By Chamberlain Zulauf, Student Reporter
Home in Fairfax again this week; it’s a sporadically rainy and therefore overly humid one but the change in scenery is still refreshing. Something else revitalizing is that I replaced my shoes for new ones. Right on time, too; this week’s long run was 14 miles which is the longest I’ve run at one time since last summer. If you’re curious, I’ve been doing distance runs in Hoka Bondi for about two years which are a higher-cushioned upgrade from the Brook’s Ghost (and for workouts like the tempos I’ll be starting next week it’s the Brooks Glycerin).
There’s something palpably nostalgic about running in my hometown— like I’m running through a dense sweetness in the air that’s here. It’s a familiarity like being with an old friend, running through past stomping grounds, no pun intended, like old Nottoway Park has me dreaming I could be back in days of yore but in the shape I’m in now.
I know my hometown like the back of my hand and could run something different leaving from my house each day. I like to make a morning of it though, driving over to Burke Lake for example then hammocking after my run or reading a book next to the water, things like that. Running over the hour mark every day is a huge burden so adding some relaxation into my day is key.
I find relaxation in other things too. I couldn’t write this article without also saying how my mother’s cooking is just as reenergizing as brand-new shoes to run in. Fuel, of course, is just as important to running as the legs which carry me so it’s great to be home with a fridge full of bountiful leftovers waiting for me when I get back from a sweat.
These are the kinds of things to hold on to when you’re in the dog days of a process. This week’s mileage is the same as last week plus a double, so the feeling of redundancy is very real even with being home. At this point in my training program, I swear the running isn’t even what hurts anymore, which means I got over last week’s trouble of being motivated to even start a run. My legs grow sore after a run but the main thing to get over in week eight is the mental boredom since running can be unforgiving out there for so long every day. This is why I’m grateful to be home and feeling nostalgic. It’s a great way to put my mind somewhere else other than the miles left to get back home.