Want to learn more about She Runs Boston? Meet the Run Leaders!

What the heck is She Runs Boston you may be asking???? Well….

Are you a Boston area lady runner?

Have you been looking for a new running buddy? Or two? Or 10?

Do you need some extra accountability to get out at least once a week and log some miles?

Is having fun during a run a priority?

Then She Runs Boston (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) will be for you!

She Runs Boston, formerly known as Boston LUNA Chix, will be running out of the Athleta on Newbury Street on Tuesday nights at 6:30pm - BEGINNING April 14. The group will meet in the back of the Athleta store, where there is a bathroom to use, a water fountain and a place to store your bag during the run (yes someone is watching it while you are out on the town).

You may be worried about not finding someone in their pace at a group run – not a problem here at She Runs Boston. The group will run the gamut of paces. There are speedsters, run/walk method, middle-of-the-packers, back-of-the-packers, folks that like to take pictures while running, selfies, etc.

Also She Runs Boston has a no drop policy so a sweep will stay with the final participants on both distances.

There will be two distance options – 3 of 4 miles – and you can choose whichever you want.

So let's meet the other eight ladies that will be leading these runs... shall we?


Since you read this blog so you know enough about me! ;) (For those that aren't normal readers, I'm Dani and SUPER excited to be a team lead!)

Ashley (Captain)


Why Did You Start Running: I wanted to run the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge with coworkers so I trained and fell in love with it. In 2009 I went from running a 5K to a marathon in a year! After a few setbacks with injuries, I haven't been running distance but I hope to get back to it later this year!

Most Enjoyable Distance To Race: 10K, just long enough to balance speed and distance and manageable training wise

Favorite Thing About She Runs Boston: It's a great group of women who run at various paces and we don't leave anyone behind, everyone feels comfortable running their own pace, knowing they will have a buddy!

Jessie (Captain)


Why Did You Start Running: I had just had ACL surgery, and everyone told me that I'd never be able to run pain-free. I took it as a challenge! 10 years, 3 marathons, 13 half marathons and countless other races later -- I think I've proved them all wrong!

Most Enjoyable Distance To Race: Half Marathon -- it's always a challenge, but training for it doesn't have to take over your entire life as it does with a marathon.

Favorite Thing About She Runs Boston: The people! It's so wonderful knowing that I have this amazing group of women for weekly runs. Some of my best friends are women I've met through this run group!


IMG_0445 (2)

Why Did You Start Running: I started running in college, probably to make up for all the beer I was drinking. I will still run for beer today!

Favorite distance: 10K

Favorite thing about She Runs Boston: I've met some great people who share my interests.



Why Did You Start Running: When I first starting working out with a personal trainer, the trainer had me set some fitness goals. One of my goals was to run a 5k as I was not a runner. My first 5k was the St. Patrick's Day race in Davis Square in 2013. From there, I became addicted to running since I competed mostly with myself on distance and speed.

Favorite distance: I don't have a favorite distance as I use running to escape reality and just think. I have ran a couple 5k's and a 10k. I would like to run a half marathon this year.

Favorite thing about She Runs Boston: My favorite thing about She Runs Boston is meeting new ladies that run different paces and make sure no one is left behind.


Danielle Marquis_smaller

Why Did You Start Running: 1. In college Honestly - to lose weight 2. I started calling myself a runner/racer after college when I no longer had field hockey and needed an outlet to compete and feel mentally and physically complete

Most Enjoyable Distance To Race: Half Marathon

Favorite Thing About She Runs Boston: My favorite thing about SRB is that I have weekly accountability because I know that there will be a group of awesome, motivated and really fun women who are taking their time to just show up and run - so why not push myself to get there and be present with them!



Why Did You Start Running: 1. After college- I was burned out from Swimming and I wanted to meet new people in my new city, Boston :) 2. I didn't think I was a good runner (swim coaches always told me I wasn't built to run). So I took it slowly and didn't care about times, just putting one foot in front of another. I was challenged to run a long-distance relay race (reach the beach) only weeks after I started running outside and after a creative "training day"- I determined I could at least try it. I did it and loved it!

Most Enjoyable Distance To Race: Half Marathon

Favorite Thing About She Runs Boston: My favorite thing about SRB is the collaborative, cooperative, peer (fun) pressure to get to the run, say hi, smile, and think about others while getting in a workout. It gets me OUT of my own head, and into having fun with great people.



Why Did You Start Running: I ran track and field in high school, but after college I needed an outlet for staying active. A friend of mine invited me to go running and after that I was hooked

Most Enjoyable Distance To Race: Half Marathon! Great distance and the training is manageable with a hectic schedule!

Favorite Thing About She Runs Boston: I love connecting with fabulous lady runners in the Boston area. Some of my closest friends have come from running with this team. I also love running with ladies who are new to the sport and discover that yes, they can CRUSH 3 Miles :)



Why Did You Start Running: My high school did not have girls varsity soccer team, so I started running cross-country in 10th grade to take the place of soccer; been running forward ever since.

Most Enjoyable Distance To Race: 10K

Favorite Thing About She Runs Boston: My favorite thing about SRB is the awesome group of women of all levels that I have meet over the past few years; bringing women together to stay active and encouraging others to get out and run or participate in any outdoor activity.


Will we see YOU for the first run of the year on April 14 at 6:30pm at Athleta on Newbury St?

Discount Codes For A Few Products/Races I Love

Who doesn't love a good discount code? I know I do. But it HAS to be for a product I love and care about. So here are a few discount codes I have been granted thanks to products/races I love: ***



What are ENERGYbits you may ask?

Made from 100% organicallly grown spirulina algae and loaded with 40 nutrients, ENERGYbits® algae tabs have the highest concentration of protein in the world (64%) all for just one calorie per tab. Endorsed by the United Nations as the most nutritious food on earth, spirulina algae has been a favorite of Olympic gold medalists for decades and is a super food in every sense of the word, delivering instant and enduring energy to your brain and body.

