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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dear SP friends.

Thanksgiving for me is very important. It is the time of the year where I reflect - reflecting on the year past.

This year a special group of friends will be in my thoughts and reflections. They are called my SP friends, and because you are reading this - you are one of them. I have had the privilege to meet some of you for a bike ride and run. I am looking forward to see you again in 2010.

The poet Kumbel writes:
"Love while you have love to give
Live while you have life to live"

Happy Thanksgiving.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLALEX70 11/27/2009 10:27PM


You are one of the reasons that 2009 was a great year for me. Meeting so many great people from Spark has given me people I can rely on for information, support or a swift kick whenever it's needed.

Have a great weekend.

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LULUBELLE1102 11/25/2009 3:52AM

    Thanks Jan and Happy Thanksgiving to you. You are a special person and I am grateful to have you in my corner. Now let's EAT! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/25/2009 3:52:46 AM

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DDOORN 11/24/2009 11:58PM

    Great lines by Kumbel...! Thx for sharing and you and yours have a healthy, happy Thanksgiving too!


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AMCG2002 11/24/2009 11:49PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! This has been an amazing year and much of it is owing to the people and support I have found on Spark. I'm looking forward to running or biking again with you next year! Enjoy the holiday!

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TTLEELEE 11/24/2009 8:33PM

    Happy Thanksgiving Jan! You too are one of the people I am thankful for!!

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PURPLEALLY 11/24/2009 12:03PM

    Happy Thanksgiving!
There is SO much to be grateful for! emoticon

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LIMELITESHINES 11/24/2009 11:10AM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too Jan. I know we are all VERY thankful for the support and words of wisdom that you offer us. I look forward to getting to meet you myself!


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JOPAPGH 11/24/2009 10:53AM

    Have a great holiday! Rest and recharge. I anticipate getting together again next year.

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GRACE612 11/24/2009 9:24AM

    Thanks Jan!! A Happy Thanksgiving to you also!! And next year we will have to get a group of Sparkers together for a bike ride!! emoticon

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CHERYLD02 11/24/2009 7:59AM

    Well said Jan. Thank you for the helpful advice you give to us all! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/24/2009 8:00:13 AM

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ASH72461 11/24/2009 7:10AM

  nice blog
have a wonderful thanksgiving emoticon

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IRISHLASS117 11/24/2009 7:07AM

    Thank you Warrior!

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End of the 2009 race season

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Today I did my last scheduled event. A flat half marathon in a suburb of Cleveland, which I have done twice before. This was my 4th half in 8 weeks. I can't decide if I am just bragging or I have reasons to be proud, but it is behind me.

I was kind of so so about doing it. However, I think I managed to invite on of my fellow TNTers to run, so I was kind of obligated. As of yesterday morning - it was not really exciting (burned out?). However, that changed. My friend John emailed me and told me about the 7 year old son of someone he works with who was diagnosed this week with leukemia (that bast*** strikes again). Well that changed things. First I went in and found my medal from the Akron half marathon - mailed it to John with a note to the 7 year old to fight like he-- and heroes gets medals - and in my eyes he is a hero.

This morning I got an email from one of my honoree's who is despite her illness (blood cancer and failing kidneys) is on a cruise. She sent me an update on her progress. (she has no treatment options for her cancer and she is not a candidate for dialysis. WOW, did that get me fired up and inspired to run this morning.

I met with A+M+D. A is a walker, so she got to start before the rest of us. She did her first 13.1 at the Detroit Marathon, and because her late dad's birthday was on Friday she did it in his memory. M and D are Team in Training alumni, and we essentially ran together. Not fast - but a respectable pace (9.45 min mile avg) and enjoyed the run.

G*d made sure we could enjoy this day, and provided sunshine for the majority of the run. It was a nice way of closing out the 2009 season. I will use the next couple of weeks to regroup and then start to focus on my triathlon in May of 2010.

Last but not least. Have a most wonderful thanksgiving. I am thankful for all the support you has given me as a group as well as individually. I know I will get together with some of you come 2010. Some of you have seen my signature file that reads
Swim to live
Ride to live
Run to live
three disciplines - one mission and one goal.

