Alarm, Adaptation and Exhaustion!!!

I know you aren’t going to believe me but the base of my breakfast this morning was in fact yogurt, not cottage cheese.  Pina Colada flavored yogurt to be exact.

I know you will believe me when I tell you that I had the exact same meal for lunch today too. If you ever have a breakfast that makes you so excited for the next morning just so that you can eat it again, just do what I do and have it for every meal until you get sick of it.

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I heard somewhere that if you eat 48 servings of fruit a day that you get in all of the vitamins and minerals that you need and you don’t in fact have to come near a vegetable unless it is romaine lettuce in a cafe rio salad, a baked potato or the tomatoes found in ketchup;)  I am just kidding.  I will eat some carrot cake later to get in my veggies.

Something else I am really enjoying lately are some sweet running socks.  For the first time ever I actually put my socks on the correct feet, I think.

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Zensah sent me a pair of their Thin Running Socks.   I have ran in them a few times and really do love them.  They are super lightweight, they leave no chance for blisters and they have arch support with a wraparound compression band built into them.  They must be magic because somehow they are still white and they are now my one and only pair without holes in them.

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Sundays are meant to be spent on a couch with a hoodie and a book.  It should be a law.   This is probably the creepiest picture I have ever posted on here.

Photo on 3 18 12 at 1 13 PM

I love talking about running topics that apply to every type of runner out there and today is one that no matter what your speed is or how long you have been running it is something we can all relate to.

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The stress response is the perfect explanation for what is going on in our bodies when we train.

The first stage: ALARM!!!  Running is a huge stress on the body (I think we all know that:) and when we start running, start a new training plan or just start training harder we experience this alarm stage.  Our body reacts to stress in one of three ways!

1.  If it is the optimal amount of stress (not doing too much too fast) your body begins to ADAPT. (This is what we want)

2.  If it is TOO much stress you will start to break down quickly and get hurt and be tired. Unpleasant.

3.  If it isn’t enough stress than your body won’t see a reason to adapt and get stronger and so it will stay at the same level.  (Plauteau) not enough stress!

You have to find the right duration, intensity and frequency for YOU as you start a new training cycle or program that won’t leave you injured but will push your body to the next stage.

ADAPTATION!

This is the stage where you become a better runner, stronger, faster and fitter!  This occurs if you handle the stress of running in the correct way, you are pushing yourself but also taking time to recover and not pushing too much.

+Some adaptations that occur during this stage is in our muscles, nerves, bones, heart, lungs, brain and all the other tissues in our bodies.  Our bodies become better at using carbohydrates and fats to give you energy to run, your lungs become more efficient in pumping oxygen to our muscles and so much more.

EXHAUSTION: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

“If the stress of training is too intense or lasts too long, your body cannot adapt.  Instead, it deteriorates until you reach the stage of exhaustion.  It is in this stage that you become injured, burned out and overtrained.  Running is no longer pleasant, and your performances steadily decline, despite your most diligent efforts.  Your reaction to your declining performance may be to train harder still, which only accelerates your downward spiral.  You might get sick often, missing weeks of training at a time.”

How to avoid exhaustion is with CHANGE MANAGEMENT: change up your routine, try something new, take more time to recover!

-Taking a week off = change and so does starting a new phase in your training (one with more speed work and less mileage for example).  Your body can only handle the same amount of training for so long before it breaks down so try switching things up a little bit if you are feeling like you are coming close to the exhaustion stage.

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What stage are you in with your running?  Alarm, Adaptation or Exhaustion?  How do you know personally when you reach the level of exhaustion?

-I know that I have hit exhaustion when I break my bones (joke, kind of) but really when I don’t enjoy it anymore.  I know that I have gone too far in my training when I dread a few of my runs in a row!

What do you look for in a good pair of running socks?

How many servings of fruits do you have a day?  Veggies?  What about the people you live with?  Do they eat their fruits and veggies?

-I honestly probably have 6-7 servings of fruit a day and my veggie intake has gone way down low to 2 a day…something to work on.

Reading any good running books lately?

