Tuesday, May 20, 2014


When I crossed the line at the New Plymouth World Cup in March, I had an extremely intense pain high in my adductor. I could not walk without limping, and thought that I had probably strained a muscle. Frustrating, since my training had been rolling along nicely. I started slowly running about 4 weeks later, convincing myself that the pain was decreasing, but in reality is was a stabbing pain with every step.  I had an MRI to confirm the diagnosis, and the scans showed that I actually have a stress fracture in my pelvis. It never even crossed my mind that this could be a bone injury. Before the scan, I stupidly ran 10k around Elk Lake when my pelvis was screaming to my brain “STOPPP I’M BROKEN DOWN HERE!”. Athlete minds are pretty powerful when it comes to ignoring these screaming signals of discomfort. This can be a great tool in the middle of hard training sessions or races, but in this particular case I was ignoring my fractured pelvis telling me to stop pounding on it. Not awesome.

In the midst of this disaster my coach Joel Filliol parted ways with me. Fortunately I’m in Victoria where I have a smart team of people who are helping me though my obstacles. I’m really grateful for having the opportunity to work with Joel over the past few years, I’ve learned so much from him and the amazing athletes in his squad. I’ll really, really miss it.

So, I’m in a pretty rotten situation. Not that this is new to me, I have lots of practice dealing with setbacks. I feel like I've posted a similar blog about 16 times now. I've cried all the tears out my body, so I’m left to figure out logically what to do next.  A few people have questioned my motivation and enjoyment of the sport. Sometimes it's freaking hard to find enjoyment in the day-to-day environment when struggling with a stubborn injury, or not seeing fitness return as quickly as you want it to. I read a great tweet the other day:

I've been out on my bike recently with no clear timeline of when I’ll be able to race again, but still loving it. I do enjoy the day-to-day process. I have no lack of motivation. Actually, I'm more motivated than ever. It felt so good to toe the line at some early-season races, and it made me hungry for more. Sometimes being an athlete is more frustrating than other times, but I can honestly say that I love it. That’s primarily why I continue stick with this when the light at the end of the tunnel is seemingly so far away. I know it’s there somewhere. Bones heal. I believe I can do it, and most importantly, I’m happy doing it. I'm determined not to let these setbacks derail my whole season, or my whole career. 

On a positive note, here are some fun things I've been doing over the past few months. Thanks for still reading my bad-news blog, I promise I'll be back posting race reports eventually!


Shawnigan Lake 

Underwater treadmill running 

Swimming in 12 degrees C

Breakfast with Mark Cavendish (kind of) 

Riding in the Specialized wind tunnel 

Riding in the sunshine 

Riding on the ferry

Vitamin D

Visits from the other red-headed Findlay 

Dog sitting this guy 


William Lamothe said...

Hey Red Dragon,

Happy 'quarter of century' in late!

Not a long time after London Olympics, I red in an Engineering Mag an article about hip replacement: http://1drv.ms/1riktAe.

Not sure it's the right solution for the given diagnostic, but if it is..? and, assuming your high of determination...

You know what, I hate communicating on Internet. Especially, on public arena.. I hope I can see you in person one day. I really hope.

Happy, happy time in Victoria


William Lamothe said...

Engineering Mag article:
p1: http://1drv.ms/1riktAe
p2: http://1drv.ms/1hAcNj8

Elise said...

Hi Paula. I just read about your awesome news re Edmonton and congrats. I also just read about your pelvic stress fracture. Guess I missed that along the way. I sustained one in May during the Sporting Life 10km in Toronto. I am an elite age group triathlete. I was sort of given green light today although the doc I saw did not X-ray . My original hip guy said early Sept but I had no pain x a month so I wanted it checked earlier. Anyway I tried about 2 x 1 mins running and it hurt....... Ached not in a good way and ached most of today.
So frustrating .
You did not run for 5 months?
Did you use a bone stimulator at all? I am considering renting one.i also have low bone density . Not osteo but lowered from previous years .
If you have any good words or how you went about return to run ( ie. less than a minute to start! ) I would be forever grateful.
I hope I did not set anything back amd really with two mins I doubt I did . I am also a physio so it's hard to be objective!
My email is

Congrats again in a healthy start back! Must be so awesome for you after such hard times

Elise - fellow Canadian:).

Sera said...

Can't wait for your new race reports and updates! Goodluck next week!!

William Lamothe said...


Siri Lindley is doing an amazing job with you. Racing happily and finishing with a smile like you did in the two last races is just fantastic. Well, it just give me some hope that your setbacks are history by now and will remain history with cautious care about your run training. I'd love to see you back on ITUs podium.

I've watched the live broadcast and I found Edmonton is a nice place for this event: a bike path somewhat technical and fun for athletes (passing on bridges, tunnels, hills, heart of the city with nice sight); fun to watch for spectators with many laps. I felt important to let you know my impression about this event since your mom is involved in its success.

I've admired Jorgensen, she is a fast runner like you, won this race with about 1 minute behind the leader after the bike part. And Alistair is an awesome athlete too. Biking up front the pack during the last lap with a 10k run to go, is being tactical, confident in its physical resources, determined and courageous. I love his run technique, he is just a gazelle like Whitfield. Looking at him during his run, he pushed himself but not exceedingly because like commentators said during the live broadcast, he just keeps hard working in each of the 3 disciplines.

Overall, I liked watching ITU W/Champ in Edmonton and I am happy things went well for you. :)

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