What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
by Haruki Murakami
Especially Read This If You’re:
A biker (Murakami’s tales of biking woe will make you laugh)
Training for a race
Writing things with words
There are a lot of books about writing that we’ve all been told to read. The most likely suspects: Strunk and White’s Elements of Style and On Writing by Stephen King. But maybe you haven’t been told to read this one, yet. (And if you have, why haven’t you?!)
Haruki Murakami is one of my all-time favorite writers. I’m about one martini away from hopping on a flight to Tokyo and asking him to to marry me. Thank goodness I never drink martinis. He is genius for so many reasons. For me, he is a simple case of: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
That is why, when he wrote a book about running I ran to get it.
So, here’s where things get tricky.
The book is mainly about running. It is about the many marathons and ultra marathons and triathlons that Murakami trains for. It’s about running in many different places across the globe (the most notable for me: Athens and Hawaii). It’s about failed triathlons and being numb at the end of a race and getting injured and feeling euphoric.
But this book is mainly about writing. Follow me yet? Because while you’re reading for the umpteenth time about how many miles Murakami ran that particular day (Murakami, for me, is a master of the mundane) and what his time was and what he wished his time was and what he wished he wished his time was, he offers these little gems about writing. And that’s what it’s really about.
A writer’s life. A runner’s life. A running writer’s life. A writing runner’s life And the discipline and the training and sheer determination it takes to live it.
So read it. And tell me what you think.