So I completed my first half Ironman and although I was nervous as hell I tried my best to hide it from my wife. I remained very calm leading up to race day and that morning as we made our way to the swim. My wave started at 7:54am and I arrived to set up my T1 at 6am so I had plenty of time to hang out with my wife and kids as the other waves got going. It was about 15 minutes out till my wave start when my wife noticed me getting a bit nervous, she ask if it hit me yet and I looked at her smiled and replied, “Oh Yeah”.
I headed to the corral to warm up a bit and when I got out my swim wave was already in the water, Already I was falling behind. I got in with about thirty seconds left to go time and I placed my goggles on, complemented the guy in front of me on an awesome beard, took a deep breath and waved good-by to my beautiful wife one last time.
The horn went off and all hell broke loose. A switch in my head turned on and I was in race mode, here we go, 70.3 miles to go to the finish line and I was feeling strong. The swim was going to really define the race for me. I planned for a 45 minute swim and If I was late with that then I would be playing catch up and that’s not where I wanted to be. Having swam in the River the day before with the CalTri team was a huge confidence boost and made me feel comfortable in the water. Spotting in the water was very easy I could see other swimmers feet in front of me so there was no danger of getting kicked. I remained calm and focused on my breathing and stroke.
“You got this Jaime, you’ve put in the work, now let’s get it done.” I repeated to myself as I swam. I came to the turn around point and although it was shallow in a lot of part of the swim this was the only point that I was forced to stand up and walk. I walked about ten or fifteen meters and I was back at it. I could see different color swim caps around me, I wasn’t sure if they were from the wave in front or behind me. I felt my watch vibrate when I hit the one mile mark and could feel that my speed was right on point.
I approached the swim out and I couldn’t wait to get on the bike and get to work. The rocks on the bottom of the river are a bit annoying when your trying to run out of the water. The cheers of the crowed is incredible as you run into T1. The floor is dirt in T1 so as the athletes come out it starts to turn into mud. I transitioned grabbed my bike and head out to face the second leg.
1 – Cliff Energy Gu 5 minutes before swim
1 – 12oz bottle of water as I waited for my wave start