Top News

Loose shorts, Emily Haines and the number 30


There's one particular habit of mine that tends to come back and hit me like a tonne of bricks. When asked on the spot for a favour or request, I tend to comply unless I'm strapped for time, whether I really want to or not. This time, the end result was me thinking my lungs were imploding. Two months ago, I was interviewing Colin Power about the Centennial Cup. On my way out the door, I was making chitchat with a coworker about the race. Nothing soulful. In fact, I don't remember exactly what the conversation was about - but I do remember the moment where I thought about having my vocal chords surgically removed to avoid future incidents.

There's one particular habit of mine that tends to come back and hit me like a tonne of bricks.
When asked on the spot for a favour or request, I tend to comply unless I'm strapped for time, whether I really want to or not.
This time, the end result was me thinking my lungs were imploding.
Two months ago, I was interviewing Colin Power about the Centennial Cup. On my way out the door, I was making chitchat with a coworker about the race. Nothing soulful. In fact, I don't remember exactly what the conversation was about - but I do remember the moment where I thought about having my vocal chords surgically removed to avoid future incidents.
"Hey, you know what would be a good idea," I quipped.
He immediately replied, "If you were to run in the Centennial Cup and write about your training for the paper."
Yeah, thanks Dave.
Keeping in line with my apparent philosophy of making things as difficult as possible for myself, I mentioned the idea to Colin, who thought it would be a good idea. Next up? The Advertiser's fearless leader, Jennifer Pelley. I walked into her office and pleaded my case about how I would write a weekly blog about how my training was going, all leading up to Aug. 3.
"That's a great idea," she replied. "But you'll never do it."
Of course, my ego is too big to brush that sort of assumption off. Even if the novelty of the idea wore off on me, I still had to do it just to spite Jennifer.
As fate (or a lack of interest) would have it, the idea never came to fruition. Weeks went by, more stories were written for the Cup, and I threw the idea in the vault for another reporter and for another time.
Fast forward to last Friday. I stopped into Don Cherry's to hand my friend some cash to pick me up some CDs while she was in our province's capital (Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton, if you were wondering).
"Hey Kent, we still need another runner for our Corporate Challenge team," said another friend of mine, who also happens to work there.
"Absolutely not," was my reply. I even sang it to the tune of a song.
Then, out comes Colin from the kitchen with the same request. With no less than three pairs of eyes leering at me, I caved.
"Well, uh, I'll check with Jenn and see if she'll take some photos for me while I run."
Ah-ha! I certainly couldn't run if I had to take photos of the event for the paper and surely Jenny wasn't showing up at the YMCA at 8 a.m. just to watch me suffer.
Sometimes, I underestimate that woman's kindness. Or cruelty.
But hey, it's only two-and-a-half kilometres, right?

Saturday night, I decided to go out with my teammates for some last minute "training" (which also involved a close call of slipping and cracking my arm off of some unforgiving cement). Arriving home around 3:30 a.m., I didn't really consider the fact that I had to run a freakin' road race in four hours.
My alarm clock might as well have reached out and punched me in the face the next morning. It's strange how you don't second-guess your actions until after they take place.
The first thing I discovered upon my arrival was that one of our teammates was a no show. Her morning was worse than mine, apparently.
I was dropped off at a water station to complete the final leg of the race - from about Hoskin's Funeral Home to the Y.
After waiting around in my T-shirt and shorts for about 30 minutes in the rain and watching people wiz by, I was informed we had no substitute and the other members of my team had already been brought to the finish line.
At that point, a couple four-letter words went through my mind - and I was off.

I was actually doing pretty well for the first kilometer-and-a-half or so. I ran pretty much full tilt until the Windsor Pentecostal complex, not taking into consideration the idea of pacing myself.
I should probably mention at this point that I'm not in the best of shape. I'm not out of shape, per se, but my conditioning is pretty sub par. As I made my way towards the church, I felt a burning sensation in my chest. It was at that point I had an epiphany: I really need to quit smoking.
By the time I made it to Evans Street, I was pretty much done for. However, with the encouragement (see: hazing because my shorts kept falling down) of two ladies behind me, I didn't really have much of a choice.
I crossed the finish line about five minutes later, finishing with a pretty decent time - somewhere between 15-20 minutes.
As Colin and my teammates congratulated me at the finish line, I began to fully understand what Colin, Jim Sampson and Gerald Warren had been telling me since I started covering the running club - the running is really secondary. It's the camaraderie that gets them out into the streets every Wednesday night.
Despite the fact that I felt like my lungs were going to pack up and leave my body for the three hours following the race, it was very enjoyable. Not once did I feel like I had to catch up with anybody or cross the finish line before anybody else - it really didn't matter.
But if I decide to run next year, I'm probably going to take those extra couple weeks before the race to warm up a bit.
Maybe if I had done that this year, I wouldn't still be limping around the office.

Recent Stories