The mixture of The Firm, Tae Bo, and ill-advised attempts at running punctuating extensive periods of inactivity and unhealthy eating left me with such bad chronic knee pain that I couldn’t walking up the three steps outside my house without feeling like a rusty sabre was being driven through each kneecap. Sorry for the graphic description, but that’s how it felt.
Within the first 90 days of doing DDP Yoga, I was strong enough to run a 5K. Shortly after that I did a Warrior Dash, and after that I felt like my knees were strong enough to do a half-marathon. Throughout the training schedule, I experienced mild knee aches a couple of times, and I found that the Hip, Back and Knee Opener workout was way more effective than my Physical Therapy regimen in relieving that pain.
Last Saturday, after an 18-week program, I ran my first full marathon. While it was tough and at times painful, the one thing that didn’t hurt throughout the entire process was my knees. Not during the training. Not during the race. Not during the recovery. Not once. I think the reason I didn’t get any aches or pains this time around is that I had been doing DDP Yoga for over 9 months by the time I started the training program, and therefore had benefited from the increased flexibility and strength in my legs. Just to be clear, the fact that I was able to run a half-marathon after 6 months of DDP Yoga is a staggering achievement given I couldn’t walk or go up stairs without pain before DDP Yoga.
I was about 3 footsteps beyond the finish-line when people started asking me, “So, what’s next?” The 10% part of me wanted to scream back, “I just ran 26 point frickin’ two miles! What do you want from me???” or launch into a very sarcastic diatribe about how having fulfilled my destiny, I should just, having nothing left to live for, commit Seppuku. But the living life at 90% part of me remembered that there’s always some place to go.
There are a couple of options for kicking it up a notch from a marathon: ultra-marathon, triathlon, imitating Forrest Gump. While I never say never, I will #@$%& do a triathlon because the sight of me swimming is the water’s answer to a beached whale. Ultra-marathons are not off the list, but they are not coming up anytime soon. So what to do, what to do?
Then it occurred to me, after trailing behind a car with this bumper sticker (and some subsequent googling):
There is no better way to showcase how DDP has fixed my knees than to prove that I have gone from being someone who couldn’t walk up 3 steps to being someone who can run up 1,632 of them! Sadly, I missed the event by a month, so I will have to wait until April, 2015 to do this race, unless I find another tower run in Chicago (email me if you know of one!). In the meantime, I have a Tough Mudder, a Mudderella, a Warrior Dash, a Rugged Maniac, a Dirty Dash, a 10K, a Blacklight run, a Foam Glow race, a half and a full marathon to keep me entertained!