Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tim Tebow made me do it

Oh, that really hurt.

It really, really did. Last week I wrote my first blog about my sadistic quest to do four 5K runs, doubling what I did last year. Insane, I know. The goal was to slowly get in shape with the plan to run . . . excuse me, participate in my first 5K by maybe late May or June.

Last Sunday, I was sitting in Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Center on the Purdue campus (I was late as usual). As the priest began the Homily, I started thumbing through the church bulletin as I usually do. But God took over. I opened the page and stared right at an announcement for the 5K for $5K charity run on campus the following Sunday (March 25). The race is put on by the Thirst Project @ Purdue, a student organization that helps build clean water wells in Third World countries that have no clean drinking water. Seemed like a good enough cause. I heard the choir sing, the thunder roar and before you know it, I was Tebowing. I’m there.

I tried hard to forget about the announcement throughout the week, trying to come up with cleaver copy and interesting words for my campus clients. But every time I turned on the radio, looked at television or read something online, there he was – Tim Tebow. Why Tim Tebow became the symbol of my frustration about this run I have no idea other than it started in church. I saw a picture of him next to Peyton Manning and could almost swear he started talking to me.

“Clyde, God wants you to run . . . I mean participate in that 5K. At least that’s what he told me to tell you.”

When he was traded to the Jets, there was this picture of him next to Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, again, Tim spoke.

“Clyde, God said stop being such a big wuzz and run, I mean participate in the run. It’s for a good cause. You can just walk the whole thing if you want to be a baby about it.”

Now that was a thought. I could just walk it. It would be a nice little workout since I’ve only been training for about two weeks and actually missed two days this past week because I was just being lazy. It would be a good way to get back into the groove. I asked the organizers if there would be any walkers and they said yes, so I wouldn’t have to be last. Being on campus, I knew there would be a lot of students. But as long as there were other walking adults I could actually beat, I won’t be concerned about the time.

Okay, today arrived and I avoided ESPN, Yahoo Sports or anywhere else I would see Tim Tebow. I’ve got a game plan and I’m sticking to it. As I expected, as I approached the signed-in table behind the Elliott Hall of Music, there were all of these tall and fit students who didn’t even look at me twice as competition. It’s a good thing I didn’t wear my D.C. Turkey Trot t-shirt. Oh, the mayhem that would have caused. They would have pointed at me saying.

“Dude, look at his t-shirt. He ran in the D.C. Turkey Trot. He’s a baller. We better stay close to him.”

Oh, how disappointed they would have been when they had to walk very slowly to keep up with my blazing speed. As we competed with the crowd going to Elliott to watch the Celtic Woman concert, we lined up to run down Third Street, past the Black Cultural Center and the remodeled Rec Center to a trail next to McCormick Road, We followed that trail to Stadium Road, then east all the way down past the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineer to Northwestern Avenue. From there, we made a right to Grant Street, another right to State Street, up to University Street. Then we had big sprint (race walk) three blocks back to the Elliott Hall parking lot.

The whistle blew and we were off and I started walking. I saw people pass me, but no big deal, I’m walking. They were supposed to pass me. A man with his son, about 5 years old, passed me. I’m sticking with it. I’m walking. Then a woman with her pug on a leash passed me. Tim Tebow all of the sudden appeared in my head and said, “Really? A Pug?”

Alright, he’s right, jog, do something. So I started jogging. I jogged about as far I could as I approached McCormick. It was nip and tuck between me and the Pug throughout the entire course. The Pug and owner took the lead at the corner of Grant and State streets. Reality set in. I was ready to concede. But Tim Tebow appeared one more time.

“Clyde, God to me to tell you that he will make you lose five pounds if the beat the Pug. This is non-negotiable.”

How could I pass up a deal like that? At University Street, I had three blocks to go. I pass the Pug and its owner and left them in my dust. I made the big turn at Third and University like I ran the entire stretch. That was another sign that I could have run (jogged) a lot more than I walked. My time – a disappointing 41:06. But seeing that I walked most of the route and my main competition was a stubborn Pug, I should be happy.

My shins? Hurt like heck. Knees? A wreck as usual. But I didn’t have any the hamstring problems that plagued my 5Ks in the past, so that was big plus. I won’t count this race as one of the “Big 4” but it was nice to now have a new goal to beat.

Tim Tebow better keep his promise at the next Weight Watchers weigh in.

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