(it applies to both cancer and healthy living).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMCG2002 11/23/2009 11:22PM

Wow! That's 52.4 miles in 8 weeks! You are amazing! I am in awe of all that you do in the fight against cancer. And for you, it's not just about raising dollars, but also encouraging people through a very difficult time.

Enjoy the holidays, regroup and keep us posted on your tri training. I'm always looking for good ideas! ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving! emoticon

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JOPAPGH 11/23/2009 9:51PM


Great finish to a great half marathon circuit, and this one for such a great cause.

Looking forward to riding/running with you next year.


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IRISHLASS117 11/23/2009 2:08PM

    You are awesome Warrior. As for your young friend with the new DX, I am storming heaven in his name and will ask my circle to do the same. You honor us by sharing his story.

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DDOORN 11/22/2009 10:36PM

    Thx for the holiday wishes have made such a life for yourself for which YOU can be so thankful as well, which I know you are...! :-)


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LAURIE5658 11/22/2009 9:50PM

    Jan, you are an amazing and WONDERFUL individual and THANK YOU so much for what you do. I know the pain of losing a loved one from cancer as I lost my mom April 2008 from breast cancer (THE reason I will always have a PINK Spark Page).

THANK YOU for being a warrior in the fight for cancer!!!

Congratulations on all of the accomplishments you made in your racing season as I admire your abilities so very much.

THANK YOU for being YOU. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

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GRACE612 11/22/2009 8:44PM

    It amazes me how certain things spark our minds to just get up, do it and do it with a purpose...You should be proud of your accomplishments!! You had some awesome runs!!

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BILLALEX70 11/22/2009 6:58PM

    4 half's in 8 weeks. emoticon And slow? 9.45 min average. emoticon

I'd say you've earned your Thanksgiving dinner plus some. Enjoy the downtime and regroup for the next event.

Enjoy your holidays!

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Last planned 13.1 for 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

This weekend I drove to Pittsburgh to run the inaugural 'spirit of Pittsburgh'. It has been in the making for some time, and it got to be a great - albeit a little hectic weekend.

Two friends from my time in the Biggest Loser Club, and my spark friend John (JOPAPGH) were there. I stayed with a friend, former runner now cyclist and cancer survivor and was able to spend some time with him and his wife.

Yesterday we met at the Hofbrauhaus (in the healthy section he he). Had a late lunch and did the registration, and then we split. My wife and I - and my friend went to REI to do a little shopping.

This morning - blue sky - 34 degrees (on my car) we got underway. Nice small (3000+ runners). It was a generally fast paced group and we saw some of the sights. John has a very nice description of the route - incl photos at

My time was 2:08 and a bit, which I am happy with - this old man is getting a little tired after doing three half marathons in six weeks. They were races and I am pushing myself a little more than a training run. When I reached 11 miles, I felt I was running out of steam and had visions of 2:20 or worse. But 2:08 I can live with.

After the race we met at the nearby Caribou coffee where I got to meet John's wife and son, and then he was headed off to a soccer match featuring his favorite team (Manchester City). The rest of us went to take a shower and went for lunch and it was time to hit the PA turnpike to go west.

Thanks to my friends who let us stay at their house. Thanks to Andrea (her husband Wayne), Stacie and her family, and John and his family. Great weekend.

Oh, one sweet victory - the Penguins lost last night to Minnesota Wild.... :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 11/4/2009 3:56PM

    Great job! Sounds like you had fun!

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BILLALEX70 11/3/2009 8:53PM

    2:08 sounds like a pretty good time after everything you've pushed yourself through this fall.

I look forward to being along side of you at some of these events in the future.

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PURPLEALLY 11/1/2009 10:00PM

    That is a good weekend!
3 halves in six weeks can be wearing--you can be very proud of your time of 2:08!!! emoticon

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DDOORN 11/1/2009 9:48PM

    Whew! I would think you WOULD *feel it* after all the marathons you've been doing...what a red-letter season it's been for you! Way to SPARK Jan! :-)


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B-N-ME 11/1/2009 8:21PM

    Running three halves in six weeks and finishing as well as you did is no sign of : an old man: you did GREAT!!
Shall I say it again? You are AMAZING!
I look forward to hearing about your next venture!

