David and Vicki Victory
Spring brings change. In each new bloom, we see the beauty that comes when time and preparation are combined with a little tender care. Last April, the 2013 NRC Couch to 5K Program planted a seed for change in our community and for our club. Those that participated (including the mentors) were sustained by the incredible accomplishments and treasured friendships made during that experience, and not only did each participant grow stronger, but our club has grown bigger and better as a result.
As we rev up for our 2014 Couch to 5K season, we wanted to tell the story of two NRCers who got their start with the C25K Program. When NRC launched our free program to train individuals for the Change for a Chance 5K last year, this husband and wife team accepted the challenge. Beyond the finish line, they have continued to push themselves to new heights and with a last name like Victory, who would expect any less.
Our Runners of the Month, David and Vicki Victory, were both born and raised in Tennessee. Vicki grew up in Mt. Juliet and David grew up not far from our fearless leader, Scott Alexander, in Antioch, TN. Neither claims to have been a runner in their youth, but they both were actively involved in sports. Volleyball and softball were Vicki’s two main sports, and now her youngest daughter plays softball, which she has enjoyed. David played baseball and basketball, but football was his favorite hands down. His first baseball team was the Reds and he was a big Pete Rose fan, so it was natural that he grew up to be a Cincinnati Reds fan! He also enjoys cheering on the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators, and Dallas Cowboys. He attended Nashville Tech and now works for the TVA as an electrical engineer.
After high school, Vicki went to MTSU to study accounting and wound up with a job at Nissan, before securing a position with beer distributor, DET. Over her 22 years with the company, she has moved her way up the ladder to her current position of CFO. It was at DET that Vicki met David. At that time, David worked in the warehouse. In fact, they may never have crossed paths, except one day it just so happened he was in the accounting office using a computer for a work project. According to David, when Vicki walked in and saw him at the desk she said in a sultry, seductive tone, “So YOU’RE David Victory!” Vicki remembers the remark being a tad more innocent. One of the occupational hazards of her job was that she knew the names of her fellow employees, but not always their faces; and so she says that’s all she had meant. (Hmm, likely story, Vicki.)
Soon after becoming friends, the sparks began to fly and the two were married in 2001. They moved to Nolensville in 2002. With Vicki’s family in Williamson County, she wanted to find a home nearby, so Nolensville was a perfect spot. They both have wonderful daughters named Rebecca from their first marriages and together they have another beautiful daughter, Natalie.
Prior to NRC, David and Vicki had an on-again, off-again relationship with their treadmill. They would go through spurts where they would run for a while, and then life would get busy and exercise would get pushed lower on the list. Then while at a Girl Scout event, Vicki heard about the NRC C25K program from her friend and fellow NRCer, Elizabeth Schaub.
At home, Vicki talked to David about it and they decided to sign up! They more than survived their mile time trial and were placed with the 5:1 interval group. The first few nights, David remembers thinking he might not be able to do the training runs. It wasn’t always easy, but they both stuck with it and quickly started to see improvement in their endurance and stamina.
After two weeks, David moved up to the Runners group and after two more weeks, Vicki joined him! They both agree that the NRC C25K training was a good program and it encouraged a lot of people to get out and do something that they would never have done on their own.
The Victorys are very appreciative of the support they received from their NRC mentors and especially, Scott Alexander, Wendy Mucci, and Joe and Lisa Singer. In addition to the official C25K training nights, the Singers would invite runners to join them for their “recovery” runs on Sundays. The friendship that grew over those miles helped reinforce their confidence and determination and they began to see just how much they could accomplish if they set their minds to it.
I asked Lisa and Joe to share some of their memories and Lisa remarked, “I will never forget David coming up to me and telling me he and his wife had been in the 5:1 group and they were told they could move up if they felt ready. He wanted to try the runner group first, before she decided to move up. After one or two runs with them, I remember asking them, “Why were you guys hiding in that group?!” 🙂 They have been very consistent and have mentored others since C25K.” Echoing Lisa, Joe said, “One thing I knew immediately after meeting them is that they would be ‘all in’ after C25K ended. Lisa and I knew they would continue running and they have brought so much to NRC.”
