ENOW – Barry Olhausen

August 15, 2016

ENOW – Barry Olhausen

With another Tomato 5K in the books for East Nasty, we thought it would be appropriate to introduce and thank one of our favorite Potato to Tomato (P2T) coaches and East Nasty of the Week, Barry Olhausen!

Barry Olhausen group 7

2015 P2T Coach for Group 7

Barry was born at Smythe’s Clinic in Tiptonville, Tennessee in Lake County which ironically later became the funeral home. His hometown is Ridgely in Lake County, and he still has a house there. Other than college, Barry spent his first 52-years in Ridgely. The county just celebrated getting its first red light, and before you ask, yes he pretty much does know everybody there.!

In middle and high school Barry was not necessarily known for his athletic achievements. Just after running his first Country Music Half-Marathon in 2015, he and high school classmates went on a reunion trip to Chicago. As Barry sported his commemorative tech shirt, the running joke (get it!?!) was, who would have thought that 45-years after graduation Barry would turn out to be “Most Athletic”. Truth be told, back then, and pretty much now, he was more of the club-joining, after-school-job, Sunday-school-attending, book-reading, friend-reliant type.


Barry Olhausen 2015 CMHM

In the starting corral for the 2015 Country Music Half Marathon with Happy Running People

The University of Tennessee at Martin is Barry’s alma mater which were Vols when he started then became the Pacers before his graduation and now are the Skyhawks. Not surprisingly, his roommate is a lifelong best friend (it happens to all of us who become his friend). When asked about his college experience, Barry said, “It was a humbling experience to learn that I wasn’t nearly as smart or as well-adjusted or as sure of the world as I assumed myself to be. I learned that beer tasted pretty good, that it was pretty helpful to actually attend class, that the world is vast, diverse, and complex, and that even away from home people are generally pretty nice. “ Some great teachers challenged his thinking and helped to his next step in professional life.

A public educator for decades (Barry is old if you haven’t figured it out yet), he considers education it to be the noblest profession. We agree! Currently he works for the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) as Assistant Executive Director. Prior to this he taught middle grades, was a district administrator and then, Director of Schools in Lake County and later served as the Executive Director of Instructional Leadership for the Tennessee Department of Education. It is Barry’s honor and pleasure everyday to interact with and be inspired by school leaders across the state.

Barry’s love for running started because he was trying to be like the cool, young, skinny kids at work. About 5-years ago, around the age of 59, he signed up for Mayor Dean’s 5k challenge (his group coached by Nashville Running Company’s, Lee Wilson). Later, he tried the C25K Tom King training through NRC (coach, Mike Clark), followed by the East Nasty C25K (coach, Juanita Taylor). He realized that were it not for such superstar coaches and finding a group of people to enjoy running with, he would have never stayed with it. You hear that, East Nasty, it’s you who make running so awesome!!!

Barry Olhausen NRC 2013

2013 NRC C25K Tom King training group

Without a doubt, Barry’s biggest accomplishment in running happened 3- years ago when he was asked to coach in the East Nasty P2T training. Making it up Mt. Nasty the first time was an awesome achievement and finishing a half marathon in 2015 was a thrill, but nothing has given him more satisfaction than working with other fledgling and new runners. He will tell you that he gets far more out of it than the participants do, but scores of East Nasty, Lasty Nasty, and Happy Running People runners know the real truth – Barry is a great friend, extremely patient, has a generous smile and soul, and encouraging and showing up for others is his super power.

Barry learned of East Nasty about 5-years ago through those young, skinny, very fast friends at work and immediately assumed there was no way on God’s green earth that he would ever, EVER be a part of such a group. It never even entered his consciousness. But today Barry happily reports that of the many groups he’s been a part of (professionally or recreationally), East Nasty is the most nurturing and supportive. It’s like his very own personal version of “Cheers” – where everyone knows your name and you always feel better after being there.

So raise a glass and cheers to you, Barry, our ENOW!!

ENOW — Cheyenne Smith

June 13, 2016

Cheyenne Smith goes by a lot of names/descriptions – Amy Alder Smith’s husband, shirtless wonder, Greek God, crazy guy that pushes a double stroller up Mt. Nasty. Now, he can add one more moniker to the list, East Nasty of the Week!

2016 River Gorge - On the Rocks

2016 Rock/Creek River Gorge 10.2 Miler

Cheyenne grew up in Middle Tennessee in the four red light town of Woodbury. His parents still live in the house where he was born. As a youngster, he was a “nerdy jock”. He has always been active and had trouble sitting still so he would bike all over town to visit friends (because they lived in BFE). He played basketball from kindergarten through high school (he still wears the b’ball shorts to prove it!). However, he also stressed over grades and had such crazy thoughts like “B’s are bad”. Cheyenne was also “one of those guys” and had perfect attendance throughout high school. He was the student body president, class VP, FCA “something”, and was even the Tennessee Beta Club President. He says in hindsight that maybe he was just an active dork. Your words, dude . . .

