EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest 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.
I look forward to getting out with my friends and going for a run, to take my healthy escape from reality and this past Monday was no exception.
I got up Monday morning feeling good and thinking about the 10-mile route. Even at work, I found myself thinking about the various parts of the course and what I did right and wrong the last time I ran this route as well as what my game plan was going to be today. Needless to say, I was excited and could not wait for 5:30.
Well a lot can change in a short period of time. I do not know if there was something in the water I was drinking or maybe something in the air other than the humidity, all I know was when I got the City Park, my excitement was gone. I was like the baker on the old Dunkin' Doughnut commercials, instead of "I have to make the doughnuts" I was more like, "I have to get the miles in, I have to get the miles in."
Like I've mentioned in previous articles, athletics is not only physical it also is mental. This past Monday, I was lacking the mental aspect and forgot about executing my plan for this run. But nonetheless, I was at the City Park, with my friends, and there was no turning back. As we were warming up, I started to mentally prepare myself for a very long 10 mile run. After Lou Molinaro gave us our instructions, he sent us on our way.
As we started to make our way downtown, I noticed that the conversations around me were not as upbeat and cheerful as normal. There was no one behind me singing off key, no one telling jokes, there were just conversations about how tired people were feeling along with the usual complaints about the humidity. But yet everyone kept moving.
As we headed over the 5th Street Bridge, I noticed that our pace was getting a little faster and personally I was starting to feel more comfortable and relaxed. We made it to the water stop in front of Parkersburg South High School and after a drink of water we headed down Blizzard Drive toward Broadway Avenue.
By this point, a lot of people were starting to show the effects of the humidity. Yet not a single person turned back.
As we made our way up Broadway toward Old Camden the conversations around me changed completely from when we first started out. Instead of hearing people saying how tired they were or how humid it was, people were encouraging one another. Heck, I even heard a few chuckles.
This day, however, Old Camden seemed to have our number. As much as we wanted to keep our walking to a minimum we had to walk more of this road. But eventually we got our legs back and took off. As we made our way back to the City Park, our pace continued to fluctuate. Like our previous 10-mile route, this too was a struggle. But in looking back, one of the great things about Monday was nobody quit.
Despite the struggles that many were facing at the start and faced during the route, people pushed themselves and never gave up on themselves or the person next to them.
Tomorrow is a new day and if I'm not mistaken we are doing the 7-mile route. I want to encourage you to get out and get moving. It all starts with you taking that first step.
Who knows, maybe someday soon you'll participate in your 5K.
Or better yet write an article for the newspaper about your experiences preparing for the News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
Until next week, God Bless.