Sunday, January 17, 2016

What I Talk About When I Talk About...

"i'll be happy if running and i can grow old together" {haruki murakami)  #agree #FunRun #OnlyAtomsrunning:

Have you read this book? My book club (non runners, ironically) picked it up about a year ago and I have spent a lot of time thinking about it as of late. So close to this next race, I'm spending a lot of time out pounding  the pavement- and with that comes some serious alone time. With life and some annoying stressors that have recently reared their ugly (and unwanted) head, alone time that isn't spent being pulled in a million different (work, fun, or otherwise) directions is at a premium.

So I've been doing something I never do. Running at least part of my route with nothing- no music, no podcast, no chit chatting. Nothing. I think I've always been scared to do this because, as any distance runner knows, boredom can be your worst enemy. It can be the thing that tips the scales from a challenging run to torture or a new, shiny reason to NOT lace up and rack up the miles. Honestly,I don't know if I have ever even thought about trying it before- I just was not interested.

Then a few weeks back I had been mentally hemming and hawwing over a personal situation and just couldn't get my head on straight about it. I decided to run the first 2 miles of a run focusing on that 'problem', talking myself through options, and just trying to gain perspective on it all. 2 miles went by quickly, then 3, and by the time 4 got around I finally felt like I had worked through things enough see a clearer picture. I jammed head phones in and then listened to the sweet, sweet voice of Sarah Koenig for the rest of the run, but felt so much more accomplished than just the miles at the end of the run. 

In What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami, a famous novelist, talks about why he runs. He is a pretty serious (read way more than me) runner, but somehow he manages to write things that are so true and yet I had never thought about them before. P.S. if you have a runner in your life, this is a great gift...

Haruki Murakami's thoughts on writing and running: What I Talk About When I Talk About Run­ning:


Sunday morning I woke up and had a 10 miler on my schedule. The Houston Marathon was today (minutes from our house), but due to my untimely registering I didn't get a slot to race. In my mind I not only really wanted to conquer another full, but I also really wanted it to be in Houston- our new home. Andrew and I watched coverage of the race and all the sudden I again became emotional about this not being my race. I (admittedly grudgingly) headed out on my run without the ear buds in and spent some time just on my thoughts. By the end of the 10 miles, both the run and my mental state felt incredible. I was energized and by the end of it looked down at my garmin and saw I was just a little bit off a PR. I came home and Andrew had whipped up a little surprise for me- my own training run medal. It wasn't the Houston full, but it was a pretty great run.

What do I talk about when I talk about running? 
Joy, pain, heap loads of humility, problem solving, blisters, release, laughter, Chok Blocks, friendships, meditation, gratitude, shin splints, and a sense of being very small, but important in your own way.



  1. Those runners highs are really the best right? Its just getting there for me that is so painful sometimes!

  2. I just started reading this book! I used to be terrified to even try to run without music, but when I signed up for a half Ironman (no headphones allowed), I quit cold turkey. I've started running with music again since the HIM and, honestly, my runs haven't been as good! For some reason I'm still scared to go without though, even though I've done it before. I've started running shorter distances without them and want to keep increasing my distance without them so that I'm not really using them anymore.
    Congrats on a great long run - your medal is the sweetest thing! You'll get your chance at another full when the time is right :)

  3. i can never go without headphones running on the road but on trails? i don't even bother...the scenery is enough!

  4. Holy crap, I give you so much credit for running without anything. I have tried to do it a couple times and I always end up whining in my head, thinking of reasons to turn around and go home, or worse...getting lost in my own thoughts of all the sh!t I have to do. You go girl!

  5. Of all the races I've ever done...all I think about is the finish line...literally like one foot in front of the other until I get there LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston