Monday, October 5, 2015

Weak-a$$ Glutes!

I thought I had a femoral stress reaction/fracture.
Lazy ass is a better diagnosis. Glad my funny
bone is intact. :)
One week without running, one visit to the doctor, one assessment with a movement coach, one visit to a sports-specialized physical therapist and the verdict for my right leg is severe IT band syndrome caused by weak glutes. To quote my physical therapist, "You have no butt!" or in my interpretation, I have weak-ass glutes. 

I've been prescribed painkillers, a regimen of daily glute-strengthening and targeting exercises (with bands of hell), weekly physical therapy appointments and no running for a bit. And I'm good with that (or I've come to terms with that)...because in spite of my weak-ass glutes I've been getting stronger and faster. I've won races, I've PR'd consistently. My other muscle groups have been picking up the slack of my lazy-ass glutes for years! Slackers! Now,  Imagine the Possibilities--how much stronger and faster I can be--when I have kick-ass glutes (the kind that take names and you don't want to meet in a dark alley)! 

This is me making lemonade out of lemons, rolling with punches and reframing some bad news--but I have to admit that this weak-glutes thing threw me for a loop. I've read dozens of articles over the years that the number one reason for injuries in runners is weak glutes. I always assumed that it didn't apply to me because I TRX and circuit train and do lots of squats and lunges. I have a strong core (HA! It's not strong if my glutes are weak!). What I didn't know was that I'm literally a  lazy-butt and let my quads and hamstrings and abs do all the work. A 40+hour a week desk job with a commute doesn't help my lazy ass.  

An awesome thing about running is that it teaches me humility. I get a little cocky (it's how I build myself up!) and something knocks me down--but I do come back stronger and use it to improve. When I'm knocked down, I regain focus and determination. What's life without challenge?

So what does this all mean for my training plan and goals?

1. I'm going to DNS for what was my planned tune-up race for my goal marathon, the Long Beach 1/2 Marathon (I'll still be heading to LBC to cheer on the runners and my brother who is running the full marathon).

2. Although my PT and I agree I will be back to running and capable of running the California International Marathon in December, I won't be able to run it at the level and speed I've been training for and want to run it in. I plan to defer my registration when the deferral window opens up in November and run in 2016. (This also makes sense logistically because we leave for England a couple of days after the race this year and I had been stressing out a bit about travelling up north to Sacramento for the race and then leaving for almost a month and what to do with Nani.)

3. Ease back into running when I've been pain-free for 3 days.

4. Start training for the special-edition Valentine's Day LA Marathon (already registered, pre-injury) in November (12 week training plan).

5. Cross-train with indoor cycling. Strength-train with focus on my glutes (while not forgetting other muscle groups). 

6. With no long runs for awhile and lots of free time, organize and declutter our house. Write a novel. Put away the laundry. Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it. 

Rehab: Week 1 (Everyday: prescribed glute band-exercises)

Goal-Mileage: 0 miles

Monday: Tabata + Cycle class 
Tuesday: Cycle class
Wednesday: Cycle class
Thursday: Cycle class + TRX
Friday: Tabata + Pilates + TRX
Saturday: Walk
Sunday: Walk


  1. Ah now I found my answer on CIM. I remembered wanting to read this and not doing it, had to go back and find it. Weak glutes are what caused my hip flexor/adductor strain that I'm working on right now too. Smart decisions, although I'm sad not to see you at CIM! :) Good luck with PT!

  2. Oh no Wendy, I am so sorry to hear this! I think that weak glutes are something that so many of us runners have. I had issues earlier this year thanks to weak glutes and a super tight IT band. I'm willing to be that I know those bands of hell you are talking about. I love your positive attitude about this. Building up your glute strength will make you a much faster and stronger runner. You will be back out there and no doubt will be kicking some butt and taking names at LA in February. Best of luck with physio!

  3. Girl, I have been there and then some. Weak glutes + weak hips + poor ankle mobility led me to all my knee issues in the past that I wrote about. But there is hope, you will get stronger, and you'll come back better than ever.