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.

*UPDATED* My Boston Marathon Promo is LIVE!

Ahhh can you believe it? I received the email today from Universal Sports with the link. I am 100% geeking out over it.

I owe Got Chocolate Milk a HUGE thank you for choosing me to be a part of this project.

Without further adieu, here's the video:


Edit: We found the link to the second longer promo video and wanted to share it!


Dani Dishes 4-7-14

On this episode of Dani Dishes, I'm reminding you of my blog survey, announcing the Boston Marathon weekend meet up (4/19, 11-1, Back Bay Social - 867 Boylston St) and remind everyone about the ebbs/flows of our journey!

Dani Dishes 3-10-14

On this episode of Dani Dishes, I had a fun week with great friends, family and a FUN EXCITING announcement about this upcoming week. (Hint: it involves a film crew (keep your minds out of the gutter!)

Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon 2014

5am wake-up call. Seemed late after the 2am-4am wake-ups for Dopey Challenge. Yes it may be three weeks post Disney, but I still put race starts in relation to Disney time. ;)

Flat Dani was ready to go!


Real Dani was slightly dragging, but ready to give it my all.

Thankfully Kenlie of All The Weigh lived just a 5-minute walk away from the Start area.


I headed to the VIP tent to meet my Team Chocolate Milk running mates for a group photo at 6am. It was drizzling. I just didn't want it to start downpouring. I hoped the real bad weather held off until at least 10am.

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I love meeting the other folks from Team Chocolate Milk since we are spread out all over the world. There are a few folks that I have seen at multiple races including the inspiring Angela from We Beat Fat. She and her husband have combined to shed over 500 lbs!!


After grabbing half of a free bagel, chomping on my KIND bar and taking my ENERGYBits, it was time to hit up the special VIP port-o-potties and gear check before heading to the Start.

The race was set to start at 7am so I tried to hustle into Corral 2 with time to spare. Especially since Dacia from My Roots To Grow was going to meet me at the Start.

But as I walked to the Start Line, I tried turning my Garmin, it would spit out "low battery," and shut off.

No No No!

It had been charged. What was going on? I tried about 6 times. Nothing.

Well, it looked like I would be running the race "naked" as runners call it - IE sans watch. You dirty minds you! ;)


Of course I had to grab a selfie.


In case you didn't believe I was at the Start.

I made it to Corral 2 and Dacia was there waiting for me. :) We chatted about her game plan for spectating the race. We were hoping she would see me at least one time out on the course before heading to the Finish.


As we were chatting and taking in the scene, Michael of Point One Miles came over to say hi! He had been at the #RnRTweetup, but we didn't have a chance to chat there.

I was sort of freaking out about not having the Garmin, but talking to Michael and Dacia was distracting. Since Michael and I were in the same Corral, we were going to start the race together.

The National Anthem played and it was time to big farewell to Dacia.

As we approached the Start (both the marathoners and half marathoners were all starting together), I tried to get my Runkeeper app to load.  I never keep my location services on so trying to figure out what I needed to change on the phone to get Runkeeper to start was just not working. So I said F-it. I would be running without any sort of tracking.

What was the worst that could happen?

Dacia hustled herself just past the Start to catch this gem!


My goal was to use the run as a training run for Boston since I had missed the 16-miler with Tedy's Team the previous day.

The humidity was thick. The rain was drizzling. The ground was sort of slippery. So I wasn't trying to PR out there.

Michael and I got in a great rhythm. I let him know he could easily leave me at any point if he wanted to try for a PR, but he also felt like taking it easy with the weather conditions.

It was great chatting with someone during the run.

There was what I could call a decent crowd size as we ran through the city.


The bands were great. We were able to enjoy some multiple times as we had a down and back situation at the beginning of the race.

After the band we spotted the two wheelchair racers and the elite runners. I cannot explain how far ahead the first half marathon and full marathon guys were from the rest of the pack. They were running together and neither looked like they were breaking a sweat.

We ran the first 4.5 or so (again no specifics since I didn't have my watch) before we turned around. The weather was overcast and foggy so I couldn't totally see the historic sites.

Thankfully a gentlemen rolled up next to be during Mile 4 to point out Loyola University and Tulane, etc. Thank you again Sir.

We also discussed the Rock 'n' Roll shirts for this race and our disappointment in the color choices. I love making friends on the course. The shirt was grey with dull green/purple coloring. I was just expecting something more vibrant.

Eh! We know I pay more attention to the medals anyway. ;)

While Michael and I chatted away we talked about his running dreams, his desire to want to complete a full marathon and our thoughts on some of the other races we have both done.

I love the down and back because after we took the turn before Mile 5 we could see our fellow runners coming toward us.

I heard someone randomly yell out "Go Irish Eyes!" which made me so freakin' excited. I am glad a photographer didn't catch what I looked like.

