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Would you be willing to send a note of thanks/encouragement to a WWII vet?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My almost 91-year-old Dad is going to take the Honor Flight Chicago trip to Washington DC on Oct 1, 2014. Honor Flight Chicago is a charitable organization that takes WWII vets to DC for a day of honor and to visit the WWII war memorial. Please pray for Cornelius (Neil) Leary's good health and strength - up to and throughout the trip on Oct 1. Dad had a stroke 10 years ago, so this will be a challenging day for him. He is really looking forward to this trip.

Dad served as a combat infantryman in the Army from 1943 - 1946. Dad was shot in the gun belt while serving in the Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II. Four bullets exploded, one of which pierced Dad's hip. He received the Purple Heart medal for his injury.

One of the surprises of Dad's trip is that when they arrive back home at Midway airport, they have "Mail Call" and are presented with a bag of mail from family, friends, and well wishers. Would you be willing to send a card or note of thanks/encouragement to Cornelius (Neil) Leary? Below are the instructions. Thank you, in advance, for your prayers and for helping to make my Dad's trip a healthy and memorable one!
Here's the instructions -

To ensure that your mail is included in Mail Call, please follow these guidelines:
· It is crucial that you address the envelope as follows:

Honor Flight Chicago Mail Call
Attn: Cornelius (Neil) Leary, October 1, 2014
6688 Joliet Road
Indian Head Park, IL 60525

· ALL MAIL MUST BE RECEIVED by 3PM Friday September 26th, 2014 to be included in Mail Call.
· Honor Flight Chicago cannot personally verify the receipt of your letter.
· If you need confirmation, please send it via UPS or FEDEX and check your tracking number.
· No mail should be larger than a 9” x 12” envelope
· If you cannot get the personal letter to us by this date, please keep the mail and slip it into your veteran’s envelope at the Welcome Home Celebration. Please do not mail it directly to the veteran until after the flight since it could ruin the surprise!
· Do not include any food, beverages, confetti, glitter or photo albums with your personalized letter or card.


Thank you,
Nancy Leary Haines

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 9/21/2014 5:23PM

    I just wrote a little thank you card right now and will walk it out to the mail box as soon as I log off....I'm so happy to do it! I'm praying for good health for you dear Dad!...Jane

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FOCUSD 9/11/2014 11:57PM

  Happy to be part of his mail call.

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JOYINKY 9/11/2014 11:21PM

    What a wonderful trip. I would be honored to send a thank you letter and prayers.
God Bless Him! and You!

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RUBYSMOM1122 9/11/2014 10:45PM

  Sounds like a wonderful thing for your Dad! My father served in WW.II and just passed away last year at the age of 91. I will try to get a letter sent!

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Another Triathlon in the Books

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Race Report

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Naperville Sprint Triathlon
Finishing time - 1:41:17
Splits --
Swim 400 m - 12:18 emoticon
T1 - 8:29
Bike 20K - 40.38 emoticon
T2 - 4:29
Run 5K - 35:24 emoticon

This tri was by far my best time, but the swim was only 1/4 mile (most are 1/2 mile), so that is part of the reason. My goal was to finish in less than 2 hours. My time was 1:41:17. I took 4th place in my division. Third place was 12 minutes ahead of me, so I've got lots to improve on.

I'm blowing Harry a kiss as I run past him toward the finish.

I am unable to pull my splits for my last race in June, so I am going from memory. I think my swim for 1/2 mile in June was around 20 minutes, so I was surprised that this one took 12+ minutes, especially since I spent 2 hours on Monday & Wednesday nights in swim class all summer. I remember my total transitions last time were almost 20 minutes, so these transitions times of 13 minutes are an improvement, but still need work. The leaders take about half the time that I take in transitions. The bike is where I smoked this time. I think in June my bike time was about 55 minutes vs 40 minutes on Sunday. I placed 639 out of 1,200 athletes in the bike portion. And this was a co-ed race, so I was smokin' a lot of men! The 5K run was probably similar time in June and on Sunday.

This was my last scheduled tri for the year. We have two charity bike rides (40 miles) scheduled this fall. Then I will probably do more indoor triathlons over the winter months.

I have to include a post script to my report to say that when I joined Spark in 2009, I had never run a race in my life; was never on any kind of sports team; nothing. But my teammates were all posting their race reports and how much fun they were having. They encouraged me to try a 5K race. I did, and took 2nd place in my division (the older you are, the fewer people are in your division)! Getting the 2nd place medal hooked me on running. I have arthritic knees, so it's not likely that I'll run more than a 5K (never say never). One of my teammates (JaneTris) is a triathlete. She started posting her race reports and encouraged me to enter a triathlon. I did and took 5th place - and got hooked on triathlons! You just never know what Spark will be lit when you try something out of your comfort zone. If you need some encouragement to try your first race, I'd love to encourage you like others have encouraged me. Just let me know how I can help you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKYDOGFARM 8/15/2014 12:39AM

    You are an inspiration Nancy! When I grow up, I wanna be just like you! I need to spend more time training with you and Jane! Wouldn't that be wonderful!
Congratulations! emoticon

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JANETRIS 8/14/2014 3:43PM

    I'm SUPER proud of you! Way to go and kill that 2 hour goal! emoticon Coming in 4th in your age bracket...WELL DONE!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSANITAL 8/12/2014 9:40AM

    OMG Girl you have so inspired me .. I am so impressed with that bike time.. woohoo.. and I like that the older you are the less in your age division.. so I will wait till I am 80.. hahahah but serious.. I do need to try this and I am the spark has been lit it is burning.. got to put the steak to the iron quick.