Following his stint as Mr. High School, Cheyenne headed for college at Western Kentucky University, and the experience was a lot like high school except that he gave up all of the silly clubs and became highly active in the “adult beverage consumption society” (Maha has applications behind the bar at 3 Crow for anyone interested in the post-collegiate, East Nashville chapter). However, all of those carbs provided the necessary energy to do some weightlifting and intramural basketball throughout his college years. Don’t worry, though, he still stressed over grades and managed to negotiate a summa cum laude and a B.S. in Architectural Science.

2016 Snow Day - Mush

2016 RunWILD mush run through Shelby Park 

What does Cheyenne do these days? Apparently, he’s “sort of like Barney Stinson in that nobody really knows what [he does].”  For 11 years, he has been a designer/project manager for a boutique hospital construction company.  In addition, he is the owner/principal of a residential design company focusing mainly on the designing and drafting of additions and renovations to older and historic homes and infill housing. So, basically he’s “legen – wait for it – dary”. 

As for running, September 28, 2011 is Cheyenne’s official runaversary. Until then, he would get a random wild hair about once or twice a year for a few days at a time, crush a few runs, and then stop. Since 2011, he’s been more “serious” about his running, and the accomplishments keep piling up. According to him, “new [accomplishments] always seem to replace the old ones as the journey continues, but it started out as overcoming the fear of calling myself a runner instead of a jogger, then completing a half marathon and then a full marathon. Maybe one day I’ll do an ultra so that I can join the cool kid club with you.” You’re already in the cool kid club, Cheyenne, but your ass is definitely doing an ultra if I have anything to say about it.

2016 River Gorge - RunWILD

Part of the RunWILD crew at River Gorge 

Cheyenne found the awesomeness that is East Nasty from the “google box”, and his very first run was the Bongo to Bongo 2 weeks prior to the 2013 Country Music Half which, at that time, was his longest run ever. Then, he started running more consistently with the group when he and Amy moved to East Nashville in the fall of 2013, and East Nasty was a big factor of why they chose East Nashville. Heck yeah!

2013 Country Music Half - so fast, so blurry

2013 Country Music Half — So fast, so blurry, so wet

His favorite/most enjoyable part of East Nasty is the annual post-Country Music Marathon party and seeing so many like-minded people gather and celebrate another season of running accomplishments. However, Cheyenne has a few ideas on how to make sure East Nasty runners stay out of the street and cross in the crosswalks . . . which involves firing paintball guns at rule breakers. He says “if you could get the powers that be to create that new ‘running etiquette enforcer’ position then I would most enjoy having the opportunity pick off disobedient runners with a paintball gun.” (I think that will definitely be mentioned at the next board meeting.)

His most memorable experience with East Nasty is the inaugural Tabata classes at East Park back in 2013 where he met his first batch of Nasties. And this year’s destination race was a pretty good time too! Finally, when he’s not racing around the country, rocking dad duty, or hanging out at NRC with a red solo cup, Cheyenne enjoys renovating their 100 year old home and building furniture (just like Magic Mike?!)

Tabata - Susi selfie

Tabatas! Susi Selfie

Cheyenne’s wife, Amy, is a fellow ENOW and an integral part of East Nasty’s couch-2-5k program. When I interviewed her for her own ENOW post, she couldn’t stop gushing over Cheyenne’s contributions to East Nasty and her running. Here’s what she had to say: “anything you write about me has to include a bit about Cheyenne. He is the one who inspired me to start running. He’s always been full of encouragement and telling me I can do more than I think I can. He’s taken kid duty three times a week so that I can participate in the P2T program for the last two summers. He runs while pushing our two 40 lb children in a double-stroller on Wednesday nights just so I can run too on those nights and he never complains. He is always more than willing to help me do whatever is necessary for me to get a run in. Without him I would have never in a million years started this journey and I definitely wouldn’t be able to continue without his help and encouragement. He is the best husband, father, and is my biggest supporter and very best friend.”

2015 Miami Marathon - the wifey and Melissa King did the half

2015 Miami Marathon 

Personally, I’ve run with Cheyenne off and on for almost 3 years. Even though he’s a self-proclaimed introvert, chatting with him and listening to his stories make the miles fly by. As of this year, he’s jumped into the trail running scene, and it was awesome to be there as he dove headfirst into this new challenge and to see him grow into a seriously, legit trail runner. So glad you drank the kool-aid, dude!!

Congrats on ENOW, Cheyenne!! So well deserved!


ENOW: Donica Elliott

May 16, 2016

This week’s East Nasty of the Week is a dual threat runner on the roads and the trails, has two of the cutest (and fastest dogs) you’ll ever meet, and was a pace leader for East Nasty’s 2016 half marathon training group. I’m so excited to announce Donica Elliott as ENOW!

