Tag Archives: Royal Victoria Marathon

Running at Shawnigan Lake Triathlon

This one weird trick will change the way you run

…and you’ll never guess what it is!

Just tear your ACL, get knee surgery, and be forced to teach yourself to run all over again. Easy-peasy!

No really, if there was a blessing in disguise for being off running for a couple of years, it was that I had to learn to run again.

Recovery was slow but steady, but running and triathlon training have been a different kettle of fish.

The fact that I am now regularly running 10k – and have signed up for a fall half marathon, is a miracle of modern medicine. And, to be honest, a testament to my following my physiotherapist’s instructions.

I began by “running” only the straightaways on a track, walking the curves, but it was clear from the very first foray that I would have to run differently.

I would have to run more efficiently, on my forefoot, the way Victoria runner Marilyn Arsenault tried to teach me years ago while I was training for my second or third marathon.

I had signed up for one of her clinics, then got impatient and left the group because I felt re-learning my running gait was interfering with my training. So I remained a heel-striker through my journey into triathlon some years later.

Then the knee injury and the surgery and the recovery.

So there I was, on the track, ready to run for the first time in two and a half years. I started out tentatively and immediately felt pain shoot up through the newly-reconstructed knee.

Discouraged wasn’t nearly a strong enough word. My tears said it all, and Ken could only commiserate.

Then I remembered the two or three Mindful Strides sessions I did manage to get through years ago in Victoria.

Then and there, I switched my running gait to land more on my forefoot, with my bodyweight firmly under me.

Quite frankly, it was the only way I could run without pain. I was astounded that by switching up my gait, there was no pain at all.

I was running again!

I was slow as molasses. It was deliberate and exhausting, but exhilarating. It was a total of about 2 kilometres. But I was running, and it was pain-free.

I’ve been slowly building up fitness ever since. I’ve been incorporating strength training into my routine as well.

I haven’t been working on speed in the last year I’ve been running – just putting in some mileage, getting used to the idea of running and doing triathlons again. I’ve done a few hills now and then (they’re hard to avoid, living in Vancouver).

I’m still slower than I was pre-injury, but I’m hoping that’s because I haven’t deliberately trained for much of anything except completing a couple of 10k events last year.

Training starts in earnest mid-July for the Victoria Half. Then next year? Bring on the 2018 triathlon season!

Photo credit: Connie Walters Dunwoody


A Personal Worst that’s not really a “worst” at all

I ran the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Half Marathon today in 2:21:09, a “Personal Worst.”

I am just fine with that – it was my goal in fact, because I am feeling uninjured and wonderful and I have a medal to mark another accomplishment. I know I can go out there undertrained and in the midst of a major life change and finish a challenging distance race with a smile on my face.

That’s huge.

I know my limits and my abilities and I’m so damn thankful that I have my health. Any day above ground is a supreme gift.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!



They can't all be good runs

or .. I really regret not eating more than two cookies, a Bounty and some veggie soup yesterday

marathon runner

Marathon Runner Tori. Hard to believe this was only three weeks ago - RVM 2009

I bonked during my run this morning. Just as I finished my warm up.

I ran down Cook St to Dallas Rd, then headed over to Moss, intending to finish the w/u along the flat and straight, then go right into the hill workout when Moss starts to climb.

Instead, I walked home after about 20 minutes into my run, completely out of gas, cursing silently and outlining the reasons why: chief among them the fact that I ran my first marathon three weeks ago. Michael warned me something like this might happen — it takes 3-4 weeks to recover fully from a 42.2 km race.

But my atrocious nutrition the day before (see above) had a lot to do with it too.

Now I sit with my oatmeal in hand and my feet in ice water, vowing to grab a super-veggie burrito from Hernandez’ for lunch, enjoy a drink after work with a friend, and try for the hills on the weekend.