Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Third Trimester - Update

            I’m over 28 weeks along and in the final trimester.  In some ways that makes it seem like it’s gone by quickly, but I still have over 2.5 months until my due date, and then it just feels like a long ways to go yet.  The holiday season makes the next few weeks kind of rush by though and then I’ll be in my final 2 months of countdown until the REAL craziness of life with a newborn and a 2-year-old begins!
            So how are things going?  Baby wise – everything is good under the hood.  Our ultrasound at 21 weeks looked good (and no, we didn’t find out the gender).  So while we’ve had our boy name picked since the first pregnancy, we have yet to settle on the girl name.  Baya is back to sleeping through the night, and good thing because I’ve been one tired momma!  Apparently some of that 1st trimester fatigue can return for the final trimester – I just don’t remember it like this the last time.  I’ve also been having a lot of crazy dreams, some about the baby, but mostly not, and I guess this is also common.  The heartburn/acid reflux is still annoying present, but a friend gave me peppermint beadlets that work like a charm and have me able to sleep normal at night again (I HIGHLY recommend them!).  I feel absolutely enormous (though others may disagree) and it’s starting to affect my ability to bend over like normal. 
            I’m still running 5-6 days per week, just 2-3 miles typically, though 3.5-4 is still okay for a “long” run.  Being slow and stuck inside makes it not very fun, but we recently had a warm-up that was enough to clear the roads in our neighborhood, so I pushed Baya for about 3 miles outside on Monday - it made for a nice change of view.  I haven’t been able to run with her since sometime in October.  I’ve been biking 3-4 days per week and hammering out some hard one-minute intervals once per week (may not sound that bad, but it BURNS!).  We keep the garage around 40 degrees, so it’s great to have a cool place to be able to bike indoors during the winter.  This was the body can focus on the workload and not wasting energy trying to cool itself (and while it’s pretty effective at this, pregnant women have also been warned to be mindful of core temperature and overheating, so that takes care of ay concern of that).  I have a fan out there if I need it too.
             I’ve increased my swimming the last few weeks since I’ve had the opportunity – swimming at least 14,000 yards per week (5 swims/week).  I’m still cranking out those 50-yard sprints on one-minute weekly and I just completed 36 of them this past week, putting me ahead of schedule.  I should hit 50 by the end of January now!  And I’m still squeezing into that one-piece …  I’ve been trying to lift twice a week too.  I’ve also been taking a day completely off once a week the last couple weeks, which has been good both physically and mentally.  I’ve also been planning out the 2015 race season, and it’ll be a fun year with some fierce competition.  It sure keeps the motivation alive for training in the meantime!
Merry Christmas from TRImester Training (celebrate, enjoy, and keep moving!) and the growing Wyss family!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Heartbreak of Competition

            When you put a lot of sweat, blood, and tears into preparing for a race, game, meet or competition of any kind, it’s always tough when you fall short of your goals.  Going into races, I have many goals: swim, bike, and run splits (and watts for on the bike, which is a more fair measurement on windy days or hilly courses anyway), then I have an overall goal time, which allows for transition, and within that there is a range of what I think is doable and what I could ideally put together.  Then I’ll also have placement goals.  While you never know who’s going to show up, studying past results for that particular course can give you a ballpark idea of where you could potentially finish.
            When I started up with triathlon, I had no idea what I was capable of and I would not only surpass my overall goal times, I would crush them.  I surprised myself with what I was able to do.  The more experienced you become, you then start setting tougher goals, have higher expectations, and the gap begins to close.  And if you end up on top at a race (the first time is always a surprise, an exhilaration, a feeling you should remember), the pressure is on then to be able to repeat.  Winning the Steven’s Point Duathlon will always be an awesome memory for me, not just because I connected with Draft Cyclery, but I realized I could be fast – and that I could out-bike all those runners too!  After winning Green Bay and Wausau in ’13, I felt I HAD to win them again in ’14.  Going into ’15, I get a bit of a break, since I don’t plan on competing in either of them, as I will be focusing on bigger races. 
            A lot of courses will throw surprises at you - at Minneapolis it was the rough roads for biking, and at High Cliff it was the rough run course.  You have to learn to adapt and adjust goals as you go if needed.  At Trinona, I wanted to make the Top 5 overall, and I ended up 6th by 6 seconds.  At Minneapolis, I thought I could make the Top 10 and ended up 11th.  Even though the fastest 3 amateur women in the WORLD were there competing that day, I just don’t have room for excuses.  When it came to the High Cliff Half-Iron, I wanted to win it.  Really bad.  Looking at past race results, I knew there was a chance.  I needed to put together a solid race.  I had a typical swim time, and while my watts on the bike were the same as my 2:30 Pigman bike split, I was 7 minutes slower due to the cliff and battling the winds.  It was disheartening.  I pressed on and ran up the hill, chasing the two women still in front of me, but not being able to pull together the best run.  I caught the one in front of me, and then every woman I caught up to I was hoping was the leader, only to be repeatedly let down (it was not only a two-loop run course, but the sprint runners were also mixed in with us).  Running down the hill towards the finish line, the road was empty in front of me.  I knew it was final – I was 2nd.  So many hours of chasing and then I came up short.  I couldn’t help it - I cried.  While I later found out that I lost to a blazing fast pro that I didn’t stand a chance against, I still had come so close – 2nd.  In reality, it was a decent race, but all I see looking back is how I just missed it. 
I can understand why the silver medal at the Olympics is the most disappointing (though I’d think 4th would also be), because you get so close to the top – and you don’t make it.  With third – heck, you’re ecstatic you made the podium!  Others can look at your race and tell you that you did great – and maybe you really did – but all you can see is how you should have done better.  But that’s also what pushes you to become better.  Keep chasing and don’t forget the exhilaration of when you first surpassed your goals.  Use it all to fuel that passionate fire in you to keep improving and moving forward.  There is always something to improve upon.  Stay hungry.