Coach Jeff

Written by Coach Jeff


RunnersConnect Team Spotlight: Debra Hexsel


Where do you live?

Kingwood, Texas (26 miles from downtown Houston)

How old are you?

I’ll be 57 on April 6

How long have you been running for?

Trick question. This go around since July 2011–when I successfully gained entry via lottery to 2012 Houston Marathon and decided it would help if I started running. Zero to 26, yep. I’d been indoor and outdoor cycling but no running since I blew out my ACL playing soccer in the early 90s.

According to your profile, your favorite race is the marathon. Why is that?

Because I like the training, the focus it demands, the feeling of accomplishment, and how you just feel one with road.

How many marathons have you completed and what one is your favorite?

Only completed Houston 2012 so I guess that’s my favorite–had to defer Houston 2013 because of a stress fracture.

What is your best marathon memory?

I’d say there are really two–one, crossing the line in under 4 hours and getting a text from a friend saying, “holy crap, you qualified for Boston!”

debra-boston-qualifierWhat is your worst marathon memory?

All geared up and at five miles getting ready for my first gel, which were all neatly tucked into my number belt with a few tucked into the pocket on my hydration belt. Well come to find out that most of my gels fell off the number belt. PANIC PANIC PANIC. I’m thinking I’ll see my husband at the half-marathon turn around and get his attention and he can meet me on the course with more gels. That didn’t work. At mile 10 I used one of the gels from the hydration belt, and at mile 13 I looked down on the ground and saw an UNUSED gel–grab it! Going by the medic on the course I begged for a gel, and they looked at me like I had no business doing so. When I used the medic’s gel at mile 20 the joke was on me–it was PLAIN flavor. Twenty miles in that is like filling your mouth with the stuff dentists use to get impressions of your teeth. Hydration belt to the rescue!

Besides a new marathon PR, what do you hope to achieve through RunnersConnect?

Training smart!!! I hope to become a better runner, to be more relaxed and confident. Get rid of any mental negative self-talk.

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4 Responses on “RunnersConnect Team Spotlight: Debra Hexsel

  1. Phenomenal story and run. I plan to run my first at 70, couple of months away. You are now my idle for a first run. I would really like to do a trail run if I can put it together.

    Thanks for sharing your information. It gives all of us that are not called “young whipper snappers”

    Let us all know about your next marathon.


  2. Loved this Debra. “0-26”. No sense in waiting any longer. Thank you for being a part of the RC community, and making me feel welcome.

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