ENERGYBits can be used for:

  • Increasing Energy
  • Increasing Endurance
  • Increasing Mental Vitality
  • High Protein Snack
  • Curbing Hunger
  • Balancing Blood Sugar
  • Lowering Blood Pressure
  • Reducing Fatigue

Use code WEIGHTOFFMYSHOULDERS to receive 25% off your order!


X-1 Audio

A good pair of headphones are HARD to find in my opinion.


So what makes X-1 so special?

Inspired by the Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, the team at X-1 set out to perfect a line of products that break down the barriers of sound, allowing athletes to harness the power of music regardless of sport or climate. Whether you’re a triathlete, swimmer, runner, kayaker, snowboarder, climber, weightlifter, or a gym goer, X-1 offers audio solutions that can withstand everything from trekking through the mud to running in the rain to diving 12 feet underwater.

They even have a special set of headphones designed for women.

You don’t train in the same clothes or shoes as male athletes – why should you settle for headphones made for men? X-1 For Women headphones were built specifically for female athletes. They were designed to fit smaller ears and are integrated with features that keep you safe, without sacrificing the performance you demand. The X-1 For Women line is the result of female athletes designing features and functions for the needs of female athletes, from smaller, ultra-light earbuds to ambient noise allowance that keeps you aware of your surroundings. You are strong and powerful – and now you can have a sports audio system that works as hard as you do.

I purchased the waterproof headphone system so I could listen to music while training in the pool and they ROCK.


Use code DANIHOLMES-KIRK20 to receive 20% off your order!

Racecancer’s Boston 5k Summer Series: Race #5

You know that Fall is approaching when the Racecancer Boston 5k Summer Series in winding down. I started this race series in May and can't believe that Race #5 has come and gone. May: Race #1 – 23:29 (7:34 min/mile pace) June: Race #2 - Did Not Start (Hamstring Injury) July: Race #3 - 24:19 (7:50 min/mile pace) August: Race #4 - 24:57 (8:03 min/mile pace) September (1): Race #5 - 22:39 (7:18 min/mile pace) September (2): Race #6 - September 18

My times are not what I have wanted, but I have given my all at those times, which is all I can ask of myself.

I had been disappointed in myself until Race #5, which took place on September 4. My original plan was to take the race super easy as I had my big big race just three days later.

But when the stars align on race day you need to take advantage.

The women's only 5k was set to start at 6pm. With the early race start many of the female racers were not in attendance - meaning a smaller field ... and many of the super speedy ladies wouldn't be racing.

Hmmm... my goal was to take advantage of that. ;)

So I lined up sort of near the front, but reminded myself to run my race.

The horn went off, I clicked on my Garmin and the game was on.

It was crazy being in the top 5 at the beginning of the race. As we took our first loop, I was in a small pack of runners (after 1 girl took off ahead of everyone) and I turned to the woman next to me and said "Wow! This is what the elite women at the Boston Marathon must experience!" Umm yeah not really a response or laugh. Ha. Oops. I guess not everyone likes to chat during a race. :)

It was exciting experience trying to keep up with the two girls just ahead of me.

When I saw the first water stop (thank you race for having 2 on the 5k course), I spotted the Mile 1 marker.

Mile 1: 6:55.

Ummm friends let's take a moment to reflect. The first mile buzzed with a pace with a 6 in the front. Holy crap! I almost teared up when I saw it. Yes I am that dorky. But how could I not? I remember when I started running in 2005 and could barely bust out a 14 min/mile pace. To see that kind of change over the years gives me chills.

Now I was feeling good, but I could tell my body was slowing down a little. Not sure if it was the heat or just tired legs. But I knew the last two miles wouldn't be as fast... and I was okay with that.

I just tried to keep the 2 girls within eye distance. I knew they were gaining ground, but I liked seeing them.

The second mile is pretty boring scenery wise - you have the Charles River on one side (yay) and a boulevard on the other (boring).

Mile 2 marker was met with another water stop ... and a girl flying by me! :P I was holding down 5th place until she came out of nowhere. But she was cooking it so I didn't get too huffy. ;)

Mile 2: 7:25

Off quite a drop. I tried to keep the big picture at the forefront.

The good thing about running the same course over and over again is familiarity. You know the ebbs and flows of the pavement and when you need to give the final kick!

It was kind of an odd experience basically running alone for the final mile. The few girls ahead of me were about a minute in front of me so I didn't see them through the twists and turns of the final mile. I also couldn't hear/see the girl behind me.

Just had to remind myself: One More Mile. You can do it.

So I tried my best to finish strong.

Mile 3: 7:31

When I passed the Mile 3 marker, I could see the Finish and hear folks cheering for someone else. I assumed she was right on my tail so I kicked in everything I had. I wasn't about to get passed in the final stretch of the race!

Final: 22:39 (7:18 min/mile)

I was ecstatic! It was 40 seconds slower than matching my 5k PR (21:59), but I felt proud of my overall performance. I thought I ran the best I could and had a great time being part of a small intimate race.

And holy crap! I finished 6th overall and 2nd in my division. Little 'ol me. I wanted to savor the experience since it will probably never happen again.

Now you may be wondering about the lack of mid-run selfie. Well I was wearing my glasses and I despise running/pics in glasses so there were no pics taken. Until...

I was given the great responsibility of sending off the co-ed 5k race with the bullhorn.

Hey-o! I am hitting the big times. ;)

I meant to head out to get home for dinner, but I ran into a friend Nacole. Nacole attends the Nike Run And Walk Club in Somerville on Wednesday nights. I took the time to catch up with her while she waited for her friends doing the co-ed 5k. She had already rocked the women's only 5k.

