NRC Runners of the Month – Kali Mogul and Lisa Thompson

This month we spotlight two NRCers who have strong connections to Nolensville in their own unique ways.  Lisa Thompson, a native Nolensvillian with family ties to the town founder, and Kali Mogul, a Florida transplant helping to plan for the town’s future, met through the NRC C25K program. Together, they have swiftly attained some amazing goals!

Kali Mogul

Kali is cool, calm and steadily collecting memorable running experiences as a member of NRC. An occasional runner prior to joining, Kali is now training for her first full marathon along with her fellow NRCer of the Month, Lisa Thompson. Kind-hearted and down-to-earth, Kali attributes much of her success to her NRC friends for providing the accountability and the inspiration to do more than she would have ever dreamed possible.

Kali enjoyed an idyllic childhood just outside Ft. Lauderdale in picturesque Plantation, Florida where, I kid you not; their tagline is “the grass is greener”! Growing up in a musical family, she considered herself lucky to go to the same high school where her dad taught music and was choir director. In fact, some of her favorite memories are from the four years she was in choir with her Dad and the two years her older sister was in choir with them. She was in Jazz Choir too. That’s right. Not so long ago, before the NRC high five line, Kali rocked some serious jazz hands and to this day, if she’s listening to the radio and hears Old Time Rock n Roll, Careless Whisper, or the Theme Song from “Fame” it all comes rushing back!

In pursuit of her academic goals, Kali moved to Orlando to attend the Univ. of Central Florida (Go Knights!). Her senior year, she had a chance introduction to her roommate’s childhood friend, Marc, from Long Island. Marc was actually in graduate school in Boston at the time, but he and Kali were so smitten that they stayed in touch and sustained a long distance relationship involving a lot of traveling up and down the east coast. Being apart wasn’t easy and the snowy weather made for some unpredictable flight schedules, but it wasn’t all bad. 

Kali got to see scenic Cape Cod and Nantucket, and go to a Red Sox game while visiting Massachusetts.  Kali and Marc beat the long distance odds and will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in July! Before moving to Nolensville, the happy couple lived outside Savannah, GA for four years. They’ve been here since 2007, after following Kali’s parents to middle TN. They have one son, Tanner, who is in middle school at Franklin Road Academy. He is super smart and while he doesn’t like running, he has let Kali talk him onto the soccer field. As a family, they carry on the traveling tradition, enjoying Disney Cruises, the Grand Canyon, and other cool locales.

As far as work goes, Kali said, “Everything about my job is cool to me. I work for the Town of Nolensville Board of Mayor and Aldermen and in the Planning Department. I even get to work with Mayor Jimmy, one of my running partners!”

When she’s not running or working, she admits she’s usually eating. Top local spots for their family are Amico’s and the Cheesecake Factory where they always save room for the Oreo Dream Extreme Supreme.

Kali has been running off and on since college, but not consistently. Compare that to her accomplishments in 2016 – 5 half marathons all without injuring herself – and you might wonder what happened. Was it the NRC Kool-Aid, the incredible encouragement of her close-knit running crew, or her own love of adventure? Probably all of the above!

It all started when she first heard about NRC from Mayor Alexander by working on Town Hall! “He is certainly my inspiration for running and proof that fitness is the key to longevity,” Kali said with a smile.

At the time she got involved with NRC’s 5k training group, she had a simple running goal – getting through the Change for a Chance 5k.

“When I found out none of the 5:1 leaders or mentors were running the race, I was horrified,” she laughed. “Thankfully, Jay Adamson agreed to run with me, because he had to shove me across the finish line!”

She has lots of running friends now, but there are a few NRCers who really influenced her. One is Liz Staudt (now an NRCer on location in N.C.) who ran with Kali on her very first Wednesday night after C25k and who has given her countless insider tips. Two others who are almost always at her side and who have inspired and motivated her to be her best are Mayor Jimmy and Lisa Thompson.

“We’ve have had so much fun together for the past few years,” said Kali. “I have no idea how many miles we’ve run together, but they’ve all been memorable, and we have managed to solve most of the world’s major problems on our long runs.”

This February, Kali and Lisa will be running their first marathon at the Mercedes Benz Marathon in Birmingham. It took a little convincing for Kali to talk Lisa into it at first, but Lisa (a skilled negotiator) ended up seeing Kali’s marathon and raising her a “Warrior Dash” which they will complete together in April!

“We will finish the marathon if we have to crawl,” exclaimed Kali. “But, the Warrior Dash. That one scares me more than marathon training.”

Looking back, her favorite race is the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg for the scenery and the great running weather. Of course, the Rollin Nolen 10 Miler, a race at which she obtained a PR this year, holds a special place all its own.

What has gotten Kali through the challenges of marathon training? Knowing Lisa is going to be there and that accountability makes her get out of bed and run.

“Lisa is very encouraging,” explains Kali. “We are different in a lot of ways. For example, Lisa’s children are older, but because of her unique parenting experiences she gives really good advice. We always have great conversations.”

Another thing that gets Kali through her long runs on Saturday is looking forward to watching classic 1970’s episodes of Wonder Woman on MeTV! She admits she’s kind of fanatical about the Justice League heroine. She even has a Wonder Woman costume. So, when the alarm goes off at 4am on Saturday, the mere knowing that at 6:30pm she’ll be in her PJs on the couch to catch a Lynda Carter episode helps her get up and power through.

