Athlete Interview: Dani Holmes-Kirk
For most of her life, Dani Holmes-Kirk avoided running like she avoided eating brussel sprouts. She never thought running was for her, so she played sports like volleyball and was a catcher in softball so she could avoid running. But then when she was at her heaviest weight in 2004, she decided enough was enough and tried running … and she was hooked!
She ran her first 5k in March 2005, her first half in February 2006 and her first full marathon in September 2006. But then the injury bug hit and she stopped running for a few years. After suffering a herniated disc and needing major back surgery, she picked up running again and hasn’t looked back. The passion is inside her and now she looks forward to lacing up her sneakers and hitting the pavement. She resides in Boston, MA with her wife and two pups. She is also a Weight Watchers Leader after getting rid of 63 lbs with the program! You can find her at her blog, WeightOffMyShoulders.com.
What is your favorite part about running? I love the rush I get from a good run – be it a leisurely run by the river or a new personal record in my latest road race. Each time I run I get a different feeling of accomplishment.
How many races have you completed? Oh that is a good question. I started running in 2005, but then fell out of love with it after my full marathon/injury in September 2006 before picking it back up in 2011. I did my first 5k in March 2005 and would say to date I have done maybe 25-30 races with 16 of them coming in 2011 when I really fell back into the addiction of racing. :)
What advice would you give someone interested in participating in their first race? Don’t set a goal time just enjoy the atmosphere and the rush of the event. There will be plenty of time down the road to shoot for a new personal record, so take the first to see what it is all about.
What is your best training tip? Listen to your body. Don’t push a run just because your training schedule says to do it. If your body is telling you it needs a rest, listen because it will pay of in the long run. I have run through too many injuries and ended up being out of the game for longer than I would’ve been if I just took some time off.
What keeps you motivated? Bling. I LOVE race medals. I have a hanger that I have across from my bed that pushes me to get up and workout/run when I would rather hit the snooze alarm. I also have all my bibs from the past year or so hanging in my room as well. But honestly, it is the love of running. I had major back surgery in January 2011 where I was unable to do any activity for about six months and that killed me. So from that point on, I haven’t taken being able to lace up my sneakers and head out for a run around the river for granted. And finally, I got rid of 63 lbs with Weight Watchers and running helps me keep it off. I don’t ever want to go back to the way I was before and running helps ensure that will NEVER happen.
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