Friday, November 2, 2012

The End!

Oct 25, 2012 by Andi Curenton
On October 14th 2012 I did the Unthinkable!!! I Completed my first official Half Marathon! It was by far the hardest and most amazing thing I have ever done in my life! It is something that I will treasure always. I had my sister by my side and my girls who are my new sisterhood. I met some amazing people and had such a great time. I only had 1 mile when I didn't have a smile on my face. My feet carried me well and my spirit was high. I NEVER EVER had a desire to do anything like this before and now I can't image not doing it again. Yes people you read that right! I think I may have a little marathoner in my blood now lol. I did this for so many reasons, to challenge myself to do something that scares me, to be part of something bigger than myself, to belong somewhere (with being sick as a youngster school was hard on me and I ended up homeschooling, so being an Alumni isn't something I am part of until now) and of course I did this to help heal something deep in my soul. I never realized how much not dealing with being sick damaged me. I learned to be a quitter, I was sad, I felt like I would never be ok again. It's easier to be silly and joke about things then be serious about them. But on this journey I learned a lot about me. I learned about other Honoree's and heard so much of my story in theirs, and little by little I became unbroken. I learned to talk about my illness even though I never learned much about it. My journey was more about the aftermath. And that was more damaging then the disease itself. For the first time in a very long time I belong, I had people pulling for me when I knew I didn't have one more ounce of strength left but with their love and strength I was able to go on. I have a new extended family and I did something incredable with them! And you know what else happened...I learned to love Me again! I became proud of myself! Something the queen of self bashing never ever thought would be possible. I did 13.1 miles and I did it well! I didn't do it for a personal record or personal best, I did it for the experience and I didn't want to miss anything. I did it my way! I figured it was going to be my personal best and a personal record no matter what because it's my first, so that was a no brainer, but I was afraid I would get wrapped up in times that I would miss the end of my journey. So my goal was to have an amazing time and Rock it! I took tons of pictures and I met new people and chatted with them. I cried with my girls, and I laughed at myself. I cheered on my teammates, and I learned what the Bite Me Zone is LOL and others around me learned not to be around me at that point lol...or to laugh at the things coming out of my mouth! I learned when my brain said not one more step my coaches were in the right spot and a big hug and a few simple I'm so proud of you's give you a total energy refill and those last 2 miles are closer than you think. I learned without the generosity of everyone that made a donation, I wouldn't have been able to complete this amazing journey, and I wouldn't be writing this. So as this journey closes and this Chapter ends, I've learned that I've got more in me! And there will be New chapters and that this book has just begun! Thank you all for reading all of my ramblings and updates, and for the support and love I've recieved. It really did keep me going strong!!! From the top of my Heart to the Bottom of my "sole" I love and Thank you!!

Cricut made my Race Shirt!!!

I've been crafting and using my cricut for some fun things this season. I made 2 teammates race shirts for their Hawaii Marathon I used life's a beach and had a BALL!!! So I knew when I got mine I was going to use my cricut for mine. I wanted to keep it simple because Sometimes less is more...I know it's a hard concept but I had to keep myself focused. I had a lot of meaningful things I Needed to put on my shirt and Cricut came through for me again!!! I used Pink Journey for the awareness ribbon and the wings on Jody's name. I used Lime Green because it's the color for Non Hodgkins Lymphoma but I LOVE sparkles so I took diamond stickles and outlined it and BLLLLIIIIIINNNNNGGGG! I don't remember all the fonts I used for what but I know Plantin Schoolbook, Sans Serif and Calligraphy Collection were used. And again Stickled!! BLINGY!!! Each name is for a person who has passed from cancer, is battling cancer or Survived Cancer, All but my mom and Jody are in the colors of their awareness ribbon. My mom's is in Lavender (her fav. color) and Jody is teal one of his favorite colors. I found the Sweet 16 patch at michaels and KNEW I had to use it! The "Live the Dream" is the end of a quote my Aunt and Uncle Sent me that made me cry. It say's... Trust the Dream, Love the Dream, Live the Dream. And the "It's all good" is for my cousin who is battling a rare aggressive brain cancer and it's been her motto through it all. I have a crystal dragonfly which is my "family's symbol" and the crystal GO TEAM...because in Team in Training that's what we use to greet, encourage, cheer and rally each other. My name is is Tiffany Blue with Stickles...Tiffany Blue is very important part of Nike Woman's Marathon...Each finisher of NWM12 received a Tiffany Necklace as our Medal. I LOVE my race shirt. There is so much meaning tied into one little purple top. It carried me through my race!

