By Chamberlain Zulauf, Student Reporter
In this second week of the training program my mileage has bumped up, slightly. Of course, my mileage increases every week until the end of August so that’s nothing unexpected. Mileage is sort of frivolous in this period of my training since I can still count how long I need to run on one hand.
However, it is compelling to me that in a few weeks I’ll be running twice or triple what I’m doing now. That progression-to-come compels me, yes, but it’s also a little bit daunting— looming even.
Imagine me finishing my runs this week. That amount, to me, is relatively the blink of an eye; but even still after I finish my dailies my arms are roman columns planted on my knees and my heartbeat is a John Bonham solo. There’s a reason the first three weeks of summer training is referred to as the “rust busting period.”
Three miles is enough to exhaust me right now and at the end of my run I can’t help but think that by next month I’d still have to be running for another 45-60 minutes. By next month I’d have to count daily mileage with fingers and toes.
One of my favorite running proverbs goes something like this: “twelve inches makes a foot; one foot makes one step.” As in, with any progression you experience there’s more than one reason goals come to fruition. Training and progression go hand in hand, almost even having the same definition. Progressing towards any goal entails more than just one step. And each step is made of…
With running each step, each bump up in mileage, each PR, is made of countless inches. To me those inches are things like habitually stretching, drinking watered down Gatorade or sleeping with my legs elevated. I could keep listing for days.
I took a step from last week into this week. Not only because the program which I have taped to my wall says I need to run a few more miles this week, but also because I made it from the previous to the next, past to present. I moved forward without wavering even if it will only get hotter deeper into the summertime. I’ve done it before; I’ll do it again. Next week I will take another step, and it will require another set of inches. As a runner, what I love about the word ‘inch’ is that it’s also a verb. As in, to inch towards 800 miles.
Editor’s Note: As part of a new partnership between the Salem Times-Register and the Roanoke College Brackety-Ack, several student journalists will be reporting for our paper throughout the summer. Chamberlain Zulauf will be a December graduate from Roanoke College, staying a bit longer to run cross country one last time. With a double major in Creative Writing and Business he hopes to be writing wherever he goes.