Haruki Murakami: What I talk about when I talk about running

MyeBooks 20180410-2214
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3,3204,178,nov,eng,20150114,20150203,4,Haruki Murakami: What I talk about when I talk about running
20150114-20150203, 178 pages, 4* SalesInfo o eng

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1.SisällysluetteloContentsСодержание
(1,2,3,4,5)
2.MuistiinpanotHighlightsПримечание
h
3.SanastoVocabularyСловарь
w
4.KirjanmerkitBookmarksЗакладка
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5.YhteenvedotReviewsРезюме
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6.HuomautuksetRemarksЗамечания
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Sisällysluettelo Contents Содержание (Code: (1,2,3,4,5))

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Muistiinpanot Highlights Примечание (Code: h)

1 (2)
WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING
2 (3)
Once, I was lying around a hotel room in Paris reading the International Herald Tribune when I came across a special article on the marathon. There were interviews with several famous marathon runners, and they were asked what special mantra goes thr...
3 (3)
One thing I noticed was that writing honestly about running and writing honestly about myself are nearly the same thing. So I suppose it's all right to read this as a kind of memoir centered on the act of running.
4 (2)
Since I arrived in Hawaii IVe run about an hour every day, six days a week. It's two and a half months now since I resumed my old lifestyle in which, unless it's totally unavoidable, I run every single day. Today I ran for an hour and ten minutes, I...
5 (3)
I stop every day right at the point where I feel I can write more.
6 (3)
Do that, and the next day's work goes surprisingly smoothly.
7 (4)
I'm seriously running now. By seriously I mean thirty-six miles a week. In other words, six miles a day, six days a week. It would be better if I ran seven days, but I have to factor in rainy days, and days when work keeps me too busy.
8 (5)
cover 156 miles every month, which for me is my standard for serious running.
9 (5)
(At a jogging pace I generally can cover six miles in an hour.)
10 (5)
Triathlons, of course, involve swimming and cycling in addition to running. The running part isn't a problem for me, but in order to master the other two legs of the event I had to devote a great deal of time to training in swimming and biking.
11 (6)
at least one marathon every year— twenty-three up till now— and participated in more long-distance races all around the world than I care to count. Long-distance running suits my personality, though, and of all the
12 (7)
beating somebody else just doesn't do it for me. I'm much more interested in whether I reach the goals that I set for myself, so in this sense long-distance running is the perfect fit for a mindset like mine.
13 (8)
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.
14 (9)
I'd aimed at running a full marathon in three and a half hours, a pace of exactly one kilometer in five minutes, or one mile in eight. Sometimes I broke three and a half hours, sometimes not (more often not).
15 (13)
Picture going to the butcher shop, buying seven pounds of meat, and carrying it home. You get the idea. I had mixed emotions about carrying around that extra weight with me every day.
16 (14)
Even so. after I got married at an early age (I was twenty-two) I gradually got used to living with someone else. After I left college I ran a bar, so I learned the importance of being with others and the obvious point that we cant survive on
17 (24)
Turning thirty was just around the corner. I was reaching the age when I couldn’t be considered young anymore . And pretty much out of the blue I got the idea to write a novel.
18 (25)
can pinpoint the exact moment when I first thought I could write a novel. It was around one thirty in the afternoon of April 1, 1978.
19 (26)
So I went to the Kinokuniya store in Shinjuku and bought a sheaf of manuscript paper and a five-dollar Sailor fountain pen. A small capital investment on my part.
20 (26)
I shipped it off without making a copy, so it seems I didn’t much care if it wasn't selected and vanished forever. This is the work that's published under the title Hear the Wind Sing.
21 (27)
baseball.)
22 (27)
The book was fairly well received. I was thirty, and without really knowing what was going on I suddenly found myself labeled a new, up-and-coming writer. I was pretty surprised, but people who knew me were even more surprised.
23 (27)
After this, while still running my business, I wrote a medium-length second novel,
24 (27)
Kopioitu leikepoydalle
25 (28)
Every day for three years I ran my jazz club— keeping accounts, checking inventory, scheduling my staff, standing behind the counter myself mixing up cocktails and cooking, closing up in the wee hours of the morning— and only then writing at home at...