Photo1Moose Marathon

Donica coming through the last aid station at the Moose Marathon near Lusten, MN (Sept 2015). Her dad and uncle had previously done the 50 and 100 miler which also takes place during the same race weekend #Goals

Donica is definitely not “from around here”. She was born in Kotzebue, Alaska, which is north of the Arctic Circle (?!?) and was raised in Washburn, WI. She, along with brother and sister, was home schooled so she had what she considers to be a unique and wonderful childhood. Donica and her siblings hung out with an interesting crew of home schooled kids, and most attended an alternative school once a week where the parents taught extracurricular classes like Tai Chi, speech writing, CPR, and law. Donica was obsessed with music, particularly banjos, and animals throughout most of her childhood and high school. Her banjo teacher lived about two hours away but was closer to where Donica’s dad worked in the ER. Donica would go hang with Dr. Dad for 24 hours at the ER, followed by a road trip the next day for banjo lessons. While Donica played music, her dad would run for two hours with the teacher’s dog. Sounds like a win-win-win!  

Belmont University brought Donica to Nashville where she graduated with a degree in Music Business. She really enjoyed her time at Belmont even though she only lived on campus for a year and didn’t take part in much of its social scene. These days, Donica is the Senior Director at All Eyes Media, which is a boutique music publicity firm based out of East Nashville specializing in tailor made national, regional, and digital press campaigns.  Their clients include Jason Isbell, Widespread Panic, Sarah Jarosz, Parker Millsap, and Lucinda Williams. Seriously, Donica is a good person to know!


Thanksgiving Day run in the Blue Ridge mountains behind where her husband grew up — with her favorite training partner, Ava

Donica says she always ran growing up but never really trained for anything — so it was never much fun. She started getting back into running in 2008 or 2009. However, she and her family were always at races because her dad raced marathons, triathlons, and ultras with his friends for as long as she can remember (It runs in the family! Get it?  . . . ). One of his best friends (Jerry) was continually stopping by their house to give updates on the cross country team’s times and various PRs of the locals. He even called Donica on her wedding day to give her the local marathon results (Ok, that’s just adorable).

Since her return to running in 2008-2009, Donica has raced tons of half marathons, marathons, and ultras herself. She says the biggest running accomplishment of her running career would have to be finishing two Stump Jump 50ks, the hot year and the wet year. #HotWetWild


Donica trying hard to catch legend and badass, Phil Zimmerman at StumpJump 2015 (rained the entire 50k!)

As for East Nasty, she heard about the group when she started attending boot camp at the East Park Community Center. All she knew was there were a lot of bad asses in the group at that time (2008). She only started running consistently with East Nasty two years ago when she quit working Wednesday nights at Music City Roots. 

Donica’s favorite part of East Nasty? Meeting like-minded people, especially people in their 30’s who still want to be active and have fun!  She also finds it very inspiring to be around athletes who she says are better than she is. It helps keep her motivated. Finally, she also enjoys helping to build a healthy, active, and caring community of runners here on the East Side. According to Donica, some people go to church, she runs.


Trail running friends at Nashville Running Company’s Dry Creek Trail Races (Her amazing supportive husband on the right)

Her most memorable East Nasty experience includes being a pace leader at the Country Music Marathon this year with her friend (and fitness inspiration/iron woman/fellow ENOW) Bree Roy. They had a small but dedicated group of runners who she really enjoyed getting to know this Spring. And though she doesn’t know if it counts, she says the first epic road trip to the Rock Creek River Gorge race with fellow East Nastys Beth, Bree, & Alicia was also (expletive deleted) amazing. As a participant in this event and witness to the epicness of that day, it most certainly counts, Donica!


Pretty much the best photo ever — East Nasty friends trying to pose while dogs rage below at NRC’s Bells Bend 6 Miler, where Donica was a volunteer 

Her fellow pace leader, Bree, had a things to say about this week’s ENOW (Warning: if you’ve ever spoken a word to Bree, you know there might be a colorful word or two coming up): “Donica is one of the most solid girls you’ll find out there. While she’s badass for obvious reasons — loves dogs, Bud Light Limes, and anything adventurous– she’s also the most dependable, easy to talk to, and fun as hell people I know. She’s got a calm demeanor, but a fiery spirit. Just the friend you need and want. Love that bitch and her little dogs too!” In case you missed out on the East Nasty training, their pace group was nicknamed “Runs with Bitches” because their dogs Rula, Ava, Roy, and the “biggest bitch of them all, Rudy”, all trained with the group as well. As for a “funny story”, Bree says, “I plead the 5th on telling any stories, but I got a great one that includes too much bourbon, a urinal, and thinking Donica got kidnapped.”  I’m sure our imaginations won’t even be as great as the actual true story . . .


Beautiful run along the Deschutes River Trail with partners in crime Beth Meadows and her husband, Randy Elliott 

Donica’s other hobbies include playing bluegrass music, trying to train her dogs, and running trails to keep her sane because working in the music business is crazy.

Congratulations, Donica!! Thank you for all that you do for East Nasty, our running community (both trail and roads), your unwavering positive outlook on running and life, and for being an amazing East Nasty of the Week!!

ENOW: Brandon Greer

May 9, 2016

If you’ve been to East Nasty in the past couple of years, you have definitely seen our latest East Nasty of the Week . . . or at least heard him. This guy can run his mouth as fast and as long as he can run his feet. He hails from the Promised Land, has never met a stranger, crushed being an East Nasty pace leader for the Rock’n’Roll Nashville half marathon, and is just all around an awesome dude. It’s my honor to introduce the newest ENOW of the week — Brandon Greer!

brandon 6

East Nasty 1/2 Marathon 2016 1:45 Group

Brandon grew up in Gardendale, AL a small suburb 20 minutes north of Birmingham. He started playing baseball at the ripe young age of 3 and played pretty much his entire life (or for at least the next 17 years).  He did one mandatory year of football in middle school, which he says was a requirement of a boy turning into a man but then finished his football seasons on the drumline (who knew East Nasty had our own Nick Cannon?!). He also played junior varsity basketball but focused mainly on baseball throughout high school.

brandon 4

Brandon and Casper at Gay 5K  — Brandon trained with Casper for his first race

Following high school, Brandon attended THE University of Alabama and is a proud double major in Business Management and Marketing from there (I knew he looked like a champion!). These days, Brandon is a territory manager for the largest building materials distributor in the US.  He also has a few business partners, and they flip around 25 houses per year in the East Nashville area.

brandon 2

Finish Line with Glenda Crowder, fellow group coach for P2T 2015

As for running, Brandon ran all throughout junior high and high school, but he really found a passion for it in 2007. His biggest accomplishment is his half marathon PR of 1:29 at the 2008 Mercedes Half Marathon in Birmingham (In a shocking turn of events, Brandon is less than chatty about his accomplishments . . . ).

Brandon says he found East Nasty “by the grace of GOD” or at least the internet. He found the group through a good old fashioned Google search in 2013 and has been running with us ever since. His favorite part about East Nasty is the ability to run with all different types of people and runners. He gains something from someone different almost every Wednesday. . . “except from Beth Meadows, she stinks!!!!!!!!” Not going to argue with that, Brandon!

brandon 3

Warrior Dash 5k 2012 

As for his most memorable East Nasty experience, it was coaching/training the Potato to Tomato group in 2015.  It was his first time to really volunteer, and he says it was a pleasure to help people who were just getting into running reach a goal of finishing a 5k. Brandon must have caught the volunteering bug because, as I stated earlier, he just recently finished up his stint as trainer and pace leader for East Nasty’s half marathon training group. Way to give back, Brandon!

brandon 5

Potato 2 Tomato 2015 Group

As with some of our other East Nasty peeps, Brandon has also recently picked cycling back up and has started training for triathlons.He will compete in the Music City Tri this summer. Good luck with that!

Personally, I’ve been running with Brandon for a couple of months and couldn’t think of a better ENOW. He is incredibly welcoming, and his hilarity makes the miles fly by! He does so much for the East Nasty community and is as fun as he is hard-working. Super proud to call this guy a running buddy. Congrats, Brandon, and thank you for embodying the East Nasty spirit!

ENOW – Amy Alder Smith!

October 19, 2015
Amy and Cheyenne at 2014 KY Derby Mini-Marathon

Amy and Cheyenne at 2014 KY Derby Mini-Marathon

This week’s East Nasty of the Week is a Potato2Tomato 5k coach, a staple on Wednesday nights, a great mother, and so sweet and humble that she tried to convince me I had the wrong person when I reached out to her about being awarded the prestigious ENOW. Even though she doesn’t think she’s a “real runner”, she definitely has a lot to say about running!! Ladies and Gentleman, it is my extreme pleasure to introduce this week’s East Nasty of the Week — Amy Smith!

Amy is one of those rare birds who is actually a Nashville native. She graduated from McGavock High School and was crusing 2nd Ave back when it was a two-way street and Sbarro was a two-story Wendy’s. In high school, Amy was a tomboy through and through. She really feels like her high school experience could have been different if someone had just handed her a hair straightener. Her first love is softball; she started playing softball at 6 yrs old and played all the way through high school (kindred spirits!). Amy also played volleyball and basketball in middle and high school.  Pre-season basketball conditioning was her “least favorite thing ever” because of all the running. They had to run a mile in under 8 min — she once got it down to 8:14 and says it hasn’t happened since then. Amy remembers one time she and a friend got in trouble on a softball trip, and the coach made them do suicide/line runs in the parking lot of the hotel. Her friend finished way before she did, and eventually her coach told Amy to stop.  She thinks he was tired of waiting for her to finish. Direct Quote from Amy: “He was such an a-hole… (you can leave that last part out.  Or print it.  If you want his name I’ll give that to you too 🙂 )”

After high school, Amy went to Union University in Jackson, TN. While she majored in Sport Management, she did absolutely no physical activity in college except for some intramural softball and one really bad season of flag football.  She was in a sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha and also worked as a waitress all 4 years (tip your servers, please!) so there was not a lot of time for much else.

Sticking with her athletic theme, Amy is the Director of Ticketing for the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and Nashville Sports Council (two companies, one staff). The NSC recruits sporting events to come to Nashville, such as the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Women’s Final Four, the NHL All-Star game, etc. However, 95% of her job is ticketing the Music City Bowl.  Bowl week at the end of December is one of Amy’s favorite times of the year. December is a very busy and stressful time, but at the same time, she loves it. Nothing makes her feel better than breathing a huge sigh of relief once everyone gets inside the stadium for the game. Amy also put in 5 years with the Nashville Sounds at Greer Stadium as the Community Relations Manager. So, do you like sports, Amy??

Amy started her running adventures late in 2012. While she was pregnant with her second child, Adelyn, her husband, Cheyenne (more on him later!),  started to take up running again. She found it to be extremely RUDE that he would start a fitness regimen whilst she was just getting bigger and bigger by the day (Amy’s words, not mine!).  A few months after she had Adelyn, Amy was inspired by him and decided to give running a try. She worked on a couch to 5k program. She went at her own pace and eventually completed it after 7 months! She took things very, very slowly and went with a pace that didn’t make her want to quit. However, shortly after she started running, Cheyenne set a goal that he wanted to run a half marathon in all 50 states by the time he was 50. She figured she could either go to all of these places with him and wait an hour and a half for him to finish, or she could get her butt out there and do it too! Amy figured the second option was probably the best so she started taking her running a little more seriously. While she doesn’t run in every state they go to, she does currently have 5 half marathons/states under my belt (NH, CA, KY, MI, FL)!

Amy has two big accomplishments in running and can’t choose between them. The first is when she completed her first half marathon in November of 2013. She wanted to do it in under 3 hours and did it in 2:56. Yahtzee!  She says she doesn’t know if she’s ever cried as hard as she did that day. According to her, she was always the slowest person on all of her teams growing up, and if you had ever told her she’d complete a half marathon, she wouldn’t have believed you. She was so proud of herself and says she rarely feels that way. Who knew running was so emotional? 🙂

Becky, Melly, and Amy after 2014 Tomato 5k

Becky, Melly, and Amy after 2014 Tomato 5k

The second was in January of this year. Amy and Cheyenne went to Miami for a half and full marathon. They went with friends Mark and Melissa King. Melissa (Melly) is one of Amy’s very best friends who also became her running partner during the P2T in 2014. Melly pushed her, kicked her ass, and wouldn’t let her take a pee break until mile 6. Because of her, Amy PR’d that race — beating her previous best time by 11 minutes! Cheyenne ran the full that day in Miami; according to Amy, he’s Superman. So it was a great day for all 3 of them, PR’s all around!

Cheyenne heard about East Nasty first in 2013. They used to live in Pleasant View, TN, and he would stay at work late on Wednesdays to run with the group. They moved to East Nashville later that year, and he encouraged Amy to run with the group. She declined thinking she wouldn’t be able to keep up. He then told her about the Lasty Nasties, and her life was changed! The Lasties are her peeps. Everyone in the whole East Nasty community is amazing, but the Lasties have her heart. Beth McCaskill let Amy run with her group on her first night, and she was immediately hooked on East Nasty thanks to her, and everyone’s, kindness (and maybe Beth’s funny and smart mouth?? My words, not Amy’s). Through running with Beth, Amy also met Lindsay Clark. Lindsay stuck by her side on one really hard run where she could barely make it to the end, but Lindsay wouldn’t leave Amy. She’s been one of Amy’s best running buddies since then. Even though Amy had been running for a little bit, she still did P2T in 2014 so that she could keep running with Beth (who coached) and Lindsay.

What Amy loves the most about East Nasty is the camaraderie and the encouragement. Runners really are the nicest, most encouraging group of people she’s ever come across.  Melly and Amy ran ‘The Nasty’ a few weeks ago, and it was POURING rain. They were so tired and were “dragging ass” to the end.  But a lot of the Fasties that passed  would say “keep going!” “you’re doing great!” “you’re almost there!.”  They could see the desire to die in their eyes, and so many offered encouragements to them.

