This week, I'd like to welcome and introduce you to our newest guest blogger and runner: Kate Baron! Check out her first introductory post below and let's get to know her a little bit better. Hello! I'm Kate Baron. I was raised, and am still living in Guilford, CT - with many adventures along the way. I'm married to my best friend and a mom to four, working full-time at the local hospital and am also involved in the local folk music scene here. I'm a tag sale junkie, though i’ve learned to keep it simple and started being much more selective in my collecting! A lover of many things, including, coffee, hand-made pottery, locally grown produce (from my own garden is even better!), quinoa, thrift stores, quality shoes that last a lifetime, telling stories, Thai food, one of a kind jewelry, tea with honey and a splash of milk, snuggling my children, teaching, laughing hard, and embracing life for all that it has to offer. In fact, I’ve made it a mission of mine to access local opportunity and share it. So, I started with me! In April, 2011, I started the couch to 5k on my iPhone; just me and my app (and hal higdon whispering in my ear), I was determined to turn my body into a runner. 30 seconds running…90 seconds walking…30…90… I hadn't even completed a full 3.1 miles by the time my first 5k came around. Alas, by August 4th, 2011, I ran my first 5k (in New Hampshire, so no one I knew could see me!) and was instantly hooked. I finished that 5k with no walking at all and started my journey onward toward “owning my running”. Over the past year (yes…only a year!) I've raced in more than 10 5k’s, several 10k’s, four half marathons, and am now training for my first full marathon. I run alone, early in the morning, before work, and while my kids are still sleeping. It helps with my sanity, my body, and gives me great confidence in my day when i’m done. It's also a good example to my children and others looking on. I’ve also learned some of the “ins and outs” of the running community, as well as lots of running tricks (usually by default experience) like shoes, injuries, hydration, training plans, bathrooms…or lack there of. These are all stories I long to share with fellow runners who can either learn from them, or relate. So, I'm gearing up my new blog posts here as a way to showcase my day to day journey of my running and the life it helps me create. Use it for encouragement, as we can all achieve our goals and have a great time while doing it. Through posts you will also learn the details of my past and present health/wellness journey. There are usually faces of awe when folks hear how long my trek has been. I take my running pretty seriously these days, but only in the most self deprecating of ways. I 'm honest, frank, and would love my experiences to be able to help others get excited about health, feel good about themselves, and whole-heartedly grasp the fact that we are all in this together Our greatest strength comes from the support of our community around us. Welcome to my stories.