Friday, September 07, 2007

For want of a shoe...

You've heard this one, right?

"For want of a nail a shoe was lost / For want of a shoe a horse was lost / For want of a horse a rider was lost / For want of a rider a battle was lost / For want of a battle a kingdom was lost / ... and all for the want of a horseshoe nail."

That's how today has gone. I woke up late this morning and missed (yet another) swim class. For want of a shoe...the battle was lost. For want of a swim...the day was lost. Upon waking and realizing what had occurred, I decided the whole day was ruined.

Ever have one of these? Do you ever wake up and just feel emotionally depressed for no good reason? You hate your life, yourself, the world. No? Never? Okay, me neither.

What makes it worse is that you know you're bad mood is completely unwarranted, making you even more helpless to alter it. All efforts are futile. The only thing helping me through it is knowing it's just one of those days and like all other things, this too will come to pass.

Poor Jason. I didn't want to go to work; I didn't want to stay home. After draining myself of tears, he finally coaxed me out of bed. I proceeded to change litterboxes and vacuum, which made me feel better. Cleaning always does. So does Taz (aka Tazzer schmazzer mookie bear). Sensing my foul mood, he was extra cuddly this morning, bless his little soul.

(Cute 'n cuddly Taz. One of the few things in this world that can always cheer me up.)

This whole week has been a wash. It was supposed to be week 2, Base 2 of training. The whole week, I felt sick--sore throat, headache, stomach ache, fatigue. I kept hearing the drill sargeant in my head yelling, "This is NOT a recovery week! Let's GO!" But I just couldn't. I had nothing in the tank.

Monday was an intended recovery day but 4 hours of swallowing salt water in the ocean really did me in. I took Tuesday off, exhausted. Wednesday, I took the morning off and began to feel panicky. In a rush to "catch up", I did a brick that evening and after a bike (hill repeats) and 4 mile run, gave up trying to do weights because I had exhausted myself again. Thursday morning I slept in again. It seems my sleep requirements this week have jumped from 8-9 to 10-11. WTF? Thursday evening, I had a very nice 6 mile recovery run with a friend, which made me feel much better but I was still beating myself up over missed workouts (I know, I know. Spilt milk). However, when I got home, the sore throat and headache had returned.

This morning, I was supposed to attend my masters swim workout in the am. This was going to fix everything. Make the whole week okay. Passable. So when I slept in again, I woke up feeling that the whole day, whole week, was ruined and that I was a failure. I realize these thoughts are irrational. But it's a constant internal battle within myself.

I've read enough triathlon articles and books to know that I shouldn't be a slave to my training plan. I know I've been putting lots of solid time in and have plenty of time left before my taper. So I should know I can relax and pull back and pace myself a little, right? You'd think. What I know and what I feel are at odds with each other. Miss Know is trying to reason with Miss Feel. It's taking awhile.

I've resolved to take today off (from workouts). I know I'm overtrained and need rest. In addition, I have a mega-killer-annihilation weekend tomorrow and Sunday. I need all the rest I can get. I'm going to try and enjoy my day off guilt-free and try to recharge. I'm looking forward to my massage this evening. I'm just going to try and move forward.

Just to recap, let's look at some of the symptoms of overtraining (again):

1. Persistant fatigue (check, check.)
2. Susceptibility to infection (hmmm. sore throat, stomach ache. check.)
3. Persistant muscle soreness (you mean, my muscles aren't supposed to always be sore? check.)
4. Insomnia (check.)
5. Irritability and moodiness (triple check.)
6. Depression (check.)
7. Lack of motivation (half a check.)
8. Increased susceptibility to injury (not yet, thankfully.)
9. Decreased appetite (check, check.)
10. Decreased sexual performance (okay, let's not go there. Let's keep this PG-13, folks).
11. Headaches (triple check.)
12. Elevated resting pulse and/or inability to raise pulse during workouts (sometimes--half a check.)

Well, sounds like we have a diagnosis.

Here are some links about overtraining for all those other Type A triathletes out there:


Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

I don't want to sound preachy, but be very careful. If you are suffering all of those symptoms, you are definiately overtrained and you risk it becoming chronic. I've read a lot of article of triathletes who have continued on through symptoms and ended up in the hospital and not able to train at all for a year or can become that bad. Remind yourself of there real reason why you do this. It's supposed to be fun, right. None of us are drawing a paycheck from this, so don't let it become a negative in your life. Having goals in the sport are great, but if you are having trouble convincing yourself that it's ok to take a break, then you definitely need a break.

Just smile and, as a philosopher I knew once told me, "F*&$'em if they can't take a joke!!" ;-)

bunnygirl said...

Well, I've got all those symptoms and I KNOW I'm not overtrained! Maybe it's the stars or something.

I loves me some Taz! :-)

Jessica said...

This might not be the issue, but you might want to start tracking these feelings in relation to your menstrual cycle. I was feeling similarly and freaking out once a month...until I realized there was actually a biochemical reason for it, which helped me control myself better emotionally.

Jodi said...

Just to be on the safe side-you may want to go to the doctor and explain all of these symptoms. You may have a persistent mono infection, adrenal insufficiency, a thyroid problem, anemia... just get it checked out. Push for a full blood work up. With your level of training you really shouldn't have overtraining syndrome. I'm friends with a pro coach and he believes it takes a very serious training load (like 30 hours per week) to get true overtraining syndrome. The symptoms are consistent with OTS, but also of many other non-training related ailments. Take care of yourself!


Lisa said...

hooray for Taz!
Also, don't get too down :)
Also Also, of all the tri blogs I read, I like yours best just because you blog so honestly, just like this post!