The Nasty! What we'll do for a sticker!

The Nasty! What we’ll do for a sticker!

She really enjoys the nights where the Lasties beat the Fasties back to the yellow house. That’s really their only goal on Wednesday nights… get back to the yellow house before the Fasties. She says “Yes we know you start 20 min after us, but it’s still our goal.  So if you’ve ever heard a girl scream “NOOOOOO” at you as you raced past her on a Wed night, that was me”.  (Are you sure it was just “No”, Amy or was there an expletive or two involved?)

Amy’s most memorable East Nasty experience is coaching P2T this past summer. When Melly asked Amy to coach with her, Amy was pretty hesitant at first. She says sometimes she still doesn’t feel like a “real” runner. She can’t bring herselt to buy a Garmin because she doesn’t feel like she’s that legit yet. BUT she agreed, and they coached a group this summer. Amy is so glad they did!  It was amazing to see the group (The F words) progress. The program just really proves that you can accomplish so much more than you think is possible.  And it makes Amy even happier to see a lot of the Team F Words out on Wednesday runs and at the 5kto10k training. It was an amazing coaching experience. Melly and Amy are excited to coach again next summer and want to make Team F Word a P2T tradition.


Melly, Sara, and Amy reporting for coaching duty!

Another memorable experience for Amy — “completing The Nasty and getting [her] mothereffing sticker”.  Obviously.

Amy’s other hobbies include: eating M&M’s, napping, reading, listening to Christmas music,  taking pictures of her babies and putting them on Facebook, and watching bad reality tv (How can you not love this woman?!).

Usually we have other people talk about our ENOW, but Amy’s so proud of her husband that she asked me to include a bit about him, saying “anything you write about me has to include a bit about Cheyenne.  He is the one who inspired me to start running.  He’s always been full of encouragement and telling me I can do more than I think I can.  He’s taken kid duty three times a week so that I can participate in the P2T program for the last two summers.  He runs while pushing our two 40 lb children in a double-stroller on Wednesday nights just so I can run too on those nights and he never complains.  He is always more than willing to help me do whatever is necessary for me to get a run in.  Without him I would have never in a million years started this journey and I definitely wouldn’t be able to continue without his help and encouragement.  He is the best husband, father, and is my biggest supporter and very best friend.” If you don’t know who Cheyenne is then you’ve never been to East Nasty or are blind. Look for the shirtless wonder pushing a stroller. ‘Nuff said. 

The Babies! Lincoln and Adelyn at Tomato 5k -- now a Smith family affair!

The Babies! Lincoln and Adelyn at Tomato 5k — now a Smith family affair!

Congratulations on ENOW, Amy! You ARE a legit, great runner and an inspiration! With your kindness, determination, and sometimes dirty mouth, you have the East Nasty spirit!

ENOW: Nina Stroud!

September 28, 2015

This week’s East Nasty of the Week tries to “stay under the radar” but because she’s great at running and even better at giving back to the community, that couldn’t happen. It is with great pleasure that I introduce your newest ENOW – Nina Stroud!

Nina came into this world unique and awesome. She’s the third child in a set of triplets (two girls and one boy), and she was born and mostly raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to Nina, she was the nerd of the bunch. She loved to read all the time, do research, and write stories. She was that kid that would cry when she missed a day of school (what?!). However, she fell in love with track in middle school. Both of her parents ran in school so they used to watch track and field competitions on tv together. Nina ran in citywide meets and would compete in 100m dash, 200m hurdles, and 4x100m relay as the third leg. In high school, she was back to the books and academics and was involved with the school newspaper, yearbook, Novel book club, and many other “nerdy clubs”.

Nina and family

Nina and family

A couple of months after graduation in 1993, Nina’s dad was relocated with General Motors to Nashville. Since moving here, her family has always lived in the Priest Lake area and still does. She had never heard anything about East Nashville until meeting her husband who was born and raised in East Nashville. His father grew up on Forrest in a little white house behind the post office. Her in-laws and extended family are still residents of East Nashville so she feels like it’s her second home (that plus a little running group, right, Nina??). Nina and her husband, Damon, have two daughters, McKenzie and Brooklyn, a son, Damon, and a granddaughter, Zari. She says they all keep her pretty busy. So does her teaching gig at Harris Hillman School Exceptional Education. The students who attend school there have multiple disabilities and are medically fragile. After subbing for a couple of weeks, she was offered a permanent position, and she’s been there for the past six years. She says she’s in a classroom with 8 of the best 9­th-11th graders you will ever meet! They keep her sharp, smiling, and most of all, humble.

