Monday, April 29, 2013

Overuse injury

After a three month running hiatus due to the indomitable combination of bad weather (I hate treadmills) and work busy-ness this past winter, I decided last month to pick up my running routine right where I had left off in December.  Two weeks later, with aching ilio-tibial bands and tarsal tunnel syndrome in my left foot, I was forced to stop to allow these overuse injuries to heal.

I knew that I should have started gradually.  Just walked for a week or two, or alternated walking and jogging the first few times out.  But I didn't want to have to wait for my body to re-acclimate to the demands of running.  I just wanted to go.  I readily admit to pushing myself harder than I should sometimes.  Even when I know better, I always want to believe that I am physically capable of more than I am.

Unfortunately, this same tendency creeps up in my work life.  I tend to dive head first into projects without taking the time to think, first, about how big the project might truly be.  I set task deadlines that my brain thinks are reasonable but that I soon discover are impossible.  Despite having lived through these scenarios multiple times, I still keep creating unrealistic "to do" task lists.

List fatigue is the overuse injury of my work life.  And, every time I pile too much on, I am forced to stop, reassess everything, and plug it back into a more realistic schedule.  I hate having to stop working just to figure these things out, just as I hate having to stop running to let IT bands or shin splints or tight hamstrings recover.

I think that ambition and perseverance have many positives about them, but they can be a double-edged sword.  I'm now using a "couch to 10K" app to force me to increase my running time gradually.  I have used this method before with success, and maybe, some day, I'll use it at the get-go next time I have a running hiatus.  I have to admit that my feet and legs are much happier for it.

If only I could find a "couch to work" app, I'd be all set.

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