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!

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.

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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.

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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)

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

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*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



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.

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.

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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)

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

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Will you be one of the 32? :)

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)

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

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*Remember list is still growing!*


Are you going to help me celebrate AND #FightStroke?

How To Prep For A Triathlon Transition

Signing up for the triathlon and training for it seemed like the easy part once I started thinking about how much STUFF is needed for Race Day and the transition area.

Where to begin?

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Step One: Lay out everything I need for Race Day

I find it helpful to lay my gear out by category.

Category 1: Outfit.

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My Got Chocolate Milk Tri Kit, my Garmin watch and aSparkle Athletic Skirt.

Not pictured Zensah sports bra.

This will be my base for the day, except I will NOT be wearing the Sparkle Athletic skirt in the water. ;)

Now not everyone will have a tri kit and that is A-okay! I didn't have one for the first year of racing in triathlons and only have one now thanks to Team Chocolate Milk! ;)

Category 2: Transition Area.

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I love to use my Asics towel as my base. On top of that base goes all accessories, fuel and “just in case” stuff. I like to keep a water bottle, a handheld water bottle (if I want it for the run), a KIND bar, my ENERGYBits and sunglasses.

Category 3: The Swim.

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So apparently I cut off the most important part of the swim attire – goggles. Ha. So my swim gear includes goggles, swim cap (usually one issued by the race itself), wetsuit and a towel to clear off my feet to transition to the bike.

Do you like the sweet Nestle towel I have? I got it when the Nesquik Bunny visited me back in March. :)

Category 4: The Bike.

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Once I maneuver the wetsuit off – hopefully without falling :P – and the feet are dry, it is time to secure my Sparkly Soul headband before putting on my helmet. You can get penalized if you are moving with the bike and not having your helmet on so I make sure it is one of the first thing I put on for the bike.

With the helmet on, I will put on myZensah compression sleeves, attach my race belt which will already have my number on it and slip into the shoes.

NOW if you do not want to wear the race belt - again A-okay - you can also throw on a shirt or singlet during transition, which will already have the number pinned to it. This is your call and what you are more comfortable with.

I actually like to throw a singlet or tank on over my tri kit because well the tri kit isn't very flattering especially when went. :P

Category 5: The Run.

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The final transition should be the easiest. Bike shoes and helmet off … visor and sneakers on.

Once I give everything a once over – adding the race bib and bike number – it all goes into my big IKEA bag (yup classy) and it sits by the front door. This way I won’t forget anything. I put everything in the bag by category, which makes setting up transition on race day a breeze.

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I personally like bike gear closest to front of towel, food/energy/fuel in the middle and run farthest away. Play around with the set up of your transition area to see what works for you.

My bike helmet isn't in the transition picture since I keep it on the handlebars with my Garmin, which is already cued up to MultiSport. :)

It has taken me a few tries tris (see what I did there) to get it right, but now I have a good system. It is always up for tweaking, but I am getting into the groove.


I hope some of these tips can help you prep for your next triathlon.

My Recent Running Finds

New toys. New shiny things. New running clothes. I love finding new gadgets or clothing to improve my running/gym experiences.

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Here are a few things that I have found through the interwebs.

1) Cory Vines 

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Cory Vines is a clothing company out of Montreal, Canada. I had the honor of speaking with their founder Daniel over the phone a couple of weeks back. Their products are available online only, which helps with cost, and are all about the buyers' needs.

We aren’t trying to sell 10,000 items. We only make things we are really excited about. Our goal is to keep it simple by providing a seamless shopping experience. We produce everything you need and nothing that you don't.

I sampled the Essential Long Sleeve in Sunset (pictured above), which retails for $35 USD. The fabric is soft, light and extremely breathable. Not only did it serve as a great base layer for my run it also is soft enough to wear while lounging on the couch watching movies.

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Don't you love a versatile and functional piece of clothing?

2) KT Tape

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I have been using KT Tape on my knee for all of my big races, especially since many of the bigger races have KT Tape booths at the expo so you can try it for free.

But as my body took a beating during marathon training for The Boston Marathon in April 2013, I needed support more often. I finally got the courage to try applying KT Tape myself rather than letting the experts do it at a race expo. :)

KT Tape has instructional videos on their website that make it easy enough for someone like me to correctly apply the tape.