26 (29)
And after giving it a lot of thought, I decided to close the business for a while and concentrate solely on writing. At this point my income from the jazz club was more than my income as a novelist, a reality I had to resign myself to.
27 (29)
I'm the kind of person who has to totally commit to whatever I do.
28 (29)
Td just like to be free for two years to write,” I explained to my wife. "If it doesn't work out we can always open up another little bar somewhere. I'm still young and we can always start over." "All right," she said. This was in 1981 and we still...
29 (30)
The editors at Gunzo, who were looking for something more mainstream, didn't like A Wild Sheep Chase at all, and I recall how unenthusiastic their reception was.
30 (30)
Readers, though, seemed to love this new book, and that's what made me happiest. This was the real starting point for me as a novelist.
31 (31)
was smoking too much, too, as I concentrated on my work. Back then I was smoking sixty cigarettes a day.
32 (31)
Running has a lot of advantages . First of all, you don't need anybody else to do it, and no need for special equipment.
33 (32)
So I didn’t have to think too much about which sport to choose— not that I had much of a choice—when I decided to go running. Not long after that I also gave up smoking.
34 (32)
This natural desire to run even more became a powerful motivation for me to not go back to smoking,
35 (32)
Quitting smoking was like a symbolic gesture of farewell to the life I used to lead.
36 (33)
Long-distance running and swimming suit my personality better. I was always kind of aware of this, which might explain why I was able to smoothly incorporate running into my daily life.
37 (34)
After I closed the bar and began my life as a novelist, the first thing we— and by we I mean my wife and I— did was completely revamp our lifestyle. We decided we'd go to bed soon after it got dark, and wake up with the sun.
38 (34)
my new, simple, and regular life began. I got up before five a.m. and went to bed before ten p.m.
39 (35)
This is the pattern IVe mostly followed up till today. Thanks to this, IVe been able to work efficiently these past twenty-four years.
40 (36)
one out of ten was a repeat customer, then the business would survive. To put it the other way, it didn't matter if nine out of ten didn't like my bar. This realization lifted a weight off my shoulders.
41 (36)
After A Wild Sheep Chase, I continued to write with the same attitude I'd developed as a business owner.
42 (36)
the one-in-ten repeaters, most of whom were young. They would wait patiently for my next book to appear and grab it and read it as soon as it hit the bookstores. This sort of pattern gradually taking shape was, for me, the ideal, or at least a very ...
43 (37)
When I first started running I couldn't run long distances. I could only run for about twenty minutes, or thirty. That much left me panting, my heart pounding, my legs shaky. It was to be expected, though, since I hadn't really exercised for a long...
44 (37)
started to accept the fact that it was running, and I could gradually increase the distance. I was starting
45 (37)
The main thing was not the speed or distance so much as running every day, without taking a break.
46 (38)
It was only later that I found out the hard way that the toughest part of a marathon comes after twenty-two miles.
47 (41)
To write a novel I have to drive myself hard physically and use a lot of time and effort. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another new, deep hole. But as IVe sustained this kind of life over many years, IVe become quite efficien...
48 (42)
I think IVe been able to run for more than twenty years for a simple reason: It suits me.
49 (42)
IVe tried my best never to say something like. Running is great. Everybody should try it.
50 (43)
People basically become runners because they're meant to.
51 (45)
That was the age when I began my life as a runner, and it was my belated, but real, starting point as a novelist.
52 (46)
hdl:
53 (47)
One other way I keep healthy is by taking a nap. I really nap a lot. Usually I get sleepy right after lunch, plop down on the sofa, and doze off. Thirty minutes later I come wide awake. As soon as I wake up, my body isn’t
54 (48)
Anyway, I'm the type of person who, once he gets sleepy, can fall sound asleep anywhere
55 (48)
but the problem is I sometimes fall fast asleep in situations where I
56 (48)
shouldn't.
57 (48)
"Muscles are hard to get and easy to lose. Fat is easy to get and hard to lose." A painful reality, but a reality all the same.
58 (51)
This was the first time I'd ever walked a marathon instead of running. Up till then I'd made it a point of pride that no matter how hard things might get, I never walked.
