Inspiration Trips & Travels

When I Talk About Running

When I first picked up Murakami’s memoir, I never thought I’d even finish the first chapter, let alone run a straight mile. So to say the book inspired me to start running would be a lie. I was mostly motivated by my tendency to get sick here in Shanghai and my sedentary desk job. I started out casually jogging, unable to run a mile without stopping. Now I can run a 8 minute mile for at least 3 miles without taking a break. I really am proud of myself!

Despite becoming physically stronger and arming myself with all the secrets you all shared with me, my immune system gave in. But out of sickness or boredom, I started reading Murakami’s memoir again. And I’m totally hooked.

I’m not letting the germs get the best of me. So I’m working on buffing up my immune system again, especially with my month-long vacation coming up. Did I mention I’m headed to Thailand and Malaysia? Photos of lush jungles and pristine beaches are coming up soon. Until then, here’s a photo from Wikipedia:


“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree” – An excerpt from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami


  • Reply
    January 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Oh, I have to start running again! I'm an incredibly lazy person and I feel like I need to change that.

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    January 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I love running! I used to wake up at 5:30am and go for 30 minute runs, which later increased to 1 hour. Like Michelle, i need to start running again.

    Also, i haven't read that book. I'll have to add it to my reading list.

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    January 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I look back fondly on last winter when I was running three times a week in Williamsburg. To run in the morning now, I'd have to wake up at 4.00AM or something! 🙁 Must figure something out.

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    January 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    i started running almost every other day since the new year and i can notice a difference even though i can only run like 2 miles. hopefully that will change soon! :]

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    January 12, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I absolutely love that book! Have you read Underground? I really fell in love with his nonfiction stuff recently!

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    P U R P L E - D E E R
    January 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I've always feel better after exercising. Running, bike riding, even walking in the sun.Something about it can always clear your head.

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    January 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    C.: I've always wanted to comment on your lovely posts but I don't think there's the option in your blog. I'm really impressed you're able to wake-up early to run. I think about it often but I suppose I'm just not a morning person. You'll like the memoir, especially if you've run before!

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    January 13, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I like your blog, Sewon.

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    January 13, 2011 at 2:45 am

    I am not a morning person at all, but after a month and a half of waking up so early, it became a habit. I haven't jogged in four months so it'll be tough to start up again. I just love sleeping in so much!

    Oh, you have to click on the title of my posts. Maybe i should add a comment link… I'll do so now.

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    January 13, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Ok, that's it, the next time i'm in the bookshop, i'll buy this book, i've been thinking about it for so long, but i always end up buying something else. So thank you.

    And it's the first time I'm visiting your blog, and i like it!

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    alexandra grecco
    January 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    that is the prettiest picture ever! love your blog.


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    January 14, 2011 at 1:55 am

    oh you are making me want to start running just so when i read this book, i really get it. but i hate running. i once took a running class in college just to force my self to run. i walked half the time. 🙁

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    January 17, 2011 at 2:56 am

    i love murakami! i need to get my hands on his memoirs.

    to answer your question, my favourite place in thailand is railay beach in krabi province and the surrounding islands. have a great time! <3

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    Sewon’s Guide to Feeling Good! | Maps and Fragments
    September 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    […] 3. Go outside. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Bring a notebook or your camera, because you never know what you’ll find. Or if you’re up for a bit more challenge, pull out your sneakers from the closet, and go for a light run. Murakami even wrote a book about it. […]

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