Maffetone and Shirtless Jiggling

I'm back with a semi running-related post.

I am trying to build slowly to be able to run 78 miles in the Canadian Rockies in August, so I am following some of Phil Maffetone's principles while working through his excellent book. I don't like to complicate things too much, so here's the Maffetone Method for Dummies people like me who get scared by numbers:
  1. Calculate your maximum aerobic training heart rate.
  2. Schedule a base-building phase and try to keep your heart rate under your maximum aerobic heart rate during that phase.
  3. Except when you race.
  4. Or, except when you feel like running hard (this isn't part of Maffetone's system)
That last one is my own caveat, and it's something that I can't help. It's fun to run fast sometimes, or try to keep up with faster training partners. That's what this is all about, right, having fun? The best part about this method is, right now, it's working, and I'm developing a pretty solid base. I am able to run the same routes faster while maintaining the same heart rate that I did a few weeks ago.

I'm also trying to lose those 10 pounds I put on over the winter. I bought Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight, which is a solid book, but he lost me at food log. I decided to change two habits, 1) no second serving of dinner (which is very difficult because my wife is a pretty awesome cook), and 2) only one drink per night (I can't cut it out completely; the health benefits are just too delicious). So, I've dropped about 3 pounds so far (in about two weeks).

You try turning down seconds of this
It's really amazing to me how two very simple changes can work so quickly and effectively, though not quite fast enough. I was running a trail behind my house yesterday, a trail with a couple of mountain lion warning signs, a trail that is also frequented by rattlesnakes, so it is usually fairly deserted. It was also in the upper 70s and I was wearing a black shirt, which I stripped off in the spirit of Anton Krupicka. I turned a corner and two moms (could have been nannies, the kind of nannies my wife won't let me get, she prefers the older, plumper variety to the au-pair) pushing matching strollers up the hill. I had a couple of seconds to suck my gut in, flex my arms and nod to them in what I interpreted as a nonchalant, how you doin' nod, and as I pass, one of the kids says "Ewwwwwww, that guy had his shirt off." I was tempted to turn around and say "Guess who else has his shirt off? The monster that is going to chase you when you close your eyes tonight," but I didn't.

I'm going to Catalina this weekend with my wife who is running the Catalina Marathon. I'm really looking forward to the 10K as a speed workout, showering, then showing up at the finish line to watch Jeff, Chris, Cory and Sanam crush the course. It's going to be a beautiful weekend for running the island and I'm looking forward to an early Sunday morning solo trail run. Hopefully I'll see some buffalo or some red foxes (it would be really cool if I saw Redd Foxx, but that isn't happening).

A final note. Oprah is right. If you say you want something, you'll get it. I recently wrote that I wanted a pair of the New Balance Minimus trail shoes. Well, I won them in a blog giveaway. Know what else I want? A three hour marathon at the Las Vegas "stripping at night" Marathon in December. Yeah, I registered for it A) because I love running at night, and B) because a recovery meal in Vegas > a recovery meal in Sacramento (I was planning on California International).

Here are a couple of pictures that were sent to me by readers who are proudly displaying their Run Dirty bumper stickers. I still have a few left if you want one.

From Ramsey
From Chris (looks like I'm sharing some prime cubicle real estate with Paige)

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