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81 comments

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I am always adapting! Training for two marathons right now and my biggest obstacle is my meals and what works best pre and post run…. the runs are easy. I can easily belt out 20 miles, but nutrition still seems to suffer. My fav running socks are by Experia….Love em’! Fruits barely…. but a whole bunch of veggies and yes I absolutely am in love with my breakfast, could eat it forever, no signs of getting sick of it!

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TWO MARATHONS RIGHT NOW…girl, you are incredible! In what ways are you struggling with your nutrition? Isn’t breakfast the absolute best! Help me with my veggies intake!

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Breakfast is awesome… I have a pumpkin hot cereal I make and topped with cinnamon and peanut butter, oh so tasty!! I never eat the right amount of calories after my long runs and pay for it the following days! The marathons are one after the other, I am aiming to qualify for Boston. I eat veggies at lunch and dinner…. I have a variety of plain frozen veggies and have 2 cups at each meal…. I love veggies, so it’s easy for me to add.

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Great info about the alarm, adaptation, and exhaustion. You can stress your body with either distance/quantity of mileage or with speed. Either way, you are in a sense damaging your body either creating tiny tears in your muscles or stressing and temporarily weakening your bones. But then your body adapts to those stresses and makes itself stronger! Finding that balance of between pushing yourself enough to cause that adaption and not pushing it too much so that your body doesn’t have enough time to repair itself is the hard part!

I know I’m at the level of exhaustion when I can’t motivate myself to run even if it’s nice outside. That happened to me a couple of weeks ago and I had to take a week off. I was mentally fatigued. Sometimes we focus so much on the physical aspect of running that we forget about the mental aspect of it, which is huge! Anyways, hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday and eating tons of good yogurt and fruit : )

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Julia, you are so smart…I always learn so much from you and your blog too! It really is all about finding that balance and allowing enough time for yourself to recover! Yep, that is a huge warning sign that you have reached exhaustion, been there done that! Hope you are having a great Sunday too!

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We eat a lot of fruit and veggies everyday. Can’t get enough of them!

Last running book I read was “Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving–and Not Lose Your Family, Job, Or Sanity.” I really liked it!

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I JUST got that book! I can’t wait to read it, thanks for reminding me about it. Have an amazing day Shay!

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Great post! I need to stress my body more because I feel like it has plateaued :/ And favorite socks are my Experias

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It really is so easy to stay in that plateau stage ya know? I think we could all use a little more stress in terms of running:) Have a great day Lynda!

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Yogurt + fruit is seriously the best! My body has definitely adapted to marathon training – because my longest run ever yesterday (14 miles!) felt amazing the whole time. I was loving life during that run, especially when my pace increased and it felt comfortable during the last few miles.

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It really is right!??! AHHHH CONGRATS LAUREN on your 14 miles, that is absolutely incredible especially because you got faster towards the end. Amazing!

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I ate the same thing for breakfast and lunch today, too! ;) Peanut butter and banana on an English muffin for breakfast … followed by peanut butter and banana on whole wheat toast for lunch! ;)

I think I’m in adaptation mode right now. I’ve been running a lot of hills since moving to GA, and I really think it’s making me stronger! :)

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YUM…gotta love hotel living ha! Hills are AMAZING for training, keep it up Kristen!

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Thanks, Janae!! :)

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I think I’m in adaptation (although my piriformis may say otherwise). I trained for my latest half (run today) and improved on my PR by close to 18 minutes! Whoot whoot! But – I ran that with a pain in my butt. So it’s off to roll on a tennis ball, stretch, and ice.

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HEY YOU! Boo to your piriformis acting up. 18 MINUTES….CONGRATULATIONS!!! That is so so awesome, enjoy every second today…a new PR is the best. ROLL ROLL ROLL:)

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After a speed increase I thought I was adapting but I was definitely wrong. I guess I was in the alarm stage because I injured my achilles so badly it is still difficult to run… the injury occurred back in early November. Do you have any suggestions?

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Oh Michele, I am truly so sorry about your achilles injury, that breaks my heart. Have you been taking time off? Have you seen a doctor? I need more details:) RICE is the best thing that I know…..and finding a doctor that I trust!