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TRAINOF4 11/1/2009 8:13PM

    emoticon You're the best! Sounds like it was a great trip, happy to see & hear you're doing well. I hope your niece is still doing well & having loads of fun.


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The countdown has begun

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friends - I got myself a date in May ... the date is the Avia Wildflower Triathlon, and as of now I will be doing the olympic distance.

I am very excited about it, but also somewhat apprehensive. Lots of hard training is ahead....

There are some reasons for doing this. First to raise money for the leukemia and lymphoma society, second as a part of my healthy journey and push some limits within me, and last but not least - completing a triathlon makes me a 'triple crowner' within the leukemia any lymphoma society ... all that is - is a pin and bragging rights for doing a marathon or half marathon, 100 mile bike ride, and a triathlon.

As you know I have a niece with leukemia (her bone marrow last Friday was clean). However, you never know what tomorrow brings ... recently I got a message here. One of our Sparking friends have a friend who relapsed for the fourth time and has resumed treatment. A friend of mine who is doing really well had her follow up and on her CT scan ... and on her CT scan showed an opacity on her breast and in her ovary.... so she now lives with the anxiety of what that might be...

My niece, these two women and many more are the real reason why I am doing another event for Team in Training.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

B-N-ME 10/29/2009 6:41PM

    Wooohooo You ROCK!
You never cease to amaze me!
Knowing your focus and your drive, you will master it!!!
I'm excited for you...



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LULUBELLE1102 10/26/2009 4:01AM

    Good Luck Jan. We will all be waiting for the results of the race.

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LAURA95368 10/25/2009 3:43PM

    emoticon That's AWESOME!!! Go Jan Go!

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GRACE612 10/25/2009 3:35PM

    Jan, that is AWESOME!! You are going to rock that triathlon!!

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BILLALEX70 10/24/2009 8:40PM

    Always setting the bar higher; I like it!

We're all here to cheer you on as you go for the gold.

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JOPAPGH 10/24/2009 6:53PM

    Congratulations on pushing the envelope for such a great cause!

Looking forward to getting together next week.

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LIMELITESHINES 10/24/2009 1:20PM

    Awesome Jan. I can't wait to hear all about your training.

I actually just got a flier in the mail for Team in Training, and I'm contemplating joining up. Now that I'm in the clear knee wise, I think that would be a good program for me to join. I can help a fantastic cause, and really push myself.

I'm planning on trying for a Sprint Triathlon next year (ambitious?) :) I figure over the winter I can continue my running, continue my swimming and find a good spinning class to keep all those muscles going.

I'd also like to run my first 10K next year, and possibly also a half marathon.

Whatcha think? Too much for my 2nd year running? :)

Have an awesome weekend.


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IRISHLASS117 10/24/2009 10:47AM

    Congrats on your date Warrior. I know you won't stand her up!





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Detroit marathon/half marathon

Monday, October 19, 2009

As I was in the waiting room today for my physical, I was pondering what I would write in this blog. As excited I am by my PB in Detroit, I am also sad because three runners lost their lives, and I want to put some perspective on this tragedy with some numbers. From the local NBC affiliate WDIV I found this:

'According to a Toronto study, which was published in a Runners World December 2008 article, there were 26-heart-attack deaths among 3,292,000 American runners who competed in 750 marathons over the past 30 years. That's a risk of 1 death per 126,000 runners.' (Published in 1996)

A study by Dr Donald Redelmeier (University of Toronto, ON) of more than three million marathon runners showed the rate of sudden cardiac death to be 0.8/100 000 participants (Redelmeier DA, Greenwald JA. Competing risks of mortality with marathons: retrospective analysis. BMJ 2007; 335: 1275-1277)

In addition I looked at some other data. Although from 1996, there is a paper in the Journal of Cardiology which reads in its summary:
"Although highly trained athletes such as marathon runners may harbor underlying and potentially lethal cardiovascular disease, the risk for sudden cardiac death associated with such intense physical effort was exceedingly small (1 in 50,000) and as little as 1/100th of the annual overall risk associated with living, either with or without heart disease. "

That is of little comfort to the families, friends, and fellow runners who were there yesterday, and to all who get the unfiltered news through the web or on TV. The deepest sympathy to the family, friends, fellow runners of the ones who departed us.

