Behold, a blog post – it’s been too long!

This summer has been a challenging one for me, because as you might deduce from the title of this post… I have acquired an injury. Gluteus medius syndrome - a.k.a “Dead Butt,” to be exact.


My training this spring went well, but as it turns out, my body did not appreciate my racing two 50ks and a fast 10k within one 4-week period. After the first of the races, the Ice Age Trail 50k, I was barely sore and recovered quickly. However, about a week after the race I began to notice a lingering pain in my right hip / mid-butt area while sitting at my desk at work, or driving in the car. I ignored this as much as possible until after a Colorado trip later that month (more on that later), it was undeniable that something was wrong. Plane travel was nearly unbearable and I had to get up and walk around twice during a 3-hour flight. At first I went to see a chiropractor to see if an adjustment would help, but after several treatments with no improvement, I decided to see a physical therapist. After some initial tests, he quickly diagnosed me with Gluteus Medius Syndrome, and from what I understand it was due to overtraining and the fact that my right leg is longer than my left leg, which has created a muscle imbalance. Also, I have weak glutes and hip flexors.

Anyway, at this appointment I told my physical therapist that I *really* wanted to run another 50k that was two weeks away – the new distance at the Kettle 100 weekend. He was skeptical and warned that I might further injure myself, but agreed that I could run so long as I took a 1-minute “tissue break” with walking to every 3 minutes of running. Well, Alice and I did the race – we followed the 3:1 ratio as best as we could – and when we finished I didn’t feel too beat up. Until again, about a week later… not good. Back to the PT office I went, and from there emerged all sorts of weird new things to do – Aqua Jogging! Pelvic bridges! I enjoyed the cross training elements, but felt less enthusiastic about hiding an ice pack in my pants at the office. My coworkers already think I’m a crazy runner, but this stuff brought it to a new level.

After a few weeks of more appointments and such, going into the week wondering if I’d be cleared to run again soon, it just last week (July 29th) was decided that… I can slowwwwwwwly get back into things. The prognosis is actually very reasonable… only another 9-10 weeks until I should be fully rehabbed and back to running. NOT BAD. My physical therapist has me started on a run / walk program 3x a week, with intervals at first heavier on the walking, gradually building to all running with few walking breaks. He has also said I can do “unlimited cross training,” so I plan to continue to swim, bike, and hike to my heart’s delight.

Aqua jogging, though… screw that. I’ll bring my belt to the pool when I swim laps, and fit it in where I can, but it’s a miserable practice!

All of this injury stuff has made me consider a wider perspective on running, and the ultra community. I really didn’t *need* to race so much within 4 weeks. I certainly shouldn’t have run that second 50k race. I feel that we continually push what our bodies can handle, but at some point that no longer works. For awhile, I wanted to (and did) totally disconnect online. This blog is evidence of that. However, now I realize that so many others have been through injuries and have come back strong. I can LEARN from others, and hopefully by hitting ‘publish’ on this post, someone will learn from my situation. After all, I’m not the first runner to have a dead butt!

I have this injury, so what. That doesn’t mean that I can’t continue to be vocal and active in the community, both online and in the real world. Though I have to drop my fall races, I am going to be at the finish lines in a different capacity. I will be there for my friends who are running, and will volunteer at the races as much as I can. Online, I will continue to participate in #ultrachat and cheer on my virtual running buddies!

Lessons learned from Gluteus Medius Syndrome:

1. Strength training is necessary. Runners tend to have weak glutes / hips. There are many good resources online for key strength training moves for these areas – use them and do the moves religiously!

2. My spell check will always want to change “Glutes” to “Flutes”

3. Recovery is just as important as workouts / races. Don’t be stupid like me and try to rush it.

4. If you wear a longer length shirt, and your pants have back pockets, you can slip an ice pack in your pockets and cover it with your shirt and your coworkers WILL NEVER KNOW. Do it.