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I stayed completely away from running for at least 8 weeks. Since then I have been running on and off depending on how it feels. I’ve had an MRI so I know it’s not torn. But yes RICE has been my go to method- and trigger point! What type of doctor would you recommend? I’m only 20 and healthy otherwise.

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Great info!! That is the running book I am working my way through, and I remember that part- I like the way you paraphrased. My fave socks right are Experia- the best!! I get a good amount of fruits and veggies, usually the base for every meal. Sounds like a great Sunday!
Have a good night!

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Isn’t it a great book….there is SO much information in there it takes me 15 minutes to read a page:) Have a great night with your beautiful family!

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I’m teetering back from exhaustion to adaptation. After a small problem with my knee I’m back at it and working more on my overall fitness rather than just focusing on the longer miles. Neat socks! :D

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I am so happy you are back to it after your knee problems! What did you do differently to fix your knee problems?

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Thanks! I just backed off and listened to my body. I did some non-impact work outs and focused on my core more than I normally would. So basically biding time until I felt like I could run without injuring myself anymore.

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Good info!!! I love veggies so much. I need to up my fruits and im working on that. You are actually a good example on fruits. Maybe you could ease back into broccoli. Try some corn or summer squash and zucchini? Ease back into it–tomatoes– first and foremost listen to your body when pregnant!! E

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Elizabeth, thank you so much! That really is a great idea…I need to start small and someday I will be back to chomping on raw broccoli! You are right, it is so important to listen to my body first! THANKS and have a great night!

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I think I probably end up with more fruit everyday …. totally because of smoothies! I jam as manu servings as I can into one bevy :) I need to work on upping the veggies!

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Do you ever put veggies in your smoothies. I know a ton of people do but I personally can’t ha!

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I do! Spinach, baby.

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I am in the Adaptation phase. My Saturday morning long runs (for me 10 miles) just feel a pleasurable run now. I might need to start running them a little speedier, or go a little longer because I oddly miss the “i need recovery” phase. You know the one I speak of the I must rest legs, I must nap, I must refuel………yep, weird……but love that!

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Girl, you are rocking it. 10 miles comfortably?!?! WAY TO GO!! I hear you on the needing recovery phase because that means you should go get a massage and sit on the couch all day because you know you worked your butt off.
PS good luck tomorrow….I always get sad on Sunday nights knowing it is back to work but then once I get there I love it ha!

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Thanks for the message. I need it. Our weather has been summer-like, so my desire to return to school tomorrow on a scale of 1-10 is negative 2!
I better make a HRG blog date for myself during my first prep period. :)

……..And you have had 4 days off. Keep telling yourself tonight……you can do this!

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Great post! I’m in the “my body doesn’t believe in running and rather be injured” stage. Dumb calves!
I don’t wear actual running socks, but I love my gold toe ankle socks. They are the only ones that i like to workout out in. I can’t remember where I bought them and I can’t find them anywhere!

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Heather, I am truly sorry you are struggling so much right now. I am mad at your calves!

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I LOVE SOCKS WITH ARCH SUPPORT!!!!

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I love this I have to admit though that it seems that we have been more busy now then drunig the school year Trying to soak up all of the sun and playtime with our friends. I LOVE It and I wish summer would never end

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Oh, janae! It’s so funny how you post stuff as if you know exactly what’s going on in my own life:-) Right now, I feel caught between the adaptation stage and the exhaustion. I have about 10 weeks left to train for my 10 miler and another half marathon, and honestly, these last two weeks I have just lost my mojo. I’m frustrated because I don’t feel like eating well, I’m so tired, and kinda don’t care( gasp!!!) I’m mostly bummed because I have done so well since January( yes, I’m sure just in reading that sentence you’re thinking I’m overstrained). I believe in doing one thing well, as opposed to too many things “half ass” as they say. So this year I researched what I could do to drop some weight, I graduated from PT, and I was loving my training! I know this doesn’t constitute the end of the world, it’s simply a hiccup and I’m sure I’ll find my way back. In reading about your book, I’m glad to know there are these stages . Thanks for telling us about it!
To break out of my funk I’ve just read “The Long Run”, “50/50”, and “The Accidental Athlete”. Wow- we are so blessed to read about these men and women who run to live, and live to run! Hope all is well with your little family- thanks for your daily smiles and inspirations:-)

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JODI!!! I can read your mind. Uh oh….be careful girl! Those signs are definitely most likely due to exhaustion and I would change things up! It can definitely seem like the end of the world though, I completely understand! Thanks so much for your comment and I am going to have to check out those books, they sound amazing!

