But this Monday was different. The morning started out beautiful but as the sun rose higher in the sky, so rose the temperature and humidity.
I remember at one point in the early afternoon I checked out the Weather Channel and they said it was like 92 and felt like 101.
I remember thinking to myself, "This run isn't going to be fun at all." It seemed like no sooner than I thought those very words the storm started rolling in. Thank goodness the storm didn't last too long and it did cool things off nicely; unfortunately it did cause some damage to some homes throughout the valley.
I finally got to the City Park a little before five and it looked like a ghost town, but after a few minutes of waiting several runners and walkers started showing up. The crowd wasn't as big as in weeks past but nonetheless we set out to conquer the 12-mile route. Like I've said in the past, when you go out for a run or a walk, go out with a plan and work that plan. My plan was simple Monday, it was to just finish.
As usual, Tom Kramer gave us our instructions and we were off.
At first, the group I normally run with was scattered. A couple of my friends were up in front of me and a couple were behind me, but as we got closer to the first water stop I noticed that we were all starting to bunch back up again and that our pace was a little bit faster than normal.
After the water stop we crossed the 5th Street Bridge heading toward "the hill" on Blizzard Drive. Again we all were hanging pretty close to one another and holding our pace well.
After conquering "the hill" and stopping at the water stop in front of Parkersburg South High School, we started toward Rayon Drive where we would turn left and head to old Camden Avenue. As we were heading toward Rayon Drive, I noticed something very different with my group; I was actually in front. Normally, I'm middle to the back of the pack kind a guy, so this whole being out front thing was new and kind a cool.
After a stop at the water station on Old Camden, this trend of ours continued. We were in a rhythm and enjoying the run, something we could not have said at this point last week. We continued on to the East Street Bridge, each of us encouraging the other to keep going, to keep the pace. The lead position of the pack was now changing as we were really working hard to keep this rhythm and pace going.
It wasn't until we got to the turn near Superior Toyota that the pace we were running started to hit us. We all had to walk a little bit. But the walk was short and we started running back toward the City Park. By now our group was getting a little bit scattered but we all were still running, determined to finish these 12 miles strong. And that is exactly what we did, we finished strong.
A lot of the conversations I had with several other runners and walkers after the training weren't anything like the Monday prior.
Everyone seemed a lot happier and seemed to have done a lot better overall compared to last Monday. Tomorrow we drop it back to nine miles and head over to Belpre. I hope to see you out and about running or walking. So until next week, God Bless.
Fact BoxEDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third in a series by Kent Cutright as he trains for the Aug. 20 News and Sentinel Half Marathon. Cutright is a 43-year-old resident of Mineral Wells, who is an account executive and sports broadcaster at a local radio station and is a pastor at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.