What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Welp, forgot my camera (again), so no pics of my fun night tonight.

The reason why I ran early this morning is because I grabbed drinks with my law school friends after work.  We met at Hotel Metro in downtown Milwaukee and had a great time.  The six of us been friends since the very beginning of our first year of law school almost 4 years ago, so it’s always great to see them and catch up.

4 of my 5 best law school friends

My other best

Yes, I had to use old pics because of no camera…oops!  Oh well, I don’t want to bore you about tonight without pictures, so I’m skipping right to the book review.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Disclaimer:  Training for a half marathon may have affected my opinion on this book, but…

I loved LOVED this book.  Everything about it–except that it was too short.

Although there isn’t a “plot” per-say, here is the synopsis from goodreads.com:

“In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and—even more important—on his writing.”

Although I strongly recommend this to any runner, Murakami has an amazing voice that is so conversational you don’t even feel like you are reading; instead, it feels like you are listening to him talk.  Because of this, I think a non-runner would be just as interested by this book.

There aren’t many plot twists to discuss, so I want to highlight some of my favorite quotes.

“Competing against time isn’t important.  What’s going to be much more meaningful to me now is how much I can enjoy myself, whether I can finish . . .  with a feeling of contentment.”  <– this is something I MUST continually repeat in the next week and 4 days.  It’s not about the time.  It’s about the fun and sense of accomplishment.  I have to focus on that.

This quote sums up my decision to run the half:

“I didn’t start running because somebody asked me to become a runner . . . one day, out of the blue, I started to run — simply because I wanted to.”  <– this is always my answer when people ask why I wanted to run a half.  Because.  Simply because, I decided to start running more than my typical 3 miles.  And I am so happy I did.

And of course, I love the portions of the book that got me through my last run.

I can’t say enough about this book.  If there is anything you care about, anything you have worked hard for, I think this book will resonate with you.  It will make you look more closely at things in your life, but it will also entertain you.

I think that is the key–I hesitated to read this book because I thought it would be boring.  Who wants to read about someone running?   Well, there’s more to it than that.

There are beautiful descriptions of Boston, Japan, and Kauai.

Gorgeous Kauai

And regardless of how you feel about running, Murakami tells a good story.  If you want a short read that just makes you feel good, read this book.


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