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I have been at exhaustion for a couple weeks now. My body is breaking down… I’m taking my cousin’s advice and starting tapering a week early – 2 weeks until my first half marathon and I want to qualify for a corral in the Chicago Marathon!

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GIRL, I think that is a great idea! Start the taper early. SO excited for your first half marathon, you’ve got this girl!

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I’m not really sure which stage I’m at! I’ve had a really good few months’ training and took 17 minutes off my old half marathon PR a few weeks ago – but now I’m injured with hip flexor issues. Sounds like an interesting read though!!

Current running book = Dean Karnazes 50/50 – I’m really enjoying it! Lots of great info and tips in there… plus he’s making me feel like running my first marathon this year is TOTALLY doable and not so scary – after all, the guy ran 50 of them in 50 days so I should definitely be able to tackle one :)

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17 minutes off….way to go Jenn! I am so sorry you are out right now. What are you doing to help your hip flexor problems. 50/50 is so good and he makes me just want to get up and run!! You will rock your marathon, I am so excited for you!

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Thanks so much Janae :) I’ve been reading your blog long enough to know that you’ve gone through your share of the ‘waiting game’ and it’s no fun! But I think I caught it pretty early, so another week of resting should do it, and I’m allowed to do elliptical and swimming so I’ll live! For now I’m icing, foam rolling (insanely painful!), doing deep lunge stretches, strengthening exercises and trying Jedi-mind tricks to make it better :)

50/50 is awesome. The thing I love the most about Dean Karnazes is that is comes across so much in his book that he genuinely just loves to run, and to be around other people who love to run. It’s contagious!

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I knew I hit exhaustion when I stress fractured my heel…it was definitely my body’s way of telling me to take it easy and take better care of myself…and i’m totally with you on the breakfast thing. also, you got me obsessed with grapes and I’m making my mom buy the costco ones now!

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Ok, so I hate to not answer any of the questions you asked, but my mind is focussed on one thing and cannot get away from it… Pina Colada yogurt?! What brand and where can I get it?

PS- Great post and great info… I just got sidetracked right from the beginning! Sorry!

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I think I’m moving from alarm to adaptation at the moment. This week was tough!

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Your food pic turned out great! We try to eat fruits and veggies with lunch and supper. Breakfast sometimes gets a fruit.

I’m in the adaptation stage, I guess, but I need to pick up the pace a bit.

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Haha that photo is so creepy!

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Coming back from alarm, so trying to take it easy…which is sometimes easier than pushing! Crazy runners. :)

I love my SmartWool running socks. They’re thin but don’t fall apart.

I’m one of those veggie lovers, but fruit is another story. I know this is weird, but sometimes I feel like fruit is a waste of calories. It doesn’t fill me up and veggies have more going for them nutritionally. If I’m going to have something sweet, give me chocolate!

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I want to get that book so bad! I’m a flip flopper. For years I ate tons of veg with nearly no fruit. For some reason now I’m onto the fruit hard core – like 5-7 servings a day and veg has dropped down. Oh well, I figure it’s not a math equation, perhaps I’ll swing back around soon ;)

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Dadgumit, meant to say HARDER than pushing. It’s easier for me to push, push, push than rest…

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I am so bad to get obsessed with a certain food and eat it over and over again until I am sick of it… but hey, as long as it’s not bad for me, I’m calling it fine.

I don’t really know what a “serving size” is for fruits and veggies, but I’d say I get like 2-3 servings of veggies and 2-3 of fruit. I guess that’s good enough?

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I love all fruits and veggies (excepts tomatoes and onions, which is the biggest inconvenience ever since they are the core ingredient in everything!), however my husband hates veggies, and almost all fruit..oy vey.

Does Como count as a running book?

