I don’t have an actual diagnosis of overtraining. What I do have is a cluster of symptoms, and an itchy feeling in the back of my brain that I need to take some time off (while having the compulsive urge to push on.)
Here’s a bit of a time line.
Early March, I purchased a new pair of running shoes after more than a few months of not running, but primarily doing elliptical training at the gym. That was just over a month and a half ago. While I was doing regular work-outs at the gym, with cardio and strength training, I know I wasn’t really pushing that hard, even if I was going for 45 minutes of cardio. With my new running shoes, I started back with my 30 minute walk/run, doing about 2.15 miles in 30 minutes, at best. This is almost average for me.
I can’t remember exactly when I got bitten by the bug to train – maybe it was just the neighborhood 5K that I did a month ago. (Was it only a month ago?!) In a matter of weeks, I doubled my mileage and duration. I didn’t slowly amp-up, no – I went straight for it. I have become faster, and just yesterday did a painful 20 minute jog under a 11 min/mi pace! I was even walking faster! However, I woke up this morning (actually, throughout the night) to my muscles being sore and tight again, and feeling a general sense of anxiety and dread. I loved the calorie burn pay-off I was getting from all that training I was doing. However, the flood of adrenaline to my body from training is not loving my psyche.
Running makes me feel like a superwoman when I’m in the moment, and the run is good. My body feels battered right now, my psyche feels battered, I’m wanting to quit running, while simultaneously wanting to have the strength and will to hit the pavement.
Overtraining has the symptom of decreased performance – and I don’t know if I’ve got that yet (although yesterday’s run that didn’t last more than 20 minutes may count.) I certainly have some of the physiological and psychological effects. (TMI: My period was over 10 days late, which can be another symptom of overtraining.) I’m frustrated with my body right now, the same way I get frustrated when I’m sick. My body is just not wanting to cooperate with what my mind wants to do.
Maybe this is an opportunity to be still, and be mindful. Maybe, just maybe, I need to take a week off. A real week. Not just a couple days (as I did earlier this week.)
What will I write about here? Not training? I’m sure that my 3 readers will read anyway. For everyone else that might stumble upon this blog – stay tuned.