Tag Archives: Sport-Fitness

Tori Tour De Victoria Finish

Are injuries inevitable?

Here we are again, back on the elliptical trainer. Possible meniscus tear; I’ve been “rehabbing” for weeks now. This is a new injury; I don’t usually have problems with my knees, but there it is.

It started in August. My triathlon season was over prematurely when my stepfather died suddenly and I flew to be with my mother, right before my last scheduled race of the season: the Self-Transcendance.

Not wanting my season to be over, and needing to burn off stress, I ran while I was in Saskatchewan: country roads, small town streets, and the amazing Devonian Pathway system in Regina, my old stomping grounds. I thought I could salvage my race season by signing up for the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon in October.

Devonian Pathway in Wascana park.

Wascana Park near University of Regina

I was 12k into a gorgeous 15k run around Wascana Park when my knee suddenly started to hurt so much I hobbled 3k back to my car. I stayed off running for a couple of weeks, then tried unsuccessfuly to ease back in. I’ve been struggling with it ever since. That’s three months now!

I did an internet search of “Are triathlon injuries inevitable?” and got 13,800,000 hits. Make that running injuries and it’s 8,720,00 hits.

I take it the answer is yes.

For most people, injury is at some point inevitable. We go out too hard too fast, we pile on mileage instead of building up slowly, we ignore warning signs, we don’t cross-train and build up some core strength, we don’t stretch enough. I’m guilty on all counts.

Tori Tour De Victoria Finish

Finishing the Tour de Victoria 100k ride. The only time the sun came out that day.

In the midst of all this I hurt my back too. Anyone familiar with body mechanics could see these two were probably related. I was still trying to get in some running miles with a sore knee, and it was altering the way I ran, and my lower back paid for it. I managed to bike up Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles, Washington with some friends in late August/early September; a gorgeous day, but I was in agony by the time I made it to the top. I completed the 100K event of the Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria in September, in the pouring rain and wind, relatively pain-free under the care of my physiotherapist.

Since then I’ve been hard at work strengthening around my knee and core, and waiting to heal. However, I tried going hard swimming (because I couldn’t bike or run) and quickly added on mileage in the pool – then I strained my shoulder.

Injuries are only inevitable when you keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Matt, my physiotherapist, shook his head at me when I reported the shoulder injury. This is what made me really buckle down and start listening to him:

“You masters athletes and weekend warriors,” he said. “You think you can go hard all year round, and this is what happens. You know elite athletes take a few weeks completely off – do *nothing* – after their season ends, don’t you?”

Since then I’ve been a good girl, doing as I’m told, backing off completely. I’ve been granted some sanity-saving bike rides as I recover. I’ve learned some lessons:

Tori jumping on the Kinsol Trestle GIF

Jumping for joy because Life!

Yes, injuries are inevitable, when you try to be a superhero or keep up with the fitter, younger people on your team, or have something to prove. When you really tune in to your own body and only gradually push your limits, reaching only just beyond your grasp at any one time, they don’t have to be inevitable. Training, especially for endurance sports, is a cumulative, long-term enterprise. You can’t cram for it, you have to put in consistent effort.

And with that, I’m off to the pool to do my exercises and swim a modest 800 metres or so. Soon I’ll be back to my old, joyous self.

Photo credits:

Wascana Park by Tori Klassen available for sharing under CC-BY-SA license.

Tour de Victoria and “jumping” gif by Patrick Fisher, used with permission.


Injury status: back on the bench

I have plantar fasciitis and have been off training ever since May this year. I missed running the Vancouver marathon, moved back to Victoria, finally got my act together and budgeted for the recovery help I need to get over this most persistent and vexing injury for runners, nurses or anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet.Blue bench

I have been at the registered massage therapist’s each week for a couple of months now. Luckily Rob the Sadist – er – my RMT – specializes in injuries like mine, but I realize why I was so hesitant to get into serious treatment: the sessions are painful and exhausting – and Rob just smiles and talks all through it. (I can’t believe I pay him to hurt me like that, and why does he seem to be enjoying it? A*hole.). I’m scheduled to get fitted for new orthotics today. I’m stretching my calf muscles and my foot flexors every day – on some days I have to stretch them before I get out of bed so I can walk without a limp, which kind of sucks because I usually have a big huge mug of tea before bedtime. (0_0)

I’ve started biking and swimming to keep up my fitness, planting dreams of triathlons in my head. I recently started back (tentatively) running again on treadmill and trail.

However, it seems like it’s two feet forward, one painful step back with this injury. After last weekend’s 5k trail run I benched myself from running and biking for a couple of weeks and I’m doubling down on the swimming and stretching. Maybe I’ll add some yoga and strength training too – lord knows I need it.

I’m trying not to get discouraged, because I did have this same injury (on the other foot) about ten years ago and was off completely for 6-7 months, and returned stronger than ever. I channeled my energies into becoming a volunteer spin instructor. Now though, I’m ten years older and I’m not as far along as I hoped I’d be after 6 months of no training.

I was planning on the UBC triathlon in March 2013 – the Olympic distance. However recovery has been so stop-and-go that I’m aiming for the sprint distance instead, and I’m waiting until the last moment to register. Just in case.

As with all things – it’s important to let the healing process happen and not try to rush it.

Of course by March I’ll be out of money for weekend trips to the mainland anyway. I’ll have contributed my spare cash to Rob’s cute little daughter’s college fund.

But if it gets me back on my running legs pain-free again, it will be worth it.


I bailed on the Sun Run

I bailed on the Sun Run today (actually the Cloud Run With A Chilly Wind).
I met up with friends at 8:30 or so. We stood in line for 20 minutes at the port-a-potties. Then I got myself into my wave and they went back to theirs.

The gun went off at 9 am. I am used to standing around waiting to start. But at 9:30 my wave was nowhere near ready to go.

I had a little conversation with myself:
Grouchy me: “Why are you standing here shivering?”

Runner me: “Because I like to run races.”

“But you can’t run. You’re injured,”

“I’m walk/running it. Taking it slow.”

“Christ it’s cold..why didn’t you wear something warmer? Why are you wearing a cotton t shirt? You NEVER wear cotton shirts when you run.”

“I thought it would be sunny & warm. I thought this would be fun. It will be, once I get going.”

“Your wave is nowhere near starting and 10k is a long way wearing cotton and going slow.”

“I know. Maybe I’ll run it for real. To keep warm. Get done faster.”

“Uh huh.”

“Yeah, my foot is feeling better lately.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because I’ve been laying off running. I’ve been stretching and massaging every day.”

“And how will running 10k today help you toward that goal?”


At that point I got knocked around again, someone’s elbow jabbed into me. “Look, I think I see his hat over there!” said Elbows as all her jabbing victims around me gave her the stinkeye.

“Is that our wave starting yet?” someone said in my ear. He didn’t mean to say it in my ear, he was just helplessly standing that close. Good thing we all smelled clean. Except for that drunk guy in the hula skirt, but he had come and gone a few minutes ago.

Grumpy me piped up again, perilously close to my Outside Voice: “Why am I standing here again?”

Then it was Caballo Blanco’s voice (or what I imagine it to have been) inside my head:


Elbows out, I lurched through the crowd, went to the Y and had a long, hot shower, daydreaming about muddy trails, steep climbs, picturesque meadows, majestic mountain vistas, and races of hundreds, maybe thousands, but not tens of thousands of fellow runners.