Haruki Murakami on Running

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26 September 2014

Tonight I finished reading the meandering memoir of Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Apparently he is a well-known fiction author but I hadn't ever heard of him. It's a translation though, so maybe he's just big in Japan. This memoir was not so much about writing as running, befitting the title I suppose. Much like me he just reached a place in his life where he just felt like running. When I was younger I always thought that scene in Forrest Gump where he just takes off running across the country was rather enticing, but I've never felt free to just go. Maybe I will one day. Who knows.

Murakami has a set competition requirement as well: one marathon per year. I am not nearly so disciplined. In 8 years of running I just got up to doing a half marathon this spring, and I schedule myself a competition (usually a 5K) every month I can to keep the pressure on. Sometimes in the Nebraska winters this was not always possible, and pushing myself to hard the first year I was at it led to injuring my knee which also kept me out of the game a few months.

Murakami has run some beautiful places. He's been running in many places in Japan and lived for times in Massachusetts and Hawaii. Maybe it would be neat to run a race in each of the 50 states. I have visited all of them but Alaska, and run races in nine (GA, TN, CA, NV, NE, SC, MO, MD and VA). Sometimes I'll use the run as an anchor for an event like the Strawberry Festival, or I'll manage to fit one in incidentally like the race in Odessa, MO on the way out west last summer. In Tennessee every year there is a running tour of the state parks which goes from October through March. There is a race every Saturday at 11 AM in a different state park and the cost is minimal ($8). It makes one realize just how beautiful of a state Tennessee really is.

I suppose this blog was more about me than about Murakami's book, but blogs tend to be like that.


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