NRC Runner of the Month – Nancy Foust

Every April NRC helps people kick the couch and get moving with the C25K program.  Those who stick with it gain strength and endurance, but the participants aren’t the only ones to reap benefits.  NRC is blessed to add phenomenal people to our crew who may never have joined if it weren’t for C25k. 
Many of our Runners of the Month are C25k participants turned regular NRCers and mentors for others.  Their stories are as unique as they are and we’re proud to share them with you!

imageNancy Foust

Our female NRCer’s childhood was a little bit country and little bit rock ’n’ roll!  She was born and raised in Detroit, but Nancy Foust spent her summers and many weekends outside of the city in a little town called Dexter, as one of nine children living in a cottage on a lake.

After school, she married and the happy couple welcomed their first child.  True to her feisty and fearless nature, she agreed with her husband to spontaneously put their house on the market with no prospects.  It sold in one day!  It was 1974, and the three headed out on the road on a new adventure.  While it’s not quite a Nolensville broken spoke story, its close.  They settled in Nashville, because it was where they got tired of being in the car!image[2]

Nancy and her husband Gary (now deceased) were blessed with five wonderful children:  Dana, Lindsay (died in infancy), Matthew, Travis and Wesley.  She’s not just a super Mom, she has three amazing granddaughters aged 17, 16, & 15 too!

Wherever Nancy is, you’ll find laughter.  I asked her if the trait runs in the family and she admitted, it’s hereditary.  All, but Wesley, the serious one, seem to have inherited it.  “He is a real grump, that Wesley,” she jokes.  “You should ask him about his cranky pants.”image[1]

Nancy’s not just funny, she also happens to be one of the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet.  She has used this gift as an RN in Labor and Delivery at St. Thomas Midtown, formerly Baptist Hospital.  “I have been so blessed to be allowed to share with families their great joy in the birth of their child and help support those experiencing the greatest loss they will ever know,” says Nancy.  Having dedicated 28 years, she plans to retire this September.

Running is relatively new to Nancy.  When her son Matt, an NRCer, told her that they were starting a C25K program, she decided to try it.  She finished the 2013 program with the 1:1 interval group, The Oneders, but it was a challenge.  “I hated every minute of my first 5k, because I couldn’t get my breathing right,” she says.

If it wasn’t for the people, she may have given up!  Thankfully, her new friendships motivated her to keep coming out after C25k to join the NRC walkers.  When the next C25k came around, she trained in the 1:1 group again and has steadily improved ever since.  Nancy says she isn’t one of those “born to run” people, but because of the friends she’s made, she’ll keep running!  Plus, she likes to challenge herself and she acknowledges that running for her is not easy.  She draws on that part of her to power through and notes, “I refuse to let something beat me!”

nancy 2nd placeIn her short time running, she has wowed us with her accomplishments, like the first time she placed in a race at the 2014 Change for a Chance.  Since then, she’s gotten dubbed by NRCers as “The Podium Queen”, but if you ask her just finishing a race makes her proud and happy.  “Placing in a race just makes me laugh at myself in disbelief,” says Nancy.  “The good thing is that when you’re my age there aren’t many participants!”  Even more of a reason why she is so deserving!

She survived her first 15k earlier this year at the 2015 Hot Chocolate 15k and another momentous occasion for her was actually running the Race for the Cure which is near and dear to her heart, especially since her daughter is now a 19 year breast cancer survivor!  She had walked it many times, but actually running it was very special.

She recently ran her first trail run at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit Monk’s 5k in Conyers, GA with her daughter.  She laughs and says she thinks she’s now ready to run the Savage Gulf/Stone Door Trail Marathon with NRCer Yong Kim next year!  Hey, I wouldn’t put it past her.

What’s next?  Nancy is doing four of the five NRC Grand Prix races and she has signed up for the Middle Half.  She is going to train and see if that is a doable race for her.  Still, she is optimistic and has signed up for the half marathon in Savannah, GA in November to run with her daughter and son-in-law, but she assured me that she WILL NEVER do a full marathon!

Whether its mentoring C25k or befriending newbies to NRC, she has been such a huge inspiration, so I asked Nancy, wimageho inspires her?  She replied, “I am in awe of so many NRC members, from the walkers to those who love running and accomplish so much.  I love hearing about their races, looking at the pictures and the joy on their faces as they run.  Outside of NRC, my biggest inspiration comes from my son Travis and my daughter Dana.  They both battled and beat cancer.  Their courage and strength makes me so proud of them.  Their will to live is so strong.  They are my heroes!!!”

To Nancy, NRC means more than good exercise, new friends, and being accepted for who she is – it’s also being part of a group so caring and giving of themselves, their time and their money that it amazes her.  It’s because of Nancy, and members like her, that NRC continues to grow and make a difference in the lives of others.  Give her a high five or better yet, join her for a mile and a laugh to share your congrats!

Runner of the Month quick-fire question section

Hobbies: Reading and swimming
Furbabies:  Gabbi, a 2 yr old dog adopted from a shelter a few weeks ago & Ophelia, a Great Dane (pictured right)
Dream splurge:  A new car
Brand of current kicks:  Brooks
Favorite “beat-the-heat” treat:  Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream!