*RECAP* Buzzard’s Bay Sprint Triathlon

FLAT and FAST run course.

Oh hellz yeah – sign me up.

That may or may not have been a tipping factor in squeezing in just one more sprint triathlon in my 2014 race calendar. ;)

photo 5 (75)

The Max Performance Triathlon Buzzard’s Bay Sprint Triathlon on September 14 was a late add to the race calendar and I am glad I did.

I was supposed to have my first Max Performance Triathlon race experience in August at The Sharon Sprint Triathlon, but had to back out due to injury. Boo!

Race director Tim then offered me a complimentary spot at Buzzard’s Bay Tri and I jumped at the chance.

(Note: While I did receive free entry in to the race, all thoughts are my own. Ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)

With the race occurring one week following my first half ironman (Pumpkinman), I was nervous about signing up for the Sprint Tri (since I wasn’t sure I would survive the half), but decided to bite the bullet anyway.

The wife and I were able to sleep in until 5am since the race started at 9am. ;) Woo extra hour of sleep compared to the prior Sunday. :P

We loaded up the car and were on the road by 6 since the directions said it would take about 75 minutes to drive to the race.

Since it was 6am on a Sunday, we missed any sort of traffic and had an easy trip towards the Cape. :)


The beach was windy when we arrived. Sunny, but windy. All I could think about was the upcoming battle: the wind vs. me on my bike. I was sending out “tailwind” vibes … hint: it didn’t work. ;)

After checking out the beach, we headed to packet pick-up.


Since I am usually a slacker when it comes to checking out a race course in advance (I know! I know! Must change that), I took the time to check out the swim, bike and run courses on the large board inside the packet pick-up tent. Nothing as nerve-wracking as the previous week so I was happy about that.

The Buzzard’s Bay Sprint Tri consisted of a 1/3 mile ocean swim, 14-mile bike and 5k run.

Once we got my packet (Go Bib #81), it was time to make our way over to transition. As we walked, I quipped to the wife how shocked I was that this was my 3rd triathlon of the year and 5th overall. I never thought I would do one let alone more than one. Pretty proud moment for me.


Until I was in transition listening to the athletes around me rattle off their Ironman totals and their times at the previous week’s Pumpkinman Half Ironman. Oy! I didn’t belong there. I wanted to run away and just drive home. But I quickly gave myself a mental slap to the face. Time and pace didn’t matter. I belonged there because I wanted to be there.

With transition ready and plenty of time before the 9am kickoff, the wife and I headed back to the beach. I also wanted to get into the water and feel it out. I hadn’t done an ocean swim in ages.

photo 4 (95)

But first we take a selfie.

As we walked towards the water, we saw all of these rocks aka ouch on the poor feetsies.

photo 4 (98)

I knew it would be a painful walk in and out of the swim course. I had a little chat with my feet and told them to DIG DEEP and not feel the pain. Umm not sure if my feet heard me or not, but I was going with it.

Right before the race meeting I put my pair of Oofos sandals down by the swim finish as there was a 1/4 mile run from there to the transition area (again found out about that morning of). Had I known earlier I would’ve brought a second pair of sneakers.

Note to self: always bring two pairs of sneakers to a tri. Just. In. Case.

The Max Performance group did a great job organizing the swimming waves. Volunteers each held up a cap color on a sign and we group together in a big 2-by-2 line. It really made it organized at the Start. The first group went off at 9 and my wave would be following at 9:04am.

We walked into the starting area 2-by-2 so the timing company could keep count of the number of athletes that entered the water.

photo 5 (74)

The race started with us in the water edge up to our ankles. The countdown commenced and we were off.


Swim – 1/3 mile

The director, Tim, had changed the swim course (reversed it) so that we were swimming with the current (thanks Tim!). It was GREAT being back in the water. Swimming is one of my favorite parts so I was sad that it was only 1/3 mile. ;)

We made two right turns while out in the water. I made sure to hug towards the buoys, which kept me out of the way of many of the other swimmers.

I learned during Pumpkinman that I need to keep the top of my wetsuit un-velcroed. So instead of dealing with wetsuit/breathing issues this race, I got into my groove faster and felt stronger.

I took the second and final right, sighted the shore and gave it everything I had as there was another yellow capped swimmer right on my tail. Hello competitive side.

photo 5 (72)

Once I could touch the bottom with my fingers, I stood up and started running towards the timing mat. The timing mat was up on the beach a ways, which meant running over some of the rocks. Thankfully there was some mesh covering a little of the path, but overall it still slowed me down coming out of the water.

There was a small kiddie pool where the beach met the asphalt so I made sure to wash my feet off before slipping on my sandals.


Why can’t wetsuits be a little more flattering?


Thanks to the wife for catching this beauty.

Total Time: 10:16
Pace: 1:45/100 yds
Overall Place: 62/294
Division: 3/21


Mini Run

I would call this more of a shuffle than a run. I did my best to just keep jogging forward, while not slipping in my sandals. I am so thankful I had them with me otherwise the 1/4 stretch would’ve been MUCH more painful.

I did my best to wiggle my wetsuit down and remove swim cap/goggles while on the move. Hello multi-tasking.

Total Time: 3:05.5
Overall Place: 138/425
Division: 7/27


Transition 1

I had a little problem getting my wetsuit off and wasn’t sure if it was nerves or just my brain moving two steps ahead of my body. Either way I took a breath and worked on completing one step at a time.

Wetsuit off. Feet dried. Socks/bike shoes on. Shirt changed. Bike helmet on. Race belt attached. Portion of KIND Bar eaten.

I was sad to realize I left my Sparkle Athletic skirt at home. I felt naked without it.

Total Time: 2:09.6


Bike – 14 miles

Well bike we meet again.


I knew I wouldn’t have sparkle skirt compliments on this race to entertain me while people passed me. Instead I focused on thanking every single volunteer I would encounter the rest of the race.

It was a great way to pass the time and put a smile on someone else’s face.

I wish I was the type of person to post PROOF photos in a recap because my official race photos from the bike are hilarious. I am smiling like I have loved biking my entire life. Haha. Okay it entertains me more than anyone else.

The bike course was really beautiful. It was another instance where I wished triathlons allowed you to have your phone on you because I wanted to snap pics left and right. It was a picturesque New England day/scene and I wanted to capture it to share with all of you. Oh well. Luckily I still have them locked in my memory.

I can certainly tell you 14 miles on the bike passes quicker than 56. :P The final couple miles were directly into the wind. I felt like I was biking in place. I was wondering if I would actually make it back to transition. It wasn’t something I had really practiced.

I just kept trying to keep the legs moving as best I could.

Seeing runners coming towards me gave me hope that I would make it back to transition.

And I did.

photo 4 (96)

Hello dismount.

I really tried to focus on shifting during the ride. I am still learning when to use low gear, what to do while climbing, etc. At least I can take every ride as a learning experience. Like don’t forget your fuel in transition. I was supposed to take the rest of the KIND bar on the bike with me, but left it on my towel.

Total Time: 45:51
Pace: 18.3 mph
Overall Place: 164/294
Division: 6/21


Transition 2

photo 5 (73)

Since I needed more fuel, I took another piece of the KIND bar and a swig of water before heading out on the run.

Having everything already on from the ride meant I simply had to switch out bike shoes for running shoes.


Total Time: 1:30.6


Run – 3.1 miles

Hello my love. My legs were feeling a little shaky coming out of transition. I had done a 5-mile trail run the prior day and tweaked my right hamstring so this race I would be battling two sore hamstrings. Umm yay!

But I knew I could push through for a 5k … especially a flat one!

The wind I experienced on the bike was still there on the run. Thanks for sticking around wind.

I wasn’t sure what my legs would have in them, but decided to give it all I had since I would have some rest days coming up. :)

The course was beautiful as you weaved around the quant beach town by the water. There weren’t too many spectators around so all I could focus on was my breathing and the breathing of the folks around me.

I am still getting used to the multi sport feature on my watch so I spent some time trying to figure out what my pace was. At least I like math. (multi sport – something I need to work on in BRICK workouts in the future)

But we passed Mile 1 and I saw a sub 8-min/mile pace and was ecstatic. There are some days I can in tune with my body and can feel my pace and other days where I can’t. This was the latter. So I trusted the Garmin and pushed on.

I briefly slowed at the halfway point to take in some Gatorade. The run on the asphalt along the beach offered no shade and the sun was out in full force. Just after the water stop you headed out on an out-and-back portion of the run, which allowed for some smiles and head nods to other runners.

I also like seeing what triathlon teams people are part of because it is all new to me. I wished I had more friends on the course as I witnessed the guy in front of my high-fiving and cheering on all of these folks he knew.

We did the turn around on the out-and-back portion and I may have told the volunteers, who were both glued to their cell phones, to liven up for the runners. I know I needed some extra encouragement. I made sure to say it as nicely as possible. :)

Home stretch time. A time again when I wish I had my phone out so I could selfie or chat with you all.

But I pushed on to the final mile. It was a straight shot to the Finish Line. We passed through a wind tunnel with mobile homes on either side. Folks were sitting out and cheering for us. I loved that.

I decided it was time to start focusing on the people around me and try to pick some of them off. Yes mental games I play with myself when I just want to sit down and have a beer with the spectators.

There were a couple of girls in my sight that I really wanted to pass.

I dug deep and pushed forward.

And you know what – it worked!!


I managed to pass two of them and caught up to another girl right at the Finish Line. More on THAT girl in a moment.

I was wicked happy to pass the Finish of my 5th triathlon and collect my Buzzard’s Bay water bottle full of water!

Total Time: 24:10
Pace: 7:48 min/mile
Overall Place: 100/294
Division: 3/21


Official Time: 1:27:01.3

photo 3 (7)

Awesome experience! I had a great time and was really happy with my results.


photo 4 (97)

I found out I missed out on 3rd place in my division by 0:0:0.1. Yes a fraction of a second away from the podium.

3rd in division: 1:27:01.2
Me: 1:27:01.3

OUCH! And the girl who came in 3rd in the division was the one I caught on the run at the Finish Line. It was like a real life photo finish. :P

Since I am never usually close to placing, it was a tough defeat. But I am still happy with my time.

Big thanks to my wife for taking all these photos and keeping everyone up to speed on the race through her #wifetweets.

It was also a pleasure seeing friends at the race:


Christine from Tedy’s Team, who took 2nd female overall


John, who might be one of the most inspiring people I know

Before heading home, I cashed in my ticket for free BBQ.


I chose to split a pulled pork sandwich with the wife. Aren’t I nice? ;)

I wish we could’ve stayed for awards and raffle, but I had to get home to pick my parents up from the airport.


Overall Tim and the crew at Max Performance Triathlon put on a great race. Lots of volunteers along the course. I do wish there were additional folks at the water stop since it ended up being used by the runners twice during the course and extra hands would’ve been helpful.

The swag was a tech shirt, little towel that could be used in transition and a water bottle. I do wish there was a pint glass or a medal involved. The screen printing on the tech shirt didn’t seem to be done too well.

Also no beer or low-fat chocolate milk at the end. You know I like both at the end of a race. :P

But I would definitely sign up for one of these races again and recommend them to fellow Boston area friends.


What is a deal breaker for you between signing up for a race or not?


2014 Road Races

Here is how the 2014 race schedule is shaping up so far:

January 1 – 1st Run 5k – 23:43 (7:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 9 – Disney Family Fun Run 5k – 32:05 (10:21 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 10 – Walt Disney World 10k – 1:05:40 (10:35 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 11 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – 2:22:31 (10:53 min/mile pace) – RECAP

January 12 – Walt Disney World Marathon – 4:45:57 (10:55 min/mile pace) – RECAP


February 2 – Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon – 1:55:43 (8:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

February 14 – Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k *Virtual* – 26:18 (8:29 min/mile pace)


March 1 – Black Cat 20-Miler – 2:57:59 (8:54 min/mile pace) – RECAP

March 16 – Craicfest 5k – 24:17 (7:49 min/mile pace) – RECAP


April 19 – BAA 5k – 25:08 (8:06 min/mile pace) – RECAP

April 21 – 118th Boston Marathon – 5:31:18 (12:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP

April 26 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon – 4:42:12 (10:46 min/mile pace) – RECAP


May 11 – M.O.M.’s Run 5k – 24:14 (7:48 min/mile pace) – RECAP

May 13 – Strides Against Stroke 5k *Virtual* – 26:16 (8:28 min/mile pace)

May 18 – 18th Annual Mystic River Herring Run & Paddle 5k – 24:39 (7:57 min/mile pace) – RECAP

May 25 – Boston’s Run To Remember Half Marathon – 1:50:58 (8:28 min/mile pace) – RECAP

May 29 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #1 – 23:29 (7:34 min/mile pace) – RECAP


June 1 – Freedom Run 5k – 23:55 (7:43 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 7 – Runner’s World 5k – 28:28 (9:11 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 7 – Runner’s World 10k – 58:49 (9:29 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 8 – Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon – 2:08:52 (9:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 21 – Rock and Run Boston (Obstacle 5k) – 45:32 (14:38 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 22 – BAA 10k – 51:37 (8:19 min/mile pace) – RECAP

June 30 – Summer Sizzler *Virtual* 5k – 25:21 (8:10 min/mile pace)


July 3 – Finish At The 50 (10k for me) – 53:01 (8:32 min/mile pace) – RECAP

July 13 – Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon – 1:57:44 (8:59 min/mile pace) – RECAP

July 17 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #3 – 24:19 (7:50 min/mile pace) – RECAP

July 20 – Iron GirlWebster Sprint Triathlon – 1:26:54 – RECAP

July 30 – F.A.S.T. (Fighting Against Stroke Together) *Virtual* 5k -27:44 (8:57 min/mile pace)


August 14 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #4 – 24:57 (8:03 min/mile pace) – RECAP

August 17 – Falmouth Road Race (7 miles) -1:00:49 (8:41 min/mile pace) – RECAP

August 24 – Race To The Row 5k – 23:46 (7:39 min/mile pace) – RECAP


September 4 – Boston 5k Summer Series Race #5 – 22:39 (7:18 min/mile) – RECAP

September 7 – Pumpkinman Half Ironman – 6:06:03 – RECAP

September 13 – Big Bad Wolf 5 Mile Trail Race – 41:41 (8:21 min/mile pace) – RECAP

September 14 – Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon – 1:27:01.3 – RECAP

September 17 – The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble *VIRTUAL* – 26:03 (8:24 min/mile pace)

September 27 – ZOOMA Women’s Half Marathon (Cape Cod) – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET


October 5 – Oktoberfest 5k – Starts at 9:30 a.m. ET

October 12 – BAA Half Marathon – Starts at 8:30 a.m. ET

October 18 – Runner’s World 5k – Starts at 8:00 a.m. ET

October 18- Runner’s World 10k – Starts at 9:30 a.m. ET

October 19 – Runner’s World Half Marathon – Starts at 8:00 a.m. ET


November 2 – South Shore Half Marathon – Starts at 7:30 a.m. ET

November 15 – Spartan Sprint Fenway Park – Starts TBD


December 14 – Yulefest 5k – Starts at 9:30 a.m. ET




Dani Dishes 9-19-14

After a two month hiatus Dani Dishes is BACK!! Let’s get caught up on weight loss success, work life, balance and what is to come on Dani Dishes … I need your input!



The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble: September 2014

When I turned 30 in September 2012, I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a new and exciting way. I didn’t want to go out to dinner with friends and family. I didn’t want to host a Happy Hour. I wanted to celebrate my healthier lifestyle and the fact that I would be entering my 30s in the 150s! An amazing feat for a girl who at one point topped the scales in the 230s!

With the help of my family, The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 30th Birthday Run-Walk Ramble was born. It was an amazing day that featured folks running or walking the 5k in person AND virtually.



Oh that’s right! There were printable race bibs and Finisher’s Medals for all.

What did I ask in return? A $25 donation be made to Tedy’s Team and the American Stroke Association.

Tedy asked the American Stroke Association to work with him to create “Tedy’s Team,” a group of runners raising money for the American Stroke Association and training to complete the Boston Marathon® and the Falmouth Road Race.  Their participation supports Tedy Bruschi’s fight against stroke and honors both the survivors and the loved ones lost to America’s No. 4 leading cause of death.

In addition to the dollars being raised, an equally important issue for Tedy’s Team is the increase in awareness of stroke and recognition of its warning signs. Tedy’s Team is striving to reach as many people as possible in its message of recognizing the warning signs and acting appropriate when seeing them — calling 9-1-1 immediately.

photo 3 (56)

Tedy & I mid-run selfie: Mile 1 of 2014 Boston Marathon

In the past two years I have been lucky enough to call Tedy’s Team family. I have run two Boston Marathons (2013 and 2014), the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville marathon (2014) and Falmouth Road Race (2014) with an amazingly motivating and inspiring group of people. Along the way my friends, family, blog readers and online community have helped me raise


to help #FightStroke so far.


My 5 Virtual Race Finisher’s Medals

I run in honor of my Stroke Heroes – my grandparents – but through this journey, this blog and Tedy’s Team it has become so much more. I run, sweat, train and fundraise for all those affected by Stroke.

photo 4 (72)

Tedy and I after Falmouth

I will be applying for the 2015 Boston Marathon team with Tedy’s Team and I have a goal in mind:

I want to hit $21k raised!


Here’s the latest opportunity to help… register for The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday (Virtual) 5k Run-Walk Ramble!!!

A virtual run-walk means you do the 5k (3.1 mile) “race” at your leisure during the month of September (anytime during the month)!!

Map out your own route, get your own friends together or jump on the old trusty treadmill/bike. Your call.

EVERYONE that completes the “race” will receive a Finisher’s Medal in the mail from me. YAY! How cool is that? I know one of my favorite parts.

Also, everyone will be entered to receive some pretty sweet raffle prizes that I have available!! 

Did you catch that folks? Raffle Prizes. Let’s see who has jumped on board so far:

^A #Runner Shirt from the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Pavement Runner


^ A 1BandID – great Boston-based company, which is an ID that attaches right to your GPS watch or shoe


^ ENERGYBITS Sample Pack


^ 3-Pack of Perform Pain Reliever products (Roll-On, Spray and On-The-Go Singles)


^ WYCWYC Keychain thanks to Carla and Roni


^ One pair of ZENSAH Compression Leg Sleeves


^A New Balance 3Axis Pedometer


Runfellow “I Like Your Pace” T-Shirt (value $30)

photo (9)

^ A pair of Feetures Running socks (value $10.99)

Spring Outlook home page ad-1

*Remember list is still growing!*

But you may be asking: “Dani How much will this fun cost me?” or “What is my entry fee going to?”

Well, each participant will be making a $25 donation, where all proceeds go to Tedy’s Team. If I make the 2015 Boston Marathon team, the fundraising goal is $5,400.

But wait… there’s more!!