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I use it on my knee on almost a daily basis for stabilization during my runs/workouts. After injuring my wrist during an obstacle race this past summer, I needed something to help stabilize my wrist while strength training and KT Tape came to the rescue.

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After seeing my friend Heather post on Instagram about KT Tape helping her ball-of-foot pain, I had to give it a try. I was diagnosed with Metatarsalgia last month and the metatarsal pad wasn't helping my pain in the slightest so I turned to KT Tape to help relieve some of the pain. I was skeptical at first because how could tape help relieve the pressure, but it has really helped. More so than the metatarsal pad. Now the pain isn't 100% disappearing, but it is making running bearable. I've even been able to participate in the #RWRunStreak thanks to KT Tape.

3) Armpocket

I was contacted to test out Armpocket and I am so happy they reached out! I had never heard of this product before.

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The Armpocket (this model valued at $29.95) can hold your phone, ID, credit cards, train pass, money for a post-run low-fat chocolate milk or coffee ;) and more. And by more I mean I could fit my ENERGYBits, my natural running energy boost, in the armband so I wouldn't have to bring an extra bag to a race when traveling solo.

Traveling to races or long runs solo is always nerve-wracking to me. Where will I bag check or stash my stuff along the way. But Armpocket can actually hold all of my essentials in one place, while keeping them dry (it's water resistant), being lightweight on my arm and keeping me fueled throughout the run.

The Armpocket offers different colors and different models to match all smart phones!

4) Zensah Smart Running Gloves

How many times have you tried to change a song on your iPod during a run only to have your glove fail at "swiping" the smart phone screen?

Enter the Zensah Smart Running Gloves (retail $29.99).

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The gloves not only keep your hands warm, but they also allow you to finally change the songs on your iPod or text a friend without having to take your gloves off. Let me tell you as someone that runs in the unbearable cold temperatures of the Boston winter I am psyched for these beauties. They are going to come in pretty handy while training for the 2014 Boston Marathon.

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The gloves in action setting up my Runkeeper for my latest run. Look ma gloves on and I can still work my phone! :)

5) ACTIVE Accessories


Active Accessories’ On-The-Go Accessory Pouch is a versatile, sporty clutch designed for people of all ages who are always “on the go”. Designed to fill the reoccurring need of a “fun and athletic looking” accessory holder to put jewelry in when going from work to the gym or running outside. Never lose an earring again!

Since I usually head to the gym from home, I haven't had to use it to hold my jewelry accessories (as the owner of Active Accessories, Nancy, does) but instead as a way to bring my essentials on walk with a friend to get coffee or a trip to the gym. This cute clutch (value $9.99) can hold my ID, credit card, cash, keys and my iPhone while I am out and about. This is a HUGE help since I usually jam all of that stuff in my pockets, which isn't the most secure way to do it, or I leave everything on top of the piece of the exercise equipment I am using and inevitably fall of mid-workout. So now all of my valuables are in one safe spot.

Plus, I can rock this on a daily basis while running errands as well. Talk about getting your $10 worth.

But, I like where Nancy was going when inventing this product. When I had to go straight from work to the gym or vice versa, I would just shove my jewelry in the side pocket of my gym bag, which wasn't a safe way to hold my valuables or a way to keep my necklaces from tangling with my earrings.

6) 1BandID


I am one forgetful person when it comes to heading out for my run or leaving the house on the norm. So when I found 1BandID I got excited that I could now attach my information (which every runner should have on them whenever they are out hitting the pavement) to my Garmin. I never run/walk without my Garmin so having my info attached to the Garmin itself seems genius.

I was sold after reading their website:

What Makes 1BandID Different

  • It attaches to your watch, GPS or Heart Rate Monitor band, the one thing triathletes, runners and most cyclists wear most often. It simplifies safety and helps make ID unforgettable.
  • Patented design that minimizes bulk and weight. It's an identification tag that is so light and comfortable you won't even know it's there until you need it the most. So while you're checking your heart rate, distance or time, or clocking another lap at the track, 1BandID has your back. 
  • Neoprene instead of nylon so it doesn't absorb water. It's ID that is built to withstand countless hours in the pool or any weather mother nature throws at you on the road or trail.
  • Nearly indestructible stainless steel tag holds up to 6 lines of crystal clear contact and medical information. Because seconds count in an emergency, the most important information is plainly visible on the front of the tag.
  • Available in lots of colors so you can accessorize your race kit, show off your mood or just pick your favorite.
  • Made in the USA and proudly shared around the world.

