Yankin’ It.

I've gone done yanked it!

I blame the Fourth of July Parade.

I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to swelter in the blistering heat. I didn’t want to stand amongst all of the children and equally ill-behaved parents, fighting for scraps of candy and watching the local Clog Dancing Troupe plow through Joe Diffie’s Pickup Man. I didn’t want to fight for a space under the shade tree in the Wendy’s parking lot. I was better than this; there was absolutely no redeeming value in attending this parade.

Nothing, except for the Missus. For such an intelligent woman, she loves parades and fireworks displays more than just about anything. I typically go on for hours about how much she should appreciate brilliant things like Mystery Science Theater 3000 and They Might Be Giants more, when all she really wants is an explosion followed by a clown on an irregular bicycle. I just cannot win.

So, before I could even mouth the words ‘Dumbass Shriner Hat,’ I found myself standing next to the Missus (along with Ben and Sherry) under the shade tree in the Wendy’s parking lot, watching children and their equally ill-behaved parents fighting for scraps of candy. Funny, I could have sworn that I didn’t want to go.

At some point between the 9th marching band and the 12th Model-A Ford, there was a group of people handing out fliers for the Fourth Annual Book’n It Fun Run To Promote Literacy. It’s basically a 5K run (3.1 miles) through the park, with all proceeds going to the beautiful public library we have here in Sun Prairie, which is less than 2 blocks from CDP Headquarters.

Being someone who is literate and appreciative of all the things the Sun Prairie Public Library has done for the community (the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibits are nice enough), I started thinking to myself about dusting off my running shoes one more time. I’m no stranger to hitting the pavement, as my trials and tribulations with the 2005 ‘Crazylegs’ Classic have been well-documented on this page; I honestly consider it one of my greatest athletic achievements. If I could run 6.2 miles in 45 minutes at the age of 23, surely I could run 3.1 miles in 22 minutes at the age of 25. Right?

Maybe I was just getting annoyed and bored. Maybe it was a touch of the heat stroke, I don’t know. But something made me perk up when those fliers started getting passed around, and I knew that there actually was a reason for me to be there that day. It was time for me to run again!

Ben, you want to run that race with me?” I said, slightly boasting.

Uh….sure!” He shot back. I really didn’t expect to hear that.

No offense, but when I think of Ben, I normally don’t think ‘dominating athlete.’ I mean, he’s 6’2″, weighs at least 10 pounds less than me and has an impeccable diet, but I just never saw it for some reason. He’s uncoordinated, walks crooked and is more of a creative genius than a force in the gym, but nonetheless, he wanted in on the Fourth Annual Book’n It Fun Run To Promote Literacy, and I wasn’t about to stop him. After all, I needed a training buddy.

As you would assume, I started to get cocky. After all, who did he think he was, anyway? Did he honestly think he’d be able to roll with me? A guy that ran twice this distance with ease? A guy that still holds one of the fastest Mile Run times in Winneconne High School history (5:48)? A guy that owns running shorts? Come on!

Care to make it interesting?” I blurted out, not quite sure of where I was going with this.

Like, a bet?” Is what I think he said. Just assume that it was.

Yeah. $100 to the guy who finishes faster.” What the hell was I doing?

Aaaaaallllright…..you’re on.” Crap; he totally called my bluff.

The bet was on. The stakes and dates were set. As the parade ended and we walked back to the car, I stayed quiet, thinking about the task at hand. I couldn’t wait to get home; there was much work to be done.


Fast-forward to this week. I have shin splints in both legs, a pulled left hamstring and a compressed ligament in my ankle. I can’t put weight on either leg, and I walk like a 90-year-old with a Thanksgiving-sized pantload. In the course of 7 days of running, I’ve destroyed my legs like they’ve never been destroyed before.

This has never happened to me, but it appears as if I put way too much shock on my legs for a little too long, and everything kind of sproing-ed and got all breaky. In the course of one week, I went from a man on a mission to the guy not wearing his exercise gear, walking around the park in jeans while Ben continues to shave seconds off of his time, preening and posturing like some sort of shirtless, bronzed God. I go to bed reeking of whatever lotion the Missus kindly massages into my legs, and I wake up just as hurty as before. I even have to sleep with my legs elevated, because it keeps them from exploding or something.

Well, maybe that’s a little too dramatic. Ben’s not all that tan, but that’s really not the point. The point is that I’m screwed, humiliated, injured and out a hundred bucks. I feel like crap, I’m depressed, I’m ruined and I’ll be lucky to walk the 3.1 miles come Race Day (August 11), let alone jog ’em.

This is what happens when you get cocky, kids. Karma comes along and sticks its massive finger deep into your butthole, teaching you a valuable (albeit painful and embarrassing) lesson:

Don’t. Be. A. Dick.

The run is still 3 weeks from now, and I’ve adopted a more low-impact workout on my legs. Essentially, I walk a mile every day, and spend an hour working on cardio and upper-body stuff at the gym. Furthermore, I know that if I somehow snap my ankle at the race and wet my pantaloons, I’ll probably make the front page of The Daily Cardinal.