Nina and her daughter Brooklyn after Tomato 5k

Nina and her daughter Brooklyn after Tomato 5k

As for running, Nina always had a goal to run a marathon. A fellow ENOW, Shelley Norton, would always tell her about a running group called East Nasty. Never in a million years did Nina think she could run with them. Shelley encouraged her to do the Potato to Tomato 5k training during the summer of 2012, but Nina didn’t want to do it alone so she begged her “sole sister” Misty Cross to join her. They’ve been running buddies ever since. Nina also had the great luck of starting her running career during the summer of 2012 – one of the hottest summers in Nashville’s recent history with record high temperatures! Nina says that was one of the most grueling training sessions ever! Thankfully, Nina had hard-working and driven coaches such as Susi Willis, Joy Howard, Kim Koch, and Mike Clark! Susi even encouraged her to move up to a faster pace group.

Nina's first set of coaches

Nina’s first set of coaches

Susi’s knowledge, kindness, and encouragement had a lasting impression on Nina. She wanted to give that back to someone else so she paid it forward. Nina has been a P2T coach every year since and then some. She became a run coordinator for Black Girls Run, an organization that encourages and inspires African American women to live a healthy lifestyle and is a running buddy for Girls On The Run, an organization dedicated to encouraging girls in grades 3-­8 to achieving goals through training for a 5k. She volunteers every year with Achilles International for their Hope and Possibility 5 miler, which brings together able­bodied runners with athletes with disabilities to complete their race. Finally, she coaches her daughter’s track team for Nashville Youth Athletics. WHEW! Who feels like they need to go volunteer a little now?!


With Colleen, Beth, and 2014 trainees

Nina’s biggest accomplishment in running is helping a person gain the knowledge and love for running that she has and then seeing that person cross that finish line for the first time. There is no greater feeling. As for what she enjoys most about East Nasty, it’s the laid back atmosphere. Everyone is welcome. You can walk, run, do intervals. You can bring your dogs, kids in strollers…no pressure…just get moving! Her most memorable East Nasty experience is being chosen as an ENOW. She says it’s unbelievable, and she feels so unworthy and like the most unlikely candidate. (Wait, I’m sorry, Nina. Did you not just read the previous paragraph?! You’re superwoman, girl!) She can’t stop smiling because she’s so “under the radar” all the time.

Group 2 pace leaders: Sam, Mike, Misty, and Nina

Group 2 pace leaders: Sam, Mike, Misty, and Nina

Nina loves racing, but somehow they always seem to be in bad weather or when she’s injured. She started running in extremely hot weather, but her first Country Music Half was 2013 – the year it rained the entire time. She had never run in that type of weather ever and was not prepared. Her next race was the Hot Chocolate 15K in February of 2014. It was 20 degrees but felt like 12 with wind! She tried another CMM 1/2 in 2014 and ran with a severely bruised shin. Ouch! She says she hasn’t given up yet. She’s signed up for the Middle Half in Murfreesboro and hoping for good weather and to PR. She also signed up for CMM 1/2 next year where her goal is to be under 2:30. You got this, Nina!

Nina and her best friend/"sole sister," Misty Cross after CMM 2013

Nina and her best friend/”sole sister,” Misty Cross after CMM 2013

When Nina isn’t being super mom, giving back, running/racing, she enjoys genealogy and tracing her roots.

Congrats on ENOW, Nina! We are so thankful for everything you do for the running community, and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving!

ENOW — Katherine Knight

July 27, 2015

This week’s East Nasty of the Week is an avid triathlete (including an Ironman), a long-time member of East Nasty, really, really, really ridiculously good looking, and just celebrated a birthday! I’m so excited to announce your ENOW – Katherine Knight.

Most in her element . . .

Most in her element . . .

Katherine (or Kat) was born in Birmingham, AL (see, told you she was awesome). Her family moved to Nashville when she was 3 so she considers herself legitimately “from here originally”. Up until high school, Katherine says she was the quintessential “book nerd” and was incredibly shy. She only played junior varsity sports because she was absolutely required to do so. P.E., and everything associated with P.E. (including running), was excruciating torture for her. In high school, once she was no longer required to play any sports, she absolutely did not — unless mock trial is a sport (sorry, Kat, it’s not). In fact, she can hardly recall voluntarily exercising until at least her mid-20s. Even without the sports, she came out of her shell very quickly in high school (USN) and was, you know, kind of a big deal in statewide Model United Nations/Youth In Government activities. She also started getting really, really into music (not a musician, just a fan) and more or less looked and dressed like it. So, to sum it up, Kat’s high school experience was basically a 90s romantic comedy – a hot nerd who didn’t play sports.

Sonoma:  Michelle, Jen, me, Rebekah, wine, we clean up nicely!

Sonoma: Michelle, Jen, Kat, Rebekah, wine, they clean up nicely!

