EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second 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 past Monday was the six-mile training route. It was the same route as last week plus a lap around City Park. The temperature was perfect, in the mid 70's. I decided to wear the blaze orange half training shirt that Eric Stanley designed and ordered. They have the slogan for this year's training printed on them, "We Run These Streets.'' Eric has done a great job ordering and managing the shirts.
The evening started off just like last week. Tom Kramer gave us instructions about the course, and sent us on our way. This week Brian Brady and I ran together. Brian and I ran a few 5Ks together earlier this year. When I say together, I mean he finishes 10 minutes ahead of me, then comes back to run the rest of the way with me.
He and I started out by running the lap around City Park. When we finished this lap, my body was telling me I was running too fast. John Reynolds, another friend of mine, told me when I first started running that you must listen to your body. It will tell you everything. It will tell you if you are running too fast or slow. Most importantly, it will tell you when to stop running. He said that I will learn (and I have) the difference between sore and pain. He said that I would be sore, but to stop if it was painful.
Brian and I slowed down and continued on the training course. We made the turn from City Park onto Washington Avenue, then on Dudley Avenue. One of my favorite things about running with a partner is the conversations that we have. Brian and I talked about everything under the sun and it seemed to pass the time.
He and I worked our way to Market Street and down to 2nd Street and stopped at the water stop. We grabbed a few sips of water from the volunteers who run the water stops each week. I am tremendously grateful to the ladies and gentlemen who volunteer their time to help with the water stops. Those few sips of water really help when it is warm out.
Just like last week, I rounded the corner at 2nd and Avery Street and started up the hill. This week, the hill seemed to be longer and harder than it was last week. I had to slow down and even walk up part of it. I could definitely feel the burn, as they say. Once I caught my breath, Brian and I started running again. We made our way back to Parkersburg High School and back onto Dudley Avenue before crossing over to Washington Avenue.
At this point, my legs were getting tired. I decided to walk and rest them. Brian and I walked a little, then we began to push to the finish at City Park. He and I finished this run strong and both of us seemed to have a good time.
I relaxed at the park for a while, did some stretching and drank a few cups of water. Even though I had to walk, I had a great run with a superb running partner, and I am looking forward to the next one.
The next run is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, at City Park. I will not be at this training run. My job is taking me to Washington, D.C. I plan on running seven miles around the National Mall and monuments in the downtown D.C. area. It should be an inspiring location to train!