All of that for $19.99. Seems like a no-brainer to me!


There are just a few of the new products that I've discovered and enjoyed using on my runs/trips to the gym recently!

I hope some of these can help you! :)

Boston Triathlon ... aka My First Tri


Oh did you want more of a recap?

Well then let's do it! :)

I think everyone knows I was a tad wicked nervous for my first triathlon. I mean check out my T-minus 12 hours post for the jist.

I mean Hello look at all the numbers attached to this one race.

So let's get right to it!!


5am - Alarm Goes Off

I sprang out of bed. I knew I had laid out all my clothes the night before, but there was still so much to do before we had to leave the house. I let the dogs out so they could take care of business while I hectically got ready and attached the bike to the bike rack (which I thankfully put on the car the night before). Sometimes being slightly OCD can help one out on the morning of the race.

After leaving the house without my Garmin on the morning of the Boston Marathon, I made sure to check that I had that about 17 times before we left the house.

I had my big bag of stuff for the transition and I made sure the wife had her back-up ready with extra clothes, snacks and any other odds and ends we would need that morning.

We met my dad on the porch and...

5:40am - We are out the door

I was told by my Triathlon coaches (and fellow Tedy's Team members) Jackie and Cat to be on site by 6:15am for the 7:45am start time because there is so much more to account for before the race than a regular running race.

Since my dad and wife were getting up so early for me, I made sure we stopped at Dunkins on the way to the race. They deserved and needed the caffeine. :P

In the car I felt oddly calm. This is extremely weird for me before a race, but I was hoping to take it as a good sign. Also I knew as soon as I was on the site of the race, it would be a whole different ballgame.

6:15am-ish - We pull into a parking space

Annddd cue the butterflies. As we pull into a parking space, I start to see the other athletes with their professional bikes and looking like they knew what they were doing. In my head panic. I wanted to turn around and leave. But wait a minute. Not happening. I freakin' worked my butt off to be there too so self pull up your spandex shorts and get out there.

(Timing after this is a blur so time to go general with titles ;))


The air was crisp, the sun was shining and the water looked calm - one gorgeous Boston morning! We really couldn't ask for better weather conditions.

I headed over to the transition area to get my bike checked and to set up my area. Thankfully I had watched some transition videos on Youtube the day before so I had a better idea of what I was supposed to do. I also took a picture as people suggested so I could go back after the race and see what I would change - if anything.

After racking my bike and getting everything in place, I realized that Ace Wheelworks (where I bought my bike) had tents set up and were putting air in people's tires for free. So I went back in and got my bike. I didn't want any chances of getting a flat just because the tire wasn't filled up enough. Tires perfect and back to the transition area Roxie went.

I stopped a volunteer to ask exactly how the transition would work - where do we enter from the swim, how do we exit, etc. I wasn't taking any chances of doing something incorrectly and getting slapped with a penalty.

Well by this time there was still well over an hour before the race so I went with my dad and the wife to find a location for them to set up camp for awhile. Since Tori was two weeks post-knee surgery, we needed to make sure she could sit as much as possible.

I nibbled slowly on my KIND bar, which was delish (Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt)... Mmmmm!!

I went to hit up the port-a-potty and finally ran into people I knew. Yay! Chelsea and Ally, who I both knew through twitter but had just met on Wednesday in person, were also first-time triathlete folks so it was great to share this experience with them.

Chatting with them and seeing familiar faces calmed my nerves before heading back to see my crew.

The transition area closed at 7:30am so I needed to make sure I got back in there in plenty of time to get my wetsuit, swimcap and goggles for the swim. I also had to pop my ENERGYBits then or I wouldn't have them and that wasn't happening.

Around 7:15ish, I bid farewell to my dad and wife (trying not to cry) and headed into the transition area. I was walking over to my bike when I noticed a familiar face. It was my friend Howley, who I probably hadn't seen in a good 6-7 years. She was there doing the tri relay as friends needed someone to do the bike portion. Again, seeing a familiar face distracted me from the nerves.

I made it back to my bike, grabbed my necessary tools, gave the transition area one more check over and was off to the beach for the pre-race meeting with the officials.