I have an anonymous donor who will match up to $1,200 raised by the Birthday 5k! Say whaa?? Heck yeah!

So if you are ready to help me Fight Stroke then check out the directions to sign up below!


If you would like to take part in the run or walk:

1) Please register. (Make sure you are providing an accurate mailing address because that is where I will send the medal.)

2) You can complete the 3.1 mile or walk or bike whenever you like during the month of September.

3) Once you complete the race please send me a photo of yourself and your time to dani@weightoffmyshoulders.com



Finisher’s Medal


Download Your Race Bib Here!



Are you interested in getting in to the amazing raffle prizes? A $20 donation to Tedy’s Team gains you 5 entries into the raffle!!

You can donate here.


Thank you all for continuing to support me and help raise awareness for Stroke. Please be sure you know the warning signs of a Stroke (courtesy American Stroke Association):


F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, you’ll know that you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. is:

F.A.S.T. Letter F Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
F.A.S.T. Letter A Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
F.A.S.T. Letter S Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
F.A.S.T. Letter T Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Top 5 Fitness Wins During My 31st Year Of Life

My 30s have kicked freakin’ booty! No seriously.

I was wicked nervous about breaking into a new decade on September 16, 2012, but I have no idea why I have been so scared.

During my looooong bike ride last week, I started ticking off the amazing accomplishments I’ve had since turning 30.

Even in the last 365 days.

I thought I would share with you all my Top Five Fitness Wins as a celebration of my 32nd birthday today (listed in no particular order).

photo (90)

1) Dopey Challenge: This was one of the most life-changing events of my life!


For those that don’t know the inaugural Dopey Challenge took place in January 2014 in Disney World and consisted of 4 races in 4 days covering 48.6 magical miles – 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon.

That’s right folks I ran 48.6 miles through the parks – and highways – of Disney … and it was AMAZING!


My main goals were 1) Finish, 2) Have Fun and 3) Take a picture with EVERY character along the way.


All 3 were accomplished. If the challenge wasn’t $530, I would do it again in a heartbeat. :) Well not sure I could handle 4-straight mornings of getting up before 3:30am again … there is no training for that!

photo (89)

2) 2 Half Marathons In 24-Hour Span: Annnddd this solidified my membership as a Half Fanatic (HR #5043)


On September 28-29, 2013, I had a whirlwind weekend. Friday (Sept 27) I took the drive down to the Cape to stay with my friend and fellow blogger Nancy. Nancy and I were both ambassadors for the ZOOMA Women’s Series Half, which was happening the next day.


The course was beautiful and really captured the Cape (excited to head back there later this month) and I was really happy with my race (recap).

But after a quick hangout with Nancy and her girls, it was time to hit the road and travel from the Cape to Providence, Rhode Island. Thankfully it was a painless drive.

When I arrived in Providence, I grabbed a celebratory beer and met up with Samantha and Robin. My two good friends and fellow racers. Special thanks to Samantha for letting Robin and I crash at her place for the night.


I had no idea how my legs would handle another 13 miles, but I took any time pressure off myself and just enjoyed the course and the friends along the way. (Recap)

Sub 2 hours for both? I was thrilled!!

I felt so accomplished when the weekend was over, but man the final drive home seemed to take forever. I really missed having my wife there.

I owe a big thank you to Zensah compression sleeves for helping my body stay strong during the training and the races themselves.

3) Half Ironman: Never in a thousand years would I think this would be on my list of fitness accomplishments.


On September 7 this dream became a reality. A Half Ironman is a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.1-mile run. All in a row. Without a time to nap in between. ;)

The training for the half ironman became more of a mental game than a physical one. I ticked the workouts off my training plan (which I put together through a book another blogger recommended), but the mental worry over being able to complete the race within the time limit (8 hours) wreaked havoc on my sleep and my confidence.

The biggest worry? The bike. I learned through the training that 1) the bike is my weakest leg and 2) I don’t really enjoy biking. Now that may be because I was doing most of my training alone or it’s just not my thing.

My lovely wife and friends kept reminding me that I was the one that signed up for it. Thanks family. I did remember that. ;)


It was supposed to be enjoyable and in the end the race was. One of the toughest parts was lack of headphones. I have been training without them for awhile in preparation, but the race turned out to be 6 hours of just me and my thoughts. Oy! Which became another mental exercise rather than a physical one.

But in the end crossing that Finish Line was exhilarating… and the post-race beer tasted amazing! :)

photo 5 (68)

And I surprised myself finishing in 6 hours and 6 minutes. Originally I thought the race would take me well over 7 hours.

Big thanks to my wife, my dad , my BFF and my niece for making the drive to come cheer me on.


4) 2 Marathons In A Six-Day Span: Sometimes I sign up for crazy adventures in the name of raising money and awareness to Fight Stroke with Tedy’s Team.

photo (88)

 Tedy's Team logo

So on April 21st, 2014, I tackled my second running of the Boston Marathon (with a lot of complications along the way).


