Tag Archives: Goodlife Victoria Marathon

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.


Race Report: GoodLife Victoria Marathon 8k, Oct 10, 2010

Goal: finish the race healthy and pain-free in an hour or so.

I was plagued by phantom popliteum pain all week leading up to the race. (Plus the need to carb-load, even though this is not a long-distance race!–Old habits I guess)

I even considered not racing, but one of my work colleagues, a veteran trail runner, counseled that I probably needed a “FINISH” under my belt for my own peace of mind.

He was SO right.

I met up with some other running gals the day before at an impromptu Marathoners Tweetup and soaked up the great energy. One was running her first marathon: I saw in her the sense of trepidation and excitement I felt exactly a year ago. The other two were running the Half. It was just the fellowship I needed.

I woke up early and walked to the start line, timing it just so I got there, checked my extra gear and made it to the start with 2 minutes to spare. I’m getting this racing logistics thing down to a science!

With over 3,000 runners in the 8k though – I got behind some walkers and slower runners. I kept telling myself “This is OK – you don’t WANT to actually race – you just need to take it easy and finish pain-free.”

So I tried to calm down, keep my pace at 7:00/km or slower, and take in the positive runner energy around me. I feel kinda bad that “positive runner energy” for me meant comparing myself in smugliness to other runners. I have a bad habit of judging other people, especially when I’m nervous about my own performance. For example:

  • Why would you wear a water belt with 16 oz of fluid for a race that will take you at most an hour? I couldn’t believe how many people I saw doing this.
  • Why do they let wheeled walkers on this course, but not baby strollers? (Not that I want either on the course)
  • Why not corral the walkers behind the runners?

I guess I’m just not used to running shorter races with lots of people participating – it was definitely an eye-opener and something to consider if I ever decide to run another 10K.

At any rate, the race was a relief, I felt very little pain in my upper calf, and the most fun part of the day was coming back to the Marythoner’s station to dance and cheer on my run clinic buddies as they came in for the homestretch in theĀ  marathon.