East Nasty of the Week: Claire Gibson

April 16, 2012

(This ENOW is brought to you by a new writer to our site, Claire Gibson herself!!! Look forward to more updates and ENOW write-ups from her in the future.)

Hi, I’m Claire, and I used to be a closeted runner.

I grew up in a military family and moved eight times in 16 years.  In the midst of all that change, on thing stayed the same.  No matter where I lived, I was constantly surrounded by packs of soldiers running PT, the Army’s physical training.  Cadences echoed through my windows starting at 5:30 a.m. every day of the week, and by age 10, male voices huffing “When my granny was 92, she did PT better than you” became my regular alarm clock.

Despite the mass of running clubs that surrounded me daily, I was never enticed to join—a running club, or the military.  I believed what they shouted every morning, that someone’s grandmother probably was faster than me, and that was reason enough to avoid discussing my secret love of the road.  Instead, I was a closeted runner.

I didn’t want anyone to know I enjoyed running—because I felt I wasn’t good enough at it yet.  My secret was safe, and no one ever asked me how my training was going—because to everyone else, I was never training.  In college, my runs grew longer and I grew to enjoy them more.  I started thinking I might be faster than that granny after all—but never shared my love with anyone else.

So what would lead a girl like me to join East Nasty, the largest running club this side of Fort Campbell?

After graduating from Furman University in South Carolina, I joined Teach for America and moved to Nashville to mold the minds of 12-year-olds.  Daily I would return home sapped of energy, lucky if I could even go on a walk, let alone a decent run. Three years of teaching nearly killed my secret running habit—that is, until this year.
In January, I found out that my teaching position is being eliminated next year.  I am losing my job.  But don’t go feeling sorry for me.  That bad news gave me permission to leave teaching for a writing career—something I’ve feared and put off for years.  What if I’m no good?  It’s the same question that had plagued me about running.  That day, I went to Fleet Feet and bought a new pair of running shoes.  After fourteen years fearing being the last one in the pack—Mark Miller convinced me to come run with East Nasty.

Though my fears were still present, it didn’t take long to realize they were irrational. Rather than competitive, East Nasties are friendly, inclusive and motivating.  My first Wednesday night run was very dark and I had no headlamp—but a stranger let me run beneath the light of hers so I wouldn’t fall.  People asked my name, and the cadence I heard was of folks getting to know each other.  Then and there, I was so thankful not to be alone.

In this new season of change, I’m blessed to be running with a team.  Because we can’t do this journey alone, and sooner or later, the truth always comes out.   I’m thankful it did.


(Read more of Claire’s work here.)

East Nasty of the Week: Kristine Mylls

February 12, 2012

If you ran in the 2011 East Tomato 5K, then you had the pleasure of hearing this new East Nast of Week’s singing voice as she belted out the Star-Spangled Banner right before the starting gun. Say hello to the one and only Kristine Mylls.

Our good friend Kristine was born in New York state, in the small town of Mt. Kisco. It is also the birth place of one Bo Duke, also known as John Schneider. She did not stay in the Empire State too long, growing up mostly in Oakton, Virginia, which is just outside our nation’s capital.

In school Kristine was a bit of the “jack of all trades” variety. To some she was a tomboy, to others a girly-girl, and then she was also a music geek. As far as early sports, her family introduced her to the world of cycling an early age. Her father, who still races in cycling events at the age of 75!, ran the local BMX track, and yes there is a picture of young Kristine tearing up the track. ENJOY!!!

She is rocking the blue helmet and t-shirt

Her main passion though was music. She studied the piano seriously for several years, and she began singing and competing vocally as early as the 4th grade. Her singing carried her to George Mason University, where she studied Music and English. Through various singing groups in college, she gained the chance to perform at the White House and Kennedy Center.

In 1996, Kristine arrived in Nashville. She wanted to be a part of musical community, but not the ones in New York City or Los Angles. She had only planned on staying for a few years, but like so many others, Kristine thankfully stayed here instead. Now she runs marketing for J. Alexander’s restaurants and she has a cool side gig running the Jumbotron at Titans and Predators games.

Kristine’s running career took off in 2009. While planning a reunion with some college friends, they ended up all running the Indy Mini-Marathon together. Her husband, Dudley, had tried his best to convince her that running could be fun, but she would just laugh at him every time he said that. At a Hope on Wheels bike ride in 2009, she meet ENOW alumni Holland Carley, and she told Kristine all about this great running group out in East Nashville. The rest is history. Since her first half marathon in 2009, she has run several more half-marathon races, and even started getting into triathlons in 2011. Her greatest moment so far was during last year’s Half-Ironman in Augusta, GA. Although the run was brutal in the 90+ degree weather, she pushed herself to through the finish line!!!

One final mention about Kristine is that she loves helping train our Couch to 5K groups. She has recruited tons of people to the program, and her favorite part is to watch people transform themselves from not being able to run for 60 seconds to finishing a 3.1 mile race. (From everyone at East Nasty, we are so thankful for all that Kristine does for that program.)

