Archive | September, 2004

3:22:03 Pt. 2

14 Sep

After I ate a little bit, I went back to my room, grabbed my bike and backpack, said goodbye to Chad, and rode the 3 or 4 miles through the dark morning along the Bay to Lover’s Point, where we set up our transition area.

Mental note for next tri: Bring your number with you when you get marked. I accidentally told them the wrong number.

About ten minutes before our wave started, we all went in the water “warm up.” It was freezing. My feet went instantly numb. I suddenly remembered a story that another TNTer told me (I forget who) about doing the Pac Grove tri last year. He said it took him halfway through the bike before his feet stopped being numb. I thought it was nonsense at the time, but now I know.

Although most of the TNT women (in purple caps) stayed to the right, I decided to head to the less-populated left side of the crowd, to avoid as many flying limbs and kicking feet as possible.

The starting gun goes off and we run to the water, getting in not quite waist deep before we start swimming, heading for the first big orange buoy and hopefully away from the surfboarders and kayakers marking the rocks in our way (which I had swum over the day before). A channel had been cleared through the kelp from the earlier waves; the only challenge was staying on course as lots of other folks swim right next to you. Someone kept swimming right in front of me, on my left side, but always veering slightly off-course to the right. Annoying.

Continue reading



12 Sep

I’ll post more details later, but here are the results! (Click on results, then woman 30-39, then #51–me! Look at how slow my transition times were!)

I finished the run in less than an hour. Man, Gillian will have no problem with that if I can do it!

Class rank: 53
Overall rannk: 607
Sex rank: 201
Name: Nicole Solis
Final: 03:22:03
Swim time: 00:38:00
T1: 00:05:52
Bike timeL 01:34:51
T2: 00:06:03
Run time: 00:57:17
Swim rank: 566
Swim min/km: 00:25:20
Bike rank: 717
Bike MPH: 15.6
Run rank: 524
Run min/mile: 00:09:14
Bib #: 839
Class: F30-34


11 Sep

I did it!

Chad and I took the day off yesterday and drove down to Monterey. After running a bunch of errands (me buying sunglasses and running into Tammi, from TNT, in Noe Valley Bicycles; Chad picking up a fancy zoom camera lens that he rented for the weekend from Adolf Gasser’s), we finally got on the road around 12:30, arriving in Pac Grove with just enough time to check in and for me to join the TNT swim in Monterey Bay.

Sure, I was warned about the kelp–many times, starting with the first TNT informational meeting I went to–but nothing can really prepare you for it. It’s like swimming through slimy ficus trees. It loops around your arms, then once you get free, it gets caught around your foot. I screamed when I first hit a big patch of kelp. It’s really weird. I felt like I was in an episode of X Files or something.

After the TNT pasta party (they ran out of sauce–how cruel), we went to Walgreens to pick up some water, Gatorade, aspirin, and some batteries for the motor drive for Chad’s camera. Stacey was there, and we found out we were in the same wave the next morning (8:45 am, with half the other TNT women). We went to bed around 10 to make sure we could get up bright and early.

The alarm (or rather, alarms–we didn’t trust just one) went off at 5:15, and I groggily got out of bed, got dressed, checked my bag for the tenth time, and headed to breakfast with Chad. We grabbed a $2 bagel and $2 coffee at the somewhat limited breakfast spread (maybe the high prices included a surcharge for getting people out of bed at such an ungodly hour). We scarfed down out breakfast, then I hopped on my bike, all my tri belongings on my back, and headed over to Lovers Point with some other TNT folks.

The sun hadn’t risen yet, but the sky was starting to get a bit lighter, and I could tell that it would be a foggy day–just the kind of weather I like for exercising. We set up our transition areas, got marked, and waited. And waited.

To be continued…

Practice Tri Photos Are Up!

6 Sep

Practice tri-Holly and I run.jpg

Check them out here!

