Alright, here's what I've figured out between last night and now:
I developed a strange habit (whithout realizing it) of picking with my wrist but changing from string to string with me arm. This screws me up on runs that go from the 6th to 1st string because I start with my hand above the strings resting on the upper body of the guitar. The reason this doesn't work for me is because the flesh of my arm gets stuck to the body of the guitar and makes my picking immoblil, and that exercize I mentioned obove extremely difficult.
This also makes legato difficult because I would do a legato run and not adjust where my arm was on the guitar and end up picking the wrong string.
The same effect would occur with sweeping, if I was doing an alternate picked run and then wanted do throw in a sweep I would have to lift my arm off the guitar to sweep across strings with and arm motion.
By examining Petrucci's picking style, I found out that instead of moving my arm to get a consistent pick attack, that I should keep my pinky anchord just under the pickup, adjust *my fingers for consistent pick attack, and change from string to string with my wrist. This is the approach I always used before the last week or so. I didn't even realize this technique flaw was developing, or why for that matter.
So, after adjusting my picking style to a loose wrist motion instead of a tight arm movement (something very basic I learned early on), I'm able to play Troy Stetina's Flight of the Bumble Bee at my usual 170+ speed, and all of Petrucci's chromatic exercizes at 220! And I can play all the things that I've been working on during my July-six-hour-a-day-mad-rush-to-prepare-for-Berklee-Summer-sessions (Thats a lot of -s) *faster and more cleanily than before!!
The other technique problem I had was being too strict about the thumb behind the back thing. I kind of got this from Petrucci, but after re-anilyizing his technique, I saw that he adjusts is thumb to what he's playing. He also angles his hand when he gets to the upper strings and upper registers. I, for some reason, got it into my head that I HAD to have my thumb directly behind the neck of the guitar no matter what. After doing what came naturally to me, my fretting hand felt less akward.
So, in short I got over it without taking a sacreligious (for me, anyway) break! It's funny how little technique quarks can screw you up like that. *I also spent some time listening to music I usually don't listen to often. I've been listening to nothing but Awake, FII, and SFNY for the last two months or so.
Thanks, for all your suggestions though! I might decide to take a break a month or so after the guitar sessions just to see what it does for me.
BTW, does anyone know of any 15 year olds that are going? I'm worried that I'll be among the few, youngest people there, because 15 is the minimum age.