• Samantha Andrews

A decade of running: 2011-2021

This year marks a decade (yes, 10 years!) of running. I cannot believe that I have been running since 2011. So how did I get into running? Let's take a walk down memory lane from 2011 to now. Here are a few highlights of my running adventures.


2011

I started running in 2011, a year after graduating from graduate school. The stress of graduate school had caused weight gain and I wanted to meet new friends. Many of sorority sisters were running with Black Girls Run (BGR) and they raved about how much fun they were were having. They also talked about the sisterhood aspect of the running group. I started running with BGR in fall 2011. I just showed up, ill-dressed and all, for my first run. Somehow I made through my first run and I kept showing up. When I first started I couldn't even run a mile, but I was determined to keep working on it. I eventually served as BGR run leader for my neighborhood group for over 5 years.


2012/2013

2012 was pivotal year because I actually trained for a half marathon. It wasn't my first half marathon, but I realized that training works--you just have to train. For my first half marathon, Publix Half Marathon, in 2008 I just showed up. Yes, I just showed up and did not train in 2008. I trained with BGR for the 2012 Atlanta 13.1 half marathon. We ran at 5 am on Saturday mornings and honestly that was my favorite time to run. I met so many people and I learned to love solo running. My goal was to run the half marathon in its entirety and I did it.


In 2013, I redeemed myself by running the Publix half marathon that I did not train for in 2008. Below are stats for both races. The first race I finished on a hope and prayer. The second time, I ran the entire race and shaved almost an hour off my time.


Publix half marathon (2008)-3:10:00

Publix half marathon (2012)-2:18:00


I also joined the Atlanta Track Club in 2012. I became a Run Lead for their training programs in 2013 and I presently serve in that role.



2014

I ran my first marathon, Rock 'n' Roll Savannah, in 2014. To date, my first marathon was fastest. I completed the marathon weekend by running the 5k for the Remix Challenge. I also ran the Peachtree Road Race in under 57 minutes, which was a huge PR.



2015-present highlights

I became a BibRave Pro in 2015. Joining the BibRave Tribe was an amazing opportunity. I have been able to run many partner races and try various products. I was a on a runner's high from 2014 and I continued running great times. I ran the Peachtree Road Race in 58 minutes in torrential downpour.


2015 also brought injuries in the form of a femoral stress fracture. I was running well, but just a little too much. As a result I missed half of my fall 2015 running schedule, which was also training for the 2016 Dopey Challenge. I healed and made it to the start line for Dopey Challenge.


I complete the Dopey Challenge, Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon, and the New York City Marathon in 2016. I managed to make it through the year with injuries. I paced my first marathon in 2016 in Montgomery. That was the longest marathon ever and thankfully that race no longer exists.


In 2017, I took the marathon party to Chicago. I also completed the Big Sur and Publix Marathons.



In 2018, I retired from running marathons. The Flying Pig 4 Way Challenge-With Extra Cheese was my final marathon. I loved the race, but I don't love the distance. Retiring was a great decision and I am still retired.




2019-2021

I returned to my half marathon roots. I have been training and improving my times one race at time. I fractured my foot in 2021 (my second injury) by twisting my ankle during a run. I rehabbed and was able to complete 500 miles in 2021.



I am grateful for my 10 year running journey. As I looked though my picture archive, I realized I could spend hundreds of pages highlighting every race and all the ambassador opportunities. I grateful to Black Girls Run, Atlanta Track Club, BibRave, Hot Chocolate Ambassador Program and Beast Pacing for helping to make my running journey fun and full of adventures. I have traveled to many states and earned more medals that I could have ever imagined. I am hoping that next 10 years will be just as fun as the previous.



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