Because I have amazing friends and family I had a surge of donations before the race, which got me thinking about joining my teammates for a second race that week at Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville. Two teammates had committed to doing the full … and I was tempted.

My goal would be to hit $9,500 raised in order to complete both races with Tedy’s Team … and I was up for the challenge.

When I hit the plane for Nashville, I was at $9k. Thank you friends for fueling my craziness.

After health problems at Boston, I told everyone I would drop to the half in Nashville…


… but I had other ideas since I was feeling okay! ;)

I even completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville marathon on April 26 45 minutes faster than Boston.


I even qualified for the Marathon Maniacs (MM #9142) with this awesome feat.

And thanks to you all I raised $10k in honor of all those affected by Stroke after completing 52.4 miles of running.

5) Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Hat Trick: “Hey Dani do you want to run a 5k and 10k on a Saturday then follow that up with a Half Marathon on the Sunday”



Ummm when did that become my response? Before 2005 I would’ve laughed in your face at running even 1/4 of a mile. But when Runner’s World invited me to come hang out with some amazing bloggers and run a bunch of miles – I jumped at the opportunity.


It was a crazy experience Heartbreak Hill outside of the Boston Marathon/training for the marathon.


Plus I love being part of an inaugural event… and hanging out with my BFF Shalane Flanagan. She may not know we are actually BFFs.

Similar to the Dopey Challenge, these races were not being run for time, but for fun! I had such a cool experience getting to know bloggers while out on the course. I was one of the few local folks so I was able to share about the history of the town and Heartbreak itself. Those poor Florida bloggers didn’t know what they were in for. ;)

I thought it was a once in a lifetime experience, but I am honored to be doing another Hat Trick with Runner’s World in PA in October. :) Bring on the bling!


There are so many other amazing things that happened in the past year, but I don’t want to keep you here all day.


Because you have celebrating of my birth to do.

How are we celebrating?

By registering for my Birthday Virtual 5k run/walk/bike and/or raffle. I am hoping to have 32 people sign up today in honor of my 32nd birthday.

Check out the info HERE!


What is your proudest fitness accomplishment of your last 365 days?


32 Sign Ups For The Birthday 5k/Raffle In Honor Of Turning 32?

The day is HERE … I am now the big 3-2! I am actually pretty excited for it since my 30s have kicked serious booty.

Now I cannot wait to see what happens next…

So how can you help me celebrate turning 32?

Donate to Tedy’s Team and help me #FightStroke in honor of my #1 Stroke Hero – my gramma.

2014-08-09 15.38.05

I am trying to raise the bar as last year on my birthday I raised $463 for Tedy’s Team. Today I would love to have 32 sign-ups in honor of my 32nd birthday.


There are two ways you can participate:

1) The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble

A $25 to Tedy’s Team gains you entry to the virtual race, a printable bib, a Finisher’s Medal and 7 entries into the raffle.


Sign up here!

2) Make a $20 donation to Tedy’s Team and gain 5 entries into the raffle.

Donate here!

I have an anonymous donor who will match up to $1,200 raised by the Birthday 5k/raffle! Say whaa?? Heck yeah!

What does the raffle feature????

^A #Runner Shirt from the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Pavement Runner (value $25)


^ A 1BandID – great Boston-based company, which is an ID that attaches right to your GPS watch or shoe (value $19.99)




^ 3-Pack of Perform Pain Reliever products (Roll-On, Spray and On-The-Go Singles)


WYCWYC Keychain thanks to Carla and Roni (value $16)


^ One pair of ZENSAH Compression Leg Sleeves (value $39.99)


^A New Balance 3Axis Pedometer (value $29.99)


^ Runfellow “I Like Your Pace” T-Shirt (value $30)

photo (9)

^ A pair of Feetures Running socks (value $10.99)

Spring Outlook home page ad-1


Will you be one of the 32? :)


*RECAP* VERT Big Bad Wolf 5-Mile Trail Race

It’s not often you get to run or party with a wolf…

photo 5 (71)

Okay okay so at Saturday’s Big Bad Wolf 5-Mile Trail Race we didn’t actually party or run WITH the wolves. BUT we looked at them. ;)

We made the 45-minute trek to Ipswich to rock the Wolf Hollow with my fellow Slumbrew Happy Soles. I love meeting new people and seeing familiar faces when the Happy Soles get together at a Cambridge 5k/VERT Race Series race.


After lots of hugs and laughs before the race even started, it was all of a sudden the 1 minute warning that the race was starting. Ohhh I am with all my friends to actually race THEN drink beer. Oops I sort of forgot about the running part. ;)

I finagled myself up to the Start Line and we were off. I had no expectations for the race. I was hoping to beat last year’s time (40:38), but with the sore hamstring I didn’t have my hopes up.