It was great to get to know her better and her friends.

While they all headed off to the post-race party, I ventured home for food. I promised that I would attend the post-race party for the final race on September 18.

If you haven't made it to a Racecancer Boston 5k Summer Series, you have one final chance - September 18 (women's only at 6pm and co-ed at 6:15). Feel free to register here.


Have you ever shocked yourself mid-race with an amazing split?

#GIVEAWAY: Free Entry To South Shore Half Marathon (11/2)

Annddddd the winner IS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Picking the perfect Half Marathon race can be tricky! There are a ton of factors: date, course, course limit, # of water stops, number of participants, race swag and of course BLING!

Well folks the inauguralSouth Shore Half Marathon on November 2 in Norwell, MA is hitting the nose on the head in all aspects. About 45 minutes outside of Boston.

south shore
south shore

Let's break it down.

The South Shore Half is a scenic back-roads course, which is closed to traffic (BIG WIN THERE!) This course is sure to offer something for runners of all experience levels. The half marathon will start in the driveway of the Norwell High School, and finish at the Norwell Post Office.

How can you go wrong running through a beautiful New England town with the leaves changing all around?

The 13.1 mile course has 11 water stops and a medical tent, which serves both Mile 5 and 9 of the course. 

The course limit for the race will be 3 hours and 30 minutes. I like hearing that the course will be closed for that entire time. I hate when I hear races open up the streets after 3 hours or less. Everyone should be safe.

Getting to and from the parking lot? They got it covered.

Shuttle buses will be provided from parking at Hanover Mall to the start line at Norwell High School and from the finish line in Norwell center to the Hanover Mall. The shuttle buses will start running at 5:30 AM from the Hanover Mall and will continue running from the finish line until 3:00 PM.

Not only do I love being part of inaugural races, but I love races that offer sweet swag!!

  • Long sleeve tech t-shirt
  • Half Marathon Finisher Medals 
  • Event running hat (register before 8/15/14 at midnight)
  • Commemorative pint glasses (register before 10/10/2014 at midnight)

Ohhh yyeaahh! That sounds right up my alley.

(Sorry I am posting this late so those who register from here on out are out of luck on the hat)

In the FAQ portion of the website, they list:

Are walkers permitted?
Feel free to run, walk, or crawl just make sure you can complete the half marathon course in under our course time limit (3 hours 30 minutes).

I like the inclusion of crawling! There are definitely some races where I feel like that may be the only way I get myself across the line.

The race does allow strollers, but asks those using strollers to start in the back of the pack for safety reasons.

Oh oh and how did I forget the post-race party. Each participant will get a free beer (brewery not listed yet) at Tinkers Son Pub at the Finish Line. Mmmm beer! :)

All of this is adding up to one sweet race and I cannot wait for it... and for YOU to join me!

That's right it is giveaway time!!

So here’s how to enter.

The giveaway will run from Sunday August 24 (2pm ET) through Friday August 29 (2pm ET)!

The winner will be selected and announced on Friday!

*REVIEW* Classpass hit Boston!

"Wow! I really want to try that new spin studio in town, but I don't want to dive in for a full membership." "I wish I could shop around to find the perfect yoga studio for me."

"Hmm my gym doesn't offer the boot camp variety I need in my workouts."

Have you ever said any of the statements listed above? I know I have.

And apparently Classpass was listening!


What is Classpass you may be wondering?

ClassPass is a monthly service that gives its members access to the best studios in their city. For $99 a month, members get 10 classes to be used to visit any studio of their choice up to 3 times per month. 

We want fitness to be accessible and approachable. We want fitness minded people to be able to meet like-minded individuals; where a thriving community and support system can become established.

I was psyched when Classpass reached out to me and asked if I wanted to test out the service. You bet I did!

(Note: While I was giving a complimentary month to Classpass, all thoughts and reviews of studios are my own!)

For $99 a month, you have 10 classes to use at more than 50 fitness studios in and around the Boston area (Spin, pilates, yoga, bootcamp, Zumba, etc), BUT you cannot attend a single studio (no matter how many locations they have) more than 3 times during that month.

photo 1 (7)photo 2 (4)

The latest studios added to the Classpass website

Reserving classes on the site is simple.

Reserve a class by clicking on one of the venues, and then selecting the class you would like to reserve. Press the “reserve” button next to the class and confirm your reservation, and you’ll be added to the list! You do not need to bring a voucher or print out to class — just bring a photo id. 

New classes are added to ClassPass everyday at noon. Classes are available to be booked on ClassPass for one week in advance.

Now you will be penalized $20 if you do NOT cancel a class reservation at least 24 hours in advance AND you lose one of your 10 classes for the month.

I understand why they do this, but it was a bummer for me as I got injured the night before two afternoon classes and had to cancel. But it was within 24 hours of the classes so I had to pay $40 AND lost 2 of my 10 trials. Boo!! I wish they understood that last minute illnesses and injuries happen.

Currently Classpass is available in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I am hearing rumblings that Chicago might be one of the next to get the feature.


Let's get to the classes themselves. I was able to use 7 of my 10 classes after 3 were nixed due to canceling last minute. :/

I wanted to use this opportunity to test out the many Spin studios Boston has to offer.


My first stop was an easy choice: Flywheel at the Prudential Center. I made sure to attend a class with my friend and Tedy's Team mate Melinda would be teaching.


A single ride will cost you $28, but the first ride is always free at Flywheel.

Now I had attended one Flywheel class before Classpass which you can read about here. Flywheel is an experience of it's own. I would recommend this studio to everyone.

Having the torq board really sets the studio apart from the others. You feel an entire body workout when you walk out the door.


I had to do a 1 hr and 45 minute training ride for my half ironman so I took a double one Wednesday morning with Melinda.


Ohh boy! It was awesome to see how many others did the double as well.


^ First class is free!

