If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here you go, I broke my pelvis. The diagnosis is a pubic symphysis stress fracture, with small abdominal wall involvement. Obviously not great news, but some clarity, so for now, some time completely off from running. It is hard to take mentally, but in many ways a bit of relief to have an answer. I have been dealing with stomach pain since July, have tried this, tried that, a few days off, cross training, hiking, etc. This exercise, that drill, on and on, but through it all nothing seemed to help. At times small progress seemed to be made. On paper at one point it looked like I might even be ready for a marathon this fall. I did string together 5 100+ mile weeks (Aug-Sept), with some workouts that were close to the normal Ben. Even squeezed in a race, 10k – 31min at 5000ft elevation. So, 550 miles in 5 weeks, lots of workouts, and a race, but through it all I just didn’t feel right, not hurt, but not normal. Don’t take that the wrong way, I wasn’t running through tons of pain, I have never done that in my career, something that I believe has kept me healthy for so long. Generally if something hurts bad, I take a few days off, and get back to work. If the problem is still there, I see a doctor, figure out what I need to work on and within a few weeks all systems go. With this injury nothing different, I wasn’t being a tough guy and trying to run through pain. My coach, my docs, and I also didn’t think to look for something bone related as I am 35 years old and have never had a stress fracture. After all, my pain was in the stomach, right around the belt line, it didn’t hurt when I wasn’t moving, didn’t hurt to walk, didn’t even hurt much to run 6 miles at 7:45 pace (what I did the day before my MRI). But we had tried to find answers for long enough, and although as mentioned on paper I was improving, functionally I was not. Thoughts before the MRI was maybe what was initially thought to be a strain in the abs was actually a tear, something that would not heal unless I had a surgery to place a mesh at the tear site.
So MRI it was, then waiting, checking my email, checking my phone, and finally news of a stress fracture. My first thoughts, what? a fracture? On the bone 2 inches below the belt line? I haven’t had pain there at all, the pain has been in my stomach. Then the thought, no way, I was running 100+ miles a week on this. Then geez how long have I had this? My best guess is it happened sometime around June, as I felt pain in July after track season. But maybe that pain was a warning and the actual fracture happened later. I don’t know, doesn’t really matter at this point. So from here I take the longest break I will take from running since I was a teenager. Back then the break from running was when I broke my foot playing basketball. I’ve slammed my knee on a steeple barrier, bruised a rib on a trail run, broke my arm grabbing a basketball rim (I stopped playing basketball a while back), and never missed more than 2 weeks of running. So I can’t complain too much, I’ve had a pretty good run of events so I guess it’s my time to sit out for a bit. My wife has had many running injuries, 2 babies, and lots of missed running and what is she doing right now? Getting ready to race the NYC Marathon in the best shape of her life. And what happened last weekend? One of my training partners, Matt Llano ran a 2:13 marathon one year after tearing his labrum. So I know I am surrounded by others who made comebacks, so I’ll know I’ll make mine soon enough. For now I’d just like to ask my 2 and 3 year boys to go easy on daddy and avoid jumping on my mid sections. Also, no racing daddy for a few weeks, for now my job will be to hold the toilet paper finish line tape.
PS: Anyone have a bike in NYC they could drop off at the Hilton Mid Town Sunday morning.