Nearing The End Of This Wonderful Journey

Oct 03, 2012 by Andi Curenton
Wow I can't believe in a little over a week I will be writing the final chapter of this journey. It brings tears to me eye's just thinking about it. It has been quite the journey indeed and I am no where close to being the same person I was when I started. I have learned so much about myself in the last 5 months. I've learned that it's ok to be weak, because there's only one way to go from there! I've learned you can have good and bad and sometimes even AWFUL runs but it doesn't matter! Because I learned something from each run. I remember when 2 miles almost killed me, 3 miles questioned why I signed up for 13.2 and how would I ever be able to do it when I couldn't manage 3 miles!!! I NEVER gave up, I NEVER quit!!! And this was new for me. Anytime things got hard before I'd just move on to the next thing. But I stuck with it. I cried, cussed and Cheered!! I remember the first time I hit 5 miles... I jumped and yelled so loud in the middle of my run and then all of my girls celebrated my victory. I remember the first time I ran just over 6 miles and thinking OMG I just did almost half of my race!!! That feeling was amazing. And then thinking 3 miles almost broke me and I just pulled 6! I've had a lot of tears on this journey and honestly I've had my doubts. How am I going to run 13 when I haven't been able to complete 10 yet? Why can't I have good run's??? And then the well if we just go a little farther that'll give us 1 more mile, what the heck let's go for it! And that's the run that I ran my first unofficial half!!! We did 13.25 miles last Saturday because of that just a little farther mindset! Do I even really like running... I like it, but I can't say I love it LOL. I LOVE the feeling I get of hitting my next accomplishment, I love feeling just a little stronger. I LOVE that...but the actual love of running? Hmmm I'm still on the fence. I've been a thrill ride to be around. I have learned so much not just about running but about me. I learned how to push through it. I learned that 3 miles didn't kill just felt that way in the beginning. I learned that I can get excited about "ONLY 5 or 6 miles this weekend" but most importantly I've learned to be proud of myself! I am queen of self bashing and derogation. I can find the fault in ANYTHING that I do. And I've learned it doesn't matter. I have done the most amazing things, I've conquered my fear of pushing myself, of running of bridges and feeling like I don't count! I've NEVER allowed myself to be called a survivor. I've always felt like because I was lucky and my "battle" with cancer was easy that I wasn't worthy of being called one. I felt like I would take something away from people who had to Survive. And I felt guilty that I was a "lucky one". I never learned much about my disease because I didn't want to. Like some how if I didn't know anything about it, it never happened. I met someone this season that is a survivor in every sense of the word. And she has done more for me than she will ever realize. We talked one day about my story and of course there's not much of one but as I was telling her some of it she would say things to me and would be telling ME MY story. She's never met me and she knew what I had gone through...Step by Step...and she was telling me what I had gone through. And for the first time in my life I connected to someone who got it! I didn't have to say anything and she understood! And right there I could feel the healing start. I've seen her a few times since then and I have been drawn to her and one night she was telling her story, and so many pieces of it fit mine. I understood her! I knew those fears! I am so grateful that I decided to take this journey for so many reasons. And the tears fall again, there are so many reasons but mostly of joy. I am the Happiest and by far the Healthiest I have been in 25 years. And it's because of my journey. On October 14, 2012...My son Kyles 8th birthday I will run my second 13.1 miles of my life...and this time it will be Officially my 1st Half Marathon. And I couldn't have done it by myself. I wanted to be part of something greater than myself, and as this chapter of my journey closes...I can say I have found it!!! Thank you to everyone that has made it possible. Your donations, love and support have carried me. You have listened to me blab about my progress, stuck by me when I was waivering and cheered me through it. And for that I can not thank you enough!


