Setting the goal, raising the bar.

My dad once told me that when people say they want to do something, they don't actually want to do it. They want to have done it. For example, a writer will say they want to write a book, but they don't mean that. What they mean is that they want to have already written a book. They want the hard part of it to be done already. Well, I guess the same could be said for my marathon training. I don't actually want to run a marathon, train for months, and watch what I eat at every meal. I want to have already done it, gotten the bragging rights and the physical fitness that comes along with it, and be part of that elite "marathon runner" group that not many people belong to.

But alas, this marathon is a committment I've made to myself and a few other people. The shoes are bought, the race registered, the hotel reserved. I could turn back, but I won't. I'll get 'er done and run my race.

That said, I had a really discouraging run on Saturday. It was bright and early, and I woke up a whopping 10 minutes before starting the run with a group of guys who are a lot more advanced runners than me. A little more than 8 miles, and I finished just 4 seconds per mile faster than when I did it on my own. I attribute my bad time to poor eating before the run (which is to say, I didn't eat at all), waking up early (I'm used to evening/afternoon runs), and trying to keep up with the other guys even though they were running 1 minute per mile faster than my usual pace. I hung tight for a little more than 5 miles before REALLY falling behind.

Anyway, the diet is tough but I'm getting used to it. Making my food and taking it to work is lame, but I'm saving some money and feeling healthier already, although this diet has only been going on a little more than a week so far.

I'm waiting for the painful legs and such, but so far I've been lucky enough to avoid them. My lower back was a little sore after the last long run, but I don't know is that was related, and it wasn't sore enough to slow me down any on my following runs.

I'll brace myself a little better for my run this weekend, waking up even earlier and filling my belly with some sort of fuel before the actual run. That'll help.