Another year is here. It’s hard to believe that almost 4 years ago NRC was just a few friends meeting to run, and now we fill Town Hall and greet even more new faces every week! So, in an effort to help us all put a sweaty face with an out-of-breath name, the NRC Member of the Month will press on with our brief bios in 2014. We’re on a mission to catch up to all of you who make it out each week, so be forewarned… and in the meantime, enjoy the read.
When our female NRCer of the Month decided to get back into running last spring, she had no idea she would be taking the fast track. Her forays into the running world had been limited to a few frustratingly bad experiences; but, with a renewed interest spurred by her family ties to NRC, Allison Teague has gone from walking to running to some impressive PRs. I’d say she has definitely found her stride.
A few years ago, if you had asked Allison to go for a run she would have told you, “I am not a runner,” or “Running is punishment, not a sport.” You see, Allison ran track her freshman year of high school and hated it. She still recalls the frustration from competing in the 1 or 2 mile races and coming in next to last every time. After that, the closest she got to running was the hiking she did while attending college at UT Knoxville.
Fortunately, there was no escape for Allison. Sister to Kelli Alexander, wife of NRC originator, Scott Alexander, she knew about the running club since its inception. In fact, she used to cheer for Scott and Kelli at their races. One time they convinced her to do the Cadillac Firecracker 5k with the whole family. She started off running with her husband (and high-school sweetheart), Michael, and Kelli, but quickly fell behind. (If you have run the hills of Maryland Farms, you know that is a tough one.) She got through it, but did not enjoy it at all.
Years passed until the summer of 2012 when Allison joined the NRC walkers to be with Michael who started running with the club. Sharing her expertise as a CPA, she also took on the position as NRC Treasurer. She admits that there were times working with the board to plan NRC events when she’d feel left out since she wasn’t training and racing like everyone else. Then the board began developing a C25k program and that’s when she really got excited. While the other board members were focused on being mentors, she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to have a weekly routine to help move her from a walker to a runner.
Once she committed to train with C25k, there was no going back! The culmination of her efforts was seen at the 2013 Change for a Chance 5k, her favorite race so far. Not only was it a major accomplishment for the returning runner, but it was the only race where she pushed her son, Asher, in the stroller. (If you have seen the adorable two-year old with the gorgeous caramel curls, that’s him.) What made the race even more special was that the entire family RAN (not just walked) in the race. Plus, Michael, her dad (Ron Beatty), and Mayor Jimmy Alexander, all placed for the first time and Scott also placed! Thinking back on that day, she said, “There are no words to describe how awesome it was to be out there with all of our C25k-ers and mentors achieving our goals!”
Since then, she has advanced quickly in mileage and pace, and has completed many races of all lengths. When asked about her favorite running memories, she said she’ll never forget the late night training run for the Middle Half she did with Kelli and Jeff Mucci, and how hardcore she felt running 8 miles (her longest run to date) at an hour when most people would be sound asleep! Also, PRing at the Middle Half with Kelli and how even though she felt awful for that last mile, she was determined to push through to the finish. She told me with the enthusiasm of a true runner, “I ended up throwing up 4 times after that race, but we made it!” She also counts the whole experience of 2013 Ragnar Relay TN among her faves including her big “chicking” moment on one of her relay legs (captured on video by Scott)!
The fact that she has made these strides while keeping up with her little one and excelling at a demanding career, says a lot about her. A key element of both her and Michael’s success has been their regular discussions about planning runs. “We try to be very supportive of each other’s training needs, but Asher has to come first and so we both have to make sacrifices.” Those of you who have had the added resistance of running with a stroller and have endured the misery of a mile or more back to Town Hall with a fussy child, can vouch for the importance of finding times to run without the wheels. Which is why Allison says she is lucky to have family and other NRCers willing to help out and take turns running with them.
Pre-NRC, her energy not spent at work was devoted to quality time with family. Things haven’t changed much since joining. Luckily, most of the family has gotten the running “bug”, so they still spend time together, just now they do it logging miles! Of course, Allison loves being with Michael and her little man and when they’re not at NRC, one of their favorite things is going to the zoo!
A few non-running related things you might not know about Allison:
- The most played song on her iPod is currently OAR’s cover of “Fool in the Rain”.
- If she won $1,000,000 tomorrow her first purchase would be a new car (from fellow NRCer of the Month, Ken Moore, of course.) She’s had her Mustang since she was 16!
- According to many NRCers she and I are look-alikes… and I guess it’s true since my 1-year old son even mistook her for me at the NRC Christmas Eve Breakfast and wouldn’t let anyone else hold him! (Let’s just say, I consider this the highest compliment because Allison is a total knock-out!)
- If she could choose one actress to star in the movie of her life it would be Gwyneth Paltrow.
- And, what keeps her coming back to NRC is…the people! (and the PRs – they’re addicting!)
Congratulations, Allison! We’re so proud of all you have accomplished and can’t wait to cheer you on towards your goals in 2014!