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Running sucks. There. I said it.
One foot in front of the other, over and over and over again, the endless trudgery of running kilometre after kilometre hypnotises otherwise intelligent people into thinking it’s somehow good for them. But it isn’t. It’s just not. It can’t be.
Running ruins your knees, stresses your back and makes you gaunt & desperate for semi-digested fistfuls of proteinate goo. But it’s not the Walking Dead cosplay that worries me the most. It’s the ice baths. Any activity that inspires a person to immerse their tired, battered lower body into a tub of ice water has to be the work of Satan himself. Come on, people — this is torture we’re talking about.
I started running last summer — irregularly, I’ll admit — as part of my training for our world record-setting Table Hockey Extravaganza. I worked out with the fine folks at Fitness Science Corporation, who offered to make us fit and trim for the attempt. I was fine with the squats, the situps, and the Russian twists. Hell, I even agreed to a regimen of freakin’ burpess. But somehow, evil genius Dr Rob Tarzwell convinced me to run recreationally.
It started innocently enough: “Hey, wanna run 4k after you finish those push-ups?” How could I say no? Look at this face, I dare you.
Six months later, and I’m training for my first half marathon. My iPhone app (RunKeeper) tells me what to do, and these days I’m putting in well over 20km a week and soaking my stanky tootsies in a demonic arctic tea while reading up on VO2 max and heel strikes. DAMN YOU, TARZWELL!
Just like running, Dr Rob’s evil genius has no discernible beginning or end. It’s eternal, and no matter how hard you fight it, it will beat you into submission and assimilate your ass into the bizarro world of DAMN YOU, TARZWELL!
I originally thought running might be a cheaper way to exercise than the old trap of unused gym memberships and seasonal beer league registration charges. Need I say it? DAMN YOU, TARZWELL! Money flies out the window, dammit, on neon Coolmax, GU Roctane gel and a rotation of two to three pairs of Mizuno sneakers at any given time, not to mention race fees that include ‘free’ tech shirts but then plop oxygen deprived finishers in the midst of tents and tables full of retailers hawking yet more gear.
Okay, okay. I’m getting fitter and faster. Yeah, I think more clearly and to make sure I’m ready for the next run, I tend to watch what I eat more carefully. But that doesn’t mean I enjoy the rhythm, the fresh air or the fact that compression calf sleeves — no word of a lie — make me feel ten years younger. It certainly doesn’t mean that I’m thankful for that push out the door that bastard gave me last year; in pure Tarzwellian fashion, he doesn’t even run more than twice a week his bad self.
Look, I’ve got to go. RunKeeper just told me I have 6.4km to do tonight. Damn you, Tarzwell.
Obligatory shout out to Canadian athletes in Sochi this month, all of whom are representing Canada with style and grace. A special set of props go to our Canadian women, who have in the past few days tipped the hardware scales in favour of the women during the 2014 Winter Games. Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse joined an elite group in defending Olympic gold this week, taking first overall in the four-heat, two-(wo)man bobsleigh competition. In related news, Moyse may just have the most perfect teeth in the history of, well, teeth.
Dentistry aside, she and Humphries had an uphill battle in the third and fourth runs of the bobsleigh, as first-time American competitor Lauryn Williams and her partner Elana Williams pushed the Canadians to the final run before relinquishing the top spot. All of this despite undergoing hip surgery and taking nearly two and a half years away from sliding after the Vancouver Games. On the US side, Williams only started bobsledding in 2012 after taking a break from a career as an Olympic-level track star. She previously won gold at the Summer Games with the American 4x100m sprint relay.
Twice more, women took centre stage. Jennifer Jones skipped her rink to the first-ever perfect Games in curling history, going undefeated through the round robin and playoff matches. Team Jones beat a jittery Swedish rink, who made Canada sweat for eight ends before coming apart in the ninth. It’s the first Olympic medal for Jones & Co, and the first Canadian gold in women’s curling since Sandra Schmirler won the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.
On bigger ice down the road, Marie-Philip Poulin provided the heroics to bring Canada its fourth consecutive women’s hockey gold this morning. The United States was this close to wresting hockey supremacy away from Canada, up 2-0 with less than five minutes to play. Then goals by Brianne Jenner and Poulin sent the game to sudden death overtime. Poulin capitalised upon a rare 4-on-3 power play, as British referee Joy Tottman called a flurry of penalties — sending the Americans packing and the Canadians into a celebratory frenzy.