And I also got to see Sarah from Mom Running On Empty, Mindy from Road Runner Girl, which totally put a little pep in my step.

As we headed towards Mile 8, the crowds started to get more animated and that's where we spotted it ... a table of donuts!


So of course we stopped. I freaked the poor girl out as I took this little shot.

Then someone else at the table shouted "We have a keg," which is why this diddy was born.


We both passed on doing a mid-race kegstand, but we each took a donut ... or two!

Holy dry mouth. There unfortunately wasn't a water stop after the donuts, but we did see the Mile 8 marker.


I was glad Michael was in for taking ridiculous in-race photos like me. :)

Mile 8 was going to fly. Why? Because I had been texting with Dacia so I knew she and her boyfriend would be there waiting for us at Mile 9.

And they were!!! I came in for a HUGE hug from Dacia. It was a great pick-me-up.


As were these awesome bagpipers.

After seeing familiar faces, it was time to look out for Michael's Lululemon cheering squad. :P I think he thought they were out there just for him. Should I break his bubble? Nah.


They were totally there just for him.

While we headed to Mile 10, we ran DIRECTLY into the fog. We really noticed the blanket of fog as we passed the Crescent City Brewery (which I had visited the day before).


I wondered if we were just going to fall off the end of the world. It was a sight similar to Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half back in October 2013.

But we went into the fog and thankfully came out alive. :) We even got a little clearer shot to see the RnR Dude.


I love seeing that guy at every race because it usually means you are inching closer to the Finish.

I tweeted out to the masses that we had hit the Mile 10 mark. It was at that time that I actually started feeling the humidity. You could cut it with a knife.

All race long I made sure to grab water and gatorade at each water stop to make sure I was keeping myself hydrated. It may have looked overcast, but the humidity was there.

We hit Mile 11 and the clock was off. Dammit. I was hoping to try and do a little math in my head to see how we were doing.

Michael had stuck with me, took goofy pictures and had a donut (or two), but I was still hoping we would finish sub-2.

Mile 11 actually flew by as we were busy talking to the folks around us. Oh and I was trying to ignore the humidity.

By Mile 12, I was ready to be done. Hey, there are just some races that you feel like that.

But when we hit Mile 12, the clock said 1:45 and change. Michael turns to me and says: "I don't know if we are going to make it." I reassured him that I am from Boston and no matter what I would walk a mile faster than 15 minutes so we would be golden.

At Mile 12.5, we saw the signs ... JELLO SHOTS!

Oh hell yeah we would be stopping for one of those and we did. It was a little difficult to eat while running, but this race was all about fun so we made it work. ;) Plus how often do you say I had a jello shot during a race.

At that point the Full Marathon runners headed to the left, while we continued straight ahead to the Finish. I felt like I was on a treadmill. I was moving, but didn't feel like I was moving forward. It made me feel like I was back in the last 0.2 miles of the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Full in November 2012.

But Michael was being a great cheerleader and we were pushing each other along.

Apparently Dacia and Erick were just after the Mile 13 marker, but I was oblivious. I saw the Finish Line and was gunning for it.

Michael and I went Start to Finish together and rocked and rolled to a 1:55:43. It turned out to be Michael's second-fasted half marathon. Woo!


Don't we look great for having OWNED 13.1 miles.

I had a blast. It was a great flat course. The crowd wasn't as full as I would've expected. I was also surprised to see the Finish Line over a mile from the Start. I hadn't experienced this at a Rock 'n' Roll event before. I think some spectators had difficulty getting around the course in a timely manner.

My spectators Dacia and Erick were ON it. I need to thank them again for jetting around New Orleans to see me.

After snapping a couple of pics at the Finish Line,


I headed over to the Got Chocolate Milk tent to #FinishStrong. But, we needed to move from one tent (Half Marathon) to the other tent (Marathon) so I could see some of the other folks that manage the team.

Can you tell I am in a "Take me wherever you need to" mode? :P


And it was worth it. Oh delicious low-fat chocolate milk. The best way to refuel post-race (before the beer of course).


I met back up with Dacia and Erick and we headed to the second VIP tent so I could grab a quick snack and a much-needed mimosa.


Oh and a mini beignet of course. Deeellliisshhh!!!


I did pay the $20 to have my medal engraved. It is $20 at Rock 'n' Roll races, but I do it at every one. Mainly because if they mess up they have a whole stack of medals to replace it with. I don't have that luxury if I do it at home.

My amazing cheerleader and I snapped a couple photos before heading to breakfast.


I was REALLY into whatever Dacia was saying. :P


It was great walking back down the street, while others finished both the Half and the Full Marathon. Some of those Full Marathoners were finishing sub-3 hours and looking strong and fierce.