Sep 23, 2012 by Andi Curenton
This picture is so beautiful for so many reasons to me. I have always loved San Francisco and from the time I learned how to drive there I've spent many many impulse visits. I even decided to go to art school here. When Rome and I started dating one of the places we went a lot was to the city, and he loves the city as much as I do so that made me a happy happy girl! And now that were a family and after years of dragging the boy's to the city for adventure trips it's the place they ask to come back to most. I have so many great memories of this city by the bay, and we NEVER come visit our favorite place with out paying a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge. It is honestly the most amazing bridge in the world and it's ours. No picture can ever do it the much love and admiration it truly deserves. I have a new memory of this Beautiful Bridge and these amazing women helped me make it. I have a fear of's actually a bit more than a fear...I AM TERRIFIED of them....ALL!!! Big, Small, Short, Tall, Beautiful or Ugly...if it's a bridge over water I'm a wreck. I almost didn't make this training due to my fear. I only decided just a few day's before this training that I was going to make it. I was going to cross the bridge with my teammates/strength/sisters because they believed I could! Many tears went into making this decision, and a few tears during the run. But I DID IT!!!! I crossed my Beautiful, Majestic beloved Golden Gate bridge on foot not once, but twice!!!! And I cried each time I stepped off the bridge. They were tears of accomplishment, relief, terror but mostly pride. I don't honestly know when I have ever felt as proud of myself as I did that morning. I was truly Relentless! And with each tearful release I was met with tears, and cheers, hugs, love and support from some of the most important people in my life. I have to say this was my BEST run yet. I ran 9 miles and I conqured my fear twice!!! And the best part was I was met in the parking lot by my Guy's who love the City as much as I do! I got hugs and "mommy I'm so proud of you" and "did you close your eyes?" lol. We have an honored teammate who met every day of his treatment with "This is the Best day ever" and I have to agree with him! I can say that This was indeed the Best day ever!


Sep 14, 2012 by Andi Curenton
Do you know what's AMAZING about this picture? Well besides the fact that is about 6:45 am on a Saturday in Sausalito getting ready to run across the Golden Gate bridge....Everyone in this picture is a HERO!!! Everyone in the picture is trying to help cure Blood Cancers one step at a time. Not one person's story is the same but our goal stomp out blood cancers, and what's really cool is with the devolopment of medications and treatments to cure blood cancers they are finding medications that are fighting a vast range of other cancers too! And it's groups like us in this picture that are helping to make this possible! Each person in this group is raising $1440 to almost $10,000....people have met their goals and just keep raising money to help save AMAZING is that? September is Blood Cancer Awareness your support and be a HERO TOO!!!

I faced one of my fears

Sep 04, 2012 by Andi Curenton
And this Group right here helped me. I have a HUGE phobia of bridges and we had to run over the "Little Blue" bridge that you cross to get on to Mare Island...well about half way across the bridge my head started getting a little swimmy and my heart was pounding and I felt like I was going to barf....Nope not because I running too hard...because I was RUNNING ON THE BRIDGE!!! So I did a lot of self talk and started shaking my arms and hands to keep my mind focused on something else and keep the blood moving in my body and then I was off the bridge!!! YAY For me...except I had to cross it again shortly after we made our loop. The second time I was better, I knew what to expect and I had tunnel vision... I focused at a spot on the other side of the bridge and kept watching it get closer and closer... Plus I stayed with my girls this time and was talking and focusing on something other than the fact I was running over water lol. I seriously couldn't do it with out my teammates. I wouldn't have even attempted it. I would have just kept running back to our starting point. I'm so proud of how much stronger both Physically and emotionally I get with each run! I hope that my strength reaches a person dealing with blood cancer and they know how much I love them and helps them to push through the hard times.

My Birthday Run

Aug 31, 2012 by Andi Curenton
If you would have ever told me that I would go for a 5 mile run on my birthday I would have laughed hard and loud at you! But that's EXACTLY what I did!!! I got up at the butt crack of early to go run with my other family! It was a party the whole time! Another birthday that I get to celebrate. It's funny because I've alway's loved my birthday, I think that's part of me that will alway's remain kid like, because I get just like a little kid about it. The best present I get is being able to spend it with people I love and that's exactly what I did! The whole run was a party! We laughed and whooped and cut up. It was so much fun. And the best part is I got to run with my girls, they keep me going when I don't want to go....They help make me just that much better! And the best this about it is they were right there with me when I broke a new personal record.... I shaved 2.22 minutes off my mile! I ran 7.20 Miles in 1 hour 10 about a great birthday present!!! I'm working so hard with training and fundraising so that one day we all can run for fun...not for a cure! My hope is that with each dollar that is raised cancer is one step closer to being cured! Please join my journey, every dollar really does matter, and count! Ask anyone that's been helped by the LLS.

