Raleigh 70.3: Pre-Race Events & Happify!

Ok, get ready for it…here comes a whole lot of Raleigh 70.3! There’s only one first half Ironman and it was EPIC and deserves lots of blog time, so I’ve split my recap into 3 posts.

Let’s start from the beginning…

Back in October -apparently if you want me to commit to anything big, October is the month to ask since it’s the same month I signed up for my first marathon too- Pablo convinced me to pull the trigger and sign up for a half and a full Ironman.


Training started a few months later and Friday we headed down to North Carolina for the Raleigh 70.3. We dropped Kyle and our stuff off at our friends’ house and headed to the Expo. I wanted to go Friday, because I knew it would get busy on Saturday and I wanted to use Saturday to get into race-mode, away from anxious racers.


I actually thought I would be one of those anxious racers, but I was calm as could be, which actually freaked me out a little. Even on race day, I remained super calm. I think part of it was that I knew I had trained properly, but it was also due to all the mental preparation I did, including various activities on Happify.

As an I’m Fit Possible ambassador, I’ve had the pleasure of testing Happify.

happify-logoHappify’s games and activities are based on research by psychologists and neuroscientists and are designed to train your brain and help you build skills for lasting happiness. 

I’ve been using Happify for about a month. It’s free (there’s a paid option if you want more activities) and so far, I’ve really liked it and seen some great results!

I’m on the Conquer Negative Thoughts track and my activities have focused on reassessing, reframing, refocusing and challenging negative thoughts and working on creating positive ways to deal with negative or difficult situations. Perfect when training for an Ironman where there are lots of opportunities for negative thoughts to pop up! (You’ll see me reference the Happify activities multiple times during this and upcoming posts).

Ok, time to get back to the Raleigh 70.3 Expo, but definitely check out Happify!


Packet pick-up was well organized. We signed our waivers, picked up our bibs, swag bags and timing chips and headed into the Expo and Athlete Briefing. Pablo tried some of the free products, but I just collected them, taking the “nothing new on race day” rule very seriously.

IMG_6415Saturday we slept in (which meant waking up a 7:45am), had a good breakfast, and headed to Jordan Lake for a 10 min swim, 20 min bike and 10 min run brick. I was feeling a little stiff and threw in 15 min of flexibility.

We also went to T1, set-up our bikes, let some air out of our tires and took in the hustle and bustle that is an Ironman race.


That’s the swim course in the distance and my free shirt that I picked up at the Expo from the QR people.

At the Expo the previous night we met up with fellow-racer Lauren, one of Michaela’s friends, and she warned us that the 2nd half of the course was hillier than the profile described, so after lunch we checked out a few parts of the course. I wanted to be able to visualize the hills (a strategy that I picked up from Happify…I’m telling you, these people are geniuses). Then we headed home to finalize our gear bags.


Before falling asleep, I did one of my favorite Happify activities, which involved visualizing myself completing the half Ironman and replacing any negative thoughts with positive ones. I walked myself through the course imagining success at every step and then went to bed feeling ready for race day!

Check in tomorrow for Ironwoman Wednesday when we talk run and I share some lessons learned during the Raleigh 70.3 run and come back Thursday for the full race recap!

  1. I”m glad you were able to apply your new anti-negative thoughts training, that’s something that we could all use a lesson on. I love the balloon backdrop, but I’m also a sucker for balloons. Can’t wait for more!

    • Aren’t the balloons awesome! And YES, I used to have so many negative thoughts and I have been working hard on it and am so happy with the results! I can’t wait to post more! I’m still on a finisher’s high and despite being exhausted, I was so ready to get back on the bike today!

  2. Great job staying positive! Can’t wait to hear all about your first 70.3, especially with mine looming only a couple of weeks away. Also, those balloons are awesome.

    • Yeah, I used to be such a negative thinker, stressing myself out so it was amazing to stay so calm and just feel excitement. I’m so excited for you!

    • Matt, I read your post and tried to leave a comment, but it was acting up. What a beautiful recap! Congrats on the strong finish! (and if you want, join our Wednesday link up! I know it’s called Ironwoman Wednesday, but Ironmen are welcome too!!)

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