What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
by Haruki MurakamiPublished 2007 175 pages
Motivational literature tends to be very hit or miss, usually falling on the miss end of the spectrum. This one felt like more of a hit, although I'm not sure that Murakami would have agreed with the "motivational literature" characterisation. This is a book about why Murakami runs, not a book about why you should run.
That being said, it did compel me to get out for a run a bit more regularly. It sounds like Murakami spends a good deal of his time running, training as he does for more long-distance events—one marathon and one Olympic-length triathlon annually. He's meticulous about routine and quality of training. He claims that he's not particularly good at running, but I think he's comparing himself to professional athletes instead of regular schlubs like you and me. He's more than good enough at running.
One of the chapters is about his experience running an ultramarathon, and which ultramarathon should he run but the Saroma 100k—an event that starts right across the street from my old home in Yūbetsu, in the north of Hokkaido! He even mentions Yūbetsu by name! Surprised to discover that no one every mentioned that Murakami visited in all my time there—though I suppose that folks in Yūbetsu probably didn't give that sort of thing a ton of thought.