I decided to walk through the water to get to the pre-race meeting. It was starting to get hotter while in the wetsuit and I wanted to see how the water temp felt. It was calming to be in the water. I was ready for the race to start, but we still had a good 40 minutes or so until my wave would set off. I was in the women's 25-34 heat which was Wave 5 of 10.

Thankfully I found Chelsea, Ally, other Zoom Multisport friends and Cat from Tedy's Team on the sand near the start area. It felt good to be near people I knew. Are we sensing a theme here?

Before I knew it, the National Anthem was playing and Wave 1 (Elite Athletes) was getting in position. There would be 2 minutes between Wave 1 and Wave 2 then 6 minutes between the rest of the waves. There were 10 waves in total with novice being the final group.

I thought about putting myself in the novice division, but felt I was a strong enough swimmer to be with my age group.

Swim - 1/2 Mile

Robin had told me to line up near the front of the wave because of my practice swim times, but I ended up being about 1/3 of the way back. I readjusted once I saw the division included the mid-to-late 20s as well. I assumed they would all be faster than me so I wiggled my way back. (Hindsight? Stupid decision)

All of a sudden they were counting down, in my head I just said: "Like Tedy said - it's the party! Have fun!" and we were off.

It is a running start, which means you run from the sand into the water to about your knees/low thighs then start swimming.

As soon as I started swimming, I instantly got kicked in the face. I thought - okay got that out of the way - let's get it. I had remembered Robin saying in the Ironman she swam on the outside to avoid getting kicked so I did try to find myself a little niche in the water to avoid people ... which was challenging.

I felt as if I was swimming in place. I didn't feel like I was making good time. I tried sighting as best I could, but still found myself drifting while swimming.

But, at no point did I feel tired. BONUS!

I am thankful I did a test swim in the water before the race so I had an idea of what to use for guide points.

Before I knew it we were making the final turn (we swam in a trapezoidal pattern) to the shore. I kept reminding myself to swim until my hands swept the bottom of the water THEN get up and start running.

My dad was able to catch me "gracefully" exiting the water. Man those rocks felt like needles under the feet.

Total Time: 16:35 Pace: 1:53/100 yds Overall Place: 175/630 Division: 12/52


Transition 1

Time: 1:51.1

This was my first attempt at taking the wetsuit off quickly (should probably practice that more for next time).

I tried to make the switch as methodical as possible. I used my mini towel to wipe off my wet/sandy feet and quickly put on my shoes/sneakers. Yes I raced sans clip medals/bike shoes because I wasn't comfortable enough on the bike yet.

I also made sure to click my bike helmet on as soon as I put it on since you can be penalized for an unclicked helmet.

I actually more my bike/run outfit under my wetsuit so I didn't have to do any wardrobe change. It was actually a great idea because the weather was heating up but the damp singlet kept me cool on the next two legs of the race.



By far this is my weakest part of the race and the one I dreaded the most. The goal for this leg was to not fall off the bike. Do you like how I set big goals for myself. ;)

But seriously after talking to Robin (sensing another theme with this ;)) we decided that my goal was to keep my bike pace around 17-19 mph.

The bike portion was 9 miles, which is short for most sprint tris - but perfectly fine for me.

I merged onto the bike portion (it was a loop which you had to complete twice) so I had to be aware of other bikers completing their second loop.

The bike portion and run portion were on the same road with the runners separated on the right by cones. There are so many rules about passing and not drafting on the bike that I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

I remembered them saying if you were going to pass you had 15 seconds and had to get 3 bike lengths ahead of the person/person being passed had to drop back 3 bike lengths.

I did my best to follow the rules, but really I was just focused on not falling.

I slowed down on the turns as those scare the crap outta me (again fear of falling). But I felt pretty comfortable out on the course since it was nice and flat AND I was able to cheer for some people I knew already on the run portion.

I just kept looking down at my cyclometer to make sure I was staying on point ... and shockingly I was!!! WOO HOO!

I also had to wipe my nose/mouth still from the swim, but I haven't mastered that taking the hands off the handlebars thing yet so I finally wiped my nose as I slowed for a turn. Sexy I know. :P

As I finished up the second loop, I was instructed to go to the right back to the transition area. I realized that my friend Cat was right in front of me.

They even had a line drawn on the ground telling you where to dismount the bike. Score!

