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.