Wednesday, February 5, 2014

One Week!! Are You Kidding Me?

"There will be days when you don't know if you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing that you have"
Hi guys - Holy Crow! What a huge crowd we had down at Boutwell two weeks ago for our "on-the-course" training run. There had to be close to 100 folks there! A big thanks to Val from The Trak Shak for putting out all the water & Gu, opening up Boutwell, and having coffee and Do-nut holes at the finish (Man, they were good). With so many folks out then, and with the huge crowds I saw running the streets this weekend, I know this is going to one fantastic Mercedes.
All of you training for the Mercedes Marathon or Half Marathon, pay attention. THE RACE IS A LITTLE OVER ONE WEEK AWAY!!! Now, if any of you are surprised by that, call me immediately...we need to talk! Now, about the next week! From here on out, I want you all to just relax and believe you can do this. Visualize the course EVERY day, EVERY night! Learn the turns, learn where the hills are, know where the aid stations are, know where to get's all on the Mercedes Marathon website. In other words, get the race in your head so you literally know what's coming all the time. You know how that drive to work in the morning just kind of goes by? Some mornings I wonder how I got to point B from point A, because I sure don't remember going by anything in between A & B (OK, I know there's nothing between A & B, but you get the idea). The running and walking will not exactly be automatic, but you are trained and your body won't let you down as long as you stay positive. Keep negative thoughts out of your head. Again, stay as relaxed as you can. It will take you a couple of miles to get comfortable, so take that time to just let your body unwind and the miles will click by. The middle will let you know that you are working your engines, and then in the final third of the run you may have to start digging down deep, but as they say (whoever "they" are), the marathon is easy until it gets hard! 

As I have been preaching since about October - don't do anything in the race you haven't done in training!! How can I be clearer? How about don't do anything stupid!! Remember, don't overdress. You should feel a little chilly at the start, but protect your hands and your head if it's cold. This week, your runs should be short, but done at the same pace you have been doing your training runs. After this weekend's long run, I recommend 3-4 short sessions of 20-40 more! On the morning of the race, be sure to get some calories in you before the race. It doesn't matter if it's liquid, solid, or something in between (a Denny's Gland Slam Breakfast is probably not a good idea -  unless of course, you've been doing this in training). It's amazing to me how many folks try to do a marathon or half marathon on an empty stomach. I mean, c'mon people, you're going to be out there for hours and there's no smart reason to begin empty after a 12 hour fast!! For those of you with finicky stomachs, there is something out there that will help you boost your energy supplies...Boost, toast & jelly, oatmeal, soft energy bar...SOMETHING! If you have any questions or concerns, NOW would be a good time to contact me. I'm here for you. This weekend, the full marathoners do around 11 miles and the halfers do about 6. So, plan on wearing most of what you plan to wear on race day, and just for good measure try to eat before this weekend's run whatever you're planning to eat pre-run on race day. Better to upchuck this week someplace in Homewood instead of mile 3 at Mercedes next week!
Next week's TWA will be a little more specific about the expo, the night and the morning before the race and a few specifics about Mercedes itself. Be smart! 

I'll see you all on the roads - AL 

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



  1. My son and I are handing out water at the Birmingham Track Club water stop again. I look forward to seeing all the locals run through.

    Good luck and good running to all!

    1. Hope you're out there long enough to see me. I'm going to wear a cyclist helmet mirror on my hat so I can see the Balloon Lady.