I know I would've biked faster with 1) more practice and 2) actual bike shoes/clips - but that is for later events. (foreshadowing?)

Total Time: 28:57 Pace: 18.2 MPH (just what we wanted!!!) Overall Place: 388/630 (can we tell it's my weakest area) Division: 30/52


Transition 2

Time: 1:21.2

I followed Cat right into the transition area...

This was a pretty simple transition for me since I didn't have to change shoes like most people. I just made sure to put my race belt, which displayed my bib for the run, on first because you NEEDED it to finish. I popped a couple sport beans, fixed my hair, put on my Sparkly Soul headband, took a hit of Nuun Hydration water I had mixed, put on my running shades (thank goodness I made the last minute decision to bring them) and was off.



I started my Garmin late because I had no idea when the run was actually supposed to start. Oops. Thankfully I asked someone once on the course what they had and realized I was about .1 mile off from everyone else. Okay doing that math would also help distract me during the run.

I had been looking forward to the run all day (did I seriously just write that? :P) and felt great to be on the pavement.

There were cones separating the runners and the bikers on the street. The cones seemed to leave a really narrow running area so I ended up passing people on the left and entering the bike area. Thankfully bikers were giving enough room for runners to do this successfully.

It was great having the run be and out and back set up because I was able to high five some friends on the course, while simultaneously cheering for friends doing the bike portion.

Win-win-win! :0)

My goal was to keep a sub 8:15/8:20 pace. I didn't know how the legs would feel for the 4.4-mile run and the weather was getting warmer and warmer so I wanted a realistic pace. (Also how is this my "realistic" pace? How times change!)

My shoes and socks felt damp still from my not-totally-dried feet so it felt a little heavy lifting the feet. Also the timer that goes around your ankle felt like a police ankle bracelet (not like I've ever worn one). I could feel it on my leg, but tried to zone it out.

There are no headphones on this course so I had been training without music for a couple weeks and it paid off. I was really able to zone out on the mileage and focus on taking the whole experience in.

SouthBoston is a beautiful part of the city and it was a perfect day. I had a great time cheering on other runners as we moved along.

There were two water stations on the course so I made sure to drink water at both AND take an additional cup to pour on my head.

At the turnaround point, I started getting sad - the race was going to be over in less than 2 miles. Wow! My firs triathlon would be in the books. I had no idea of my time, but I knew I was having a blast and didn't want it to end.

So I soaked in every step I took.

Around Mile 3, I thought I wasn't going to make it. I saw a lot of people walking and thought I could too. But my inner voice screamed HELL NO! I was not about to start walking.

I was going to give it everything I had on that course then I could walk. So I just kept trucking along. I smiled at other runners, I cheered for people struggling and I freakin' ran. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

There it was - the Mile 4 marker. We had just .4 left.

It was time to give it all I had. I just willed my legs to keep moving forward and to NOT let anyone pass me. I was going to pick people off it I could, but I would hold strong.

Total Time: 36:16 Pace: 8:15 min/mile Overall Place: 255/630 Division: 15/52



As I approached the Finish Line, the announcer said "Dani Holmes-Kirk from Somerville, MA" and in my head I said "is officially a triathlete!" :)

I couldn't stop smiling.

I swam. I biked. I ran.

Final Stats

It was everything I could've imagined and more.

Could you tell I was a little excited?

I can't even put into words how excited I was crossing that line and picking up my Finisher's Pint Glass. Not a medal, but better than nothing!!

I immediately started thinking about how I would do things different the next time, but quickly banished those thoughts. It was time to relish in the now.

I owe a big thanks to my dad and wife for getting up at 5am and coming to watch me in person. Bigger thanks to my mom who stayed back home to make sure someone was with the pups.

I spotted my favorite sign from the course and the designer let me take a pic.

Please note I am smiling because I love the sign NOT because I did what is written on the sign. :P

I was able to get some water in my pint glass right after receiving it, but then bottled water was nowhere to be found. Are you serious? I grabbed a banana, but looked all around and no water anywhere. Planning FAIL!!

The post-race celebration was sponsored by Michelob Ultra (BOO!) so we decided to head home. I would recommend a local race go with a local brew (Harpoon, Sam Adams, etc) to celebrate rather than a blah beer like Michelob Ultra. I bought Slumbrew so I could have my own party at home. :)

I headed back into the transition area to clean up my stuff. I was really pleased with how I set up my transition area.

