I know it has been a LONG time since the Baltimore Marathon, but here is an update of what happened during the race and my hip injury…
For those of you that do not know, leading up to the Baltimore Marathon I ended up having what I thought to be a small issue with my left hip. I had stepped in a hole while running in a field with high grass and felt a familiar pain in my left hip the next day. Normally this pain comes when slipping on mud or ice and will go away if I take a week or two of no running. Taking a break from running was not going to happen this time as the the Baltimore Marathon was less than 1 month away. I had a goal of not only trying to win again, but to represent the people of Baltimore and everyone else who believed/supported me. Leading up to the race I ended up limping through runs…running a 1:10 half marathon at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon (which I probably should have not run…) and then taking off a few days to see if my hip would feel better. Unfortunately my hip was hurting to a point where I was limping even when walking. I kept my head up and remained positive through the whole experience and really thought I could go and run under 2:30 and win Baltimore again. Well….that did not happen. My hip hurt from the first step of the race and got progressively worse as the race continued. By the 6 mile mark I was already starting to wonder if I was going to finish the race. I kept pushing…hoping that the pain would eventually subside (normally as I get warmed up it would go away), but this time the pain stuck around and was getting worse with every step. I ended up stopping at right around the halfway mark of the race. I immediately sat down on the curb in tears as I really thought I would have been able to make it, but it was not happening. A few different people and my family (who were at the halfway mark) came over to see if I was okay. Two different people told me to keep my head up and that I was still their hero. Hearing those words and having my family with me definitely helped. I know it was only a race, but I did feel like I was letting a number of people down.
Immediately after stopping I quickly realized the severity of my hip pain. (I guess the running motion and endorphins kept my body from truly realizing how bad the injury had gotten.) I stood up from sitting on the curb and could not even take a step on my left leg without my whole left side giving out. Thankfully my family was there (specifically my wife (Amanda) to help me hobble to the other side of the road and sit on the curb while race officials sent for medical personnel. Eventually I was picked up by medics in a gator and was transported to the medical tent where I was fortunate to have some great sports medicine doctors waiting to examine me (specifically Dr. Matt Sedgley). He told me they were watching me on the big screen tv in the medical tent and could tell that both my form was getting worse and my limping more pronounced and it was just a matter of time before they saw me. They examined me and told me they wanted me to go to the emergency room to get an x-ray after leaving the race and to get an MRI within the next couple days as well. I am fortunate to be working at Stevenson University and have access not only to Dr. Matt Sedgley, but also Dr. Kenneth Tepper who is an orthopedist who has a lot of experience with hips. Both doctors work with our student athletes and are great to work with. After being examined I was pushed by wheel chair to the Under Armour tent where my family and I were able to get some food and drinks. It was a great experience and I am fortunate to be affiliated with Under Armour. Here is a picture of some of the Under Armour elite runners that were there for the weekend:
After leaving the the Under Armour tent and getting a ride to our car by a police officer in a gator (glad they offered as it would have taken forever to get to the car on one foot…the medical staff were not allowed to give out crutches) we went to Union Memorial Hospital where they did x-rays of my hip/low back. Fortunately the x-rays came back negative…having no actual breaks seemed like good news, but I still could not put any weight on my left leg. The next step was an MRI and I was able to get an appointment the next evening…
The day after getting the MRI I received a phone call from Dr. Sedgley. The first words out of his mouth were, “I have no clue how you were able to run on what I am looking at right now…you must have an extremely high pain tolerance.” The diagnosis was a stress fracture in the femoral neck along with a small labral tear. He went on to tell me that had I tried to finish the race I would have risked a complete fracture and never running at the same level again. Apparently breaking your femur is not fun as it would require both bone grafts and a metal rod. I am glad that I stopped!
After 6 weeks on crutches and a ton of time on the stationary bike along with rehabilitating exercises I am slowly building my running back up to where it was before the injury. I can finally say that I am at a point where I can do some harder workouts and long runs without feeling my hip too much either during or the next day.
Here are a couple of interviews from before and after the race:
Brian Rosenberg Interview after the race (Brian is a good friend and I am glad he was able to win the race!): http://www.wbaltv.com/sports/marathon-winner-talks-big-win-berdans-injury/29211112
I want to thank Under Armour for the continued support. They have been great and I can assure everyone that they have everything “right”. Their current and new shoes are incredible. If you have not tried out the new Gemini’s or the Speedform RC / Apollo vent shoes I would encourage you to do so!
I also want to thank Kind for their support on the nutrition side. Not only is their products tasty, but they are extremely healthy! They also do a great job of being involved within the community…making the world a little kinder!