A rebuilding week for me, plus a bit of workoutus interuptus. My rest week last week did a ton of good for me. By the beginning of this week, I felt bouncy and fresh again. Of course, the trick then was not to dig myself right back into a hole, meaning don't blast your workouts just because you feel perky. I was pretty good about running my workouts under control - especially Friday's tempo, where I took special care to keep the workout aerobic.
Of course, despite all this care, I ended up getting a tight calf on Saturday. Nothing horrible, but definitely one of those things where I could either take a few days off now, or risk it developing into something longer term that I'd be battling for months. I've gone down this road before, and I've learned that when a calf is tight, I can take 2-3 days off and fix it. If I keep pushing it? Then I get plantar fascia/achilles tendonitis issues that take a lot longer (connective tissue heals slower than muscle). So, I ended up doing my Sunday long run in the pool.
In connection with this, I had a revelation of sorts. Essentially, I tend to be a bit type A, with a tendency to compulsively do workout X or mileage Y NO MATTER what.
[my type A-ness is NOT the revelation, BTW]
Sometimes, I'm worse about this, at other times, I tend to be more relaxed and chill and willing to back off on a workout or cut it short or skip a day. So, why am I able to back off or take a few days off sometimes, and not others?
Deceptively simple. Overtraining/reaching has many symptoms, including emotional. I think that, for me, one early warning sign that I'm pushing too hard is that I start getting OCD about my workouts. When I'm not cooked, it's a lot easier to chill about only doing 3 repeats instead of 4, etc. When I'm in a hole, I get tunnel vision, and an unwillingness to pull the plug. If I'm really fried, then being told that I need to shut the workout down infuriates me, while a more rested me is better able to accept guidance and patience.
So simple, and also so evil. Because it's a bad cycle. The more I overreach, the harder it is for me to back off, and so I push even harder, which then results in....a deeper hole.
So, big lesson here is: the more emotionally important it is to me to do a certain workout/mileage/etc (and the harder it is for me to listen to others), the more I need to give serious thought to backing off (and to heed the advice of others).