59 (51)
kindle
60 (51)
My time was going to be awful anyway, I thought, so why not just throw in the towel? But dropping out was the last thing I wanted to do. I might be reduced to crawling.
61 (51)
About a mile from the finish line my cramps finally let up and I was able to run again. I slowly jogged for a while until I got back in form, then sped down the home stretch as hard as I could. My time, though, was indeed awful, as predicted.
62 (54)
the magazine was interested in my life as a "Running Novelist." Runner's World is a very popular magazine among American runners, so I imagine a lot of runners
63 (54)
will say hi to me when I'm in New York.
64 (54)
In July of that year I traveled to Greece and ran by myself from Athens to the town of Marathon.
65 (55)
Why did I go all the way to Greece and run twenty-six miles by myself? I'd been asked by a men's magazine to travel to Greece and write a travelogue about the
66 (55)
trip.
67 (55)
So I ended up running my first full marathon ( or something close to it) quietly, all by myself.
68 (56)
Athens to Marathon would be the full 26.2 miles. Actually, it was only twenty-five. But within Athens itself I took a few detours, and since the odometer in the van that accompanied me showed it had driven twenty-six miles, I suppose I ran something...
69 (57)
Even dogs just lie down in the shade and don’t move a muscle. You have to watch them for a long time before you can figure out whether they're still alive. That's how hot it is. Running twenty-six miles in heat like that is nothing short of an act of...
70 (58)
"Mr. Murakami," Mr. Kageyama said, surprised as he saw me getting ready to run, "you're not really thinking of running the whole route, are you?" "Of course I am. That's why I came here."
71 (59)
The following is a shortened form of the article I wrote for the magazine covering my Athens- Marathon run.
72 (60)
You do get a vague sense of history with a road named Marathon Avenue, but it's basically just an ordinary commuter highway.
73 (60)
Its at this point that I encounter my first dead dog.
74 (62)
figure I'm about two-thirds finished with the run. I calculate the split times in my head and figure that at this rate I should be able to finish in three and a half hours. But things don't go that well. After I pass nineteen miles the headwind from ...
75 (62)
the harder it blows.
76 (63)
I pass the twenty-five-mile mark.
77 (63)
"just one more mile. Hang in there!" the editor calls out cheerfully from the van. Easy for you to say, I want to yell back, but dont.
78 (64)
IVe totally forgotten howto move my body. All my muscles feel like they've been shaved away with a rusty plane. The finish line.
79 (64)
I finally reach the end. Strangely, I have no feeling of accomplishment.
80 (64)
The only thing I feel is utter relief that I dont have to run anymore.
81 (64)
When the old man at the gas station
82 (64)
hears what IVe done, he snips off some flowers from a potted plant and presents me with a bouquet. You did a good job, he smiles. Congratulations.
83 (64)
Marathon is a small, friendly village, quiet and peaceful.
84 (65)
The run from Athens to Marathon took me three hours and fifty-one minutes.
85 (65)
What makes me happy right now is knowing that I dont have to run another step. Whew!— I don't have to run anymore.
86 (65)
ran the Honolulu Marathon in a fairly decent time. Hawaii was hot, but nothing compared to Athens. So Honolulu was my first official full marathon. Ever since then it's been my practice to run one full marathon a year.
87 (68)
The final leg of this marathon is in Central Park, and right after the park entrance there are some sharp changes in elevation that always slow me down. When I'm out for a morning jog in Central Park, they're just gentle slopes that never give me any...
88 (77)
Writing novels, to me, is basically a kind of manual labor. Writing itself is mental labor, but finishing an entire book is closer to manual labor. It doesn't involve heavy lifting, running fast, or leaping high.
89 (77)
creating a story, selecting the right words, one by one, keeping the whole flow of the story on track— requires far more energy, over a long period, than most people ever imagine.
90 (80)
When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world?
91 (81)
What the trainer does is less a massage than a routine to help me stretch muscles I can't stretch well alone.
92 (81)
"You really let your muscles get too tight," she says. ‘They're ready to cramp up. Most people would have had cramps long ago. I'm really surprised you can live like this."
93 (83)
My pulse is generally around fifty beats per minute, which I think is pretty slow. (By the way, I heard that the gold medalist at the Sydney Olympics, Naoko Takahashi, has a pulse of thirty-five.) But if I run for about thirty minutes it rises to abo...
