Heh - and the mileage keeps falling. I'll was feeling good this week, so I went ahead and raced a track mile on Wednesday night, following it by sleepwalking through a 5K tempo on Friday morning (36 hours later). I was exhausted on Friday morning, thanks to a stretch of insomnia, but went ahead and did the tempo anyway (despite my coach's stern reminder of "if you feel like you are not recovered, skip this workout" - mea culpa).
And then I was sore everywhere. Not one huge OMG I've injured this, but about 5 different muscles etc that demanded a day off, lest they become injuries. Saturday, usually an easy 10, became an easy hour in the pool.
Again, mea culpa. But I realized that I made not one but two mistakes. The first was the obvious, doing the mile race, followed by the tempo. The second is a bit more subtle.
I've know for some time that I'm pretty durable and can handle a lot of work if a) I build up to it carefully, and b) my speedwork is a relatively small proportion of my overall mileage. But, when I take more than a day or two off, I need to ramp up carefully.
That's not what I've done the past few weeks. Instead, I felt run down, with low iron, so I took several days down. Then as soon as I felt good, I jumped back into workouts. Soon after that, I got a tight calf, so I took a few more non-running days. And then I jumped right back into it again. And I ended up tweaking a bunch of stuff again.
As of Monday, I feel good, but if I rush right back into workouts, I'm just going to tweak something else (again). It's a bad cycle that will end up in a string of sub-par races and finally injury (likely in mid-September or early October) that will knock me out for the rest of the season.
So the plan for the near future is to do what I should have done two weeks ago. Carefully ramp my mileage back up, skipping the intensity and the speed work. And then come back to workouts, carefully, after I have quite a few easy runs under my belt.
It's going to really suck to miss tomorrow's workout, especially since I feel fine right now. But I can either discipline myself now, or suffer later. And hey, if I had been slower to come back a few weeks ago, I wouldn't be missing workouts now :)