I started the race chatting with fellow Happy Sole Kate, who was also experiencing some pain in her hamstring area. So we swapped treatment ideas.

The first 1/4 of a mile or so is on the sidewalk as we head from the Start/party area to the field/trail portion of the race. The race is tight at the beginning, but really opens up once you enter the field.

Since I did this race last year, I knew the terrain. The race consists of two 2+ mile loops.


The Big Bad Wolf is a great into to trail running. The race is in a huge open field with some small inclines. It also features that uneven terrain that basically all trail races have. The kind of uneven footing that you feel in your ankles the next day.

But thankfully there aren’t any huge inclines/hills that you will have to face.

I really would recommend it to all fitness levels/paces. There were runners, run/walkers and walkers on the course.

Mile 1: 8:02
Mile 2: 8:01

I was really shocked at the pace for the first two miles. I think I was excited to see so many fun folks out on the course. Also there were some STELLAR costumes out there. Folks who take part in this race series take the costume contest very seriously. ;)


Mid-run selfie

I made sure to slow it down this mile while doing the mid-run selfie and posting due to the uneven footing. I had a sprint tri the next day and REALLY didn’t need to twist an ankle.

Mile 3: 8:17

On the second loop, I felt some pain in my right hamstring. NOOOO not both of them. Oh yes folks both of them. I tried to keep focused on being over halfway done. I promised myself I would stretch extra when the race ended.

The final loop was a little tough. Knowing how long you have left in a race can be pretty tough mentally. Anyone agree?


I really need to hand it to VERT for offering free race photos. Yay!

I was trying to give the photographer a “Hey there” hand gesture, but he caught me mid gesture so I just look awkward.

Mile 4: 8:14

Man was I happy when the Garmin buzzed for Mile 4. One mile to go. I wanted to stretch and enjoy a beer. :)

As we hit the pavement again, I knew I was in the home stretch. My Garmin buzzed before we hit the Finish Line for 5 miles.

Mile 5: 8:13

So my paces may be slightly off since the Garmin gave me 5.13 miles.

But either way the final time was 41:41. I was happy with the results even though I was almost a minute slower than the previous year. I finished 94th overall and 25th among females.


The Flagraiser IPA hit the spot post-race. I love seeing all my teammates come together after the race, checking in on each other and cheersing with a Slumbrew.

Once everyone had crossed, it was time for a group photo. Proud that our teammate Kristina said: “Now we chug … 1 -2 -3″ and this picture was born. :)


After our photo it was awards time.


Now our group never really has a shot at the team prizes … except on this day.


Kate and Kat had brought two friends with them and welcomed them with open arms to the Slumbrew Happy Soles family. They just happened to be uber speedy. George (second from left) finished the race 3rd overall, while Craig (left) took the #1 spot overall.

These two speedsters helped land the Slumbrew Happy Soles in second place among the 12 teams.

photo 4 (94)

Can you tell we were a TAD excited???


It was awesome seeing how excited the whole team was. We all took turns drinking out of the trophy.


Now we wait for the Slumbrew Taproom open so we can proudly display our trophy! :)

Once awards were handed out, it was time for the costume party and dance off. That’s right this race has the complete package.

The wife and I had to duck out at this time as she had a hockey game. But it is always a joy racing with the Happy Soles.

So if you are in the Boston area and interested in trying trail racing? Use the Big Bad Wolf race as a jumping off point. If you don’t want to drive to Ipswich, you can always use the commuter rail to catch the free race shuttle.


Have you ever thought about trail racing?


Help Me Celebrate Turning 32 By Fighting Stroke

TOMORROW I will be turning the big 3-2! I am actually pretty excited for it since my 30s have kicked serious booty.

Now I cannot wait to see what happens next…

So how can you help me celebrate turning 32?

Donate to Tedy’s Team and help me #FightStroke in honor of my #1 Stroke Hero – my gramma.

2014-08-09 15.38.05

There are two ways you can participate:

1) The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble

A $25 to Tedy’s Team gains you entry to the virtual race, a printable bib, a Finisher’s Medal and 7 entries into the raffle.


Sign up here!

2) Make a $20 donation to Tedy’s Team and gain 5 entries into the raffle.

Donate here!

I have an anonymous donor who will match up to $1,200 raised by the Birthday 5k/raffle! Say whaa?? Heck yeah!

What does the raffle feature????

^A #Runner Shirt from the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Pavement Runner (value $25)


^ A 1BandID – great Boston-based company, which is an ID that attaches right to your GPS watch or shoe (value $19.99)




^ 3-Pack of Perform Pain Reliever products (Roll-On, Spray and On-The-Go Singles)


WYCWYC Keychain thanks to Carla and Roni (value $16)


^ One pair of ZENSAH Compression Leg Sleeves (value $39.99)


^A New Balance 3Axis Pedometer (value $29.99)


^ Runfellow “I Like Your Pace” T-Shirt (value $30)

photo (9)

^ A pair of Feetures Running socks (value $10.99)

Spring Outlook home page ad-1

*Remember list is still growing!*


Are you going to help me celebrate AND #FightStroke?


