Monday, June 13, 2011

What I think about when I'm running

I recently started reading Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which is, to some extent, a book about writing.

This post is not so much about writing--though I know that the central focus of the blog is writing. A point on writing though: some limitations make writing harder--especially limitations of focus. If I want to write about X, and I have a set task to write about Y (or, for that matter, a set context in which I write about Y), then it's harder to write at all.

Anyway, today I went running and I was thinking about Murakami. One of the things that has struck me most so far is that Murakami says that when he runs he is in a void and doesn't think at all. This seems to me amazing--perhaps a sign of his mental discipline?--for me, running is filled with thoughts. There are the mantras that I repeat when I'm tired or the running seems hard. There's the constant evaluation and re-evaluation of just how much energy I have and how much farther I want to go (I have general routes, but no fixed plan--today I wanted to run farther than usual and on different paths than usual and there was a little randomness in where I ended up). And then there's plenty of thinking about different problems and issues--usually I come up with several answers to problems in the beginning of my run, and by the time I'm home, I've forgotten almost all of them. And by the time I'm done showering and eating and rehydrating, I'm pretty much a blank slate again. Oh well. I know I had more to say about Murakami than this, but...

This blog has sat mostly idle for a few years for several reasons, but one is that I don't always want to write about academic writing--as the blog intended. I may start writing about other things as well--to help me clear my thoughts, even if I don't clear anyone else's thoughts.

There's lots more that I think about when running, but maybe I'll save that for a later post.

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