One of those days when running seems effortless

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.

Here is his latest entry:

June 24th was our 9 mile run from City Park to Belpre and back.

On this day I drank several bottles of water to ensure hydration the entire run!

As I arrived at the park, it seemed we got a break from the heat and humidity from earlier in the day. Some of the conversations heard prior to Tom’s Kramer’s talk was how miserable last week was and it seemed everyone talked about drinking plenty of water!

Once Tom gave the course description and where water stops were, we started up Washington Ave., heading to Belpre. My initial thought was how much cooler it was compared to last week!

One reason you could tell this was the pace with which a lot of runners started. After my first mile in, I was feeling really good so I picked up my pace heading down Market Street to the first water stop. As we were running down Market Street, we passed several walkers who went out earlier to get back to the park at a decent time. At the first water stop, everyone there was in good spirits as the heat and humidity was less intense.

As we approached the bridge heading to Belpre, there was a nice breeze blowing from across the river. Once across the bridge, runners/walkers had the choice to go straight up Washington Boulevard to Civitan Park or turn left and go to Blennerhassett Avenue to Civitan Park.

Several of us took Blennerhassett and several took Washington, including Bill Gardner with whom I ran with for about a half mile. As I was running across Blennerhassett Ave., I was still feeling good and there was even a slight breeze making it feel a little cooler heading to the next water stop!

While at the water stop talking to several people the general talk was how awesome everyone was feeling. As I continued along the way, I started up the hill to Washington Boulevard. I passed my accountability partners who went across Washington first! As I ran by Chris Wilson, I yelled we doing 13th hill on our way back to the park but later at the park I found out he didn’t hear me!

When we run after school we always include the hill. As I started down Washington, I slowed down my pace due to the uneven surface. I am legally blind and it’s hard for me to see the curbs and I didn’t want to injure myself.

My mission at this point was to get to the bridge so I could pick up my pace again. Along the way I passed several runners and walkers and David said he spoke to me as he went by but he said I was too focused as we passed and I had my head down!

As I got to the bridge, I once again picked up my pace and headed to the final water stop.

As I was waiting to cross Juliana Street, Linda Milhoan come up and said we have the right of way so I followed.

Leaving the final water stop I made my way to Avery Street to include the 13th Street hill before heading to the park!

As I got to Washington Avenue – the final stretch to the park – I was able to kick it up a notch and finish strong.

When Chris got to the park and I asked if he did the hill and as I said earlier he didn’t hear me. I am glad he didn’t he would have told me I was crazy! All in all it was a good run/walk for everyone! Until next week, keep running/walking.