Congratulations.. you rock

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JOYINKY 8/12/2014 8:55AM

    Wonderful Nancy! Congratulations! Another Sparkfriend participated in a tri in Milwaukee this weekend! I so admire you both, but a walker I will always be!
Was the swim in open water? That's a lot different than swimming in a pool. I sure understand the attraction of running, the camaraderie in the running community is unequaled! The support, organization, rewards etc. I didn't realize this was a relatively new endeavor for you! WTG! Take care of those knees!
You are an inspiration!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAROL7 8/12/2014 4:20AM


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NYARAMULA 8/12/2014 2:52AM


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MCFITZ2 8/12/2014 1:05AM

    Congratulations on your achievement emoticon

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Make Exercise Fun!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I've always said that if you make exercise fun, you'll always find time for it.

And, if you have a friend to exercise with, you'll be more committed to working out!

I hope these videos give you a smile, but more importantly, give you some ideas about making exercise fun!
emoticon emoticon

Thanks to my teammate, Molly, who inspired me by sharing the first video with me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETRIS 2/13/2014 5:10PM

    Love it Nancy! Very fun the watch! emoticon

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JOYINKY 2/11/2014 10:05AM

    You know I agree! We're in this for life. Make it fun!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 2/11/2014 9:09AM

    Okay now I need a huge piano and a walrus? Come on! Lets get laughing and mooooving!

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HOPERISING 2/11/2014 3:22AM

    You are so right. In fact I just read another article that made the exact same point. The exercise that burns the most calories is the one you ENJOY doing. I gotta confess, I don't really enjoy what I'm doing, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Have a great week!

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JOHN_SKIM 2/11/2014 2:12AM


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2013 in Review - Goals for 2014

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

These were my 2013 goals and how I did --
1/1/13 Starting Weight 153.8
12/31/13 Ending Weight 155.8 (+2 lbs.)

* Spend 15 minutes reading and meditating on scripture daily by setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier. (Successful most days.)
* Always be present in the moment by not multitasking. (Still needs work, but I am much more conscious of when I am multitasking.)
* Find something to be in awe of daily by being present in the moment. (Still needs work! I actually forgot that this was one of my goals.)
* Participate in 2 outdoor triathlons and 1 indoor triathlon. (I did 2 outdoor and 5 indoor triathlons!)
* Run 2 5K races. (Laps with Chaps and Turkey Trot - not to mention numerous training runs.)
* Reach and maintain goal weight of 145 +/- 3 pounds. (Not there yet. I'm starting 2014 two pounds heavier than 2013.)

2014 Goals
I like the goals that I set for 2013, so will repeat them for 2014. Many of these are lifestyle changes rather than destination goals, and I want to change my life, not just my weight.

1/1/14 Starting Weight 155.8
12/31/14 Ending Weight (goal) 145

* Spend 15 minutes reading and meditating on scripture daily by setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier.
* Always be present in the moment by not multitasking.
* Find something to be in awe of daily by being present in the moment.
* Participate in 2 outdoor triathlons and 1 indoor triathlon. (Already registered for 2 outdoor tris. Waiting for clearance from doctor before registering for indoor tri this month.)
* Run one 5K race.
* Bike one 25K+ ride for charity.
* Reach and maintain goal weight of 145 +/- 3 pounds with no worries by doing the Shaklee 180 Lean and Healthy program.
* Get 6+ hours of sleep nightly. (This will be the really challenging one for me.)

I love the saying in this photo. It's the small daily changes that add up over the year to make the really big changes. It's about discipline - one day at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKYDOGFARM 1/7/2014 12:23AM

    WOW Nancy! you are doing great. I'm right there with you on the weight gain though. not a happy camper on it either. grrrr! lets get the best of the scale this year!

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PELESJEWEL 1/2/2014 4:51AM

    emoticon You accomplished a lot in 2013!!!
emoticon Here's to a very healthy 2014!!!

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MSANITAL 1/1/2014 6:55PM

    Nancy love your goals and so obtainable and I have to say a 2lbs weigh gain for the whole year is fantastic I mean that shows control and shows motivation towards healthy living.. which you do ... looing forward to hearing about that 25k bike ride too .. you can do it

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QUEENMOXIE 1/1/2014 5:05PM

    emoticon Lifestyle change is a big one for me, too. emoticon

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JOYINKY 1/1/2014 3:57PM

    Discipline and Consistency! Great goals and I know you can do it! One day at a time! Hugs.

