NRC Runners Of The Month – Terry Bickel and Daryl Middleton

Interview with Terry Bickel by Wendy Mucci.

The saying is that good things come in small packages.  If you’ve met Terry Bickel you know the saying is right.  The pint-sized powerhouse is a woman of many talents.  After running with Terry a  year, I was amazed at how many new skills and talents I didn’t even know about.

I knew Terry has the talent of being able to get a smile out of just about anyone and making new folks feel instantly at ease.  I knew she was a goal setter and a planner/organizer.  I had heard rumors that she might be able to kick most of our butts.  What I didn’t know was that she is a fourth degree black-belt and a dancer.

Teresa Jane Bickel (don’t call her that—remember she is a fourth degree blackbelt) grew up in Lenoir City, Tn.  where she went  to high school with dreams of being an accountant.  While at college she took a turn to the creative side and ended up as a performing arts dance student.  “When I went to college I wanted to take karate classes so I could take care of myself, but ended up in dance because my roommate wanted to take dance classes,” Terry said.  Before she graduated she finally took the karate classes she wanted to take.  The instructor offered her “a free month and we will see if you can handle it.”  Terry took that challenge head on.  “I said I will die before  I don’t earn a blackbelt.”  Four years later, she earned that belt.

While in karate Terry would run to stay in shape, but only out of necessity.  Her friend, Wendy Shotwell, asked her to run the Music City Half Marathon.  “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,”  Bickel replied.  “Who would want to run for four hours on a Saturday?”  Thinking that she could at least do the 10 week training with her friend, she would go on to run the half marathon.  And you know how this story goes, because if you are reading this story you are a runner and you know running sucks you in.  Which meant that the Music City Half in 2008 would be the first of many races Terry would run.

Running is only part of what keeps Terry busy.  She is mother to Dalton, a freshman at Ravenwood, and wife to Brian, who keeps her on her toes.  Brian was a bandmate friend of Terry’s and they met at a  Brother Kane concert.  “We met that night and we’ve spoken to each other every single day since then,” said Brian.  “We both like KISS, Star Trek and darts.”  Terry chimed in, “the original Star Trek, not that crap that came after.”

As a family Terry and Brian enjoy hiking and camping. Terry and Briand spend lots of time watching Dalton play soccer and basketball.  Brian continues to play guitar in a band  that performs in the area and Terry can often be found listening to him play.  Terry also loves to water ski, horseback ride, play Frisbee golf and spend time with friends.

Terry’s relationship with NRC began towards the beginning of NRC.  “I started when Scott started the Saturday thing, “ she said.  “At first I didn’t come out Wednesdays because I was a good person and went to church.”  Her favorite thing about NRC is “the support and having people to run with.”  She, like all of us, also appreciates Scott Alexander.  “You can always count on Scott to help you achieve your goals.”

Terry knows.  With the support of NRC she has ran several races.  Her favorites are the Purity Dairy Run and the half marathon she ran in Pensacola.  “I liked Purity because I exceeded my goal and Iiked Pensacola because it was new and a challenge for me as well as a PR.  Soon you will find her running the Zoo Run, the Purity Run and the Carmel Half.

She is fun, energetic, encouraging, friendly and will always make you feel at home.  If you haven’t had the chance to run with her on a Saturday or a Wednesday, seek her out.  I’m warning you though—don’t even try to wimp out by cutting the cul de sac by the fields, she will make you run the whole circle and somehow, you’ll be smiling the whole time.

NRC’s Male Runner of the Month is Daryl Middleton.  Daryl can be seen running with NRC on most Wednesdays and Saturdays with other “speedy” NRCers.  Although Daryl is never one to talk about his running accomplishments, he is part of an elite group of runners who can say that they ran the Boston Marathon.  NRC is lucky to have Daryl as part of the club and we are glad that we get to let others know more about one of the nicest guys in Nolensville.

Most people who see Daryl take off with the fast group every week would think that he had running for most of his life.  Actually, Daryl started running eight years ago.  One of his co-workers was training for the Tulsa Run (a 15k) and would always talk about his long runs during lunch.  Although Daryl had never been a runner, he thought that he could be good at distance running.  And with all of the kids in college, he decided to give it a shot.  The rest, as they say, is history!!

Daryl and his wife Catherine arrived in Nashville after the plant that Daryl was working for in Tulsa shut down.  After a position in Nashville was offered and accepted, the next step was to find the best place to live.  What was one of the most important criteria for the Middletons?  To find an area that offered some running clubs!!  A true NRCer!!

So how did Daryl find out about NRC?  From the website as well as from our favorite running store, Fleet Feet.  On a personal note, I can remember the first time that I met Daryl.  He showed up on a Saturday morning in his maroon Mazda Miata.  One of the first things that I noticed about him was a jacket that he was wearing.  It was a Boston Marathon jacket and boy was I jealous….and impressed.   Daryl let us know during our first run together that it took him six marathons before he eventually qualified for Boston.  In fact, the day he qualified was also the same day that his first grandchild, Cooper, was born.  A memorable day to say the least!!

I asked Daryl about his top three memorable races.  Obviously, Boston was at the top of the list.  The next two were the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Spirit of Survival Relay.  Will a race in 2013 make its way into this list?  Who knows.  What we do know is that Daryl plans on running the Key West Half, Little Rock Half, the Carmel Marathon and the Rutherford Relay this year.  He also mentioned that a 50k is not out of the question one day.  A pretty full schedule but there will be other races in the fall as well.  All of this means that Daryl will definitely be training with NRC quite often on Wednesdays and Saturdays in 2013!!

In closing, I asked Daryl to give me a piece of advice that he would give some of NRC’s new runners.  His advice was the same advice that has been given to me several times by experienced runners.  Daryl said to make each run of the week different.   In other words, change up between speed work, tempo runs,  long runs, trail runs, and easy runs.  This will make running more beneficial and exciting!!

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