Friday, September 17, 2010

...And Now It Begins

"The distance is nothing; it's only the first step that is difficult."
Marquise du Deffand

Hi guys - Beautiful, pre-dawn run with Ken this morning was one of those mornings you wish you could bottle...good company, warm with tolerable humidity, rolling terrain. Except for a not-so-graceful fall on some road trash, it was great. The fall would have been a typical trip on the trail, but to fall on pavement is a little bit of a downer (ha! Downer! Get it?).

Tomorrow (Sunday) we begin our Annual Trak Shak Mercedes Training and Wow! I've been getting a lot of emails about training with us for both the Mercedes Full and Half marathons which will be February 13, 2011. We begin our training at the Brownell Building in Homewood/Mt Brook . If you're using GPS to find us, use 813 Shades Crest Pkwy, Mt Brook as the address. For some crazy reason, Lakeshore Pkwy changes names for about one block before becoming Mt Brook Pkwy!?! Anyway, the answer to the question I get the most is NO, there is no cost to training with us and it's well worth the price. Basically, we provide a place for runners and run/walkers to meet 1x/week and magically transform you into a long distance machine. Well, it doesn't happen quite that easily, but training with a group sure does help a heap. You can find the training schedule at

I have placed the training maps on the right side of my web Blog site ( If you receive this by email or a reader, you will have to go to my site to view the links to display the maps. All groups will always begin together running towards Green Springs.

1)We leave the parking lot at 6:30AM sharp.
2)I'll usually make a few comments about distance, etc, but nobody listens.
3)I run about a 10:30-11 min/mile pace and encourage most runners to surround me and ask questions. If we can talk while we're running, then it is a good pace.
4)Ken does his run/walk at a slower pace and usually does 7 minutes of running and then one minute of walking.
5)We put coolers of Powerade or water out about every 2-3 miles, and if you really want to become an endurance athlete, learn to drink at EVERY water stop!
6)We have many runners training for different marathons, some coming up soon, some many months away - BUT we're all in the same boat. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're one of the TNT guys training on Sunday instead of Saturday, you are more than welcome, but make sure I know the schedule YOUR coach gave you, just so we're on the same page, but just know that there's a ton of experience out there.
7)Any money you find during the Sunday run MUST BE GIVEN TO ME!

We take a very laid back approach and focus the training mostly towards the first timer. As I continue to write this blog weekly, I will put tips along the way, but I'll hide them discreetly so you have to read the whole daggum thing. I do not want RWA to turn into some boring training manual. I want it to remain a boring reflection of my weekly ramblings and whims! OK, so everyone just calm down. As P. Diddy said after completing the New York Marathon - "It ain't no publicity stunt". Except for a little better grammar, I couldn't have said it better myself. The training program we put in front of you is pretty trimmed down to get you to the finish line in good shape, but you still have to burn the coal in the engine. None of you will win the marathon in terms of finishing ahead of everyone else, but you will win in that you'll finish ahead of a lot of other folks who don't train correctly or just have no specific training plan. So here's the deal - follow the training schedule. If you have any questions, talk to one of your coaches (TNT) or email me. There's no magic secret to doing this long distance thing, just train smart and be consistent.

Ok guys, you're ready to enter this journey that will take you along a few hundred miles of Birmingham pavement and end at a finish line downtown in February. Welcome aboard and I'll definitely see you on the roads - AL

"One child lost is too child saved can change the world"


Liz said...

Thanks for the awesome run this morning! I'm glad to have found this group and I'm excited about the training and eventual run of the Mercedes marathon!

Al D. said...

You're welcome Liz. You did great. Stay consistent and enjoy this journey. Look forward totraining with you and the whole group