^ Free cycling shoes to all participants (and I did see them disinfecting them in between classes)

^ Padded bike seat covers available

^ Torq board

^ Secure Lockers

^ Showers available


^ With Classpass, you don't get to choose your bike - it is automatically reserved for you

--> I would definitely go back to this studio!


Next up on the Spin studio tour was The Handle Bar at the Fenway Park location.


The Handle Bar Indoor Cycling Studio has two locations: South End and the newer Fenway Park.

A single class at the studio will run you $20. Shoe rental is $2 (unless you are an unlimited rider member then it is free)


I registered for a Wednesday afternoon class, where we were greeted by a substitute instructor named Lena. I had no idea what to expect at the studio and wasn't offered much advice when heading into the studio.

Thankfully I knew how to set my own bike up since I couldn't grab the instructor's attention for help. She started right into the class and I felt lost.

Now I have taken many a Spin class, but this was the first where I couldn't follow along. A majority of the class was pushups and ab work while cycling. So while it was a GREAT calorie burn, I didn't feel like it was a great Spin workout.


I couldn't hear the cues from the instructor so I had to rely on the other participants to get the flow down.

Upon finishing the class, I thought I would never walk into a Handle Bar class again.

After seeing my thoughts on social media I was contacted by the owner Jess who was upset to hear about my experience. She assures me not all classes are like that and would like me to come back and try a different class. So I will do that and follow up with everyone.


^ Good calorie burn

^ Intimate studio

^ Fast-paced music


^ Cubbies instead of lockers

^ Lack of instruction

^ Unfriendly desk staff

^ Pay for shoe rental

--> Based on this experience I would not go back, but I will give another instructor a chance thanks to Jess' offer.


B Spoke Studios in Downtown Crossing (Federal St) would be my third Spin studio.


A single class would run you $27, but your first visit to the studio is free.

B Spoke Studios had a beautiful bathroom with showers.


Photo Courtesy B Spoke

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And good bathroom mirrors for selfies :P

They had complimentary spin shoe rental, but I did not see them disinfecting the shoes between classes. Thankfully I had brought my own shoes just in case.

After putting my backpack away in the secure lockers, I grabbed a free water (17oz - free to all participants) and headed into the studio.


Photo Courtesy B Spoke

I was warned ahead of time that the instructor had an appointment after class and it would be ending about 5 minutes early. If I had paid the $27 I would've been irked.

B Spoke liked to pack a full-body workout - cardio, hand weights, core work - into a 45-minute class.

Feel the beat, clear your head, and prepare to sweat

As I said the class was cut short, but I liked the more Spin focused workout while adding in pushups and core work. We did sprints, hills and jumps.

Nadia, the instructor, did a great job of calling out the cues, making sure everyone's bike was set up correctly and keeping us motivated during the ride.


^ First class is free!

^ Free bottles of water

^ Complimentary spin shoe rental

^ Secure Lockers

^ Showers


^ Didn't see shoes being disinfected

^ Not as many classes offered (they are working on including more in the Fall)

--> I would definitely go back to this studio!


Final studio on my Classpass tour was Recycle Studio on Newbury St.

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A single ride is $22. Oh and I just saw on their website that a new rider can get a full "welcome week" for $30. Wow! That's a good deal.


Photo courtesy Recycle Studio

I chose to take a Rebalance Ride one Friday morning.

REBALANCE is made for those who are looking to regain balance through a sweaty, dynamic class with lots of out of the saddle movement. The 45 minute ride will focus on core work/posture which is often overlooked in traditional classes. Get those abs and legs fired up and sweat it out.

The studio is located on the fourth floor of a building on Newbury Street.

Recycle Studio is Boston’s first indoor cycling studio. Here we ride to the beat, choreograph a full body workout and get lost in time. Our studios don’t have clocks, we ride in candle light and sweat with strength.

It has a small changing area with cubbies.

photo 5 (61)

And a great mirror for selfies!

They do a great job of utilizing the space they have and including an area for their classes (yoga,private training, etc) and the studio room itself.


As mentioned above the class is taught to candle light. Anni, the instructor, did a great job checking in with newbies before the class making sure we knew there would be "choreography" and that she would make sure to explain it before the class. She did a great job calling out the moves and I felt up-to-speed the entire ride.

Anni did a great job blending the upper body/core work with a great Spin class of hills, jumps and sprints. I was dripping with sweat afterwards and feeling a full-body workout.

The weights track focused on little movements, which gave me flashbacks of my Pure Barre classes.

Having the lights off really took the focus off the time of the class and put it onto the ride and movements. It was a great way to kick off a Friday morning.


^ Intimate studio

^ Great instruction

^ Good blend of arms/core and spin work

^ Lights off took focus off the clock


^ No bike reservation

^ No showers

--> I would go to this studio again!


But there is more to Classpass and Boston than Spin studios. I had planned on trying a yoga class and two Zumba classes, but had to cancel those due to injury.

I was however able to make my Barry's Bootcamp class with Sarah of SarahFit.com.


photo 3 (97)

A single class is $28.

I took Sarah's Butt & Legs 1-hour bootcamp class on a Tuesday morning. Sarah did a great job taking us on a quick tour and then explaining how the class would work. On that day we would be doing two circuits: treadmill, bench/weight/floor work ... and repeat!

photo 4 (81)

As someone who doesn't do a lot of weight training (I know I know), I was worried especially since my left hamstring was still hurting. Sarah was great about showing me adjustments to the moves so that I could still take part.

It was a great environment where I realized no one was looking at how deep my squats were or that I was using lighter weights than everyone else. Each person was focusing on their own movements.

Plus Sarah gave great ranges when working on treadmill sprints so everyone felt included. I was pretty proud of the progress I made on the sprints. It wasn't until the second round of treadmill work that I realized you could see what pace you were sprinting at. I am apparently not quick on the uptake. ;)

Let me tell you my butt and legs were DEFINITELY feeling it. Thanks to Sarah for a great workout and doable variations of the workouts.