So running without my Garmin or Runkeeper was slightly unnerving, but it was also freeing to just run and truly live in the moment. How about not having any sort of splits in a race recap? :P


I want to thank Got Chocolate Milk for sponsoring me to run the RnR New Orleans Half Marathon.

Did you run? Did you have a blast?

New Orleans: Arrival, Expo & #RnRTweetup

Did you all know I was excited to head to New Orleans? You may remember this post about it - check it out if you don't.


I arrived to the airport early since I was heading solo and I am a worrier. Plus I like a pre-flight beer at Boston Beer Works.

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If you don't recall, I was heading down to New Orleans on Jet Blue. Thanks frequent flyer miles. When I rolled up to the Gate, my name was being called over the loudspeaker. Oh man that is never a good sign - is that I said to all the people around me.

BUT IT WAS AWESOME!! It is the 10th anniversary of Jet Blue being in Boston and I was the 10th person to check into my flight so I won...


... 10,000 Jet Blue Miles and a $10 Dunkin' Donuts gift card.

Aaaaahhhh-may-zing way to kick off the weekend.

The flight itself was uneventful - little napping, little TV, little people watching. The usual.

I arrived in New Orleans and took a cab to my friend's place. I would be staying with Kenlie from All The Weigh for the weekend.

We checked out the amazing view from her rooftop and I had to dip my toes in her pool. I didn't care that it was chilly ... it was warmer than Boston so I had to do it. :P

We headed out to grab dinner at a cute little sushi place before checking out Bourbon Street. It was my first time to New Orleans so it seemed like a "must do." It was definitely a sight to be seen.

After a long day of work, traveling and adult beverages, it was a deep sleep. Plus Kenlie's couch was super comfy.

I sprang out of bed off the couch Saturday because it was finally #RnRTweetup time.


I was excited to finally meet these lovely bloggers in person.

Kenlie was nice enough to drop me off at the Expo. Little did I know the convention center was MASSIVE. I entered at Hall A and the RnR Expo was at Hall J. I was shockingly running late, which is rare for me.

I made a quick stop at Starbucks to grab a coffee. :( It was no Dunks.

But I hustled down the covention center and made it to the Expo with about 15 minutes to spare.

I headed over to the Stage area. Ahh I would be up there talking and hopefully people would be there enjoying it.


Oh and our names were even on the poster.

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I was geekin' out!


There were the ladies! I have been chatting with these ladies online for years and it was finally time to meet them in person.

From left to right: Me (Duh!), Sarah from Mom Running On Empty, Mindy from Road Runner Girl & Abby from Back At Square Zero!!

We all hopped on stage and got the party started!

It was a BLAST! The time flew by and I was happy to see so many familiar faces in the crowd. :)

Here are some amazing shots captured by Ashley from Rock 'n' Roll.


Not the most flattering photo of me, but I am probably talking about my love of Race Bling! ;)


What do bloggers do when they get together at a tweet up? This picture sums it up perfectly! :P


I can't express how awesome it was to meet such amazing women at one time. I was overwhelmed with love and happiness. It was a magical morning.

A big thank you to Rock 'n' Roll for letting Abby, Sarah, Mindy and I have such a once in a lifetime experience. How about we make it more than once in a lifetime? Huh Huh? Tweet me Rock 'n' Roll. ;)

I want to thank some amazing folks for attending the tweet up.

My friend and Team Chocolate Milk teammate Angela from We Beat Fat


And others who I didn't nab a pic with.

Just as the #RnRTweetup ended, my girl Christine (aka Dubyawife) arrived. :) We have hung out at the past two Fitbloggin' conferences and she drove an hour from Baton Rouge, LA to hang out. I was PSYCHED to see her.


After giving tons of hugs to the girls, Christine and I headed to pick up by bib. 'Cuz ya know I was in New Orleans to run. I forgot. :P


As soon as I had the swag, we headed to the Got Chocolate Milk booth so I could grab my wristband for the VIP tent (sweet perk), snap a pic with the chocolate mustache and see some teammates.


Even Christine got in on the fun!


And then I ran into some of my amazing Team Chocolate Milk running mates.


Aren't they handsome fellas? :)

After chit chatting with the guys, it was time to head to my second must-see booth at the Expo: Sparkly Soul.


I was wicked excited to see Pamela. She and her sister run Sparkly Soul and are great great people.

Who here went to the booth and said "Weight Off My Shoulders sent me" and got a free headband. I would love to see you showing off the sparkle. I thank the ladies for giving me that opportunity and the 10% off everyone else received. :)

I love representing good and authentic companies.

Christine and I took a little spin around the Expo before heading out to grab lunch. We ate at Ernst Cafe, where we received a free beer thanks to checking in on Foursquare! Yay social media! :)

After a great time catching up, it was time for Christine to head home and me to head back to Kenlie's for a quick recharge.

I re-bonded with Kenlie's couch before heading out to meet up with my girl Dacia from My Roots To Grow.

