Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"What I talk about when I talk about running" by Haruki Murakami

I picked up this book at my favourite second-hand book shop - Adelaide's Pop-Up Bookshop - currently at the Adelaide Central Markets. I haven't read any other books by Haruki Murakami before, but am aware he's a prolific and highly regarded author. I chose this book because it is about running, something I love doing when I can motivate myself to do it regularly, and although I don't consider myself particularly talented at it, it brings me a lot of positive experiences and a way to process my thoughts.

I really enjoyed this book as it is an insightful contemplation of training for and completing marathons (and triathlons) in various locations around the world. The way the author describes his meditative experiences of running really resonate with me, and I also have contemplated some of the same things he ruminates on while running. As someone who has also trained for and travelled to New York to participate in running events (the New York Marathon for Murakami, the 15km Ted Corbitt run in Central Park for me) I have also experienced similar feelings and scenes.

The book is well written and I really enjoyed Murakami's writing style. This particular book is translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel, I'm unsure if he has translated other books by Murakami, but it was a pleasure to read and I will be looking out for more books by this author/translator team. 

While I have not yet run a half marathon or a marathon, both are on my bucket list, maybe for 2020. I have had a break from running for most of this year - I struggle to find the energy during the heat of summer - but winter is here now and so I have recently started running 3-5km once a week again and once again am about to start building up a regular running routine. I find having a goal event to work towards and look forward to helps with starting or re-starting a regular running routine, but once habituated again I become addicted to running and feel out of sorts when I am prevented from running for some reason. Reading Murakami's thoughts and experiences of regularly running long distances while aged in his 30s-50s was encouraging, plus the way he planned for and travelled to specific places to run events contributed to motivating me to set some new running goals. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys long distance running, or is trying to find motivation for any kind of endurance exercise. 

Started reading: 11th July 2019
Finished: 21st July 2019
My score: 9/10

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