I am not a runner. A swimmer perhaps, and a walker. Sure, I run now and then. But I am not a runner . Haruki Murakami is one however, and this is his book about running and how it ties into his writing. Apparently he started to run at the same time be took up writing for real. First to keep fit, but then I guess to push himself to run further.
It is a quite inspiring book. Well, it didn't inspire me to run more, but to keep trying at things I do, and to have a set goal. Murakami doesn't hide the truth: that running, and especially long distance running, is about pain. So are many other things. The wisdom lies herein: the pain might not go away, but what changes is how you perceive the activity of running (or whatever it is you are doing). It doesn't work every time, sometimes you'll have to stop, but other times you try the right thing; it suites you, and then it becomes fun to keep pushing, to set new goals, even though the pain is there. Anyway, those are my uhm… insights? Illusions? Don't blame Murakami.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running chronicles Murakami's running through the years, in Japan, Boston, and around the world. It is kind of a short memoir, more than a diary, yet a chronicle. It is a kind of philosophizing that starts and ends in running.
I read the book when I was home after a leg operation a couple of years ago. Murakami has such a pleasant voice and I really enjoyed reading of him putting down one food in front of the other at the same time as I had to rely on one food and crutches. I have since then become mobile again, and even run sometimes. But, I am no runner.