Seriously, though. I blame the Fourth of July Parade. I’ll keep you updated.


28 thoughts on “Yankin’ It.

  1. Ha, ha. You’re old.Just wait until you hit your 30s. I’m already groaning when I get out of bed. When you make noise getting up after you’ve just been laying down, it’s all over.


  2. I’m terrified beyond words. I’m continuing to take care of my (extremely rare and not-at-all fun) injury, and I’m looking to fully recover before race day. However, recovery isn’t enough, as I have to…you know…train to run 3 miles.


  3. Ah, moms. Inspiration and subtle threats all at once!CDP, if you ever see me running, one of three things is happenings:1. I’m being chased by a bear.2. Someone much larger than me is <>very<> angry with me and they are immediately behind me.3. Someone is giving away free beer in the direction I’m running.


  4. I’m reminded of some advice that a lawyer gave me at my office:<>“The lesson here, is never exercise.”<>I haven’t failed so far, why would I start now? I’m just working on some other stuff for a week or so, and I’ll hit the pavement better than ever…until something pops and my head explodes.


  5. If you do well, you get money and stuff…but that really defeats the purpose, as you’re accomplishing a personal task along with raising money for a good cause. It’s called ‘<>giving<>,’ and I hear it’s sweeping the nation.All I know is that my left leg really hurts this morning, which is weird. It probably has something to do with playing basketball last night in dress shoes. Whoops.


  6. I’m with you Ryan! My knees still hurt pretty bad, and I have to grab railings for support while going up and down stairs. I feel like I’m sixty-years-old.


  7. Yeah, go easy today and take some ibuprofen to calm the inflammation. Knees don’t heal as well as muscles and shins, so try not to wreck yourself.Tonight, you should try the reclined bike they have at the gym, it’ll reduce the stress on your knees, but still work the muscles. Oh, and bring headphones.


  8. I just did eight laps in 27 minutes and 43 seconds. I ran four, walked one, and then ran another three more. I am not sure how many miles that is, but I hope it’s around 5K. I think my goal will be to run it in under 27 minutes (My Age)


  9. According to my expert calculations, 8 laps is <>exactly<> 3.1 miles. So yeah, you nailed it today. Good jorb!27 minutes (9min. mile avg.) is a good goal. Considering that you have 3 full weeks until race day, you might even be able to shave it down a bit. At least we know that <>one<> of us is going to finish.


  10. I feel your pain. I stupidly joined an Ultimate Frisbee team this summer (stupidly, since I am incredibly un-athletic) and was in some serious pain after the first few games. I had to call in sick to work one day because I pulled a muscle by my hip and could only walk sideways like a crab. If I’ve learned anything it’s that stretching is the most important part of any exercise regime.Also, seriously what is with turning 25 and having your body revolt against you? My muscles never hurt like this when I was young and spry!


  11. Oh yeah, you gotta stretch. You didn’t have to when you were younger, but now…hoo-boy…I still don’t consider 25 to be anywhere near ‘old,’ but it’s getting harder to refute when you reek of Ben-Gay and failure.


  12. Your first mistake, CDP, was not chastising the library for the poorly elided “Book’n It” name. A literary institution should at least start with a name that makes sense. Don’t you think it should be “Bookin’ It”? The “apostrophe n” suggests a marriage, like Rock ‘n’ Roll or Something ‘n’ Something else. And you wanna talk old? Wait until a nose-hair trimmer becomes a necessity. That’s when the nightmares begin.


  13. I wasn’t going to chime in here because I’m still spry–like an 18 year old–at 32*But then Lott had to start talking about the nose-hair trimmer, and I just had to say this; <>exactly<>. I’m not a hairy guy, but those nose hairs are the beginning of the end, my friend.*Ok, so I’m not that spry. But if there’s one thing I <>am<> it’s delusional. That, and drunk.


  14. This is all starting to get a little bit terrifying. You’re leading me to believe that this is pretty much the beginning of the end for me.Or, the beginn’n of the e’nd for m’e.


  15. <>*Ok, so I’m not that spry. But if there’s one thing I am it’s delusional. That, and drunk.<>Awesome line. I’m stealing it.And CDP, it is teh beginning of the end. Sure, there are plenty of 50 year olds in great shape…but they’re not heavy-drinking bloggers.


  16. They have a name for Bloggers who ARE NOT heavy drinkers. Unread.Or Dave Barry, that guy can really turn a phrase. (which would coincidentaly be a great name for a rock band)


  17. Nice Dave Barry refernce, Blu.Incidentally, the girlfriend and I (read:the girlfriend) have decided we need to start running to get into shape.It’s a pity I work almost every night and our schedules don’t really work for exercising together…


  18. Tonight’s workout was pretty good. My leg is feeling better, and I should be jogging again by the end of the week.Of course, as soon as I leave the gym, I eat something bad for me and go to sleep, but hey, it’s the effort that matters!


  19. Yeah. Drew Carey = meh. But revolving guest hosts would just be an awesome idea, especially if they didn’t announce it. You’d just have to watch (or record) to see who showed up. Christopher Walken would be my personal favorite.


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