Books Exercise

Running + Reading

I’m trying to start running again. I’m 42 years old and I just started running last year.  I ran a mile for the first time last summer, and then I ran a 5K in September. I took a bit of a break (OK inauguration depression crept in), but I’m back on the road!  Last year I was listening to a lot of fast music while I ran, then I figured out that I prefer listening to podcasts or audiobooks while I run.

Most recently I finished What I Talk about When I Talk about Running, by Haruki Murakami. He is one of my favorite authors, and he seems a bit secretive so I was curious to read about his exercise regime. He has been running for 25 years, he started at age 30 and he runs a marathon every year. Some great revelations in this book included that Murakami listens to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (!) and Gorillaz when he runs, and that he loves Hawaii. He discusses his struggle with aging, his challenges in triathlons, and how running is part of his writing process. While reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, I was struck by the myth that creative people must be self-destructive to access their creativity.  Murakami addresses this myth in his book, saying that if a writer wants to have a long career it is important to stay healthy, and that although self-destructive behavior may allow some brilliant work it will not last for long.

Murakami is such a brilliant writer, this is nothing like his fiction work but it is so cool to get a glimpse of his personality.  I don’t think this book would interest non-runners much, but it might interest serious Murakami fans because it is a memoir, however specialized. It is a very short book, more a collection of journal entries. The audiobook is only 4.5 hours long.

    

Right now I’m reading The Martian, and it is so good. I saw the movie in the theater and loved it, and the audio is just as good as the movie. Suspenseful, hilarious, and exciting with lots of great adventure and good characters. As a biologist, I’m pretty happy to see a botanist get so much love. Yay science!

 

 

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