I wavered between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one. The candid honesty and reality of the narrative is what pushed me over to 4. Murakami has a wonderful way with words, even in this non-fiction work. His descriptions are colorful and real.I enjoyed seeing a little into the psyche of Murakami. He has a self-loathing that one wouldn't expect when reading about a runner's life. It was refreshing to hear him talk of his failures/missteps in such a human way. When this work was completed he had completed nearly 30 marathons, an ultra-marathon and several triathlons. With each event that he writes of, he doesn't focus on all the great feelings or fabulous times he may have had - he details out the hardships, how he overcame them, and sometimes how he felt he miserably fell short. Through it all, he kept going and that was more inspiring than hearing that all his hard work made him the winner in his age group or something else notable. Instead, he keeps working at the same intensity or harder even though he's not necessarily reaching those heights. That spoke to me.He wrote how running and writing, for him, fit together and how they used common strengths and fed into common weaknesses. Murakami is very clear that he runs to stay fit, and that he stays fit so he can continue to write. Again, it spoke to me that the running wasn't all about a natural love or talent for running, but something he worked at and used to better and sustain his life and health in other areas - it wasn't all about running.This book made me feel better about sucking so horribly at running while still trying to improve. It also made me like and enjoy Murakami even more - he's just "real" and I like that. I feel like if you came across Haruki Murakami during a run or in a coffee shop that he'd be just "another person". He'd wave, smile, maybe even chat (he's clear that he's a bit of an introvert so maybe no talking). Basically, he'd be approachable.