EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first 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.
VIENNA -This past Monday was the first of 13 half marathon training runs. The night before any races or group runs I can't sleep. I went to bed early and just looked at the ceiling as I thought about the next morning. I was excited to start the training. I finally fell asleep in the early morning hours. My alarm went off at 6am. I got up and ate a small breakfast of a banana and a large cup of ice water, stretched a little then headed to City Park a nice five mile run. My plan was simple, relax and enjoy the run.
I was one of the first couple to show up then more and more started to filter in. We were given a few instructions about the course, and sent us on our way. We stated out by running on Washington Avenue, and after a few blocks I caught up with Vicki Elkins-Earl. She and I have run together a few times before and normally I can maintain a decent pace with her and today didn't seem any different. We then turned onto Dudley Avenue in front of Parkersburg High School and worked our way to Market Street. Two miles in I was starting to loosen up and get into my groove.
There was a water stop at the half way point, were I stopped and had a few sips of water and then continued on my way back up Avery Street. There is a little hill that stated on the corner of 2nd and Avery Street. Over the last four months of running, I have learned to run when I can run and walk when I need to walk. I just relaxed, shortened my stride a little and continued up the incline. We made our way to back over toward Parkersburg High School, back to Dudley Avenue and onto Washington Avenue. This was about the four mile mark.
Running is therapeutic for me, and since it was Memorial Day, I began to think about my friends who had served in the Military and passed on. I also began to think about the cookouts and family gatherings that I had planned later in the day.
While I was thinking about this it seemed to push me to the park to the finish. I made it back before I knew it.
I sat down in the park with a few others and started to stretch and drink some water. It was an easy, fun run
The next run is Monday, June 4 at 5:30pm at City Park. I hope to see you there!