94 (86)
hdl:
95 (86)
IN THE BOSTON area every summer there are a few days so unpleasant you feel like cursing everything in sight. If you can get through those, though, it's not bad the
96 (86)
rest of the time.
97 (87)
The special New England fall— short and lovely— fades in and out, and finally settles in.
98 (87)
Once Halloween is over, winter, like some capable tax collector, sets in, concisely and silently.
99 (89)
Charles River, where the cherry blossoms along the riverside will soon appear— I begin to feel like the stage is set, finally, because the Boston Marathon is just around the corner.
100 (91)
With their long strides and strong, sharp kicks, it's easy to see that they're typical mid-distance runners, unsuited for long-distance running. They're more mentally cut out for brief runs at high speed.
101 (94)
a lot of people in Japan seem to hold the view that writing novels is an unhealthy activity, that novelists are somewhat degenerate and have to live hazardous lives in order to write.
102 (94)
No matter how you spin it, this isn't a healthy activity.
103 (94)
So from the start, artistic activity contains elements that are unhealthy and antisocial. I'll admit this.
104 (96)
To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible.
105 (99)
Before I get up on stage I have to memorize a thirty-or forty-minute talk in English. If you just read a written speech as is, the whole thing will feel lifeless to the audience.
106 (99)
Running is a great activity to do while memorizing a speech. As, almost unconsciously, I move my legs, I line the words up in order in my mind.
107 (89)
Charles River, where the cherry blossoms along the riverside will soon appear— I begin to feel like the stage is set, finally, because the Boston Marathon is just around the corner.
108 (91)
With their long strides and strong, sharp kicks, it's easy to see that they're typical mid-distance runners, unsuited for long-distance running. They're more mentally cut out for brief runs at high speed.
109 (94)
a lot of people in Japan seem to hold the view that writing novels is an unhealthy activity, that novelists are somewhat degenerate and have to live hazardous lives in order to write.
110 (94)
No matter how you spin it, this isn't a healthy activity.
111 (94)
So from the start, artistic activity contains elements that are unhealthy and antisocial. I'll admit this.
112 (96)
To deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible.
113 (99)
Before I get up on stage I have to memorize a thirty-or forty-minute talk in English. If you just read a written speech as is, the whole thing will feel lifeless to the audience.
114 (99)
Running is a great activity to do while memorizing a speech. As, almost unconsciously, I move my legs, I line the words up in order in my mind.
115 (99)
Running is a great activity to do while memorizing a speech. As, almost unconsciously, I move my legs, I line the words up in order in my mind.
116 (101)
normal person would ever do something so foolhardy. But I did, once. I completed a race that went from morning till evening, and covered sixty-two miles.
117 (104)
At 26.2 miles there’s a sign that says, ‘This is the distance of a marathon."
118 (104)
For me this was the Strait of Gibraltar, beyond which lay an unknown sea. What lay in wait beyond this, what unknown creatures were living there, I didnt have a clue. In my own small way I felt the same fear that sailors of old must have felt.
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I changed my New Balance ultramarathon shoes (there really are such things in the world) from a size eight to an eight and a half.
120 (106)
Now it was just run and run until the finish line. As soon as I set off again, though, I realized something was wrong. My leg muscles had tightened up like a piece of old, hard rubber.
121 (107)
I felt like a piece of beef being run, slowly, through a meat grinder.
122 (107)
like a car trying to go up a slope with the parking brake on.
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A tiny old lady around seventy or so passed me and shouted out, "Hang in there!"
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Ultimately, using every trick in the book, I managed to grit my teeth and make it through thirteen miles of sheer torment. I'm not a human. I'm a piece of machinery. I don't need to feel a thing, just forge on ahead.
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All I can see is the ground three yards ahead , nothing beyond.
126 (109)
around the forty-seventh mile I felt like I'd passed through something.
127 (110)
After that, I didn’t have to think anymore. Or, more precisely, there wasn't the need to try to consciously think about not thinking.
128 (113)