Face It Friday: A NWI & Eating Disorder Triggers 9/12/14

For the first Friday since June 13, I did not step on the scale.

I wasn’t mentally in a spot to see the number on the scale. Whether it was going to be a loss, maintain or a gain, I didn’t want my week defined by it.

This past week was a HUGE win for my fitness journey. I finished my first Half Ironman and it really was unbelievable.

photo 5 (68)

But the post-race blues set in on Monday… the snacking increased. I took a rest week this week to let the body heal a little, which left me with a lot of time on my hands. Stupid snacks.


I learned a lesson for the next time. Food is not the answer. I will need other things to fill the time during a rest week.

I also allowed the beer to creep into my weekdays. All summer I had stuck with the #drinkend (adult drinks on weekend only), but let that slide this week.

I tracked it all. Owned all the choices.

And I had a victory … I didn’t purge.

For those that don’t know, I was in a very bad place with eating disorders for many years. When I overeat or overindulge, the urge to purge can rear its ugly head. So it happened this week. But I didn’t give in. I held strong.

I am worth more than the disease. I am not defined by the disease.

I wish I could just snap my fingers and have it go away from my brain, but I can’t. So each day is a battle to win. But again I am worth the battle.

I didn’t like how it felt being back in that position. It has been since December that I really felt the urges this strong, but this time I didn’t cave. Thanks to friends who allowed me to reach out to them when I needed the support.

If you are ever feeling alone or a need to talk, please reach out to me!! I am always here to lend an ear.

But today is a new day. This is a new week … that includes my birthday!

So I know that this week again I will enjoy, celebrate and track it all. One week, one meal, one decision doesn’t  define the journey!


How do you handle the post-race blues?


#Giveaway: Join Me at Cambridge 5k Oktoberfest 5k!

Annddddd the winners ARE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you didn’t win, you can still register for the race and join the Slumbrew Happy Soles!!


I have a confession to make.

I, Dani Holmes-Kirk, am a Cambridge 5k race series addict.

That’s right. I feel safe to admit that here to all of you.


2013 Cambridge 5k Race bibs

The race director, Eddie O, is one of the nicest and most-dedicated folks I have met. When he asks for race feedback, he actually wants to know and you know what implements change. I tip my hat to him for that.

Eddie is persuasive. He is the man who got me to participate in the Freedom Run 5k less than an hour after finishing the Boston’s Run To Remember Half Marathon last May.

So far in 2014 I am two for three in the Cambridge 5k series races: inaugural Craicfest 5k (3/17) and Freedom Run 5k (6/1). I missed Sasquatch the trail race in July due to a conflict. My first time missing a Cambridge 5k race since 2012. :(

There is still time to register for the Big Bad Wolf, a 5-mile trail race in Ipswich, MA on September 13.


Which brings us to race #5 of 6 in the 2014 Cambridge 5k series … the Oktoberfest 5k on October 5 at 9:30am!

Now the weather has not cooperated with this race in the past – usually raining on the day of – but that doesn’t dampen the party whatsoever.

There is a new location for the Oktoberfest 5k this year – offering more space for racers to meet with friends and celebrate afterwards.


2013 Oktoberfest 5k

Join in for a “wunderbar” German-themed road race through Kendall Square, Cambridge to benefit Cambridge Family & Children’s Service (CFCS).

The course is fast & flat and goes through the heart of Cambridge! Runners line up on Technology Square. When the race starts, runners turn left on Main St., left on Ames St., left on Broadway, left on Ware St., left on Harvard St., right on Portland St., then turn left and proceed to the finish on Technology Square.

The Oktoberfest crowd is a great mix of all fitness levels and paces. This group really gets in the spirit too.

Run the race in your Lederhosen or Dirndl and you could win a great prize in our German costume contest! Unleash your inner Bavarian!

Registration ($38) includes a race shirt + food & beverages at the post-race Oktoberfest party sponsored by Cambridge Brewing Co, Swiss Bakers & Jacob Wirth. 


Kim & I enjoying our beer & pretzel

I am wicked excited for this year’s run as Eddie O took runners’ comments on tight post-race quarters last year and has relocated the race this year. The crew needs room to rock the post-race dance off. Ya know? :)

So how can you get in on this awesome 5k action and run with me and some pretty sweet Slumbrew Happy Soles?

Well Eddie has been generous enough to give me not 1, not 2, but 5 race entries to give away to you lovely people!

photo (85)

Here’s how to enter:

Giveaway will run from Friday September 5 (7am ET) to Friday September 12 (10 am ET)!

Winner will be announced on Friday!