Last pre-tri Aquatic Park swim

6 Sep

Labor Day swim.jpg

Chad came with me to our last Aquatic Park swim before the triathlon and took some photos (and watched our stuff–thanks for both, Chad!). So finally, with less than a week to go, I have some images to add to my blog. You can see the rest of the photos here.

Our captain, Brian, suggested that we swim 3/4 lap, swim to the beach, run down to the starting point, and then do another lap. Apparently that’s what we’ll have to do at Pac Grove. So that’s what we did. Man, is it ever hard to walk after swimming in the Bay–let alone run. I tried to jog, but I felt like my limbs were flailing around too much, so I half-jogged, half-walked.

I did a much better job pacing myself in the swim this time than at the practice tri, but I think I still need to slow down a bit for the swim. I did 2 laps total, so about 2/3 mile, and I was a little tired after. Oh well. All I can do in the next few days is taper and trust in Coach April. She hasn’t steered me wrong yet!

Can it be?

4 Sep

I finished Nakiska! The curse in my knitting is over! Now I’m working on Ebony, from Rowan’s Ribbon Twist pattern book. I’ll post pictures soon.


4 Sep

The tri is one week away. Yikes! My mental state varies between nervous and confident. Chad and I just went for a nice bike ride through GG Park, around Lake Merced, back through the Presidio (up the long climb to the Legion of Honor, down the hill by the golf course, up the long climb past Baker Beach), then home. 22 miles in 1:36, which isn’t bad, considering the first 12 miles were nice and flat and the last 10 miles were climbing and descending. And it’s hot out. I haven’t really been training much in heat lately.


But there are two things I really want to blog about. First off, I think it’s amazing how this training has changed my attitude about exercise. In the beginning, I was so embarrassed wearing bike shorts around. I wanted to get in shape to look better. Now, I don’t really care what I look like. Sure, I’d like to look a little better in my bike shorts, but now I value exercise for what I can physically accomplish. I can run 5.5 miles! I can swim over a mile! I can bike 25+ miles! Training for this has completely turned my thinking around. I don’t care how many calories I burn. I want to run farther, bike faster, swim stronger. And the cool thing is, I’m doing just that.

The other thing I want to write about is the talk we had the other day by a sports psychologist, Dr. Jim Taylor. It was really, really cool. He talked a lot about the mental training that I now realize I should have been doing all along. Especially the positive self-talk. He talked about running into frustration while training or in the event. “Is frustration a good or bad thing?” he asked. “Bad!” we all said. “Initially, it’s a good thing.” Since frustration indicates that there’s an obstacle in your way that you want to get past, it can be a good thing. The key is what you do with it. If you ignore it, it can turn to anger. “Is anger a good or bad emotion?” “Bad!” Initially, that’s good, too, apparently, because it indicates that you really, really want to overcome that goal. The flip side, though, is that your body tenses up and you can’t think clearly, so your brain and body prevent you from being able to overcome it. If you let that go, then it can turn to despair, and you’re in deep trouble if you let it get to that point in a race.

He said that if you run into an obstacle, try to calm down, think reasonably, and find a way around it, sometimes by reassessing your goals. He talked about how he was training to go a sub 3-hour marathon. He did one in 3:10, then one in 3:04. So he trained really hard, and in his next marathon, he was keeping up his pace, keeping on track with his goal, and then, with 10 miles left, a 20 mph head wind started up. So he tried to keep his goal and just kept focused on that. He was able to pretty much keep up his pace, and 200 yards from the finish, he heard the crowd cheering and the announcer say, “Sprint and you can make it under 3 hours!” So he did, he pushed it all out, and as he crossed the finish line, he looked up at the clock: 3:00:04. Agony! But then he looked at his watch for the chip time: 2:59:54.

Another cool thing he said was that endurance events aren’t like tennis. Unless you’re trying to win your age group, everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner. “And I’ve been 100% so far,” he said. That’s all I want, really, to cross the finish line. (Although I do think I can do it in less than 4 hours…)