Unfortunately this tragedy has also lead to bashing of running marathons and - not surprising - the city of Detroit - and let me leave it at that.

This was my third half in Detroit. This year there was about 19.300 participants, and the weather turned out to be spectacular. It was chilly in the morning and stayed that way most of the day.

The route was changed this year, some of which I really liked (the run through Corktown was spectacular and I missed running in Mexican Village, and I missed finishing on the 40 yard line of the Lions stadium).

As a result of the weather there were several spectacular views on the route, and the supporting crowd seems to grow every year.

Yes, I did run my personal best (2:08), however, it is with mixed emotions I celebrate it today. I am keeping the race report short as a respect for those we lost and their families.

May they rest in peace, and may their families find the answers they are looking for, understanding this terrible tragedy.

Respectively posted.

I found a link to this elsewhere on SP website

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 10/21/2009 5:04PM

    Freaky things happen and it stinks that they create a huge media frenzy and distort some very favorable statistic, rather than having the media follow all the heart attack deaths caused by bad nutrition and lack of exercise! It's like flying.. plane crashes are horrible and sad and freak people out and scare them to fly, yet people get into a car without second thought...
Congrats on your PB!

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AMCG2002 10/20/2009 12:44PM

Congratulations on you PB!!! I love reading about how you continue to push yourself and improve. I'm also interested to hear more for a selfish reason - apparently I will be running the Cap City HM in Columbus next May. I want to know what I'm going to be up against and how you train for it!

As I would expect of you, you are very respectful of the three men who finished a different race that day. Their families are being comforted by many, many of our thoughts and you honor them with your writing.

Congrats on a race well run and good luck in Pittsburgh!

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MIAMIA7 10/19/2009 7:49PM

    Hi Jan-I too mourn the loss of these racers. Yet as the others say..better to go doing something you love. Four years ago I had serious health issues...not knowing if my heart was working correctly. Now after losing the weight and learning to exercise I am as healthy as I can be and did my first half in September! I will run until the doctors tell me I can't. My sister immediately sent me the a warning of sorts I guess. She doesn't exercise and just doesn't get that she is the one at risk. Our hearts go out to the racers families and friends. Anne

Also-great job on your PR!

Comment edited on: 10/19/2009 7:50:36 PM

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TAMZTIME 10/19/2009 7:45PM

    Jan-Great job on your pb for your marathon yesterday! Like Bill said, we've discussed it and it does weigh heavy on my heart to know he pushes himself and that he wants to start training to do a half marathon. However, I will not hold him back from doing it because of the un-known of when his time will end and knowing this is one of his dreams. May God bless the family's of the individuals who passed yesterday.

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LESSISMORE4ME 10/19/2009 7:16PM

    Great job and congrats on your time! I too am saddened by the loss of the runners. It does beat wasting away from a dread disease - just sad that the families didn't get to say goodbye.

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BILLALEX70 10/19/2009 6:16PM


I heard about these 3 gentlemen late yesterday and they weighed heavily on me. It may have weighed more heavily on TAMZ who knows that I tend to "push the limit" more times than not. We both totally agree that when it's your time to go it doesn't matter where or what you're doing; it's your time to go. As hard as that would be to realize if it was ME who had just died, it is just that; their day.

I do agree with Mere though. I've lived most of my life as a 'sloth', but no longer. I'd much rather 'go out' doing something I'm passionate about than eating myself into oblivion.

Great job on the PB. Hopefully you can improve on that in Pittsburgh!

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PATRICLES43 10/19/2009 4:53PM

    congrats Jan! it is a shame about the runners who died. I will keep their families in my thoughts and prayers.

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DSHRUBS3 10/19/2009 3:36PM

    Congrats on running the half!!! I did it one year and eventually want to work my way back up to it!!

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LIMELITESHINES 10/19/2009 3:08PM

    Jan . . . if there is any way to go, I think a marathon would be one of the best ways to do it. Not alone, on a couch, eating potato chips . . . but out, giving it all they had surrounded by people who love the sport just as much as they did.

So be proud of you, and of them! For being out there, and doing your best every day. Fantastic job.


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DDOORN 10/19/2009 2:36PM

    How terrible that these people should die at such a life-celebrating event as a marathon!

But kudos to you just keep SPARKIN' away there! :-)


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