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.)

Wednesday, February 22

February 21, 2012

Wednesday Night Run

The days are getting longer, the weather looks nice and warm – there is not a better way to spend Wednesday night than joining us for Run #8: Rick’s Market (Coldest Beer in Town).   6 p.m. at the corner of 11th and Holly in East Nashville.   And please: learn the route and volunteer to lead a group!

Thursday Night Tempo

A lot of us are already beginning to feel the benefits of the Thursday night workouts.  So if you are looking to run the half marathon, or if you just want to run in a faster group on Wednesdays, come join us Thursday.  Same time, same place as Wednesday – although we do start on time on Thursdays 🙂

Novice: 20 minute tempo, Intermediate: 25 minute tempo, Advanced: 30 minute tempo.

Spring Half-Marathon / Marathon Shirt

Ordering for our Spring 2012 race shirts (full marathon, half marathon, & plain) will close after Wednesday night!  You can get more info and order yours online over on the Shop page. These are the shirts that East Nasty will be wearing for the Country Music Half/Full and all other spring races. You can head over to Nashville Running Company to try one on to find the size that fits you best. Place your order today before you forget and miss out!

See you Wednesday night.

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


Tempo #1 – January 29, 2012

January 27, 2012

1/2 Marathon Training – Shelby Park 9 a.m.

This week we will still be meeting at Shelby Park outside of the nature center. (Which is a good reminder to download the training schedule.  It has all the workouts outlined of course, but it also lists our Sunday morning meeting locations.)

This week’s workout is not completely straight forward, so please take a moment to read below.

Last week we ran a 3-mile time trial. Time trials / races are essential workouts because that pace is a benchmark that will determine our training paces. To begin, divide your three mile time by three to get your mile per pace, and we’ll go from there. (As I explain the workout, I am going to use a hypothetical intermediate runner, “Bob”, who ran 23:00 for the time trial last week.  Which is 7:40 per mile.)

The run is split into three parts: the warm-up, the workout, and the extra mileage. The first two parts will be the same for everybody (run at different paces of course), the last part will be different for the novice, intermediate and advanced groups.

We will run at two paces this week: our long/easy pace and tempo pace.

Our long run pace is 1:30 – 2:30 minutes per mile slower than our time trial pace. That pace for Bob would be 9:10 – 10:10. In terms of heart rate, that pace is under 75% of your max heart rate. (Another good estimate is 180 – your age.) Tempo pace is 20-45 seconds per mile slower than your time trial pace. In terms of heart rate, tempo pace is between 88-92% of your max.   Since we are doing tempo intervals rather than a steady state run, our tempo pace will be on the faster end of that range: 20-25 seconds slower than our 3-mile pace or about 90% max HR.

Part 1 – the warm-up  (everyone) 20 minutes at about 2 – 2:30 minutes slower per mile than their 3-mile pace.

Bob would start at 10:10 pace and speed up to 9:40 pace during the warm up.

Part 2 – The workout  (everyone) 5 x (5 minutes tempo pace +  1 minute easy)  – 30 minutes total.

Bob would run 5 minutes at 8:00 – 8:05  pace, then jog easy for 1 minute. He would do this sequence  five times.

Part 3 – Extra mileage novice adds 20 minutes, intermediate 30 minutes and advanced will add 45 minutes. This pace should be about 1:30 slower than 3-mile pace.

Bob would run at 9:10 pace for 30 minutes.

We’re also going to move off the greenway, and run 5k loops of the park. Why? To prepare for the race by adding a little bit of rolling terrain. (The Country Music 1/2 marathon is hilly, the greenway is not…) Here is the loop that we will use. I am going to try and mark the miles on the ground tomorrow – no promises, so make a mental note of the mile marks.

Dubai Marathon

Yesterday at the Dubai marathon, Deressa Chisma Edae ran 2:05:42 (4:48 pace)…and finished 8th. Wow. The race was won by a 21-year old Ethiopian, Ayele Absharo, in his debut marathon. (He earned a cool $250,000 for his efforts.) Even more amazing was the fact that his last 2 miles were run in about 9:04. (Once again emphasizing negative splitting:  1:02:22 first half, 1:02:01 second half.) He broke the lead pack apart by running the 39th kilometer in 2:46 – for you track guys, a 2:46 kilometer is 66.4 seconds per lap! For more check out the race coverage here.

