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 the 10 mile course again. It was the course that I wasn't able to finish last time.
Kent Cutright and I began like some of the other training runs by taking Washington Avenue to the downtown area.
You may remember his name, he wrote the series last year.
After passing the Courthouse and stopping at the first water stop on the corner of 2nd and Avery Streets, Kent and I made our way to the Fifth Street Bridge. Kent has been coaching me with running since the River City Runners and Walkers Club Beginners Clinic.
In the Beginners Clinic, Kent helped me on my running form, how to breathe properly and how to relax while running. He's always been very helpful and positive with my development as a runner.
I was feeling good and he kept pushing me up the hill on Blizzard Drive toward Parkersburg South High School. It was really hot, in the mid-90s.
He and I ran most of the way up the hill and stopped at the water stop near the 4- mile mark.
He and I continued down the other side of Blizzard Drive before turning left on Broadway Avenue.
I needed to walk some on Broadway Avenue.
Once we crossed over W.Va. 95 and turned left onto Old Camden Avenue, I started to get cold chills and stomach cramps. I wasn't feeling good.
I walked a lot on Old Camden Avenue until Kent encouraged me and we ran until we merged back onto W.Va. 95. My wife ended up bringing me some Gatorade and that seemed to help me. So Kent and I continued to the next water stop near Seventh Street.
I ended up walking most of the way back to City Park. The cold chills are a sign of dehydration so I decided to take it easy. I finished the course but it's wasn't pretty.
This course may have kicked my butt again, but I will conquer it at some point.
My goal is to run all the way up Blizzard Drive and to finish this 10-mile run with no problems.
Kent did a great job reassuring me that I was doing great and to keep up the running and I will only get better.
This course is only 10 miles but it is a difficult one. I've witnessed other excellent runners who had to walk because of this course and the heat.
I am extremely excited for the fast approaching News and Sentinel Half Marathon. We have two more training runs until the Half Marathon.
Next week is seven miles and starts at the Parkersburg City Park at 5:30 p.m. Come out and join us