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ohhh,i love the facts, keep them coming. I’ll pretend like I am reading that book through you. Thanks mrs. teacher!

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I think I may have just hit the exhaustion phase. I have been training for Boston and running much higher mileage than ever before along w/ speed work. Last week was rough for me so I stayed slow. I do so hope that I can get over this little hump before the marathon. I have recently discovered Balega socks and they are truly the softest socks I have EVER worn. I LOVE them!!
Thanks for the post, it’s just what I needed. I actually have that book…maybe I should open it up once in a while ;)

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Wait, socks have certain feet they’re supposed to go on? So THAT’S why my times have been so slow!

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Awesome post! I’m in exhaustion after running way too exclusively while training for a marathon, and I should have known to change it up because I started to HATE running! Then two weeks after the marathon I unexpectedly found out I had torn my meniscus in three places, although no pain from it during training. Now after surgery I’m getting my body super strong by adding lots of variety to my exercise diet so that when I reunite with running I’ll be ready to run forever :) and your posts about your injuries and how you got through it were INCREDIBLY helpful to me. I always tout I wouldn’t be able to handle it if I couldn’t run (mentally mostly) but I’m doing great and recovering strong. :)

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I feel like I’ve come very close to exhaustion a couple times in the last few months, but I usually just take an extra day or two off and that’s enough to get me back into the “adaptation” zone. Nagging minor injuries (quad soreness, piriformis strain) are usually a good indicator that I need some time off.

I’ve been better about fruits and veggies lately… I’ve been eating bananas and grapes like it’s my job, and I usually pile a bunch of veggies on my sandwiches for lunch.

I don’t ask too much of my socks, just that they don’t fall down! Which is why I usually buy ankle socks, as opposed to no-shows.

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Soooo I’ve been stalking your blog for sometime now- and decided I should officially comment! I love your posts- I love your passion for running- and I love how FAST you (and not so secretly wish I could be just as fast) AND I am super excited to hear that you are expecting! I have two kiddos and ran the ENTIRE pregnancies! I ran 5 miles on the DAY I went in to labor with my second! Be prepared for mean stare downs and people asking if what your doing is “safe” :) Thanks for taking the time to share your life! Such a fun blog :)

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Tori! Your comment made my day! Thank you so much! You give me hope that I will be running for a while! I will need all the tips from you that I can get!

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I have about 6 servings of veggies a day! My older sis is the champ at our house though! Haha :)

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I was def in the exhaustion phase, thus the femoral stress fracture. But now that I started to walk without crutches finally this week I can hopefully get back to some form of exercise, very slowly of course but still! I am gong to do all I can to listen to my body better and not get to that point ever again. Thanks for sharing all these tips with us!

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Yay for no crutches….finally!!! What kind of stuff will you be able to do now?!? Thinking about you!

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You are too sweet! I am starting to do some stationary biking to build back up some muscle, and maybe the elliptical in a few week starting really slow. But honestly, any little thing feels amazing right now after three months on sitting on by booty :) although I cannot wait to run again, someday…

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you are the cutest, most adorable friend Janae! :)

thank you for writing this post! I’m taking notes fo sho! I’m going to check out that book at the bookstore. You know I love my running books!! :) Right now I’m loving “chicken soup for the soul” runners. I think you’d love it too!

For running socks I love “feetures.” they sound a lot like the zensah based on how you described your socks.

love, love all fruits and veggies. I probably exceed my daily servings every day. But, too much of a good thing can’t hurt right?! luv ya!! xo

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Howdy! First off, I just have to say THANK YOU for helping educate people as to what the body goes through! The body has to take on SO much stimuli that we constantly bombard it with. I don’t think the “health industry” does an adequate job of teaching people about what our bodies really need and how to give our bodies loving care. So, again, thank you!!

I’m currently in the “adaptation” phase. I had to deal with a stress fracture in my tibia and plantar fasciitis surgery last year, and I’ve still got p.f. in my left foot. It has taken a lot of work to figure out where my adaptation zone is! I have to force myself to slow down and recover properly. As for socks, as long as they don’t fall down the backs of my shoes, I’ll deal with ’em. Right now I’m using Lululemon’s No Show Ultimate Sock. It’s thin and breathable, no cushion, is super comfy, and doesn’t fall down! I love getting my veggies at night. I’ll eat fruit in the first half of the day, then switch to veggies in the afternoon. I’ve done it since I was a toddler. It’s just what my body naturally craves, so I just run with it.

