Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Dreaded Winter Weight Gain

I’ve always been jealous of those triathletes that train hard year-round. I always need to take some time off, and around December and January my motivation to train is pretty low. I like to think that I am a bear whose natural inclination is to hunker down in the winter and just sleep.

This lack of activity leads to the winter weight gain. I could also contribute it to the various “training” diets I experiment with during the off-season. There’s the “Nacho Bell Grandes from Taco Bell Diet” or the “Eating Breaded Mozzarella Sticks While Lying On The Couch Watching Football Diet” or the ever-popular “I Am Depressed By The Lack Of Sunlight And Need To Eat Ice Cream To Feel Better Diet.”

I tried to return to swimming in December but became too busy with the holidays. In January I made another effort to get back into the routine. “Lori’s back,” said Coach Nick. “It must be tri season.”

It’s true; I only swim when I am in training for a tri. Once my last tri of the year is done (it was in August last year) I stop swimming. There doesn’t seem to be a point to do something I don’t like if there is not an immediate goal in mind. There, I said it, I don’t like swimming.

Logically I know that swimming year-round would make me better. I know the way to be faster is to improve technique. To me, though, swimming is a necessary evil. It’s the thing I have to get out of the way so I can do the rest of a triathlon. Maybe I needed to change my love-hate relationship with the water.

Swimming is mentally exhausting. I desperately want to be one of those swimmers where everything comes naturally. For me, though, I am constantly thinking about every movement—keep my head down, rotate my hips, lengthen my stroke, cut through the water, don’t turn my head so much, breathe in, breathe out. Why does swimming have to be so hard?!

I know tri season will be here before I know it so I need to stay focused. For me, it helps if I have an upcoming race as a goal. My first race of the year is the Freezefest 5K on Feb. 26. It’s a fun run, but I still don’t want to be embarrassed. I remember seeing Deb Gaddis with her lab puppy, Sophie, running the course for a second time while I was still trying to finish. I don’t like being beaten by dogs and small children in strollers!

I guess losing that winter weight should be another motivation. The thought of putting on my onesy trisuit with this body should be motivation enough! I certainly don’t want to squeeze into a wetsuit.

There are many things that should motivate, but ultimately it has to come from inside me. I have to want it. I have to head out into the darkness in the morning and run, go to the pool even after a long day of work and quit using my bike trainer as a clothing rack. I have to make it happen!