I’ve yet to see any stats on CBC viewership, but apparently NBC’s online feed was live-streamed on more than 1.2 million computers in the United States alone. That number is higher than any other piece of programming in the network’s history with the exception of this year’s SuperBowl.
Now it’s up to the men. Brad Jacobs skips the men in the curling final, and Sidney Crosby looks to lead the hockey squad past the Americans in the semi-final on Friday morning. The only advice one can give them is, “Boys, play like girls.”
There hasn’t been much to cheer for when it comes to NHL hockey this year, so it was a treat to see more than six thousand people make some noise for Brendan Gallagher at the Pacific Coliseum tonight. The Montreal Canadiens forward of course spent four seasons with the Vancouver Giants, and finished his junior career as the franchise’s leading scorer (with 136 goals) and point getter (280).
He played for the G-Men from 2008-09 until the 2011-12 season, then spent a year in Hamilton of the AHL before being nominated for the Calder Trophy as the Rookie of the Year with the Montreal Canadiens last year. He is currently the Habs’ fourth-leading scorer, with 32 points in 58 games.
All this while being frickin’ wee. He’s listed at 5’9″ on the NHL website, but if this guy is five-nine, I’m Zdeno Chara. I just stood beside the guy, and I could clearly see the top of his head — and I’m barely 5’8″ my bad self.
More power to him.
Get the skinny on the game after the jump.
The Abbotsford Heat beat the Hamilton Bulldogs by a couple of field goals on Friday night, taking the first of back-to-back weekend games 6–0 in front of an appreciative crowd at the AESC. Blair Jones scored twice in his first game back from injury, while Corban Knight got off the schneid with a two-goal, three-point performance of his own after collecting just two assists in his previous nine games. The Heat went 2-for-5 with the man advantage, and obviously had a perfect night on the penalty kill.
More, including highlights, after the jump.
The Vancouver Giants dominated most of Wednesday night against the Kamloops Blazers, but the visitors put home all three of their chances to make the game interesting. The G-Men walked away with a 5-3 victory thanks to Dalton Sward’s two-goal, one-assist performance.
Thar be pictures, matey:
Arrrrrrgh, and if that not be enough for ye, check out the highlights, why don’tcha:
The Utica Comets took consecutive overtime wins off the Abbotsford Heat this past weekend. Sadly I don’t have time to write anything pithy about the Heat’s current scoring woes (16 goals during three wins and seven losses in 2014), or Utica’s recent dominance in head-to-head matchups (six losses in a row and counting).
If there were time, it would be easy to point to Heat goaltender Joey MacDonald’s comical giveaway behind his own net on the tying goal late in the game, or to defenseman Chris Breen’s stick snapping in half at the opposition blueline, directly leading to Benn Ferriero’s game-winning goal.
But there isn’t. So after the jump, I’ll just share my Heat – Comets photo gallery.
The Vancouver Giants put the boots to the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes with an impressive 10–0 Friday night win on home ice. Payton Lee’s first shutout of the season was lost next to the offensive explosion at the other end of the ice — the Giants dominated, holding a huge edge in puck possession and putting 40 shots on the poor bastards between the Hurricanes pipes.
More, including highlights, after the jump.
It’s here at last: episode 54 of the podcast, in which Chris and Jason discuss the most egregious omissions from Team Canada men’s hockey rosters, from 1972 right through to the 2014 Olympic team. Sadly, we neglected to include the sublime Tessa Bonhomme, whose sudden dismissal from the 2014 women’s squad sent shock waves through the sport.
• Get ‘er rollin’
• 2014 Sochi Olympic snubs
• 2010 Vancouver Olympic snub
• 2006 Turin Olympic snub
• 2004 World Cup of Hockey snub
• World Championships snub
• 2002 Salt Lake Olympic snub
• 1998 Nagano Olympic snub
• 1996 World Cup of Hockey snub
• 1986 World Championships snub
• 1991 Canada Cup snub
• 1987 Canada Cup snub (hint: it’s the same dude!)
• 1972 Summit Series snub
• Wrap it up
• Time for a Change by the Orchid Highway
• Thanks for listening
Vancouver’s shiny new professional lacrosse team played their first two home games at the Langley Events Centre this past week, earning their first victories of the season.
The Stealth moved north from Everett, Washington this past NLL off-season, where they had experienced league-low attendance despite success on the floor. The Stealth played in the NLL championship game 3 of the last 4 seasons, winning the big prize in 2010. Continue reading