For downtime, which is not all that often, Kristine likes to read, travel, hang out and relax with her husband, and sing. She still performs every once and while, Jazz primarily, but who knows, you may catch her singing the National Anthem once again in the future.

Here is one last picture of Kristine with her East Nasty buddies after this last weekend’s Mercedes Benz half marathon in Birmingham, Alabama. Be sure comment on Kristine induction to the ENOW club.

Holland, Kristine, Mary Tom, and Shawna


Wednesday January 25, 2012

January 24, 2012

This Wednesday’s Run

This week is Route #4: Big Shelby Loop – 4.3 miles. As always, we meet at 11th and Holly at 6 p.m. Be courteous with parking, wear reflective gear, and please volunteer to be a pace group leader!

iPod Nano

Lots of runners use an iPod Nano, and apparently some the 1st generation Nanos had something wrong with the batteries. So I’m not sure if it is still going on, but Apple has an iPod Nano replacement program – where they would replace your 1st generation with a brand new one. (for free)  Here is the link to check and see if your iPod qualifies.


We’ve got the cups covered for the next two weeks. But, I would love to have the month of February and March filled. Washing the cups just involves taking them home, washing them and bringing them back the next week.  Sign up here.

Thursday Workout

Thursday we are heading back to the pedestrian bridge for more 6 or 8 hill repeats. Remember, these are not maximal efforts, but should be your mile race effort (really hard).  Like all your runs, hill workouts should go from slow(er) to fast(er). So, the first two repeats should be under control, and the last two should be really fast. We meet at the same location and time on Thursdays: 6 p.m. at the corner of 11th and Holly.

Hanson’s Marathon Training Program

There is an elite training group in Michigan called Hanson’s. At the Olympic marathon trials they had women finish 2nd, 9th and 13th, and four men run faster than 2:19.   Well they also have a marathon training program for mortals (those of us who don’t have time/energy/desire to run 130 miles a week). Their elite athletes are producing top times, but so are their amateurs.  So what is their secret?  They do not focus on the long run!  WHAT?  That’s right. In fact, amateur marathoners run one 15 mile run, three 16 mile runs and nothing longer!  (Elites are a little different…)

Their theory is that no one workout is more important than the next. So they have all their runners run 6 days a week (peaking around 54 miles a week). Each week has one speed workout, one steady state run at marathon goal-pace, and one “long-ish” run.  But here is what makes it unique:  they do their long runs on tired legs.  They will have an 8 miler the day before their 16 mile long run. On their “off” weekends, they will run two 10-milers in a row. It is the accumulation of hard work, day in day out, that makes you a good runner…not going out and crushing yourself twice a week.

This is how I want you to apply this idea: run more often. Add mileage by adding an additional day of running rather than slogging through three extra miles on your weekend run.  Don’t feel like to be a better runner your Sunday and Wednesday night runs need to be harder. Don’t change those runs, just add two more easy runs during the week. Even if you can only get out the door for 20-30 minutes. It will do more for your fitness than you can imagine.

Anyway… something to chew on. Here is the article from Running Times if you want a little more detailed information.

See you Wednesday!

Wednesday – June 22nd, 2011

June 21, 2011

What’s up East Nasty ?

We had a great turnout for the potato to tomato 5k training on Monday night. It is not too late to recommend a friend to join the group. There was a good amount of east nasties out there helping out with the group but they could always use more so come out and join the group and help encourage some beginners to keep moving. Now onto this week’s run – we will be running run #4 and this run has a few tricky intersections so as always try to remember to run on the sidewalk or side of the road and always stop to let cars go first.  Please take a look at the route and try to remember it …….. YOU may be asked to be a pace leader.

Upcoming events 

This Saturday June 25th our friends down the hill at the Green Wagon general store are hosting a summer block party from noon – 10:00. There will be local music, local food, local beer and local vendors. If you are looking for a social event this weekend then you are now in the know about what is going on in East Nashville. Check out the link here.

East Tomato 5k race

This year the race will be on Saturday, August 13th @ 7:30 am. This is the homecoming race for East Nasty and chances are over 1000 will be running in the race this year. It is still 2 months away but we want to help make this race a big event as it takes place on our turf. Look here for more information on this race as it gets closer.

Sunday Trail Runs

Our summer trail runs are in full swing – they will meet at 7am, under the stone gates at Percy Warner Park this Sunday.

Thought of the week

Are you a fair weather runner ? I would say that we pretty much get to experience it all here in middle Tennessee. It gets cold here, it storms here on a regular basis, and it definitely gets hot.  Well just in case you did not already know this – God seems to smile on East Nasty. In over 3 years of our existence we have never had to cancel a run due to weather. Now there have been a few times when we had to delay the start a little and there are also some runs that taken place in the rain – but they are rare. Take last week for example – it stormed off and on all day long but right around 5:45 the clouds cleared and it was dry for the next 2 hours. Why do I mention this ?  Well for no reason except letting you know that rain or shine, hot or cold, light or dark — we will be out there at 6:00 pm getting our run on and you should be there too!!!!

That is all —- see you tomorrow then ……. East Nasty For Life !!!!!