--> I would definitely give this boot camp another try!


^ Great workout

^ Uplifting environment

^ They have Sparkly Soul headbands on sale at their Boston location ;)

^ Secure lockers


^ Not the friendliest/welcoming front desk atmosphere

--> I would go back to this studio


Wow! Classpass really let me explore what the fitness side of Boston looks like. I wish it was more than 10 classes a month, but based on the single class prices listed above - 10 classes for $99 is a great deal.

So fellow Bostonians - will you be checking out Classpass?

Racecancer’s Boston 5k Summer Series: Race #4

Boston Summer Nights are made for 5ks along the Charles River. Thankfully Racecancer is giving me six chances to take in the glorious views of the water during the Boston 5k Summer Series. August 14th marked the fourth installment of the race and the weather was perfect - 6:30pm start for Women's Only 5k and a 7pm start for the Co-Ed 5k.

I got there a tad early to walk around and take in the sponsor tents. Since I have the season pass for the race series, I use the same bib for all 6 races so I didn't need to pick anything up.

The week prior to the race I experienced a quad injury, which left me with 5 forced rest days. For those that read this blog, you know that is unheard of in my world recently. ;) So it was tough.

The 5k would mark my first run since the injury so my goal was to take it easy.

But I am a horrible pacer when trying to take it easy during a race - I get swept up in the adrenaline of a race. I turned my Garmin over so I wouldn't be tempted to quicken up my pace if I felt I was running "too slow."

I was excited to be testing out my New Balance gear for the first time in a race - I had previously worn it for cross training and practice runs. Aren't those Foam Fresh 980s sweet?

Just before 6:30 I moved myself over to the Start Area for the Women's Only 5k.

My goal? Make it through pain free.

Race Director, Alain, spoke to the crowd briefly and shared a moment of silence for a member of the community's family member who had passed away from cancer. After the moment and race instructions, we were off.

The good thing about a race series means you become very familiar with the course. Knowing the course means less focus on going the right way and more about taking in the views.

Mile 1: 8:09

Even when the Garmin buzzed at Mile One, I went against my instincts and didn't sneak a peek. I was feeling good and wanted to focus on that.

Thankfully there wasn't any quad pain during the race. Now the pesky left hamstring pain took the forefront. I guess it was masked the week before by the quad pain.

It is a lingering pain from May and I know with more rest it will heal ... which I can do once the Half Ironman is over.

I want to commend the 5k for having two water stops on the course (Mile 1 and Mile 2). It is greatly appreciated by the runners.

Now I am doing this race alone and without music so it is all me and my thoughts during the run. ;) Which is a tough thing sometimes. The self-doubt and negative talk can come out in full effect. Trying to banish it is what I am working on.

Mile 2: 8:06

I passed on the water at the second water stop, but the volunteers were cheering everyone on loudly. Something I truly appreciated since this stretch of the race is a little light on the views/fan fare.

As I took the left onto the Arsenal St bridge, I smacked right into two guys standing with their bikes in the middle of the path. The race takes place on an open bike path, but I don't think these guys were ready to share the road. I let them know that there were a bunch of runners behind me and to make sure they stay on one side of the road.

It is all about sharing the road path folks!!

Once over the Arsenal St bridge, you take a left and head straight back to the Start on the path. This is a shady area along the water, which is great for a selfie break.

Now this is why I tell people to take multiple shots. Not every one will be a winner. ;)

(Read more at Mid-Run Selfie)

Mile 3: 8:04

I made sure just before Mile 3 to readjust the outfit before crossing the Finish Line. Gotta look good for those Finish Line photos. ;)

Final: 24:57

Very good for having come off rest and keeping it conservative.

After grabbing some water and stretching, I was debating taking part in the Co-Ed 5k as well (women's entry gets them into both races), but decided to keep it smart. I had the Falmouth Road Race (7 miles) on the Sunday and didn't want to risk any further injury.

But I did make sure to cheer them off.

It was a great turnout and I know folks had a great after party at Miller's Boston Ale House with Clown Shoes on tap.

I celebrated my 5k with my Chocolate Milk at home. At some point I will make it to an after party ... well I have 2 chances left. :P

Speaking of the next Boston 5k Summer Race is September 4 and you can register here (6pm for Women's Only and 6:30 for Co-Ed).


Will I see you there?

Racecancer’s Boston 5k Summer Series: Race #3

I love a race series especially one that takes place along the gorgeous and historic Charles River in Boston.

How did I get so lucky to call this my running path?

Thursday July 17th marked the third installment of Racecancer's Boston Summer 5k Series.

I competed in Race 1 on May 29, but missed Race 2 on June 12 due to injury.

When I woke up on July 17, I wasn't feeling it. I was just having one of those days when I wasn't in the mood to race. I think it happens to all of us at one time or another.

But, I knew I would feel better if I went, saw friends and just hit the pavement.

I arrived early for the race since I misread my calendar as to what time it started. Oops! I took the extra time to get some pre-run walking and stretching in.

I was deciding whether I would run both 5ks offered - the women's only 5k was kicking off at 7 and the co-ed 5k would follow at 7:30. I was going to wait and decide after race #1.

The women lined up just before 7 for pre-race announcements.

Not sure why I look so tall compared to everyone else. Hmm... For the record I am 5-8.

Also for the record, I was NOT posing in this photo. It just looks that way. ;)

Do you guys like my Race Ragz blog shirt? It was only the second time I wore it in a race.

As the pre-race jitters sunk in (like they do for every single race I participate in), I tried to block them out and turn it into fuel.

I had no expectations for the race time-wise and was just going to get out there and enjoy the atmosphere.

The course is basically the same for every race so I wouldn't have any surprises during the 3.1 miles.

After a 10 second countdown, we were OFF!

Ladies zoomed past me and I was okay with that. I wasn't going to PR and I needed to stay in my own game.

We crossed over the Eliot St bridge just before Mile 1 and I had to snap a pic.

How beautiful is that?

Mile 1: 7:48

It was hot and humid. I don't normally run in sleeves so I had to keep tucking my sleeves back under the strap of my sports bra. Having wardrobe malfunctions or annoyances while running is never fun.

And of course a halfway point selfie for everyone's enjoyment. ;) This was actually the second attempt at the selfie as the first was horrendous. Yes my mid-run selfies are not always perfect on the first try. :P

I want to thank the race for having two water stops during the 5k loop. They were both needed and appreciated.

Mile 2: 7:59

Since I was once again running without music, I needed something to occupy my mind for the final mile so I took in the people around me. I was trying to remember if any were around me during the first race in the series. I also had a blast watching this young girl - maybe around 10 or so - running with her mom. She kept looking over her shoulder to see if any of us were about to pass her.

I loved her fire and tenacity. Part of me wanted to step it up a notch to see what she would do, but I really wanted her to have that moment with her mom. So I hung back.

I also want to thank the race for providing free race photos to participants. It is such a rare thing these days. This photo was about 1/2 a mile from the Finish.

I gave it all I could for the final 1/2 mile, but between heat and my overall tiredness it felt like I was moving in place or I was on a treadmill. Has anyone else felt that during a run? I looked down just to confirm I was in fact moving forward.

As I neared the Finish Line, I looked to my right and saw a couple having a picnic - on the ground - among the geese. Ummm not my idea of a romantic date - umm hi goose poop - but they looked like they were having a phenomenal time.

Mile 3: 7:56

I crossed the Finish Line and went directly to the water jugs.

Let me tell you how much I did NOT feel like I was running sub 8's. Prior to my watch buzzing at Mile 1, I really expected to see a 9:30-ish pace. I just felt heavy and hot the entire race.

So while I am excited to see the final time, I really felt off the entire run. I don't think I could've done anything different. I was properly hydrated. I had plenty of fuel prior to the race. I was stretched. I think the heat/humidity was just there. Hi Summer! ;)

Once the first race was over, I was chatting with my friend George and seriously considering running the second 5k slowly. A cool down if you will. But as the time passed prior to the second race, the achiness in my left hammy was increasing. So I listened to my body and headed home.

Start to Coed 5k

With my weekly weigh-in the next morning I opted out of the post-race party at Miller's Boston Ale House sponsored by Long Trail Brewing. But man I could've used a beer after that race.

That night I looked at the race results for the women's only race and I was nowhere to be found. Hmm... I know from my mid-run selfie that I was in fact in there. After a quick tweet to the race organizers, I was told some people were missing from the electronic results, but were still on the manual list. It didn't take them long to fix the mistake. Thanks!

My 24:19 (7:50 min/mile pace) placed me 33rd overall out of 108 and 11th out of 35 in my division.

I am looking forward to hopefully being a little healthier for Race #4 of the series on Thursday, August 14 sponsored by Clown Shoes. Want to join me? You can still register here.


Have you ever participated in a women's only 5k?

Athleta ... After Hours

If only life was like a TV show, right? I'm thinking of the classic Saved By The Bell or some other equally amazing 80s-90s classic TV show where the gang gets trapped in the mall/store - after hours! They try on all the clothes, have some sort of safe mischief transpire and then they escape being arrested for trespassing and go on their way for pizza.

Doesn't anyone else wish that would happen to them?

Well I got the chance ... okay minus A.C. Slater and crew ... to hang at the Athleta Store on Newbury St in Boston - After Hours!

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I and some other Boston area bloggers were invited to check out Athleta's new Summer Line. Oh yeah sneak peek!!

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My love of Athleta has been growing and growing, but I can never find an opportunity to make it into one of the stores.  So I jumped at the opportunity. Plus, it happened at 7pm, which meant I could leave work at my normal time and arrive fashionably late. I know I am never fashionable, but I can OWN fashionably late.

I arrived at Athleta to a nearly empty store, which is a really cool sensation. It is like walking into your personal closet - except you need to pay for the things inside of it before you can wear them. :P Minor detail.

There were a handful of bloggers on site when I arrived, as well as some delish looking wraps being offered by Flatout Bread.

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Flatout Bread even sent us home with a bag full of goodies. I know you are all jealous of that.

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After grabbing my glass of champagne and snapping a quick "Look Ma! I am in a store after hours. Aren't I cool? Okay I know I am not, but let's pretend" selfie...

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... I was off to the races to check out the goods.

Now, if you told me five years ago, that I would be this giddy over checking out workout clothes - I would've told you to go home. But, here I am in 2014, and in heaven.

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I mean how cute, right?

Athleta doesn't carry all of their size options in store. I believe you have to go online to purchase some of the larger options (hope they are working to change that). But Athleta does range in sizes from 0-20 or (S-2X). I am not sure if every style is available in all sizes, but playing around on the website helps to figure that out.

As someone who used to be a size 20, I appreciate a brand name taking care of their clients - who range in shapes and sizes. Plus, I love the Athleta message of "power to the she!" Girl Power baby. Oh Spice Girls how I miss thee.

But I digress...

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I did a once around the store before targeting the running corner. Are we shocked. The pants (pictured above) caught my eye immediately. They are the Blossoms Be Free Knicker (value $64). I loved the pattern, the drawstring, ventilation behind the knees, the rear pocket AND side pockets (where I could hold my ENERGYBits during a run. Oh they were made for me. I was Oohing and Ahhing over them when I heard: "Do you want me to start a room for you?"

Oh heck yeah!