5.   It’s fun to tell people about your injury – “How’s your running going?” “Well, haven’t been running, I am injured.” “Oh yeah, what’s your injury?” “Well… I’ve literally got this pain in my ass…”

You do the talking:

How is your summer training going?

Have you ever been sidelined for an entire summer because of an injury?



Tried It: Seven Sundays Muesli

by Laura on April 2, 2014 · 3 comments

in product review

Today, I wanted to share a product review facilitated by Olallie Milwaukee!

Seven Sundays reached out to have our group sample their “everyday muesli” products. Muesli is popular in Europe, and is generally a healthier choice than granola as it’s less processed and contains less sugar / fat.

The company’s philosophy is that “food in its natural state is healthier and tastier,” which I couldn’t agree with more.

I tried the Vanilla Cherry Pecan muesli, which are three of my favorite flavors . The verdict? I liked it. I liked it a lot.

The texture was excellent with the yogurt, and though I wouldn’t describe any single flavor profile as dominant, together the vanilla, cherry and pecan tastes were delicious on the palate.

Head to the Olallie page for your chance to win a 4-pack of muesli from Seven Sundays!

Disclosure: I received product for review in this program and for writing this post, however all opinions are my own.


Chocolate Milk = Awesome

March 23, 2014

I am pleased to announce that I have partnered with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board as a blog ambassador for their #WinWithChocolateMilk campaign! Since I’ve been more tuned in to my training, nutrition has become a larger focus. In particular, recovery nutrition has been a particular concern. After my Saturday long runs with Alice, we’ve enjoyed [...]

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November 16, 2013

Friends of the Internets – hope that all is well. I’ve had a couple of great Wisconsin weekends… Last weekend, a fun clothing swap party at Sun’s. Trail running with Alice at Lapham Peak, followed by a visit at Pieper Porch Winery & Vineyard. Badgers football today. Tomorrow, Mom and I are checking out the Wine & [...]

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Back in Action + tBunk Endurance Challenge 2013

November 4, 2013

Hello, friends – hope that your week is off to a nice start. I’m in a great mood because… Saturday at the tBunk Endurance Challenge… I RAN! After being sick for several weeks, I can’t begin to explain how good it felt to get out on the trails and just simply RUN. It was a [...]

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The week ahead: Oct. 27

October 27, 2013

Friends – hope that your weekends are going well. I’ve had a good Sunday, am feeling a bit better and got lots done around the house. This week will be a fun one. Here are a few things I’m looking forward to: 1. My Dad’s birthday is Friday! He is turning 62 years young. Amazing! [...]

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Sidelined, but grateful.

October 26, 2013

If it’s ok with you guys, I’d like to be real for a moment. I generally consider myself to be an optimist – my attitude is typically positive, I look on the “bright side,” my glass is half full, yada da yadda. But lately, specifically in the past three weeks, I’ve found myself having more [...]

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Fall Race Calendar

September 29, 2013

Hello, friends – hope that you are enjoying a great autumn weekend! The weather was gorgeous here in Southeastern Wisconsin, and we spent lots of time outdoors. Saturday, we went boating and hiked at Pike Lake State Park, where the leaves are just beginning to change colors. Autumn marks a transition for races – the [...]

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Dirty Girl Mud Run’s Homecoming

August 11, 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run, the original women-only national mud run series founded in Southeastern Wisconsin, is coming home next weekend – August 17 & 18 at the Waukesha County Expo Center!  I’m teaming up with Dirty Girl as a blogger ambassador, and am excited to check out the race on Sunday, August 18th. I’ll be running [...]

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Summer Updates + PRO Compression Deal

July 15, 2013

Happy Summer! Checking in with some updates. – Backstage Balance is now on Twitter! Follow me @BackstageBLNC – Training for the USA Triathlon Milwaukee – Sprint distance race is going well. We’re about three weeks out from race day, and I’m getting more comfortable with biking and swimming. It’s about time! More on that to [...]

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