Since the Couch to 5K, they have kept up their regimen and remain dedicated runners. Both David and Vicki have been training through the bitter winter, running races all along the way. Since last spring, David has run three Halfs, a 15K and 10K, along with several 5Ks. Less than a year after completing the C25K program, David ran his first marathon, with his NRC training buddies Jeff Grimsley and Craig Roberts, at the 2014 Carmel Marathon. Shooting for a 4:30, he crushed his goal finishing in 4:19:12!
Vicki has been busy herself. Since C25K, she has completed two Halfs, two 10ks, and four 5Ks. With extra motivation from NRCers Steve Kraft and Russ Kozar, Vicki was able to nail an exact 2:00:00 at the Tom King Half Marathon (which I have dared her to try to accomplish twice J). She came in excruciatingly close to her goal of crossing the finish at sub-2:00, but she still has her sights set on breaking that time this fall. Vicki’s next big race is the 2014 Country Music Half Marathon. Due to the challenging course, Vicki is not expecting a PR, but plans to have a good time and enjoy the race.
Having accomplished so much, not even 12 months after getting back into running consistently, makes me even more suspicious of what I have predicted all along, which is that The Victorys are actually super heroes! Think about it, super heroes never give up. They are courageous, stay true to their purpose, and help others all while accomplishing amazing feats and avoiding the spotlight. Like super heroes, true strength comes from their character, and David and Vicki are some of the best people you’ll ever meet.
Moreover, we all know super heroes can do it by themselves, but are more powerful in teams and always have each other’s back! To that effect, the Victorys are known to combine their super powers to compete in some local relay events. They joined up with 10 other runners on team “Couples Therapy” for the 2013 Ragnar TN Relay and will run the Relay Rutherford with NRCers, Jay Adamson, Amy Lynch, and Elizabeth Story this year. Plus, their youngest daughter has been training for the ING Kids Race, which is held at the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon event, and that has been a fun activity for the whole family. Also, they are both volunteering for roles in the 2014 NRC C25K program, (David – runner coach and Vicki – 5:1 mentor) in hopes that they can help encourage others towards their personal goals.
When David and Vicki do find time to hit the couch (in between runs, of course), Vicki admitted that she leans towards darker TV shows, movies and music. Think “Breaking Bad”, “Walking Dead” and Soundgarden. David has similar tastes, but also loves watching sports. They have the most laid back cat, named Christy, who joins them on the couch and gives new meaning to the phrase, “fat cat”! Seriously though, she instantly makes you want to curl up next to her and snuggle! Another rare factoid – their morning beverage of choice is not coffee! While they do sometimes indulge, their regular a.m. routine calls for Diet Mountain Dew (Vicki) and Coke Zero (David).
You might also be surprised to know that David and Vicki are concert junkies! They even keep a spot in their mail organizer just for concert tickets. They’ve seen shows by everyone from AC/DC to Brad Paisley to Justin Timberlake (well, that one was just Vicki). Their favorite place to see a concert is the Ryman Auditorium, whether it is for the subdued sounds of Civil Wars or the face-melting Queens of the Stone Age.
Lately though, concert lines have made way for long runs. When I asked them for a little training advice, they gave me a tip the Singers shared with them, known as the 10% rule. The idea is to avoid injury by never increasing your long run mileage more than 10% of your previous long run. Good words of wisdom!
For those reading this who may be considering signing up for the NRC C25K program this year, I impart these words from motivational life coach, Tony Robbins: “By changing nothing, nothing changes.” The Victorys are prime examples of the great things that can come from making the decision to change and “running” with it. While some of their friends and co-workers may still look at them as if they’re insane when they mention the 10-mile run they did the weekend before, David and Vicki Victory aren’t stopping now. We’re so glad that they have joined the ranks of NRC and look forward to come! Be sure to congratulate them next time you see them!