A wonder in her own right, we are so glad that Kali is a part of NRC! We appreciate her work for the Town of Nolensville and look forward to cheering her on in many more races to come!

Speed Round – Kali Mogul

1 thing I wish was never invented: Pink wine

1 thing I wish I had invented: White Wine

Hobbies: Travel, reading, watching This is Us and HGTV

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Lisa Thompson

At first glance, Lisa appears to be the epitome of a Southern woman – sophisticated, self-assured, and well mannered, complete with lipstick on her long runs and a soothing Tennessee lilt to her words that would tame even the most unruly of scoundrels. But, don’t let that fool you into to thinking she’s a lightweight runner. Lisa is a risk taking, road racing, goal-chasing gal and with her friends supporting her all the way, she is definitely not afraid to get a little dirt under her nails.

Lisa is a true Nolensvillian to the core. In fact, her family heritage goes all the way back 250 years. Branches of her family tree include both Sherwood Green and William Nolen himself, the man who founded the town in 1797. For those not familiar with the tale, the Nolen family came to the area with Sherwood Green and the Colonel William Christmas family. Nolen’s wagon broke a spoke and they decided to stay. Lisa lives right next door to her mother and NRC walker, Janice Green, who is a 6th generation descendent of Sherwood Green, and they have a rich history in this area.

Of course, the town map looked a lot different when Lisa was growing up. She attended school at the old school that is now the Williamson County Rec. Center, but there were no restaurants, stores or subdivisions. Lisa fondly remembers those years when even though it was mostly farmland, everyone knew everyone.

After high school, Lisa graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her work with Castner Knott department store led her to Alabama for a few years; however, she knew that Nolensville was where she wanted her kids to grow up.

For 15 years, Lisa and her husband Dr. John Thompson have served the community as owners of Nolensville Family Medicine. She enjoyed working alongside her husband helping keep the town of Nolensville in good health, but seizing an opportunity that will benefit both the town and their clinic, they have turned over the management to Vanderbilt Health. Now Lisa is embarking on a new adventure, retirement!

While Lisa is a seasoned runner now, she actually got her start through the very first NRC Couch to 5K. She had learned about NRC from her friend and Nolensville Mayor, Jimmy Alexander. Her only goal at that time was to complete the 5K… and to beat the Mayor!

From there she tackled the half marathon distance. She has several “halfs” under her belt, including the Carmel Championship Half Marathon, Murfreesboro Middle Half and the Disney Half Marathon!

“My favorite race is always the Oak Barrel Half,” says Lisa. “I love the atmosphere and the challenge of it.”

Most of those finish lines Lisa crossed with her close friend and training partner, Kali Mogul. They met through the NRC C25K program. A year after Lisa participated as a runner, she went back and helped with the 4:1 interval group, which was Kali’s group. They quickly found their running styles were really similar and more than that, running was more fun together!

Lisa and Kali are pretty inseparable when it comes to logging miles. For example, this summer Lisa’s goal was to increase her overall speed. Naturally, this became Kali’s goal, too.

Kali confessed, “I would have never just decided to do speed training without Lisa’s prompting. Her friendship and support is a big reason I keep running.”

Likewise, when Kali talked Lisa into doing a marathon (something she said she would never do) Lisa agreed but insisted they use a 33-week plan she crafted from combining Hal Higdon’s Full and Half Training Plans together! That may seem like overkill to some, but for them, it’s working great!

Their running trifecta is completed by her long-time friend, Jimmy Alexander. According to Lisa, running with Jimmy is never dull – from trying to keep him from running down the middle of the street (well, he is the Mayor) to chasing him for motivation.

Lisa’s current running goals are to run a 5K under 30 minutes and to run a half marathon under 2:30.  “I know, I know. I’m slow as a turtle,” jokes Lisa!

With her determination though, it’s likely she’ll be checking those off her list soon and laughing all the way. As they say, it’s not about the time it takes to get to the destination; it’s about the journey.

Lisa and Kali are fully immersed in the high-mileage phase of full marathon training. Crossing the finish line in February at the Mercedes Benz Marathon will be the first time for both of them to trek 26.2 miles! It’s been fun seeing their smiles with each milestone, longest-run-ever Facebook post they share and we’re psyched to cheer them on for the big event.

Lisa especially loves it when she gets the chance to get in some miles with her family! She has had the chance to “travel” with her mother, Janice Green, who walks with NRC from time to time and her sister, Kathy McGee, also an NRCer; plus, her son, Matt, and his wife, Becca, who run races with her when they can, and her daughter, Emily, who doesn’t run often but has been persuaded to run a couple of 5K’s.

Something many people may not know about Lisa is that she also loves to ride motorcycles with her husband, especially in the Fall. So, next time you’re in Leipers Fork and you see a purple motorcycle, you may have just seen Lisa blazing down the roads!

From the 1st inaugural NRC C25K to marathon training, Runner of the Month Lisa Thompson has become such a strong part of NRC’s family! Her positivity and no fear attitude have taken her on lots of adventures so far and it’s no doubt that we have yet to see what she can accomplish!

Speed Round – Lisa Thompson

1 thing I wish I had invented: Bluetooth running sunglasses that tell your pace & mileage 

Hobbies: None. I guess I need to get one now that I’m retired!

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