I wish I had been able to meet up with more people afterwards - thankfully I did see some ZOOM folks and Tedy's Team folks - but I forgot to take any group photos. Oops!

I really can't thank ZOOM Multisport enough for welcoming me into their group. I thank Robin, Hank, Tara, Darcie, Jackie, Cat, Greg, Lisa and so many others for letting me text or FB you with numerous questions/pictures/thoughts during training and race prep.

So the question remains: will I do this again?


I'm ready for the next adventure as I go from morbidly obese couch potato to Boston Marathon Finisher to Triathlete to ???

5 Things Friday

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5 things that got me through today's sweaty 5-mile run

1. Mizuno #WaveSayonara Sneakers


These have truly changed my running the past few weeks...

2. Garmin 310XT

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This gadget allows me to feel in control of my run (since I check in on pace and distance), but it doesn't OWN my run! :)

3. TruMoo Low-Fat Chocolate Milk

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I think we all know I like to refuel after a workout with low-fat chocolate milk! ;)

Lowfat chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles. Chocolate milk helps restore muscles quickly to their peak potential.

4. X-1Audio Headphones

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I am currently OBSESSED with wearing my X-1 Audio  swimming headphones on my Team Refuel visor while running. It means I no longer have to wear my iPhone on my arm anymore and I feel free. :P


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I also can't start any workout without having a serving of ENERGYBits beforehand to give me a natural boost of energy!

For the best energy reboot, we recommend our ENERGYbits® algae tabs which are 100% spirulina algae. Spirulina’s nitric oxide opens up your blood vessels so you get instant access to all of its protein and 40 other nutritional goodies.

 2013-07-12 15.11.54

MOM's Run 5k - 5/12/13 - 23:31 (7:35 min/mile)

I love super local races ... especially ones for a good cause. The MOMS Run 5k in Somerville, MA fills both those criteria. :)

Three friends and I ran this race last year and had such a great time it was a no-brainer to sign up again for 2013.

The race really won be over last year with 1) great beer and 2) an AMAZING post-race spread of food.

Good food + good beer = good race. :P

This year, the wife and I were joined by my BFF Sarah, her husband Brandon and their daughter Joanna.

Can you tell how excited Brandon was to run his first 5k? :P

There was rain on the forecast for the day and it was spitting on and off while we mulled around pre-race. The race itself began at 10am, but we knew the rain was really supposed to end at 1pm - but were hoping it may end early just for us. ;)

Tori & Joanna

As we stood around chatting and stretching, a couple blog readers (Sally and Jenny) came over to say hi! YAY! I love meeting people that enjoy reading my blog ...

With about 15-20 minutes to go before we lined up for the race, it was time to take my ENERGYbits and get #PoweredByBits.

And as the walkers kicked off the first wave of the race, the rain began to fall harder. Oh YAY ... not!

I didn't mind the rain so much, but it was causing the temp to drop - which was frustrating.

Finally, the walkers had gone as well as the wheelchair so it was time for the runners to hit the pavement.

Sarah and I were aiming for low 7 min/mile pace, but even at the Start my legs were feeling as heavy as lead. I wasn't totally sure why - maybe leftover soreness from last week's half or the previous day's workout (Day 1 of Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred).

But, right off the bat I knew I wasn't going to reach my goal of a sub 23 min half.

I told Sarah to run off without me, but being the good friend that she is she stuck by me.

Plus, it was going to be on the last races we would run together as she is moving to Maine next month. Sad I know!

The race started on a gradual hill - AWESOME, my favorite - and thankfully did offer a downhill at some point. Since you know, what goes up - must come down ... at some point!

We hit Mile One in about a 7:38 pace (if memory serves me correctly).

I was upset. What was going on. I wanted to will my body to go faster, but it wouldn't.

But, I powered on.

And then came another hill. Really Somerville? This course was hillier than I remembered for sure.

I believe Mile Two (with hill) was about a 7:45-ish minute mile.

Okay, going in the wrong direction.

But once we hit Mile Two, there was a glorious glorious downhill.

It was time to make up some serious time and try to save the race.

AAannddd then about 1/2 a mile from the Finish came a pain in my left hamstring that I had never felt before. OOUUCCHH!!