Dacia, her boyfriend and I had a great time walking around the city, trying Crescent City brewery, dinner at Gordon Biersch and just catching up. It was a nice relaxing pre-race evening. The pizza at Gordon Biersch was delicious. The crust was just the way I liked it.

We parted ways and I headed back to Kenlie's to get some sleep.

It wasn't until this point that I realized I was in Central Time Zone not the Eastern. Yeah I am not swift on the uptake. :P

But with a 5am wakeup call, I was ready to crash before 9pm ... and I did.

Not before laying out Flat Dani of course.


And if you didn't realize before, Kenlie's couch was comfy so it was "Hey I should get more ...Zzzzzzzz"

Hello 5am!

Tune in next time to hear how the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon turns out...

I'm Rockin' n' Rollin' To New Orleans!

I'm Rockin' I'm Rollin'

I'm Runnin'

... to New Orleans!!


That's right folks your girl Dani is off to New Orleans for the first time! :)

I am ready to take part in the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon on Sunday (February 2nd).

This trip will be about fun, friends, social media, sparkles, chocolate milk, running and of course beer! ;)

Many folks how I travel so much for races. Here's a couple of things that help me out:

I am flying on the cheap ... $7 cheap to be exact. How you may ask?

I'm free fallin' of course!

Okay not really. I am using the last of our frequent flyer miles to head down South. Jet Blue down and United back. Including taxes the flights cost $7.

We have just two credit cards that we use for all purchases - 1 that racks up Jet Blue points/miles and 1 that logs United points/miles.

BOOM! :)

My lovely friend, Kenlie (author or All The Weigh), is graciously opening her couch to me!! <3 I will pay her in hugs, love, snuggles and a meal or beer or two. :)

Thank you Fitbloggin' for connecting us. Kenlie lives in downtown New Orleans so she is not only close to the action, but in the perfect location for me to walk to and from the RnR Expo and Race. :)

But, Kenlie won't be my only Fitbloggin' friend I will see ... Dacia of Run. Ride. Repeat. and Christine aka Dubyawife!!!


I am happily heading to New Orleans to run the Half Marathon as a member of Got Chocolate Milk's Team Refuel! I will once again rock my orange singlet and chug on some sweet low-fat chocolate milk after I #FinishStrong.

As a member of the team, I have the gift of running the race for free. Thank you again Got Chocolate Milk ... and for all of you that helped vote me on to it! :)

Now besides running I am ready to explore the city with my amazing tour guide Kenlie and see what New Orleans has to offer - both food and beer wise! :P

But I will also be spending my Saturday morning at the Rock 'n' Roll Expo, which is being held at New Orleans Morial Convention Center • Hall J.

The Expo opens at 9am on Saturday and I plan to be there with bells on.

Why so early?

Because the amazing Abby from Back At Square Zero and I will be co-hosting the #RNRTWEETUP, which starts at 10am!!

Please join us!! You do not have to be running the race to attend the Expo. It is free and open to the general public.

Abby and I have known each other for a couple years, but strictly online. So what better way to meet for the first time in person than on a stage. Right? It will be AMAZING!!!

We will also be tweeting and meeting with such lovely bloggers as:

Cecilia from Mommies Run. Debi from Girls On The Run 901 Holly from Running & Baking Oh My Mindy from Road Runner Girl Sarah from Mom Running On Empty

* I am hoping to see local Tanee from From Fat To Fit Chick as well.

Sooo if you are in the New Orleans area please come check out the #RNRTWEETUP and the Expo as a whole. I always have a ton of fun at at RnR Expo.

You can take silly pictures in front of a green screen.

RnR Los Angeles 2013

RnR Philadelphia 2013

RnR Providence 2012

(Note: all of the folks in those two photos I met through Twitter!!)

You can also swing by the Got Chocolate Milk booth to make your own video to try and join the Team Refuel crew!!

Or take a picture with a chocolate milk mustache.

Also take in all the vendors. You know I will be stopping by the Sparkly Soul headbands booth. My collection could always use more sparkle. If you meet the ladies of Sparkly Soul, be sure to tell them Weight Off My Shoulders sent you! :)

PLEASE NOTE: The first three people that stop by the Sparkly Soul booth and say: "Weight Off My Shoulders sent me" ... get a FREE headband!!!

And I will DEFINITELY be hitting up the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Jewelry (aka Terry Berry) booth to find my New Orleans bead to update the awesome RnR bracelet my wife got me a couple of years ago. :)

It is an amazing way to keep the RnR memories alive on a daily basis.

So if you are in the New Orleans area, come on down to the Expo Saturday morning, Hollah at me on race morning or grab a beer with me at night. Either way say Hi if you can.

Won't be in town, but have been to New Orleans - offer me some suggestions!

What do I need to see, eat or drink?