Even so, when I reached the finish line in Tokorocho, I felt very happy. I'm always happy when I reach the finish line of a long-distance race, but this time it really struck me hard. I pumped my right fist into the air. The time was 4: 42 p.m. Eleve...
129 (114)
After a few days, though, my legs recovered, and I could walk up and down the stairs as usual.
130 (114)
The day after the race my right wrist started to hurt and turned red and swollen.
131 (115)
Afterward, the amount of running I did, not to mention the distances I ran, noticeably declined.
132 (115)
something close to resignation.
133 (116)
Maybe I no longer have the simple, positive stance I used to have, of wanting to run no matter what.
134 (117)
My lifestyle gradually changed, and I no longer considered running the point of life
135 (119)
very angry: distances in km numbers!
136 (119)
place.
137 (119)
I'm not a young person who's focused totally on breaking records, nor an inorganic machine that goes through the motions. I'm nothing more or less than a (most likely honest) professional writer who knows his limits, who wants to hold on to his abili...
138 (122)
On Sunday, October 9,1 ran an early-morning race, and it was still raining. This
139 (122)
was a half marathon held every year at this time by the Boston Athletic Association, the same organization that holds the Boston Marathon in the spring.
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This year some 4,500 people participated.
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ran this race as a kind of warm-up for the New York City Marathon, so I only gave it about 80 percent, really getting fired up only in the final two miles.
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If you're a long-distance runner who trains hard every day, your knees are your weak point.
143 (125)
Every time your feet hit the ground when you run, it's a shock equivalent to three times your weight,
144 (125)
You can replace your breath any number of times, but not your knees.
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My public reading at MIT on October 6 went very well. Maybe even too well. The university had prepared a classroom that had a 450-person capacity, but about 1,700 people poured in, which meant that most had to be turned away
146 (128)
Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby,
147 (128)
Gatsby really is an outstanding novel. I never get tired of it, no matter how many times I read
148 (129)
Reaching the finish line, never walking, and enjoying the race. These three, in this order, are my goals.
149 (132)
Liz, who looks after my books at Knopf, sends me an e-mail. She's also going to run the New York City Marathon, in what will be her first full marathon. "Have a good time!" I e-mail back . And that's right: for a marathon to mean anything, it should ...
150 (132)
Every time I visit New York to run the marathon (this will be the fourth time) I remember the beautiful, smart ballad by Vernon Duke, "Autumn in New York." It's autumn in New York It's good to live it again.
151 (133)
Expensive cashmere coats fill the windows at Bergdorf Goodman, and the
152 (133)
On the day of the race , as I run those very streets, will I be able to fully enjoy this autumn in New York? Or will I be too preoccupied? I wont know until I actually start running. If there's one hard and fast rule about marathons, it's that.
153 (135)
Running and swimming I like to do anyway, even if I’m not training for a race. They're a natural part of my daily routine, but bicycling isnt.
154 (136)
Experientially IVe had to find the limits I can take my speed to. It's pretty scary, too, to be going
155 (136)
down a slope at a good clip when the road's wet from the rain. In a race one little mistake is all it takes to cause a massive pileup.
156 (137)
When sales of apparel go down, when tons of driftwood wash up on the shore, when there are floods and droughts, when consumer prices go up, most of the fault is ascribed to global warming.
157 (137)
What the world needs is a set villain that people can point a...
158 (139)
Cycling training alone is, truthfully, pretty tough. Long runs done to prepare for marathons are definitely lonely, but hanging on to the handlebars of a bike all by yourself and pedaling on and on is a much more solitary undertaking.
159 (140)
In his book the triathlete Dave Scott wrote that of all the sports man has invented, cycling has got to be the most unpleasant of all. I totally agree.
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the start line I followed the pace leader with the 3 hours 45 minutes placard. I was sure I could definitely make that time . That might have been a mistake. Looking back on it, I should have followed the three-hour-and*fifty-five-minute pace leader,...
161 (145)
About a half year later, in April 2006,1 ran the Boston Marathon. As a rule I run only one marathon a year, but since the New York City Marathon left such a bad taste in my mouth I decided to give it another try.
