10 October 2006

Special Off-Day Literary Running Edition

I'll admit I'm a bit of a latecomer to the fiction of Haruki Murakami. But just last week I finished Kafka on the Shore, which I thought was a terrific book. The ending might have been just a bit weak, but otherwise, this novel had it all -- talking cats, leeches falling from the sky, mass psychosis among schoolchildren during World War II, transgendered librarians, mysterious older women, even Colonel Sanders. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I recently picked up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which I hope to start reading soon (perhaps after I make some progress on my own next chapter draft).

Anyway, I'm breaking my new rule about refraining from posting on off days not to champion Murakami's formidable literary talents, but rather to relay the delight with which I learned that the writer is also an avid runner, who runs about 35 miles per week and has completed over 20 marathons. In an interview earlier this year with Runner's World magazine, Murakami discusses his affection for the Boston Marathon, how running relates to his writing, and his favorite place to run. I love it when you discover little connections between various aspects of your life or different things that you enjoy. If I could only figure out a way to run and read at the same time (and I don't mean on a treadmill), I'd have it made!

A bonus picture, from last week:

Coney Island


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Feminist Runner said...

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this interview. I read an interview with either Joyce Carol Oates or Barbara Kingsolver (sadly, I can't remember which one! I am leaning toward Oates but I can't be sure) earlier this year that really codified how running affects creative flow for some of us. It's interesting how it's different for everyone but with striking similarities.

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous humbled said...

I was thrilled to learn that Murakami was running the NYC marathon last year, and kind of hoped I'd see him along the course. Alas, no such luck. (Just in case you're curious, I looked up his time afterwards, and he finished in about 4:12...looks like he struggled some in the last 10K. And no, he doesn't seem to be running this year.)

For all that I'm a fan, I've really only read his stories in the New Yorker, not his novels. I keep meaning to pick up the Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. Your blog entry was a good reminder.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous jen said...

Thanks for posting that article -- very interesting!

Right, running and reading would be pretty difficult! There are a few regular walking readers (as I am sure there are there) who walk and read on the way to and from the BART station at commute times. Once the time changes, they will have book light on so that they can still read when it is dark.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Gary said...

I just thought it was one of those very cool things when I learned Murakami was a runner. I mean, there's a certain mindset that all of share, and we all know the difficulties (and joys) of tempo runs and going long and speedwork and injuries and whatever. So I was just so pleased to learn that a writer I admired turned out to be "one of us," and shared that common bond.

And Jen, here in NYC you see quite a few people walking he sidewalks while reading. But as of yet, no runners. When I'm feeling particularly adventuresome I'll take a radio and headphones on a run -- but even then I'm such a dork that I only listen to NPR...


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