I met our newest East Nasty of the Week (ENOW) at a little thing I like to call Hell Class. I've spent about 100 hours running laps and doing burpees with this person and I'm honored to write her ENOW blog post. Nasties, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Colleen Lynch!
Colleen was born in Cleveland, OH and grew up in Valrico, FL. She didn't play sports, but she did play trombone in the marching band. She describes high school Colleen as "an awkward nerd".
Colleen went to the University of Central Florida for her bachelors in Psychology and the University of Pittsburgh for her masters in Social Work. Not athletic AT ALL, she had fun with her 'nerd' friends playing contact art, pirate and sea creature themed parties, dying her hair every shade of the rainbow (when it wasn’t shaved) and had high ambitions to save the world with rallies and protests.
Colleen moved to Nashville sight unseen in 2007 because she was up for a change and she knew someone who needed a roommate. She now works as a social worker at a local high school, so give her a hug the next time you see her.
Colleen started running in 2011. She ran into Roy Agee after he had been to the first East Nasty half marathon run of the season. She told him she was not a runner and had no interest in running. He asked her to give it a try. The final push was when he told her about the post-run brunch. She went out and ran with him the next week and felt so excited about running 4 miles at a 15 minute pace. She realized that East Nasty was not just for super fasties, that there was a place for people of a spectrum of speeds and abilities in the group. She was hooked from there.
Colleen's biggest accomplishment in running is coaching the Couch To 5K program in the summer. She says, "I feel so impressed by the work the runners put into it to achieve their goals. I enjoy motivating someone else to run and reminding them that they can do it, especially when running a hill!"
When it comes to East Nasty, Colleen enjoys the camaraderie with other runners, the fact that it is a warm inviting group, and all the amazing friends she has made though the group. She also really likes how much the group gives back to the community with shoe drives for the local schools, dog food drives for EastCan, and all the free training programs that she knows Mark and so many others work so hard to provide.
Here is what Colleen's friend and running partner (and fellow ENOW), Kim Stokes-Lanier has to say, "Colleen is one of the nicest, sweetest, and most generous people on the planet. She'll be the first to admit that she has a soft heart & has a hard time turning anyone down, but she's also one of the bravest people I know in her work (visiting clients in Cayce at one time) and life (serious world traveler!). And she's an absolute beast when it comes to working out. She does marathon mileage (but won't run a marathon...yet!) and totally kicks butt in boot camp. Not even a Tough Mudder scares her! Oh yeah, she can seriously bake & grow things, too. A seriously multi-talented lady! Colleen is a great person to know, and I'm proud to call her my friend."
Colleen's most memorable East Nasty experience is meeting her husband, Brad Mitchell, for the first time at one of the Wednesday night runs. She likes to say that he wouldn’t marry her until she got her half under 2 hours, which she accomplished last fall. Brad, however, does not remember it that way. Here's what Brad has to say:
"I met Colleen at an East Nasty run a couple of years ago and we obviously hit it off well. Colleen shares my love for running and crazy adventures, like traveling to Doha, Qatar to see friends last spring. She encourages everyone she meets to be active and has recruited many people to join the Potato 2 Tomato 5k program and East Nasty runs on Wednesday night."
When Colleen's not running, or getting secretly married, she enjoys knitting, cooking, gardening, reading, square dancing, hiking, traveling, and soon to be beekeeping.
Colleen, I think you're awesome & I'm so glad you're our East Nasty of the Week. Congrats and welcome to the ENOW club!