162 (145)
This was my seventh time running the Boston Marathon, so I knew the course well— how many slopes there were, what all the curves were like— not that this guaranteed I'd do a good job.
163 (146)
It always feels wonderful to finish a marathon— it's a beautiful achievement —but I wasn't satisfied with the time.
164 (147)
Even when I grow old and feeble, when people warn me it's about time to throw in the towel, I won't care. As long as my body allows, I'll keep on running. Even if my time gets worse, 111 keep on putting in as much effort—perhaps even more effort— to...
165 (149)
So here I am training every day for the Murakami City Triathlon in Niigata Prefecture. In other words, I'm still lugging around that old suitcase, most likely headed toward another anticlimax. Toward a taciturn, unadorned maturity— or, to put it mor...
166 (150)
thought: If there are this many visible parts of my body that are worse than normal people's, then if I start considering other aspects— personality, brains, athleticism, things of this sort— the list will be endless.
167 (151)
I'm going to swim .93 miles, ride a bike 24.8 miles, then run a final 6.2 miles. And what's all that supposed to prove? How is this any different from pouring water in an old pan with a tiny hole in the bottom?
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note:km!
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always view this meet, the Murakami International Triathlon, with a bit of trepidation. I never have any idea what will happen.
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I put my triathlon challenge on hold for four years.
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Each new coach tinkered with my form just enough to mess up my swimming, sometimes to the point where I could hardly swim at all. Naturally, my confidence went down the drain.
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But I was able to achieve my first goal: wiping away the shame of being disqualified. As usual, my main feeling was one of relief.
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At 9: 56 the start siren goes off, and everyone immediately begins the crawl. This is it— the most nerve-racking moment of all.
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exchanged a smile and a handshake with the man wearing race number 329. "Good job," we told each other. He and I had battled it out in the bike race, where he passed me many times.
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And my wife, waiting at the finish line, didn't discover some unpleasant truth about me. Instead, she greeted me with a smile.
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The happiest thing for me about this day's race was that I was able, on a personal level, to truly enjoy the event.
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Long-distance running (more or less, for better or worse) has molded me into the person I am today, and I'm hoping it will remain a part of my life for as long as possible.
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Haruki Murakami 1949- 20** Writer (and Runner) At Least He Never Walked At this point, that's what I'd like it to say.
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Meanwhile, running for a quarter century makes for a lot of good memories.
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One I remember in particular was running, in Central Park in 1983, with the writer John Irving. I was translating his novel Setting Free the Bears at the time, and while I was in New York I asked to interview him. He told me he was busy but if I'd co...
181 (170)
Long-distance running (more or less, for better or worse) has molded me into the person I am today, and I'm hoping it will remain a part of my life for as long as possible.
182 (172)
Haruki Murakami 1949- 20** Writer (and Runner) At Least He Never Walked At this point, that's what I'd like it to say.
183 (176)
Meanwhile, running for a quarter century makes for a lot of good memories.
184 (176)
One I remember in particular was running, in Central Park in 1983, with the writer John Irving. I was translating his novel Setting Free the Bears at the time, and while I was in New York I asked to interview him. He told me he was busy but if I'd co...
185 (176)
the 1980s I used to jog every morning in Tokyo and often passed a very attractive young woman . We passed each other jogging for several years and got to recognize each other by sight and smile a greeting each time we passed.
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I have met many people through running, which has been one of its real pleasures.
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Sanasto Vocabulary Словарь (Code: w)