I've never liked clothes shopping or trying on clothes, but seeing the fun colors and patterns in Athleta that night made me leap at the chance to see how they would look.

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The girl helping me asked what size I needed and I immediately wanted to say XL. BUT I already own a pair of Athleta pants so I knew it was a Medium. Can that gut reaction to say XL just go away?

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And they fit like a glove. The tag is blocking the side pocket, but it is perfect for your in-run fuel. I had a hard time taking them off. I just wanted to hit the streets in them.

I may or may not have done a lap in the store, while wearing them. I mean you need to test these things out right?

The extra lap also helped me spot some additional pants to try on.

As I mentioned before, I love the relay capris I got during a Fitfluential campaign last year. They are amalfi blue - aka really blue - and were a color choice out of my comfort zone.

I was explaining this to the girls who worked at Athleta and they pulled the same pants off the discount rack ($69 marked down to $44.99), but in coralade (aka pink). I was nervous to try on such a bold flavor, but felt comfortable with the encouragement from the girls in the fitting room so I took the  chance.

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How bright are they? :P

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Sorry I didn't have time to match my KT Tape to the pants.

While I was doing a little walk around in the relay capris, I noticed Rachel (aka @Healthy_Chicks) rockin' the Chaturanga Capri ($54)in Catalina Green. They were fierce. Can I say fierce? Has Beyoncé trademarked that?

Anywho with some slight prodding by the other ladies in the fitting room, I took the plunge to try them on.

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See the fierceness? Ignore my inability to make a normal face.

As soon as I put them on I wanted to live in them. I kid you not. I wanted to make a movement that these be considered business wear. They were flattering - a nice wide waistband which really flatters all body types. They are made of a Pilayo wicking material, which allows the pants to breathe and dry quickly. They even lend "UPF 50+ protection."

While changing back into my normal wear, the three pairs of pants sat in front of me. Taunting me. Calling my name. Saying they wanted to come home with me.

I was not planning on spending money.

Then I remembered. I tucked a $50 Athleta gift card in my pocketbook earlier in the day. Just in case. AND the lovely ladies of Athleta treated all the bloggers to a $25 gift card for being at the event. Pair those $75 gift cards with a 30% off coupon and I walked out of the store with three pairs of pants for $53.

Oh heck yeah!

Even without the gift cards the Athleta pants are reasonably priced compared to some other workout clothing lines that I won't mention (from that country ending in anada).

So if you haven't had the chance to check out the new Athleta Summer line, head to their website or the closest store. You really won't be disappointed.

You just may have to bring your own champagne and snacks... ;)

"What's Your Goal Time For Boston?" - Said Everyone Always

Did you know I am running the Boston Marathon? I know I never mention it on here and couldn't be any less excited about it....

Allowing time for eye rolls from you the reader to take place

So back to reality!

The race is one month from TODAY! Say wha? I know. Time freakin' flies folks.

So soon you will be seeing Flat Dani make an appearance.


Flat Dani 2013

(Feel free to check out my 2013 recap here)

One of the first questions someone asks when finding out I am running the Boston Marathon is:

What is your goal time?


Now last year I had levels of goals laid out.


2013 Goals Were:

1) Finish. Seems like a simple request, but you really never know what can happen during a given race so I want to remain healthy enough to complete the 26.2 mile crusade.

2) Post a time sub 4 hours. This was my goal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon in November 2012 (my 2nd marathon) and I accomplished it then (3:58:49) so I would like to do that again if I can.

3) PR – 3:55. This is a dream, but keeping it as a possibility based on my previous training runs. If I could keep a steady 9:00 min/mile pace, I would post a 3:55:48, which would be a 3 minute PR. I would take that for sure!!

4) PR – 3:51. I could obtain this if I kept an average pace of 8:50. Definitely a possibility if I find people with a similar pace to mine. I always run better when I have a partner who is faster they I am. Why? Well I always doubt my speed and having someone with me pushes me.

5) PR – 3:50 or less. A girl can Wish Upon A Star, ya know?


After posting a 4:04:08 in 2013, I was angry at myself. I had a foot pain start at Mile 17 and just not leave me alone the rest of the race. I stopped to stretch at every med tent, etc. Obviously, once everything happened at the Finish Line just after I crossed. The perspective changed. But, I still was upset with myself for only accomplishing 1 of the possible 5 I had set out.


I DID make sure to soak up every minute of the course and had a blast while out there. It was - at the time - a once in a lifetime experience for me.

Fast forward to the Tedy's Team post-marathon party the week after the marathon and I am given the opportunity to return to the team for 2014. Every one of my teammates, whether they finished or not, were coming back ... so I definitely was.

The level of emotions I have felt since April 15, 2013 and on every run since then run the gamut.

Having said all that, my goals haven't really changed from the ones set in 2013. I would LOVE to run a sub-4 at Boston and in 2013 I was soooo damn close.

But my #1 priority, is to again soak up every minute of that race. Like Tedy Bruschi said, the Start Line is the Finish and the race is the after party! So I am ready to have a freakin' blast on April 21.


I am worried that emotions will play a factor in pace, etc. So I am trying to have that inner conversation about knowing that is okay. This race and experience is not about time. Dear Dani, it is NOT about time.

Oh who am I kidding - I do care about the time. I am trying not to, but it is hard after being so close last year.

I did the Black Cat 20-miler two weeks ago in 2:57:59 (8:54 min/mile pace). If I could keep that up for 6.2 additional miles I am set. Heck, if I can keep a steady 9 min/mile pace I would PR.

But, I need to run a smart race. I have learned from last year and I hope to show up on race day a smarter runner ... the second time around.

One never knows what can happen on race day. The body may feel off. A twinge of pain can come out of nowhere (thanks 2013). So I am trying not to psyche myself out by putting a lofty goal in my head.

