A 12-mile run without any water stops is challenging

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 his recap of the July 8 training session:

Today was the 12 mile run again from City Park to South Parkersburg and back to the park.

I had an appointment, so I had to run earlier and by myself.

Since there would be no water stops, I loaded my pockets with quarters and my debit card!

As I was preparing to leave the Park, there was a slight breeze and the sun was hidden by the clouds. I thought wow ideal weather for a long run.

As I made my start up Washington Avenue, I started at a moderate pace to see how I was feeling. After the first mile, all was good so I picked the pace up a bit.

As I headed down Market Street to my first planned water stop at the City Building, I stopped and went inside and got a quick drink of water. At this point I was feeling awesome.

As I headed up Avery Street to cross the 5th Street Bridge, it started to sprinkle and my prayer was please don’t come a downpour. As I made my way to the intersection at Division Street, the sprinkles had stopped! Again I detoured to Neale Street to bypass the uneven sidewalks and curbs. As I headed to Blizzard Drive, I was still feeling good and liked my pace.

As I headed up the Blizzard Drive hill to my next water stop, I slowed my pace to save energy. As I approached Rax Restaurant, I stopped for a quick drink and bathroom break. At this point both were needed.

As I headed down Blizzard, I was going to run across Broadway Avenue to bypass a busy Rayon Drive and narrow berms. As I got to the intersection at 95, I turned right and headed to the intersection at Rayon to hit Camden Avenue and at this point all was going great.

As I headed down Camden, my next water stop was the vending machines at Badger Lumber. As I was ready to hit the East Street Bridge, my good ole buddy returned, the dreaded sun.

With the sun came the heat and humidity. As I was crossing the bridge and feeling the heat on my back, I was planning my next and last water stop before the Park. I decided to stop at Foodland on Plum Street since I detour away from 7th Street . After getting a bottle of water to carry with me, I decided I wanted to run my last 3 miles as speed work in preparation for the finish of the half marathon.

I headed up Plum to Washington Avenue at a 7:35 pace per mile. I was feeling the effects of the heat and humidity but knew the end was near . I made my way to the stadium at PHS and turned and made my way to Washington Avenue as I was heading to the Park I wanted to slow down, but I kept pushing myself to the end. When I finally made it to the Fountain in the park, my final pace for the 3 mile speed work was 7:41. Until next week, keep running/walking.