After high school, Kat went to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and then headed directly to law school at Vanderbilt. Although her college degree is a dual major of Russian Studies and Government, her true double major was probably “independent record store employee” and “campus coffee shop manager.” She really did work at a record store, and it was very similar to “High Fidelity.”  Law school was more or less what you would expect, and she was ALL ABOUT IT (girl, at least somebody was). Currently, she’s an in-house senior attorney at Dollar General Corporation; more specifically, she manages labor and employment litigation and compliance for the Company nationwide.

Kat attempted that whole running/voluntary exercising thing a couple of times a few years ago, but she had middle school flashbacks and still completely hated it.  Her “official” running start, i.e. the day she decided to take it outside and hasn’t really stopped since, was just after her 35th birthday 3 years ago – July of 2012. All of a sudden, the awesomeness of running clicked. She says she’s not fast so she pushes her limits by signing up for more and more ridiculous adventures. Since July 2012, she’s run three half marathons, two full (Flying Monkey) marathons, three half ironman distance triathlons, one Ironman, and she’s training for a second Ironman in November. I mean, seriously?! Go big or go home, Kat!

Practice swim before Ironman Maryland, trying not to panic, with Jim and Coach Daniel

Practice swim before Ironman Maryland, trying not to panic, with Jim and Coach Daniel

From a pure racing standpoint, her biggest accomplishment in running would have to be crossing the finish line at Ironman Maryland last September!  Beyond that, and a lot more importantly, running has just completely changed her life. She really started running at the encouragement of a friend to help herself overcome some very difficult personal experiences.  At that time, she also would have told you that she was not, and would never be, anything resembling an athlete. According to her, the true greatest accomplishment in running lies somewhere between finding a path of immediate mental survival and, simultaneously, breaking down long held ideas about herself that she was terrible at sports, terrible at running, not athletic, etc. That saying “running is cheaper than therapy” is not just a bumper sticker; if anybody out there wants to talk about better living through running, come find Kat! Sometimes the nature of what she’s doing still strikes her as COMPLETELY surreal. With a resume like yours, you are officially an athlete for life, Kat!

Kat found East Nasty through some fellow legal beagles. She knew Jennifer Eberle and Steve Lund from the Nashville legal community and saw them posting about the group on Facebook. Her first run with East Nasty was in September 2012 shortly after her running “career” began, and it just so happened to be The Nasty, thus beginning the trend of doing ridiculous running activities much earlier than she probably had any business doing them. Only Fitting!!

Every good photo needs a Mike Tarrolly photo bomb.

Every good photo needs a Mike Tarrolly photo bomb.

It will likely come as no surprise that the best thing about East Nasty is the very close friendships that she’s developed with some of the most incredible people she’s ever met.  A non-exhaustive list would, of course, include Jennifer Eberle, Rebekah Shulman, Duane Stephenson, Becky Alley Pendleton, Michelle Allen-Parker, Kristin Matthews, Lenny Bertoldo, (her now triathlon coach) Daniel Hudgins, and the guy who got her into this triathlon business, Jim Schwan (yeah, I’ve heard Schwanny is good at talking people into making bad decisions. Of course, there’s a difference between fire ball shots and triathlons . . . ).

On the Muncie Half Ironman Bike course, July 11, 2015

On the Muncie Half Ironman Bike course, July 11, 2015

As for her most memorable East Nasty experience, Kat says there are so, so many, but the most memorable would have to be celebrating her birthday last year in a vacation house in Sonoma with a bunch of East Nasty friends, running the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, followed by some good “wine tourism.” East Nasty is really a place where you can find “your people.”  Speaking of “her people,” Jennifer Eberle had this to say about Ms. Kat:

“Kat is the most determined person I know. We started swim lessons together in anticipation of dipping our toes in the triathlon world. Instead of starting with a sprint tri, as I did, Kat set her eyes on a full Ironman, which she completed successfully in the Summer of 2014 at IM Maryland, despite a pretty wicked crash resulting in a concussion. She has her sights on IM Florida this year, and I’m certain she will crush it! She’s also a super awesome employment law attorney at Dollar General and a fellow OR Pinot lover. Some of my best memories with Kat are our 2013 half marathon wine race in OR and our 2014 half marathon wine race in Napa (and we PR’d at both races).”

Looking dubious before the 2014 Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon with smiling Andy, Becky, Jen, Rebekah, Michelle and JP

Looking dubious before the 2014 Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon with smiling Andy, Becky, Jen, Rebekah, Michelle and JP

Besides signing up for every crazy endurance event under the sun, Kat is still fairly music obsessed. In addition, she’s on the board of the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, mentors law students through the Belmont Inn of Court, travels through National Parks, collect wine, and reads historical non-fiction.

Having gotten to know Kat better over the past couple of months, I can tell you she is an independent, tough as nails, and overall cool chick but is still so kind and welcoming – and is the perfect embodiment of the East Nasty spirit! Congrats, Kat!