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Happy new you ... or happy new year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

If you are like most people, you are more than likely beginning to look at New Years resolutions. STOP!!! Don't do that!!! They don't work.

What, is this dude completely nuts. Nope. How did you get to where you are now. You got here by making realistic goals for yourself. You got here because of determination and by changing your lifestyle. You changed what you eat you changed what you do when it comes to exercise, and that got you to where you are today.

What I suggest - have an overall - and achievable goal for next year and look at what will it take to get there.

Rather than have new years resolutions - do some reflections. If you met or exceeded your goals - celebrate them. If you did not meet your goals, look at what you can do to adjust or change what you are currently doing to meet your goals. Often little changes can make significant changes. I have had issues with my cholesterol, and I changed my eating habits, which paid off (incidentally I shared some of the changes and It has helped another SP'er). I know it is difficult for me to workout at certain times, and I changed my time where I work out. That has worked for me, and I have talked with other people who have adopted it. Remember this is something you want to continue for years to come.

Do a self inventory. Look at you a year ago, and look at you today. See the difference? Write some of the key changes down - and some of the things you would like to see change. Put it in an envelope and don't open it until next year .... you will be glad you did.

Look at you physical. Dress size changes, energy, stamina, weight, and the list goes on.

Take care of your health issues. I know you already are by being here, but there is more. (I am sensitive to the people who are without health insurance - which is a whole different discussion). If you know you have high blood pressure - be compliant with your meds, your diet (yes, I used the D word because it is appropriate in this context), and exercise regularly. If you know you have high cholesterol, make sure it is checked and you do what ever you can to get it down. Make sure you do things that are preventive. For women - breast self exam, pap smear to mention a few things. For men - PSA, manual exam etc. If you are that age or have the risk factors - schedule your colonoscopy or mamogram.

Some of you may have heard this story. I talked with a co-worker and basically gave her the same 'sermon' as you have just read. She has high blood pressure. I encouraged her to see her doctor to get her blood pressure checked to avoid a stroke (editorial - less expensive to treat hypertension than a stroke - not to mention the financial burden on the family to have you in a nursing home).... she saw her doctor - he changed her meds. A month later she had a physical - and was diagnosed with breast cancer. (editorial - she had surgery is doing well).

If you have been successful in working towards your goal - help someone else reach their goal. By living healthier all of us can have our own 'health care reform'.

I will be remised if I don't specifically mention a couple of people (they know who they are). One person is going through a real struggle at present. My thoughts are with you. One person had a happy event happening recently (congratulations) - I am happy for you. One of my SP friends friend whose cancer recurred. - My thoughts to both of you - and I will keep fighting to find a cure.

To the rest of you - congratulations on your accomplishments - big or small.

Last but not least - Thank you for being you. I have had the privilege of meeting some of you in person this year - I hope to meet more next, and I hope to meet other sparkers too. Have a most wonderful new year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 12/15/2009 10:22AM

    I actually LIKE your sermon! And what I want to take to heart, no matter how much I struggle, is to maybe pay forward that which I have learned and that I have been successful with!
Thanks Jan!

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Thanks for this you made me think today. I will be printing it out and reflecting on it a lot this week - during my mandatory doctor prescribed rest.

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BILLALEX70 12/14/2009 9:20PM

    As always you sum things up so grandly.

I look forward to us meeting up more in this coming year. I also look forward to learning more from you and my fellow running team members. Lord knows I need it.


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PURPLEALLY 12/13/2009 3:33PM

    You are SO right!!! Great blog!!! emoticon

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IRISHLASS117 12/13/2009 10:19AM

    Thank you Jan. You touched on everything we should embrace and strive for. You are my Warrior!

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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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