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 29 training session:
Wow, what a difference in the weather for this 10 mile run/walk.
Instead of high temps and humidity, the conditions were like September weather!
I had to go out earlier and the temperature was 74 and no humidity. This makes for great training conditions. I had decided that today was going to be slow and steady for the first 5 miles and my last5 miles would be a tempo run in preparation for being faster at the end of the half marathon.
As I left City Park, I decided I needed to do the Belpre 9-mile loop and add a mile upon returning to the park. One lap around the park would give me my 10 miles. I did this since I was out alone and there would be less traffic and safer running conditions on Blennerhassett Avenue. I was looking at the safety aspect.
As I headed up Washington Avenue, I had a cool breeze blowing overcast conditions. When I hit the half mile mark, my pace was 8:45, which was where I wanted to be, slow and steady. I was actually feeling really good at this point. I even thought when I reached the mile mark that I would pick up the pace but I said to myself -slow and steady.
Once I reached the 3-mile mark, I stopped for a water break. At this point I could have kept going without water, but I knew I had better hydrate. As I hit Blennerhassett Avenue, my pace was still 8:45 and all was going well! As I approached Civitan Park, I passed some runners who said they were only running a few miles because they did their 10-mile run on Sunday. As I made the turn at Washington Boulevard. I was at 4.5 miles and still maintaining my slow and steady pace!
I took my last water break at Civitan Park and I was at 5 miles! At this point, it was time to pick up my pace for a tempo run.
As I started across Blennerhassett Avenue and hit the 5.5 mile mark my pace was at 8:29 and I knew I still needed to pick it up a bit.
I was still feeling really good so I knew I had it in me ! At the 7-mile mark I was pacing at 8:14 and at this point knew I was in good position to finish strong. As I reached Washington Avenue and was starting mile 8, my pace a was 8:02 and at this point I started feeling the effects of my tempo run.
As I reached City Park and 1 mile to go or 1 lap around the park, I knew all would be good. As I stared my final mile, I saw several runners and walkers gathering for the 6 o'clock training. At 9.5 miles, my pace was 7:58 and I maintained the pace till the end. As I was getting a drink of water, I began to tighten up and could feel the tiredness of my 10 miles! Until next week, keep running/walking.