Tiny Glimmers of Hope

I can already tell that my MAF training experiment is going to be full of highs and lows.  A little over a week ago, I was in a funk after my 2nd long run.  Then, as if the running gods were saying, “Hang in there, Jen” (cat poster and all), this week included 2 workouts that indicated my MAF training was moving in a positive direction.

First up: Tuesday’s run.  I’ve been doing workouts based on time instead of distance, and my Tues/Thurs morning runs have all been an hour long.  I usually run 1 warm-up mile (target HR: 128), 3 miles just below maximum aerobic HR (138), and the remainder of the hour for cool-down (target: 133).  I’ve seen my average pace speed up little by little over the weeks, and this Tuesday was the first time I was able to run more than 5 miles in one hour!  I know it might seem funny to be so excited about an 11:51/mile pace, but considering that I did my first hour-long MAF run at 12:11/mile 3 weeks ago, I was really happy about this run!

The other glimmer of hope was yesterday’s long run.  Again, my goal is to run for time and not mileage, and since I’m still building a base, my aim is to run for ~2 hours.  When I woke up to mostly sunny skies yesterday, I realized that Fog-ust (i.e., Foggy August, a regular thing in the Bay Area) appeared to have ended early this year, which meant hotter temps.  And hotter temps meant higher HR.  As a result, I went out very conservatively and was actually able to keep my HR way below the max target.  I was happy that I could maintain a halfway decent pace (relatively) until the last 1-1.5 miles, which is a big improvement over my last long run.  Here are the stats: MAF long runs copy

Note that both my average and maximum HRs were lower for this last long run compared to the 1st two.

The true test is coming up next weekend, literally, when I’ll undergo MAF Test #2.  I’m excited to see the results, though I’m not banking on any huge improvements.  We’ll see!


In non-MAF running blogger news, I’m happy to report that I attended not one, but two blogger “meet-ups” this week.  On Tuesday, Cathryn, her Dude, and I met up with Amy and Aaron, who were in town to run the Santa Rosa Marathon last weekend (her recap is already up!).  We had brunch in Emeryville, and it was delightful to finally meet them in person after being online friends for so long.

Yay for new IRL friends!  Photo courtesy of Cathryn.

Yay for former-internet-strangers-to-IRL-friends!  Photo courtesy of Cathryn.

On Saturday, I met up with Bay Area running (current and former) bloggers RoseRunner, MILF Runner, Faster Bunny, and Sesa in Oakland for some chillaxing weekend fun times.  I was reminded, yet again, that the internet has introduced me to some really great people.  However, being the bad blogger that I am, and you know, actually wanting to live in the moment and enjoy people’s company, I didn’t do a lot of picture taking.  This is the one photo I have from Saturday:

This tree is called the Family Jewels Tree.  #notajoke

This tree is called the Family Jewels Tree.  Those green balls had little hairs sticking out of them. #notajoke

So there you have it, my week in a nutshell.  Hope everyone is having a relaxing and fun Labor Day Weekend!



Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in MAF training
12 comments on “Tiny Glimmers of Hope
  1. MILF Runner says:

    Why was no one else interested in fondling the #hairyballsacks? That was one fun meet-up. Cherry Coke Slurpees RULE, dude!!!

    So glad the MAF training is working out. It’s always intrigued me.

  2. Jan says:

    Yay for MAF training progress!! This is so intriguing to me, especially since I love slow running. I wonder, calorie-wise, if it’s as good as running at a higher HR. I typically run at 145-160 bpm for easy runs. I don’t really run FOR weight maintenance but it’s a really nice side benefit.

    • Jen says:

      MAF/slow running burns less calories, but it’s supposed to make you more efficient at burning fat vs. sugar. It’s too soon to say whether that aspect is working, but I think that *maybe* my waistline has gotten slimmer? (It’s always been my one “trouble” spot.)

  3. Angela says:

    Ah, wish I could have made it out Saturday! Sounds like it was a good time. 🙂

  4. misszippy1 says:

    This is exactly as it goes down with MAF..you’ll start seeing little signs that things are headed in the right direction and then when you test–oila! Hoping it’s a great test. And jealous of your #MILFmeetup!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Amanda! Keeping my fingers crossed for Saturday.

      As for #MILFmeetup, I’m definitely lucking out this month — I’ve already seen her twice in 2 weeks and am hoping to see her another 2 times in the next 3 weeks!

  5. I just spit out my water at hairy ball sacks. Oh boy, I need that laugh. 🙂

    I’m going to have to read more about this MAF style of running/training.

    Sounds like you had a great time:)

    • Jen says:

      I know you’ve been plagued by injuries and illness lately, so this might be the perfect time to think about doing MAF training. As you can tell from my post, it’s slow going, but I’ve been able to run 20+ mile weeks pain-free for the past 4 weeks. It’s also been keeping me sane by making me set goals that are not speed/race/PR-based, but still having goals nonetheless.

  6. BT says:

    Well done, Jen!

    I’m so glad we’ve got your mad data skillz to record your journey for all of us. As I mentioned, anecdotally, my general plan of “get the majority of the miles done very comfortably (as slow as necessary)” has always resulted in increased fitness. But, I’m super pleased to see some actual data and discipline applied to the issue. I look forward to hearing more about how you progress.

    • Jen says:

      Thanks BT! I do love me some spreadsheets and analyzing information – which makes me very well-suited for tracking MAF training data points.

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9/2/18: Race to the End of the Summer 5K
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