Oh boy. You would not want to meet me in a dark alley the way I looked and felt yesterday. It's been a tough week at work, culminating in yesterday's record-breaking crapfest, which turned everything into a cause for irritation.
The sun was too bright.
The sun was not bright enough.
There were too many cheerful, inspirational quotes on my Facebook feed.
There were too many depressing articles on my Facebook feed.
My cats ran to the door to meet me when I got home.
My cats ran away when I felt like squeezing them.
SOMEONE PARKED THEIR BICYCLE AT MY SPOT. THEY TOOK MY SPOT.
And so on, and so forth. Everything was wrong. And I made sure the world knew it, by wearing the most pouty face I could contract my face muscles into and complaining loudly to anyone who would listen. I didn't get much sympathy for the bicycle spot outrage.
Running is the best therapy. My legs were heavy before the usual Wednesday run with the club, and – no happily-ever-after ending here – they were still heavy during and after the run too. But my mood got a lot better.
Yet, there was still a cloud of worry over my head. Why this irritation? Sure, my work week has been tough. Long hours, intense, unforgiving. But it is often like that. Why has this week in particular been so tough? And why were my legs so slow to recuperate after last Monday's run? I started dreading having to be at practice at a certain time. Not the training in itself, but having yet another item on my to-do list when I got home from work.
I suspected the worst. Overtraining and other psychological stress factors in tandem with each other, caught in a gravitational pull, spinning around each other forever in a sick co-dependant relationship.
Overtraining symptoms, according to Wikipedia, include:
Persistent muscle soreness (eh, not more than usual)
Persistent fatigue (mentally, yes. Physically, no)
Elevated resting heart rate (haven't checked in a couple of weeks)
Reduced heart rate variability (I don't even know what that means and I'm too fatigued to google it)
Increased susceptibility to infections (nope)
Increased incidence of injuries (I'm guessing there will be if I keep putting in 280km-months without rest periods)
Irritability (who the hell are you calling irritable?)
Depression (If there was increased incidence of injuries, you bet I'd get depressed)
Mental breakdown (not yet but give me a couple more days like yesterday and I'll get there)
So, not much in the symptom list applies in my case. I can probably breathe a sigh of relief. That's not to say that I'm indestructible. Therefore, I am playing truant from tonight's interval training and giving myself an extra rest day. Both mind and body are thanking me already.