Thursday, July 10, 2008

Labored 4 mile run at Liberty State Park

Today was the day I did not want to run, and my legs felt like heavy lead all through. Ran 4 miles - resisting the urge to quit or to take a walking break - and completed it in 44:20 minutes.

I was running in Liberty State Park after a long time; used to frequent here quite often, before I discovered the parks closer to my place. Since it was very sunny even at 6:00 AM today, I restricted my running to the shaded back-roads in Liberty State Park, avoiding the river front walk-way, which is more scenic but does not have any shaded area.

Feels good to have started the day with a 4 mile run, and be ready for the rest of the day by 8:30 AM!

Had come across an interesting article on running in a recent issue of The New Yorker. The article titled The Running Novelist was written in Japanese by novelist Haruki Murakami, and chronicled his entry into long-distance running and subsequent experiences. I was particularly stuck by the paragraphs which deal with days when he does not want to run. Too bad the full article is not available on-line.

Here is the relevant part of the article, reproduced from the print version:
No matter how much long-distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel lethargic and don't want to do it. On days like that, I try to come up with all kinds of plausible excuses not to run. Once, I interviewed the Olympic runner Toshihiko Seko, just after he had retired from running. I asked him "Does a runner at your level ever feel like you'd rather not run today?" He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, "Of course. All the time!"

Now that I look back on it, I can see what a dumb question it was. I guess that even back then I knew how dumb it was, but I wanted to hear the answer directly from someone of Seko's caliber. I wanted to know whether, although we were worlds apart in terms of strength and motivation, we felt the same way when we laced up our running shoes in the morning. Seko's reply came as a great relief. In the final analysis, we're all the same, I thought.

Now, whenever I feel like I don't want to run, I always ask myself the same thing: You're able to make a living as a novelist, working at home, setting your own hours. You don't have to commute on a packed train or sit through bored meetings. Don't you realize how fortunate you are? Compared to that, running an hour around the neighbourhood is nothing, right? Then I lace up my running shoes and set off without hesitation.

1 comment:

rundangerously said...


thanks for stopping by my blog! i'm looking forward to the release of murakami's book later this month.

in the meantime, i'm reading bart yasso's book, "my life on the run."