1 beads (61)
helmet: Page 62 - Highlight
2 faze (73)
häiritä: Page 77 - Highlight
3 geese (87)
Page 89 - Note
4 slush (89)
loska: Page 89 - Highlight
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Kirjanmerkit Bookmarks Закладка (Code: b)

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Yhteenvedot Reviews Резюме (Code: ###)

Haruki Murakami: What I talk about when I talk about running
3,3204,178,nov,eng,20150114,20150203,4,Haruki Murakami: What I talk about when I talk about running
20150114-20150203, 178 pages, 4* SalesInfo o eng

WHAT I TALK ABOUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT RUNNING

eng Me running together with Murakami

This is a very specal kind of book. I wonder whether anybody having nothing to do with running would be interested in reading this book. On one hand the subject matter of the book calls for personal engagement with running, but on the other, the author is a big master of formulating his ideas. He could make an interesting story out of a block of wood, why then not of his personal experiences of looking around while using the simplest means of transportation in a most effective way.

Murakami really runs his eyes open and observing. Having done that already a quarter of a century as a means to writing books and distributing them in millions of copies in tens of languages all over the world is utmost impressive. Wat a fantastic simplicity in combination! Just running, seeing and writing!

While reading this book I felt myself his co-runner, already for the reason that I started my running only a few yars before Murakami, in 1977 at the age of forty years. But sadly enough, especially looking at it now, in the light of this story, finished my career only seven years later, physically, but not spiritually. Twelve marathons, half an hour faster than Murakami - proud to say. Once runner, always runner, that is the main thing and the motivation to read this book.

The second chapter of the book is a good rough description of my own career. The same steps, same transformation of every day habits in eating, resting, body hurting and enjoying a new way of life. Murakami started his career as writer about parallel to his running. I also wrote books, text boks in economics, but was at that time already finishing my career after tens of thousand books and going over to computer programming, still continuing it today. And differently from Murakami, never have I been able to see any direct connection between my motioning and writing.

Murakami's devotion and stamina are impressive. At several occasions he is telling, how important it is to make running an everyday habit. I found it shocking, when he tells about leaving his smoking. Perhaps, insted of pills, running should be advised as a means of getting rid of smoking! Running and smoking - a completely impossible combination, it really seems to me. My big thing was getting rid of 20 kg overweight. Another big was that I first time found myself a long distance runner after having been a sprinter in my young days, up to 20 years of age.

Starting this running book I was already familiar with Murakami's grass root level writing style from his later book about the lone rider Tsukuru in 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage'. Now having finished this running book I only remember, how I was somewhat disappointed with some overly detailed description of certain technicalities after the takeoff of the flight in running and even more interesting in the parallel start of his author's career. There are two more very big causes of disappointment in this otherwise so excellent and under the skin going story. One is his, or the editor's, or the translator's, or the publisher's harring to miles as the measure of distance. Is it only the English translation that requires miles, or is this true also in Japan in general? Another disappointment was that he never gives his exact running times in plain numbers. I would have preferred that way in stead of roughly putting it in words like three hours fortyfive minutes etc.

There is still another very personal disappointment to me. I expected that I would find in this book the solution of the main riddle after the other book mentioned above. How on Earth does Murakami give my country Finland a special treatment in that other book? Perhaps something to do with running? With the Finnish great champion, his exact coeval Lasse Virén, double gold medal winner of long distance running in two olympic games, that is: one man, four gold medals! No answer to this question. Not in the other book, not in this, not even in Wikipedia. So perhaps I must continue reading Murakami. Not an unpleasant undertaking for the future! Do I dare to give only four stars - mainly because of the continuous nuisance of miles in stead of kilometers?
20150204

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