EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of weekly articles by Travis Daugherty, a 28-year-old veteran, a resident of Vienna and a program analyst for the federal government, as he participates in the Half Marathon Training Program conducted each Monday.
Daugherty left the military in January 2009 and didn't do any exercising until this year. During that time, he gained 70 pounds and had knee surgery performed in March 2011.
Tired of being overweight, he began an exercise program in January of this year, starting on a stationary bike and then moving to an elliptical. By the end of January, he started running and now is training to run in the Aug. 18 News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
This week's training run was nine miles long. Unlike the last time I ran this one, it was HOT!
From the City Park starting point, I started out by running Washington Avenue with Vicki Elkins-Earl again. We turned left to Dudley Avenue then right on to 20th Street by Parkersburg High School, then made our way to Market Street. Heading into downtown was the good part; it was downhill.
We continued to the first water stop near the two-mile mark at 5th and Market Streets. I was thankful for the water. I think it was the hottest run that I've ever done. The heat was sucking the energy out of me. I had plenty to eat and drink and was feeling fine; however it was just too hot. Even though I had to walk a lot due to the heat, Vicki said she was going to stick with me this time.
Then we turned onto 5th Street and made our way to the Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge. I have run across this bridge before, so I knew what to expect. I was able to run across the bridge just like last time. The bridge is difficult, but I made it without walking.
Once we crossed the bridge into Belpre and turned on to Blennerhassett Avenue, the sun was right in our faces. This just seemed to make the run harder. We walked most of the way to Civitan Park for the second water stop. When I paused for the water, I stretched my back and legs. I continued back on Blennerhassett Avenue back to the bridge. I wasn't as successful on the return trip with the bridge. I had to walk this time.
I made it to the third water stop at about mile five at 5th and Market where the volunteers gave me a popsicle. It helped cool me down before heading back on Market Street. Vicki and I started to run again but I didn't have anything left to run. It was simply too hot.
We walked back to the high school. When we turned right on Washington Avenue, she and I decided to run the rest of the way and finish strong. I like having some good running buddies like Vicki and a few others who I have run with during the training. We finished this 9-mile run at City Park in just over two hours.
Next we do 13.1 miles!
We run the half marathon course at 7 a.m. today. Meet me at Trinity Church, 430 Juliana Street in downtown Parkersburg.
Hope to see you there.