02 November 2014

I tried the idea index method thanks to Cal who got this via Tim Feriss blog interviewing Maria, as I read Haruki Murakamis What I talk about running when I talk about running. This book itself was referenced in Cal’s blog post. True to the method, I tried to keep a page in front of the book and made notes instead of highlighting or not doing anything (which is what I typically do - just read) The result is the page reference in each of the note item.

The book

  • vii Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.
  • 4 Its cooler in Hawaii in summer than in Mass or other northern places. The light breeze throughout makes the locals not have AC and keep the windows open.
  • 6 He runs 6mi/day; 6days/week and averages 156m/month and can make a speed of 6mph
  • 9 Better to be internally motivated than using competitions or rivaly. What happens when your rival quits or doesnt show up, what motivates you enought to stay?
  • 10 Writing novel is like running
  • 11 Age matters in some physical aspects but not in all endeavors. Ex. Dostoyvesky & Scarletti
  • 43 In running you start slow, it hurts, but you have to keep at it to get to your running form. This leads to the running stamina which you need to run a marathon. Similarly in writing you dig for creativity, struggle thru to get it and then keep writing. Once you get it, and make it habit, its natural. This makes creativity a habit. Where Haruki himself just made up his mind to write (on a lazy afternoon during a baseball game) and struggled thru it. You dont want to rely on your natural talents all the time as if it dries up you are up a creek. If its a habit then you can find the rhythm to get creative.
  • 44 I run because it suits me. Will power is only part of it
  • 45 The most important thing you learn in school is that the most important things can not be learned in school
  • 61 His first 26miler in Athens, a great writeup on his journey from Athens to Marathon.
  • 70 Running a marathon is always hard. Till about 19mi its great then the slopes and then you are running fully empty till the end. You are exhausted and after a while you start planning for the next one.
  • 71 He never takes 2 days in a row off running. This is because he doesnt want his muscles getting the idea that it doesnt have to work. Muscles are like work horses or oxen - you have to keep them working and build them up and dont give any relaxation for too long. As long as there are being worked, they will continue and strengthen. If you forget to train for few days, they will complain, just like the animals. This is muscle memory - it takes a while to build but when it does build, you can benefit from it. - 73 Dont quit running because you are busy. At several points he had several commitments and could have easily made excuses to quit or miss runs. You have few reasons to run and a lots of reasons to quit. You keep the few reasons nice and polished.
  • 77 Ingredients for successful writer. 1. Talent: you cant do anything about it. 2. Focus: You can compensate erratic talent with focus. You have to make focus a habit, like sitting at your desk to focus and write. 3. Enduracne: as you asge you need to build focus and endurance. Focus is like trying to hold your breath, while endurance is the art of slowly breathing while storing enough air capacity. You need to balance focus and endurance. These two are different from talent in that these can be acquired and sharpened through training, like training your muscles. Jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and you develop your runners physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up and repeat. Patience is a must but this guarantees results. Works for both writing and jogging. Raymond Chandler would sometimes just sit at his desk and think even if not to write, so his habit and endurance is built. Build your focus and endurance early in life, since as you age you need it.
  • 82 He became a better writer by running
  • 84 His legs used feel like a rock when he gets gets up and takes about 20mts when he starts running, when he has to drag. He drags and then eventually with 30mts up, he breaks it in and can run normal. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!
  • 101 Practicing, thinking, memorizing while running is a good tip
  • 108 His run of the Hokkaido Ultramarathon was good look at suffering.
  • 116 Running fo its own sake! The pleasure itself is self fullfilling.