Notes on "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" by Hauki Murakami

I just finished reading What I talk about when I talk about running written by Haruki Murakami.

I'm not yet a real long distance runner (I guess I'm half there), though last month my friend Allen took me for my first 20K run and I did OK. I've been running for about 15 years, but competitive runs have always been 10K. I plan to run the NYC marathon when I turn 50, in about 3 years.

I have to confess I did not feel that represented by Murakami book. I always enjoy running, and I've been running an average of 4 times a week since I started with this sport, so it seems I'm close to be in tune with Haraki training strategy of "I never take two days in a raw off". But I don't run if I don't enjoy running or don't feel like it from the start. So I'm not so much into "emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent".

It could be that "by running longer it's like I can physically exhaust that portion of my discontent. It also makes me realize again how weak I am, how limited my abilities are." So I will meditate on this idea and try it out a bit.

I definitely abide to: "The main thing was not the speed or the distance so much as running every day without taking a break" and "but even in a situation that's unfair, I think it is possible to seek out a kind of fairness".

What definitely caught my attention is: "Focus and endurance, are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training." It helped me be more aware of how much personal transformation rest on our free will.

I don't have my answer yet on "Most runners don't run because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest." Deeply inside I still don't know why I run since I run when I feel like running. Of course it feels good afterwards and one is definitely more healthy, but I have not question the why I do it yet. So I have to pay attention when I do, to bring these two Murakami statements into mind: i) "Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running and the metaphor for life" and, ii) "It's important to push your body to its limits, but exceed those and the whole thing's a waste."

Anyhow, I enjoyed reading the book, which one can read it in just one or two days. I was expecting to take more out of it, but as Haruki says, he wrote this book as a sort of diary of himself, not trying to push any concepts or necessarily deep understanding into the issues of running, but mainly how that experience has influenced his life.

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