WOW 12 Weeks!!

Aug 10, 2012 by Andi Curenton
OMGosh I can't believe I've been doing this for 12 weeks! It's funny because some times I have a great run and sometimes it SUCKS bad lol. Hey I'm just keeping it real.... But the awesome thing is no matter what my run feels like, I feel stronger! At the gym things that used to kick my butt now feel great and I can power through them...I still get sore but not as bad and not as long. It's really an awesome feeling...and you know what else is cool? I've been really hard on myself about not seeing the results I wanted but I have changed, my body is changing and I can start to see it now in pictures. You know what else is cool about running? Dessert!!! HA HA!! I can eat dessert! Yes I know this goes back to the not seeing the results I wanted to see, but Imagine what I'd look like if I wasn't running. So I have to give myself the atta girls I deserve. I'm feeling great, I actually look forward to getting up at 5:30 on saturdays (and For the Record that's earlier than I get up for work) to run 6-10 miles, yes I said I look forward to it! Do you know why? Because I LOVE my team! They keep me going, and because I believe in what we are all part of. Honestly it's something you can't truly understand unless your part of something like this. I never really did until this season. I supported my sister and I was proud of her and I bragged like there was no tomorrow...but as much as I "THOUGHT" I got it...I didn't until I was right in the Middle of it. I have met some pretty amazing people both with Cancer and Without, I've heard stories that have brought all of us to tears and stories that make you laugh and whoop for joy. I have talked with my team mates and have learned so much about the hearts of these people that make up my team and I have started to heal little by little. And all of this has happened in 12 short weeks! I have made life changing friendships and now have people in my life that I can not imaging not having in my life anymore...I have an awesome extended family that Loves me For me...and my whining and complaining, for my aches and pains, for my laughs and love and they love my family. My boys have been included in so many wonderful oppertunities in just 12 short weeks all of our lives have been changed for the better

8 Miles made me Crazy!!

Jul 11, 2012 by Andi Curenton
I have my first 8 mile run under my belt! It was so hot and included hills!!! ICK to both but since I am going to Run Nike Womens in SF I guess I'd better get used to climbing hills. I tell you I have the greatest team. They keep you going and there are lot's of laughs during the run. TEAM makes running Fun! Just look at this picture of me! I'm training really hard so please support me by making a donation. Any amount helps.

My Honoree Josh

Jul 11, 2012 by Andi Curenton
This is my new friend Josh. Isn't he the cutest thing!!! I already know that answer, that's why he's now my Honoree. Josh is 7 and he's got Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and is a Warrior! I met him and he went straight to my heart and hit my mommy button. I have a 7 year old and I can't imagine my baby ever having to go through this. He's just such a sweet little boy and has an amazing smile. He is the reason I know choosing Team in Training is the right choice for me! Please help me raise money to help find a cure for blood cancer. So that more children like Josh won't have to go through what he's going through and so no parents ever have to watch their babies fight for their life.

6 Miles!!!

Jun 26, 2012 by Andi Curenton The last leg of a 6 mile run... It's crazy to think just 5 short weeks ago I had a hard time with 2 miles, and in this picture I'm on my way to completing 6 miles. The crazy thing about that is I finished it in just around 90mins. And what's even crazier than that??? I ran almost half of my total event milage! I'm getting stronger each run, I look forward to the struggle of the run (it's a lot of work), and I LOVE the feeling I get when I'm done. It's such a great place! This is the hard part, I can do this! But I need your help to get to my event. July is creeping up on me and I still have a long way to go to raise the money needed for my run. Please support me and make a donation and tell my story and pass this along. Every donation matters, any amount helps, if you do not want to donate on here but would prefer to make a check to LLS and send it to me you can do that. You can send donations to me at the address below. Thank you to the bottom of my "Sole", Andi Curenton

So Much Fun!

Jun 13, 2012 by Andi Curenton I never thought running mile after mile could be so much fun! Even when it's tough it's fun. We have "dress up" training's
, this is the superhero week. Were also doing a region wide Flat Stanley and Flat Summer competition. Everywhere we run this week we take pictures of them with us and the team in our area who has the most points wins some really cool stuff! So not only are we training and getting better with each run but were having a lot of fun doing it. Tonight is our first track night and it looks like it's going to be a tough one. Cross your fingers for me!

