at "timeliness", but I do want to record the day.  It was my son's first 1/2 marathon ... it was a 1/2 marathon I started with high expectations for myself (to PR with a better than 2:15 time).  I went into it with optimism and excitement.  Was it all I hoped for?  Yes and no. 

The day started out SUPER foggy.  While it provided - um - "atmosphere", that also means high humidity.  Do I like humidity?  Definitely not.  The high that day was in the high 60's, which seems perfect, but - after training in dry, cold weather for four months - the end of the race seemed "hot" to me and, even though the fog burned off, I could still feel the humidity. 

Anyway, I was so excited to run this with my son, Jacob.  The plan was for me to pace him for at least the first half (he has a habit of starting way too fast). We were psyched to go at the starting line.

My goal was to finish in 2:15 or better.  If you remember, this was my goal for my last 1/2 marathon, as well, and I finished in 2:16:00!!  My son's goal was to just finish, but I knew he had a time goal in mind. 

Miles 1-6 were great.  We got to the half-way point, and couldn't believe we were half done already.  We both felt fresh, and I was starting to feel confident about reaching our goals. 

The sun came out full-strength at mile 8, and I started fading a little bit.  I wish we had more races close to where we live, but, the fact of the matter is, most of the races that we can get to are in central California.  While the climate there is generally pretty nice, it is also much different than the dry, cool conditions I get used to in the Reno winters.  Once the sun comes out and it gets to about 60, I fade pretty quickly.  I need to modify my training conditions if I plan to keep racing in that area. 

At mile 9 we had to climb up a pretty long steep incline to a bridge which crosses the freeway.  It was actually a pretty cool aspect of the race crossing the bridge and watching the traffic speed by below.  But, the climb wiped me out (which is weird because we have plenty of hills in our training runs). 

This is about the time in the race when we planned on picking up our pace.  In reality, I was just trying to keep up.  I knew there was a very real possibility that Jacob would end up pulling ahead of me, but I was hoping to keep up with him until close to the finish.  About mile 10, I told him to go ahead.  He was looking strong and I didn't want to hold him back.  After asking if I was sure, he ran ahead. 

Those last few miles were TOUGH.  Without Jacob's companionship and me feeling like I was in the Sahara desert, I just wanted to get done.  When I crossed mile 11, I looked at my watch and - I obviously can't do math while running - thought at that time I had no chance of reaching my goal, so I backed off my pace a little bit and just tried to enjoy the run.  The path followed a river at this point, so it was quite scenic.  Then I looked at my watch at mile 12, and realized that - if I pushed it - I might have a chance!  So I "poured it on", or at least my version of "pouring it on".  I gave all I had that last mile.  My final time?  2:16:23.  Ugh!  Just wasn't my day for that elusive 2:15. 

Jacob's time?  He told me later that he wanted to average 10:00 minute miles.  His time was 2:11, which is exactly 10:00 min/mile pace.  I am super proud of him for his accomplishment and all the hard work he put into training for this.  I only wish I could have seen him cross the finish line.

My day wasn't a total washout, though.  My husband likes to take pictures of me at the finish line at races.  Most don't see the light of day... they can be pretty scary.  This time, he actually took one that I'm not totally disgusted with.  I think it's because it looks like I'm running rather than the usual "death shuffle". 

(Yes, I did finish ahead of that guy next to me.)

Jacob and I are signed up for a 1/2 marathon 2-person relay on April 7 (my husband is signed up for the full 1/2 on his handcycle).  Once again, it's in central California in the Sacramento area.  However, I'm the first leg, and it's only 7.5 miles, so I'm hoping to be done before it starts warming up too badly.  We are thinking - hoping - we can break 2 hours for the complete 1/2.  Wish us luck!


  1. Congratulations to your son on his first half! Your 2:15 half is coming up soon, I'm sure!

  2. Good job to both you and Jacob! Wow--nailing his goal exactly--that's pretty rare! I think you will love the half relay, too. You may have turned your son into a racing addict. My 6-YO son wants to do the Bolder Boulder 10K with me this year (it's on Memorial Day). I figure we'll run a little, walk a lot and just have fun. He'll probably like the finish line in the stadium and the goodie bag best. :^)

  3. Congratulations to you for being able to race and mostly keep up with your son. I don't expect when mine are teens that I will be able to!! Jacob did fantastic, but so did you. It's hard to race hot. You only missed by a bit, and next time you will be able to beat that by a bunch. Your photo looks great! Maybe shorts next time you race in central CA?! :)

    So glad to hear from you. :))

  4. congrats on a great race. You will get that 2:15 soon enough.