It is with great pleasure that I introduce this week’s East Nasty of the Week, Kim Baldwin! Kim is as close to a Middle Tennessee native as they come these days. Born in Okarche, OK (a suburb of Oklahoma City), Kim’s family moved to Nashville when she was 9, and then moved to Smyrna when she was in high school. Upon graduation, Kim enrolled at MTSU in Murfreesboro where according to her she “had a stereotypical early nineties college experience: sorority, off-campus living situation bordering on a brothel, fraternity parties, Quad City DJ’s, & a part-time retail job that kept me in flannels & Timberlands.” Basically, she was living out The Real World: Murfreesboro! In 2010, she received her Master of Public Policy from TSU. Kim is the Government Relations Manager for a large nonprofit where she is the point person for all policy & government in TN. She is also the head writer/organizer for ENOW profiles.
Kim started running in 2007. But it wasn’t until 2010 when she started to get serious about running when some friends invited her to join a weekly 3 mile run, known as the Pancake Run. Kim ran around her neighborhood by herself for months to make sure she could run the 3 miles covered on the pancake route. When she finally made it to the Pancake Run she has never had to run alone again. After a few months of running with the Pancake Girls, she signed up for Fleet Feet speed sessions in the summer of 2010 (Hardcore Kim, hardcore, Speed Sessions are no joke!). In September 2010 she ventured to East Nasty with her friend Jessica who had trained with East Nasty for the Country Music Half Marathon and raved about the group. And Kim has hardly missed a Wednesday night since!
Kim’s biggest running accomplishment thus far has been finishing a half marathon. The Tom King Half Marathon in 2012 was her first and this year she has already done two- The New Orleans Half and the Oak Barrel Half! The NOLA half was one of her favorite East Nasty experiences and she also enjoyed coaching the P2T group last year and seeing them finish their first 5k.
Kim has even started to dabble in the world of triathlons. She did the Girls Tri It On last year with Heidi Wilson, Alicia Palladino, and Allison Miles.
And just the past weekend, she completed the Cedars of Lebanon triathlon, again with Heidi, Alicia, and also Lana Olson.
When asked what she enjoys most about East Nasty Kim said, “East Nasty has changed my life. I’ve gone from being an insecure girl who ran/walked in secret around her neighborhood to the girl who PR-ed at a race so hard the hill has its own Facebook page (Oak Barrel). The best part about East Nasty is the camaraderie. I’ve met some of my closest friends in this group. I’m part of a mini EN training group & we’re basically family at this point. As a group, we’ve run through pregnancy, job loss, illness & loss of a parent. Running is our therapy.” Preach Kim, PREACH.
One of her best friends, Mary Katherine has this to say about Kim “She is one of my best friends and one of the funniest people I know. Our birthdays are a day apart and we’ve started referring to ourselves as “Team Taurus”. Whether it’s running, cycling, swimming or just hanging out… I couldn’t ask for a better teammate or friend.” And I’d like to add that we couldn’t have selected a better gal for this week’s East Nasty of the week! Congrats Kim and Happy Birthday!
You can read Kim’s hilarious musings at The Blonde Mule where she covers topics from race re-caps, to copycat Prince’s Hot Chicken recipes, to Dan Auerbauch sightings, and so much more!