The Best Run Yet!

Jun 09, 2012 by Andi Curenton
This morning was the best morning yet. After last week's training I left feeling defeated and questioning if I could really do this. DON'T Panic.... That's my old behavior talking. When things got to hard or I couldn't deal with it I would normally just quit and say well I tried. But this is my year of breaking bad habits! Anyway it was in my head and my foot was bugging me and it was planting the doubt last week...this week However was a TOTAL 180!!!! I am so much more motivated and re-energized! I feel accomplished and Triumphant! I'm honestly telling you I was worried about this week...more so than even the first training. I struggled so bad with 3 miles, 4 miles had my nerves wracked a bit. But I have an amazing TEAM and support network. By the time warm up was over OMG what the heck was that anyway?!?! And stretching were over I was ready to go! I remember hitting the 1st mile and thinking Seriously??? This is all? lol and then all of the sudden we were at the 2 mile mark turning around to come back. I was cruising! I had found my groove and I was just going. I was getting stronger with every interval we were running and I was able to run longer intervals. I can't tell you how amazing that feeling was! And one of the last intervals I was able to run the full 5 mins!!!! I'm so glad that I pushed just a little bit and worked just a little bit harder during those intervals. It's so amazing to run with a group of people that keep you going when you think OMG Not for 1 more second!!! And then you realize you've just ran 2 more mins. I have never ran 4 miles before and today I changed that!!!

1 Down!

Jun 01, 2012 by Andi Curenton Well Saturday May 26th was my first Training! And it's the first time I ran in a month. To start my morning I met my sister and off we went. I have have to tell you I don't know if I was more excited or nervous about my 1st training. As much as I love meeting new people, in this setting it's a bit overwhelming! Once we got there and EVERYONE was so amazingly awesome I was fine! Not one person there made me feel like the "new girl" and I love that. It's seriously like coming into a family with open arms. DLF- Dead last finish... that's me and I'm proud of it. The joke is we were saving the best for last. But reality is for my first outdoor run, coming off a leg injury and not running for a month I was STOKED when I crossed the finish line and got my Total time of 28.45 for a 2 mile run! That is MY Personal best!! And I was worried I wouldn't be able to finish. Tomorrow is my second training and my friend and running partner will be signing her papers to join the team and I can't tell you how excited I am for that! Facing my past and running to my Future! Andi

My first TNT post

May 06, 2012 Welcome to my Team In Training home page. I have committed to getting healthy this year so that I can be a better mom and example to the boys. I made a challenge to myself to try things that I've been afraid of trying. And running a marathon was NEVER an option before. Now as part of my self growth I'm committing to running my first Half Marathon to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, I’m participating in my first Half Marathon as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training. I am very excited to be part of something that is so great and is helping so many people. Like the other members of TNT, I will be raising funds to help find cures and better treatments for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma. I’m improving the quality of my life by participating and with your support, I can help improve the quality of life for patients and their families as well. Some great things have happened since I've joined TNT. I've never thought as myself as a survivor of Lymphoma. It was something that I had, it didn't have me. I was very lucky as it was caught early 2 times and my treatments included surgery to remove the infected lymph nodes had some medicine implanted into the site and then wait and see. Since joining TNT and having an option to participate as an Honored Team Mate it's caused me to reflect on the past 20 years since my first diagnosis. I didn't feel worthy of being called a survivor, as running as an Honored team mate. But I'm learning that this disease I never acknowledged having has held me hostage my whole life and it's time to let go and heal. So I've decided that I am worthy. I did survive and I am going to do this journey as an Honored Team mate. I celebrating my "Sweet 16" this year from my 2nd diagnosis. And in Honor of this I am going to Celebrate it!!!! Please join my journey with your donations. I'm asking you support me by donating either $16 or 13 a dollar for every mile I'm going to finish. Or you can buy an awareness hair ribbon for $5 you tell me the name you want and the color ribbon of your choice. Run On! Andi

I don't want to forget

I don't want to forget my amazing journey with Team in Training and since my fundraising page is temporary I'm going to post my postings and updates from that onto here. I hope you don't mind. Some of them will be the same or very similar to some of my posts here but I'm just afraid that my page will be removed and I'll lose what I have written and I'm going to make a scrapbook about my journey and I want them to be part of it.