The Weekend Read: 8. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

I have just returned from running the Cirencester Park 10K. This is the first ‘serious’ part of the build up to the next London Marathon and I thought I would feature a book that I have just bought but haven’t opened so this will be my weekend read.

Haruki Murakami is a highly rated novelist but: “I see this book as a kind of memoir,” he writes. “Not something as grand as a personal history, but calling it an essay collection is a bit forced.” It’s actually a slight but pleasant combination of all three forms, as the author recalls his near-obsession with running, an interest that has occupied him as much as writing during the past 25 years. Though he is often self-deprecating about his physique (” the sad spreadsheet of my life that reveals how much my debts far outweigh my assets”), Murakami’s single-minded focus on the task at hand will impress runners and athletes of all levels. He maintains a methodical, disciplined training schedule, never taking two consecutive days off and never walking during a race. “I have only a few reasons to keep on running,” he notes, “and a truckload of them to quit. All I can do is keep those few reasons nicely polished.”

I should have read that before I walked the last 50 metres going up ‘Big Bertha’ the nickname for the hill in front of the royalty favoured Polo Club in the Park.

Cirencester Park itself with the colours of Autumn just starting to dominate the trees was a delight to run through in the glorious sunshine today.

The book is available from my shop at Amazon.

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