No Brunch

Last week was amazing! Belgian waffles, pancakes, bacon… Outstanding! Many thanks to our gracious host Sara Spencer. This week, you’re on your own. My post-run East Nashville food suggestions are Mitchell Deli and Marche. A third option would be Bongo Java East. Of course they make great coffee, but they also have some fantastic bagel sandwiches.

See you on Sunday.


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!

East Nasty of the Week: Sarah Brown

November 3, 2011

Every time I am at the Ryman Auditorium for a concert, I always scan the crowd to see if I recognize anyone. Almost always I see this new East Nasty of the Week sitting in her favorite seat, the 5th row pews in the lower bowl. Say hello to completely awesome Sarah K. Brown!!!

Sarah was born in Olympia, Washington and at an early age moved to the bright sunshine of Southern California. In the 8th grade her family relocated to Charleston, West Virginia. The differences between So Cal and the heart of Appalachia might have been a bit of a shock to system, but she took it all in stride and made the best of it. She turned her time out in the country into a new hobby of discovering new music and trading tapes of Dave Matthews Band shows. This was the early 90’s were talking about, and DMB was all the rage!

In school Sarah was a bit on the nerdish side of things. Some of here accolades include editor of the high school yearbook, sportscaster for the high school morning TV show, and four years of basketball…even though it was primarily spent on the bench. She did get some playing time as the goal keeper on the girls soccer team her senior year. In her spare time she would occasionally go to “Mountain Stage,” which is recorded for NPR broadcast out of Charleston, WV.

For college Sarah wanted to get as far from West Virginia as possible. She ended up at the University of Washington in Seattle (where she completed her first two years), and then spent a year in Florence, Italy through Gonzaga University. Her time both abroad and in the Northwest were some of Sarah’s best moments in life up to that point, but with a switch of major she ended up at Belmont University to study Finance and Music Business. Her intentions were to head back West after graduation, but she ended up getting a job offer at Belmont, and by the end of two years Nashville had become her new home. Now she is the Event Manager of Belmont University, where she is colleagues with other ENOW SARAH SPENCE!

In 2004 Sarah decided to start working out in order to lose weight. In those early years, she would occasionally walk on the treadmill because she viewed running as a “cruel form of punishment.” In 2008 Sarah took a boot camp at the Y, and from the small amount of running in that class she figured she could run at least a 5K. So in 2009, Sarah began here running career at the Tomato Arts 5K. At that point she had no idea what East Nasty even was.

On her blog  in January of  2010, Sarah listed off a couple of her New Years’ goals. One of them was to run the Country Music Half Marathon that year. The Annie Parsons read it, and left a comment on her post that said she should check out this little running group that met on Wednesday nights. The rest is history.

Since then Sarah has had some major accomplishments in running. To name a couple, the first happened this last summer when she ran a mile in under 7 minutes during the summer speed sessions. The second also happened this summer when she ran her hometown race, the Charleston Distance Run (America’s 15 miler!) Sarah told me that growing up an overweight kid, those were two things that she NEVER thought she would do. So kudos to her!

This summer Sarah also trained with a group of East Nasties to go up to Chicago and run that city’s legendary full marathon. The group trained together two to three times a week, travelled up there together and had a blast representing East Nasty all throughout the “Windy City.” Sarah completed her first marathon in 4:12:09, and ran the entire 26.2 with her bright, friendly smile leading the way. All of her running companions claim that Sarah was a big part of keeping everyone cheerful and excited about the race, both during the training and on race day.

The East Nasties Chicago Full

So there you have, a deserving East Nasty of the Week if I have ever seen one. Please go check out her blog, HERE, and leave a comment on this post.


Wednesday – July 6th – 2011

July 5, 2011

Hello East Nasty – Am I the only one who thought today was Monday all day long ? Tomorrow we are running route #6 which is called “riverside” as we run up the big hill to the left and out of shelby park all the way up to Riverside. Please review the route as we will need some NEW pacers out there tomorrow.

Trail runs on Sunday are still going strong – we will be meeting at the stone gates in front of percy warner park at 7:00 am again this Sunday. Please see Hunter Lane with any questions you may have about the trails.

Thought of the week  – STAY OUT OFF THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Last Wednesday night there were tons of people running 3 or 4 people across the road. There were also runners running out into the middle of the road in front of oncoming traffic. QUIT DISREGARDING THE RULES OF THE ROAD. We are in a situation where if people keep doing these things then East Nasty may be no more. Run on the sidewalk or pick a side of the road and stay there. Thanks so much