When you're in it, it can be hard to see. Then, mysteriously, it creeps up on you and flattens you. Where does it come from?
Two years ago I was racing every two weeks, and having a great time. I did pretty well. I was in great shape. Why shouldn't I run at 100% effort every 15 days? Ain't I gonna live forever?
Well, it caught up to me, let's just say. I don't regret it. I looked down at my legs the day after my last race, and they looked up at me and rolled their little eyes and said, We're outta here.
My tibialis anterior on both sides were painfully overdeveloped. A rather small flaw in my biomechanics had learned to express itself in a big way, thanks to all the practice it was getting. I ran too hard, too much, and I guess I learned a lot. It seemed surprising at the time, but now of course it's blindingly obvious that injury was the only way that chapter was going to end.
So for two years I didn't race. I scratched Boston (for the second time), changed careers, got periodically busy, and ran only sometimes.
Then this winter, after suffering a cold that lasted six months, I figured it was time to shake things up again. I trained a little, ran a race, and hit the road again.
I'm still overtraining. I haven't learned a thing. Like I said, I don't regret any of it. I got to know myself better. I look forward to interesting injuries, more catastrophic training mistakes, and better failures.