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Have you ever participated in a charity bike ride? Lots of fun!

Monday, September 16, 2013

On Saturday, September 14, I participated in Lorie's Lakeside Century bike ride in Chesterton, IN (no, I didn't ride for 100 miles, although many others did!). The ride was to benefit the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Porter County, IN. The VNA provides a broad spectrum of health and social services that can be delivered to recovering, disabled, chronically ill or terminally ill persons in their home environment - a very worthy cause.

If you haven't participated in one of these bike rides for charity, I strongly recommend it. It is NOT a race; rather it is all about camaraderie and fellowship – and eating!

It was a brisk 40* overnight. We left Naperville at 6am to drive to Chesterton and got to see this beautiful sunrise!

Here is our "team" representing Emerson Industrial Automation, one of the race sponsors. Left to right - Tiffany Epler, John Vroom, Andy Darrol, Nancy Haines, Dan Burgey, and Harry Fischer.

You can start the ride anytime between 7-10am. At 7am, it was around 50* with a slight wind. We delayed our start time from 7am to 8:30am to let it warm up a bit - it might have been 55* when we started. Pretty brisk, especially in the shade, but it warmed up nicely the longer we rode. The first SAG (support and grub) stop was about 12 miles into our ride. The longest ride Harry had done previously to this was 16 miles, so he was a little concerned about going 28 miles.

This was the view at our first SAG stop - gorgeous! There was a wedding party on the beach taking photos. At this stop, Harry said he was feeling pretty strong and confident that he could make it 28 miles. It was my intent to ride 38 miles.

Who knew that Indiana was hilly? The 12 miles to the next SAG stop was all uphill - gently rolling uphill, but uphill just the same! Harry said he should have realized that going TOWARD Lake Michigan would all be downhill for watershed. At one point, there was a rather steep uphill climb. When Tiffany and I, who were leading our team, reached the top of the hill, there were about a dozen riders taking an unofficial rest stop in someone's front yard. We joined them to wait for the guys. Harry was feeling his knees ache on this climb. He was so grateful for the unofficial stop.

Our second SAG stop was at the Art Barn - which came complete with chickens and crowing roosters. Dan thought that the rooster must have known that we were eating chicken sandwiches at that rest stop, and the rooster was alerting the other birds to that fact!

John, Harry, and Andy refueling at the Art Barn.

If I was going to do the 38 mile ride, the Art Barn is where I would have parted ways with my team. But, due to the nature of this being a ride and not a race, we were never in a hurry to leave the SAG stops. Harry and I had tickets to the Wine & Food Festival back in IL, so time was running short. I returned back to the starting line with the rest of my team for lunch. Yes, I said lunch! The race sponsors put on a pulled pork and corn on the cob luncheon for us.

Harry, Nancy, Tiffany, and Dan pointing out the Emerson Industrial Automation race sponsorship on the banner.

I forgot to start the Map My Ride app when we started to ride (that's a great FREE app, by the way). Map My Ride clocked us at 28.85 miles in 2 hours and 40 minutes with 1,336 calories burned. Dan's computer said that we went just a hair under 30 miles. I think we ate more calories at SAG stops and at the luncheon than we burned off riding!

This ride was 30 miles of beautiful scenery with wonderful people. The volunteers at registration, the SAG stops, and at the luncheon were awesome. They couldn't have been more accommodating and friendly. I will do this ride again next year - and perhaps go 38 miles. Although Tiffany told me that she did the 38 miles in a previous year and it was even MORE uphill from there!

If you ever get a chance to participate in one of these charity rides, I highly recommend it. Find a cause that you want to support and get out there for some fresh air, exercise, and an extremely fun time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSANITAL 9/17/2013 10:33AM

    Nancy... way to go girl.. I am so proud of you, and I am going to do this ride with you next year.. .. I guess I would have to drive down because I will not put my bike on a plane.. LOL..

It sounds like you had a ton of fun and doing it for a charity makes it even more fun, I got my first 100 coming up on the 27th so excited..
keep up the good work..

Ride on

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TXPATRIOT 9/17/2013 12:33AM

    Sounds great!


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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/16/2013 9:28PM

    Sounds like it was a lot of fun. And who knew that Indiana had such a beautiful beach!

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JOYINKY 9/16/2013 7:36PM

    Sounds, and looks, like a wonderful day with a great group! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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JANETRIS 9/16/2013 7:35PM

    How nice to be able to take in the whole experience and not be in a hurry! What a wonderful opportunity to live in the moment and share some fitness with friends. The bonus is that it was all for a good cause! So happy for your great experience! Ride on! emoticon

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LEANNROCKS 9/16/2013 6:45PM

    Nancy, I believe walking, running, or cycling is much more enjoyable when you have that kind of eye popping scenery. The icing on the cake is being surrounded by wonderful friends!

You are absolutely awesome in all that you do!

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