What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Pt.1 (Julia)

By Haruki Murakami, a Japanese author.

“Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon…” (Taken from the blurb)

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running  day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary – or perhaps more like mediocre – level. But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.” (Page 10)

“I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void. But as you might expect, an occasional thought will slip into this void…The thoughts that occur to me while I’m running are like clouds in the sky. Clouds of all different sizes. They come and they go, while the sky remains the same sky as always.” (Page 17)

“So, like my three meals a day – along with sleeping, housework, and work – running was incorporated into my daily routine. As it became a natural habit, I felt less embarrassed about it. I went to a sports store and purchased running gear and some decent shoes that suite my purpose. I bought a stopwatch, too, and read my beginners’ book on running.  This is how you become a runner.” (Page 39)

“I never take two days off in a row. Muscles are like work animals that are quick on the uptake…they want to take it as easy as possible; if pressure isn’t applied to them, they relax and cancel out the memory of all that work.” (Page 71)

“No matter what, though, I keep up my running. Running every day is a kind of lifeline for me, so I’m not going to lay off or quit just because I’m busy. If I used being busy as an excuse not to run, I’d never run again. I have only  a few reasons to keep on running, and a truckload of them to quit. All I can do is keep those few reasons nicely polished.” (Page 73)

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But I don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer. but because they want to live life to the fullest.” (Page 83)

” The quality of shoes has gone way up in recent years, so shoes of a certain price, no matter what the maker, won’t be all that much different. Still, runners sense small details that set one shoe off from another, and are always looking for this psychological edge.” (Page 93)

 

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Filed under Julia, Secondary Research

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