Running Alone

July 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Posted in itchy mouth | 4 Comments
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Ever since Itchyfingers started running more seriously and entered running events, we have been reading up books on running borrowed from the library. Most of the books have useful pictures for clearer illustration or explanation on topics like how to choose shoes; how to improve running form to the kind of exercises to do to strengthen the core muscles. Useful books, but it may be a bit dry sometimes to read…hahah…

This day, we were browsing at Kinokuniya when one new book on the shelf caught my attention immediately and I couldn’t stop my itchyfingers from grabbing it. I HAVE TO BUY IT! :p It was the latest book from Japanese illustration book author, Takagi Naoko (高木直子), made famous by her first book digging at her own height of 150 cm. :p  Itchyfingers has collected a few of her books translated to Mandarin and enjoyed every one of them. Would love to have all her books but no more space in cupboard…hahah… But I cannot miss out this book, because the title translates as “Running Alone”!


Oh my goodness!!! Takagi Naoko also runs marathons??? From her 
previous books, she wasn’t one that would ever move her bum to run!!!
Just look at the drawing with her lying down! Hahaha…So
 I was very curious!! 

When I first discovered her earlier books, I was amused by her sense of humour, how she solved her daily problems because of her height and when she was living alone. Being slightly taller than her (ok lah, Itchyfingers is 10cm taller…hahah) and having lived alone overseas, I could feel her pain…hahah…She is a freelance illustrator while Itchyfingers is a freelance graphic designer! Hahahah…what a coincidence! And do you think she looked a bit like Itchyfingers? Our hairstyle is the same!

Well, back to this new book on running. Like Itchyfingers, Naoko had been a couch potato most of her life and was poor in sports during school. We both decided to get serious into exercising and chose running as it is a no fuss sports that everyone can pick up. The book traced her progress from running 5km in the park without warming up and ended up aching all over; to doing 10km races, half marathon races and finally a full marathon race in Hawaii! If you are new to running, you will be able to pick up some useful tips like how to choose the correct shoes not just by the look but by the compatibility to your feet and your running form; how to drink from a cup while running etc, all in a fun way through the colourful and cute drawings. If you are a seasoned runner, reading her experiences will certainly bring back the sweet memories of all your trainings and running times. 🙂


Naoko during her first 10km race…Cute right?

But I should say the book missed out a few things. It encouraged heel strike as the correct running form when mid-foot landing may be a better choice as it has lesser impact on the knee, hence reducing the chances of injuries. Also, she made running for the newbies sound a bit too easy…There was no description of injuries sustained during training. She also didn’t experience side stitches during runs despite eating so much before the race and even halfway during running. Hahah…not all people are so fortunate…hahah…And what about the dilemmas of ladies runners during their monthly cycles? To run or not to run? :p

But I must say for a new runner, she was certainly not bad, clocking less than an hour for 10km run and slightly a minute over two hours for her 21km half marathon! All her timings were so much better than Itchyfingers that it put us to shame! We did almost the same trainings, except that she drank a lot of beer after that…hahah…She attempted the full marathon overseas within a year after she started running…And that was in 2008…I would really wanna do it this year, but I think I am still not that ready… 😦 So did she manage to finish her full marathon? And what was her timing if she did? Well, we leave it to you to read the fun and entertaining book. 🙂 Get the book at 20% off at Kinokuniya now! 8)

P.S: Due to time needed in translation, this book is only available more than 1 year after it was published in Japan. The Japanese version of book two of her running experience is already on the shelf! Wonder when will the chinese version be made available? Should have been more diligent in learning my Japanese, then can buy the original version… 😮

Also see related post:
> Tortoise and Hare 

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