ENOW: Shelley Norton

Right before running The Nasty three summers ago. Not sure why I'm smiling! ;)

Before running The Nasty three summers ago. Not sure why she’s smiling!

Our newest East Nasty of the Week is an almost-native Nashvillian; two-time CMM full finisher; and budding cyclist. Nasties, it is my pleasure to introduce you to your ENOW, Shelley Norton!

Cross training with Will on Perkins Road in Leipers Fork.

Cross training with Will on Perkins Road in Leipers Fork.

Shelley was born in New Haven, CT. After her parents got snowed in at the hospital the night she was born, they decided New England wasn’t for them and promptly moved to California. Later, when Shelley was five, they moved to Nashville. In middle and high school Shelley couldn’t keep her nose out of books long enough to get actively involved in sports. She absolutely couldn’t get enough of studying, research and reading classics.

Her family was always active – hiking, cycling, swimming, etc. And her dad was a runner. They also travelled A LOT. Because of this, when Shelley was in high school, her parents found a program at UNL that allowed you to get college credit for your junior and senior years. It was an amazing experience that allowed her to do so many cool things that she ordinarily wouldn’t have been able to do at such a young age.

The Gang at the EN Christmas party.

The Gang at the EN Christmas party.

As Shelley continued her schooling at UNL, she began working as a fitness instructor at local gyms. She also travelled with the Southern Women’s Show doing presentations encouraging proper nutrition and fitness. Shelley now works as a personal assistant, a job she absolutely loves!

Shelley started running in 2005, although it took several years before she got serious about it. In fact, she ran the CM half four years in a row with almost zero training, which she does not recommend. She didn’t even own a pair of running shoes until a month before her first half and she still finished with a halfway decent time (2:11)! It finally dawned on her that with a little work, she could actually be a real runner!

Shelley, Denise and Randy in 2013 after running the Country Music full in the pouring rain.

Shelley, Denise and Randy in 2013 after running the Country Music full in the pouring rain.

Since getting serious, Shelley has accomplished: running CMM (full) twice; 23 minute PR at CM Half; placing in her age group at two 5K’s; and coming within seconds of finishing the Blvd Bolt before speedy Randy Neff, fellow East Nasty and great friend.

Shelley heard about East Nasty about five years ago through a small Monday night group that she and Denise Leaver both still run with. When I spoke to Denise about Shelley, she had this to say:

Shelley is such an amazing woman! Beautiful on the inside and out! She has inspired me so much with running – I would’ve never even attempted running a full without her shining example, enthusiasm and joy when she did her first full! She’s also inspired me as a person with her loving and gentle manner with everyone she meets. She has such a beautiful smile and great laugh! We run together so much, I can tell when she’s going to kick my butt on a particular run just by her posture! We truly support each other and it spilled over naturally to supporting each other through life’s ups and downs. I love her so much!

Besties! Denise, Shelley and Dawn.

Besties! Denise, Shelley and Dawn.

Shelley can’t imagine her life without East Nasty. Not only has it made her a better runner, but she has developed friendships with people that she now considers family. One of her most memorable East Nasty experiences is one the she is most grateful for – meeting her amazing boyfriend Will two years ago on his first night running with East Nasty. The very next week they started running trails and have been together ever since!

Will has gotten Shelley into cycling, watching soccer and snow skiing. They’ve gone to Colorado the past two winters to ski. Shelley also loves scuba diving, cooking, watching football, and is an avid reader.

Will and I on our ski trip in Breck, CO last month.

Shelley and Will on their ski trip in Breck, CO last month.

Shelley’s friend and running partner Dawn Bogic, had this to say:

I wish I had Shelley’s natural athletic ability. Before joining East Nasty, she ran the Country Music Half marathon a few times – without training. She also got sick during the training for her first full marathon and missed a few weeks, but still ran it and made it across the finish line. She’s competitive, so she always pushes herself to go farther or faster. She’s really sweet and a very good friend and has supported many of us, including many East Nasty friends, through difficult times.

Shelley, congrats and welcome to the ENOW club!

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