Whatever happens on April 21, I will be wearing a smile ear to ear - unless I am crying then well you know what to expect. :P

With you all by my side and in my head and heart, I will run the strongest race I can.

All I can ask of myself is to give it my all.

Now about that post-race beer?


2014 Goals Are:

1) Finish. I thought about Goal 1 being make it to the start line, but I figure even if I am crawling from second one - I would be at the Start.

2) Beat 4:04:08. Always fun to try and beat the time from the previous year's race.

3) Post a time sub 4 hours. This was my goal last year and for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon in November 2012 (my 2nd marathon) and I accomplished it then (3:58:49) so I would like to do that again if I can.

4) PR – 3:55. This is a dream, but keeping it as a possibility based on my previous training runs. If I could keep a steady 9:00 min/mile pace, I would post a 3:55:48, which would be a 3 minute PR. I would take that for sure!!

Tedy's Team Group Run - 10 Miles

The FINAL "Riverside Run" took place today and I had a special guest ...

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my friend Christina! She is running with the John Hancock team and couldn't make their long run on Sunday so she joined us. It was great. I was able to catch up with her to see how she faired at the Black Cat 20-miler last weekend! :)

We had a heat wave in Boston this morning with temps in the high 30s! Hollah! I really didn't know how to dress. I stood staring at my vast collection of running garb this morning debating what to wear and what not to wear. I opted for a headband rather than hat, Team Chocolate Milk jacket, short sleeve shirt underneath - which meant no Under Armour, capris and my Superman socks.

Now I know I said I would wear calf sleeves for all my runs after the 20-miler last week, but I felt with 10 I would be safe in my Superman socks. I needed the extra pep in my step of wearing them today. They make me so happy. Plus later on you will see why the choice paid off. ;)

We all stretched at Joint Ventures in Kenmore Square and at 8am we headed to the T (train). It was nice to catch up with Nancy, Cristina and Christina. I missed the first two last week - we run together every week.

It was bittersweet to get to the Riverside stop on the train. It would be our final training run here, which means the marathon is nearing!! :P

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I made my final venture to the dingy, but life-saving bathroom at the train stop ... and we were off!

It was awesome to be back with the crew and to have that crazy orb in the sky that many call - the Sun. It made it feel like it was 50 degrees out. I welcomed the warmth.

I really tried to take in the scenery of the run. The first mile or so is through a neighborhood before we are plopped out on to the marathon course.

Mile 1: 9:32 Mile 2: 9:04

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Every week the guys from the Newton Firehouse were out offering up water and snacks to the runners. Today I finally remembered to snap a pic. It was a great sight seeing them out clapping for us and manning their own aid station. Plus, this spot was at the start at Heartbreak Hill so it was a great little boost to the spirit.

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Like my drive-by/creeper pics as I ran? :P

Mile 3: 9:08 Mile 4: 8:52

I felt good on the rolling hills today. I kept thinking how the extra time on the bike trainer is really paying off. It is making my legs stronger without beating the body up like running does. I had to scale the running back this week because of those pesky blisters from the 20-miler so the bike trainer was my savior.

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I love seeing this sign plus the amazing water stop guru Margaret every week. After bidding farewell to our lovely volunteers, it was time to catch up with Nanci and Christina to see how he run was going. This was Christina's first experience with the rolling hills of Heartbreak so it was great to hear her thoughts.

Now as I continued on, I heard "Hey Dani" to my right. It was a blog reader Jamie. How did she recognize me?? By these awesome socks! :)

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Thanks Jamie for saying hi and good luck with your marathon training with Girls On The Run! Right after we parted ways I finally had my first gorilla sighting of the training season.


I love seeing Bill the Gorilla from the Heartbreak Hill Running Company. I always stop for a pic with him when on the course. A fun long-run tradition! :)

I saw Nanci and Cristina again after I stopped for my picture so we chatted before the final hump of Heartbreak. I was ready to "make it my B&^%ch" as usual so I tried to power over it.

Mile 5: 9:36 Mile 6: 9:05

And just like that the rolling hills were done. Another meeting with Heartbreak Hill was in the books. Still no matter how many times I train on it - it is way different on Race Day! The crowds and the 16-miles prior to it all play into the experience.

I did a check-in with myself and was feeling strong. My toes were slightly sore which can be expected with the blisters, etc. But with the hills over I was ready to release the legs for the final four miles. I wanted to see what I had left in the tank.

And you know what I had? Some sweet negative splits!! Don't they look pretty?

Mile 7: 8:47 Mile 8: 8:39 Mile 9: 8:26 Mile 10: 8:15

I opted to run music free. I was having fun chatting with teammates when they were near me and waving/saying hi to a ton of friends and blog readers along the course. I really love seeing familiar faces out training. Plus I had fun remembering which charities they were putting those miles in for and thinking about the thousands of dollars going to good causes one mile at a time today!!

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Technically today's run is 10.2 miles long so I stop at 10 and take the last 0.2 as a nice cool down walk. Stretch out the legs, etc. Once back at Joint Ventures, I made sure to use the foam rollers and stretch everything out.

After saying bye to everyone it was time to head home, shower, snuggle the pups, throw on my Zensah compression socks and work on my recap (hello recap!).

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But now I am heading to see some of my favorite folks in Maine. So until next week's 18-miler folks...


Week 13 Workouts:

Sunday, March 2: 30-minute bike trainer session

Monday, March 3: 1.1-mile run and Spin Class (56 minutes)

Tuesday, March 4: 30-minute bike trainer session

Wednesday, March 5REST DAY

Thursday, March 6: REST DAY

Friday, March 7: 45-minute bike trainer session

Saturday, March 8: 10 mile group run


Looking To Donate

Are you interested in helping to fight Stroke? Please feel free to click on the link HERE to share a donation. Wondering how much? How about $10 in honor of the 10 miles I ran today with Tedy’s Team?