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 12 miles long. It started out just like last week at City Park with Brian Brady. We began by heading down Washington Avenue.
After passing the Courthouse and stopping at the first water stop on the corner of 2nd and Avery Streets, Brian and I made our way to the Fifth Street Bridge. The run was much easier this week. I took some guidance from Terri Parks and had an excellent protein shake from All Pro Nutrition in Marietta, Ohio, along with some grilled chicken and a baked potato for lunch. I had plenty of fuel for this run and was feeling good.
Brian and I did some walking on this run but neither of us had run this distance before. We continued across the bridge and onto Blizzard Drive. I walked up most of the hill to Parkersburg South, where I stopped at the second water stop. I would like to thank the folks who run these. They are a fundamental factor to being able to finish these runs.
We continued on Blizzard Drive to Pike Street then turned left on to Rayon Drive. I didn't like this stretch of the run; there was a lot of traffic and the side of the road was narrow. Brian and I crossed Route 95 and turned left to old Camden Avenue. Some of the other runners have said that this street is "the road that never ends". I now understand what they were talking about.
I know I had a smile from ear to ear when I could see where old Camden Avenue and Route 95 merge. I was happy because I knew I was nearing mile eight and the third water stop at the East Street Bridge. Brian had earlier picked up his pace but waited for me at the water stop. He and I went across the bridge and turned right onto Seventh Street. At the corner of Seventh Street and Park Avenue, about mile nine, Brian veered off and headed back to City Park. I left the last water stop with tired legs and my feet were feeling the distance. I reached my furthest distance of ten miles at the corner of Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue. I made the turn on to 23rd Street and I was at the home stretch and headed back to City Park.
Once I made it back to City Park there were a few others waiting on the last of us to finish. Doug Williams was one. I've known Doug since the River City Runners Beginners Clinic. He has done several half marathons and at least one full marathon. He shook my hand and told me good job. He also said that I'm ready for the Parkersburg Half Marathon. I'd like to say thanks to Doug and Kent Cutright. Kent wrote the Half Marathon Diary last year. He and Doug both have been very helpful with my running form, showing me how to breathe correctly and showing me how to relax while running. I've learned a great deal from both of them.
This run was difficult but I finished it with a smile on my face. Next week is nine miles. Our mileage goes down to rest before doing the 13.1 miles. Please join me at City Park on Monday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. for our next run.