EDITOR'S NOTE: Cecil Chapman, a 49-year-old Parkersburg resident, is one of more than 100 persons participating in the weekly training session for the Aug. 17 News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
Chapman is employed by the Wood County Board of Education as a teacher's aide.
A former race walker, Chapman began running in January 2012 and ran last year's half marathon.
Chapman has agreed to write a weekly diary of his efforts to train for the Aug. 20 race. This is recap of the July 1 training session:
Tonight was our 10-mile run to South Parkersburg from City Park and back.
On a personal note, I was asked to explain my statement in last week's diary about being legally blind. I was born with my current eye condition, which is severe degenerative myopia or severe near sightedness. This condition causes me to see things a little blurry or like I have a film over my eyes. It creates problems on uneven surfaces such as sidewalks with curbs.
As we were arriving at the park to begin the run, the weather seemed to be cooperating as it was overcast with no humidity or high temperatures.
As usual, there were several walkers and a few runners who went out early. As we all gathered, Chip Allman explained the 10-mile route and Lou Molinaro discussed where each water stop was located! As we left City Park, the conversations seemed to focus on how nice it felt outside.
I overheard one person say it was a blessing from God. One guy even joked how can I run in these conditions, I need the heat and humidity.
As we started down Market Street, there was a slight breeze and I was feeling really good and was enjoying talking with fellow runners. The past two weeks it was more difficult to talk because of the heat and humidity, so this was a pleasant change.
At the first water stop, I overheard a new runner say she hadn't felt this good since the 5-mile training run/walk.
Our next challenge was crossing the 5th Street bridge to South Parkersburg and the Blizzard Drive hill. I was following Hal Richmond when Doug Cook and Bill Asbury come up beside me and said that's how Hal gets ahead of us, he drinks fast and leaves us.
As we crossed the bridge and approached the intersection, I had decided to go up to Neal Street and run across to the hill so I didn't have to run on the uneven surfaces. As I started up the hill there were runners/walkers going at various paces. Every one in these groups made the next water stop.
As we left the water stop, I had to go to the bathroom and I was hoping I could get into my church and it was unlocked for a class in the gym.
Brent Cottrill and his daughter were with me at this point and they were thankful for the bathroom break.
We then continued down Blizzard Drive to Broadway Avenue, heading to the next water stop. As I was running across Broadway, I started seeing a few runners/walkers from our beginners clinic.
My thought was how awesome it was to see how far they have come since they graduated Beginners Clinic - able to complete a 3.1 mile race to completing a half marathon or 13.1 miles.
After the next water stop across the East Street Bridge, I had to figure out an alternate route to bypass the unlevel surfaces on 7th Street.
Once I reached Plum Street, I crossed back to Washington Avenue and run back to the stadium at PHS and turned around and run back to the park via Washington Ave. and made a half lap around the park to get in my 10 miles.
Once I finished my run, I was relaxing and hydrating. I spent some time talking to several running/walking friends. It's always nice to spend time catching up on each other's progress!
Until next week, keep running/walking.