But, I wasn't about to stop. For a second, I thought I wasn't going to finish - then I remembered I finish what I start.

So Sarah motivated me through the last 1/2 mile.

Thank goodness for Sarah's positivity at the end.

Plus, I saw my friend George ahead and I had to try and catch up to him and finish as close to him as possible. It's fun being competitive with friends - as long as it is friendly competition. Like George and I have. It is motivating to have a friend with a similar pace that runs as many races as I do. :)

We finished in 23:31 minutes ... a 7:35 min/mile pace.

No PR BUT a course PR as in 2012 I finished the race in 24:06.


So I was wicked mad when we finished then I remembered how I finished my first-ever 5k in March 2005 in 38:21. Yeah this race was about 15 minutes faster. I will TAKE THAT!

Sarah and I met up with George and grabbed a celebratory Harpoon!

Brandon (Sarah's husband) rocked his first 5k run and finished in 30:19 ... while pushing Joanna in the stroller up the hills. I was wicked impressed and proud!

As Sarah and Brandon got in line for food, I hung with a sleeping Joanna. AND got 2 extra free beers from a guy who had a gluten allergy and he said I deserved them on Mother's Day!

Well, no need to tell him I wasn't a mom so I gladly thanked him and took the beers. ;)

As the rain picked back up, we moved our group inside to eat some of the delicious food provided from local Davis Square establishments.

I even got to see a friend from college and fellow AOII sister, Nadia, who I hadn't seen in ages.

She has embarked on her own weight loss and fitness journey so it was great to connect.

I saw a handful of my Weight Watchers members walking and running in the race as well!

After Joanna made sure the Mile markers were safely returned to the Finish line...

... it was time to part ways and head to home.

But, first Joanna decided that my beer needed a side of Mother's Day flower (that the race handed to all Moms).

Even with the rain, it was a great morning. I was annoyed with my race results, but reminded myself that running is about the friends, family, experience and beer!

Thank you to all the race organizers (especially my friend Paul), volunteers and Somerville cops for all you did to make a great race experience for all...

I'm now a proud ENERGYbits Ambassador!

I love finding new companies and products!! As you all know, I only work with companies and promote products I believe in wholeheartedly.

SO my new love?


... and they are based out of Boston - yes I love to promote a local company as well! :)

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.

Yes you read that correctly - algae. I was unsure about that at first as well. But when I announced my 3k Twitter Follower Giveaway on Twitter, ENERGYbits contacted me saying they were interested in being a part of my prize packs.

Well, before I would allow that to happen I had to test them out myself. They sent me a sample - a little tin with the ENERGYbits tabs inside.


They recommend taking 30-40 tabs 10-15 minutes before a workout for maximum results. Each tab is just 1 calorie.

I decided to test them out before my 21-miler on March 23. Now I was told you could chew the tabs or swallow them with water. I didn't have any water on the bus so I had to go with chewing.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS ... personally. :P

They got stuck in my teeth and it wasn't the taste -algae - that I wanted to stuck in my mouth for hours to come.

BUT, they paid off.

My legs felt strong throughout the 3-hour run. I didn't feel the normal fatigue that I would feel on such a long run.

So chewing the tabs were worth it.

Since that day, I have ALWAYS made sure to have water on hand so I could swallow the tabs and no taste. :)

I liked the sample so much that I made my first ENERGYbits purchase on March 29 and delivery arrived on April 2.


I like that service. :)

So I have been taking ENERGYbits before runs, Spinning, weight lifting, etc. I even took some before a 45 minute walk with a friend.

Because ... 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

On April 29, I actually had the honor of visiting the ENERGYbits headquarters since they are just a train ride away from my house. The team behind ENERGYbits are a small, but dedicated group. They have been doing their research for years and are doing a great job of growing their brand through social media and visiting local races/running clubs. (Both things I love :O))

I even saw the guys before the Half of Quincy on Sunday and they came through in a pinch with some water so I could take my ENERGYbits. Thanks again guys!

But after trying the product, really reading up on the benefits of algae and meeting the team behind the product, I definitely wanted to get on board ... and thankfully they agreed.

And Dani as an ENERGYbits Ambassador was born.

(Who am I throwing in the third person there?)

So would you like to try ENERGYBits yourself?

Get 15% off your order by entering the code "WeightOffMyShoulders" at check out!!