Thanks for the post today, I really enjoyed it!

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I saw someone mention spinach and it made me think of my favorite smoothie…
-about a cup of your favorite vanilla yogurt
-1/2- a full banana
– about 1/2 can pineapple with the juice (fresh would be even better)
-some ice
-as many handfuls of spinach as you can fit in… I do a lot!
I love this recipe and I cannot taste the spinach at all. It is a great way to mix in the fruits and veggies. Even my husband loves it and that’s saying something.

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Hi Janae,
This is completely OT but I thought you’d get a laugh out of this sign someone spotted at the Georgia Marathon this morning: http://i.imgur.com/Fa9W5.jpg The look on his face is priceless :P

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Definitely something to think about…after today’s run, I would say I am in the Adaptation stage- I can feel myself becoming a faster & stronger runner and am comfortably running at speeds which would have previously left me out of breath! I am a veggie fiend (my bowels thank me) but I definitely try to eat less of them if I am working out soon after!

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I definitely eat more servings of fruit than veggies in a day (but I’m not sure what constitutes one serving… one whole fruit? or in a half cup?). Anyways, I love making my plate colorful (different from the yellow and brown diet of many people these days).
For socks, I usually like the thick ones. I seem to wear through the thin ones too quickly for some reason.

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Have you read Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”? Not only the best running book I’ve ever read, but one of my favorites in general. It’s great!

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Hey! Cool post! I think I am FINALLY entering the Adaptation phase now, which is so exciting. I had been in the ALARM stage since I began running again in Feb (after the 2-month hiatus), but I think I’m entering new territory now.:) I have been sticking to every other day running to make sure I don’t re-injure myself/my knee.

Socks–I got these dry-max socks from RRS…And I’ve been into black socks lately, not white.

I ordered “Run Less, Run Faster” and have just started reading it. I am only running 3-4 days/wk max, so this book is perfect for me. Have you read it?

Have a great Monday at school! xoxx

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Great post today…it is such a hard, fine balance. I am injury prone… Hip fracture like you, IT band, quad strain etc etc. I’m constantly debating and tweaking my routine. I’ve got a new plan of attack where u get hips and back adjusted once a month and a deep tissue sports massage after. Here’s to hoping that works! Any other ideas, send em my way:)

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Mike has socks like that with the L and R on them. I find it kind of hilarious, but they are super comfortable…yes, I can wear my husband’s socks.

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I must be in the adaptation stage right now as my running has totally been kicking butt!

My favorite pair of socks to run in are Balega (I probably spelled that wrong).

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I think I might be hitting exhaustion.. I had the worst running week last week of this training cycle. Hopefully this week is better!

I look for thin yet quality material in my socks. And something that won’t leave me with blisters! I might have to grab a pair of compression socks… my feet go numb and feel like pins and needles when I run sometimes. Any suggestions as to what it could be? [you’re like the Yoda of runners!]

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I love that picture of you. I seriously cracked up for about 45 minutes looking at it.

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Yoga is good for toning your body and it’s not ayalws effective. It actually depends on the yoga you’re doing. I would recommend you stick to using the treadmill for 3 days a week for only 20-30 minutes and do yoga 2-3 times a week for as long as you want. This way you’ll be burning fat and toning your body

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hmmm i think i might be close to the exhaustion stage which is not good!! my knee has been buggin me lately…but boston’s only 4 weeks away!! i just need my body to stick with me for 1 more month!

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I’m still into girl with dragon tattoo series! But I did download Meb’s book when it was on amazon daily deal so that might be my next read.

As for exhaustion, I’m more on the boredom side. Looking forward to world post boston a bit, maybe try to lifting =)

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Very interesting way to put training. I’ve heard of this scientific background on a specific run but not in terms of training. bookmarking this for later when i’m midway through my training!

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