Friday, August 21, 2009

Running on the Brain

1/2 marathon training started on 8/10, so I have had running on the brain. I actually have ran less since I started training than I was before. That's because my training schedule calls for cross training & strength training on certain days - so my days of running 5-6 days a week are behind me for now. What I like about 1/2 marathons is that it's still an intense training schedule, but it's totally doable, and you don't exactly eat, sleep, breath running like you do when training for a marathon.

Anyways, today I am reviewing the book "What I talk about when I talk about running" by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is a Japanese writer who has penned many fiction books as well as some non-fiction books, like this one. This book reads like a memoir and as the title suggests, talks about running and also writing. It's kind of written from a 'stream of conscience' approach, which is a little different, but still captivating in my opinion. As the author describes in the blurb about the book, he is basically thinking aloud in this book. It was interesting to read about the parallels he draws between being a marathoner and an author and how they require the same perseverance and training. I read this book in less than 24 hours so would consider it a page turner! But only if you are into running & interested in the sport. So if you have zero interest in distance running, this is not the book for you!!

Oh, and I also thought it was cool that Murakami & I both wear the same brand of running shoes - Mizuno's!! Mizuno is not a super popular/famous brand, but dang do I love those shoes. And so does my little sister. Another similarity we have. My Mizuno's make me feel like I can fly!

I'm also reviewing a running movie that I watched this week - "The Spirit of the Marathon." Holy batman this is such a wonderful movie! If you have netflix, it's available to watch instantly on your computer. It follows 6 runners - some elite, some average joes (and janes!) - training for the 2005 Chicago marathon. Watching this brought back so many memories. I did not expect to get as emotional as I did when I watched this. I didn't cry when I crossed the finish line of the 2006 Twin Cities Marathon, but it was definitely an emotional experience that I will never forget. I can still vividly remember overhearing eavesdropping on a conversation on the bus when I first moved to Minneapolis - the man speaking had just done the marathon that previous weekend and I was in awe of him. That was in 2004 and if you had told my 23 year old self that I'd run a marathon 2 years later, I never would have believed it!

It was especially interesting to watch the Elites prepare for the marathon. Man those people can run. If I remember correctly, Deena Kastor finishes around 2:21. That's faster that a 5:30 min/mile pace. Can you even imagine? I can run ah mile in 5:30, let alone 26.2. The men finish in 2:07, which is a sub-5 minute/mile pace. It blows the mind. It'd be pleased as punch to average 10 minute miles which would give me a finish time of around 4:30.

Similar to my book review, if you aren't interested in running or marathons, this probably won't float your boat. But if you have any interest whatsoever, you will probably really enjoy this flick! Warning: It is going to make you want to run a marathon.

Oh, and it totally makes me want to move to Chicago because it looks like they have an amazing running community. As you will see if you watch the movie, there are tons of people that all do their long runs together with various pace groups.

I'll be back next week with another book review & the final wedding post. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. I'll be home for the first time in a long time with absolutely no plans! I am so excited to have a wide open weekend to do whatever I want, whenever I want.

What are you up to this weekend?


Kelly said...

That books sound really interesting- but I don't know if I can read it since it would make me miss running even more than I already do :)
Happy beginning of training for a 1/2!

Anonymous said...

That's so funny that you read a Murakami book! I joined the Japanese reading challenge (I need to put the button on my blog) and will be reading one of his books by Jan 1 2010! Totally random, but very cool.

My favorite thing about running: how free it makes me feel =)

Amber said...

I have heard tons of great things about that running movie and I REALLY want to see it! I will definitely have to check it out, along with that book!!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I loved the Spirit of the Marathon! It came to our city when it first opened bc we're a big track/running city and our running group all went together one night to watch.

Deanna Kastor is a biiiit crazy with her workouts and ability to push herself, but that movie was very inspiring.

Michelle said...

I've read this book too, not too long ago, and I've enjoyed it thoroughly, though I don't particularly like running all that much.

I liked that the book read like a conversation, and you're right about it being a page-turner. The book was an easy one to get hooked on to.

Glad you enjoyed it!

JoAnn said...

I didn't know Murakami wrote non-fiction, too! Since I'm not a runner this may not be for me, but I'll bet my husband would love it. Good luck with the training!

chasingbawa said...

This was a great book. I'm not a runner but decided to do a 5K for Cancer Research this year and this book made me focus and also made me want to run. I like the parallels he draws between running and writing.

Mark David said...

It's cool that you also use Mizuno's like Murakami! I'm not a runner but after having read this book I feel like I wanna start giving it a try (although nothing close to a marathon, at least for now).

One similarity I have with Murakami, as I learned from the book, is that I also tend to yearn for some quite time alone. And that's one thing you can really get from running long distances, isn't it?