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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Making it onto Team USA


Photo of Debra running the Stockholm Marathon last year

Meet Debra, one of the amazing fitness superstars of SWCC:

I had been running, playing soccer, and going to the SWCC Triple Threat and Heavy Metal fitness classes three or four times a week for about a year, but that became a little more sporadic during the summer when I did a lot of traveling.  One of my travel adventures, however, was playing two weeks of women's outdoor soccer at the World Masters' Games (a tournament, featuring about 30 different sports for seniors) in Torino, Italy in August, so it wasn't as though I wasn't doing anything during that time.  

In September, just as I began to think life would settle back into a routine with the end of summer, I broke a bone in my left foot during a coed indoor soccer game and couldn't do any physical exercise for several weeks.  I did eventually get approval to do what I could handle while wearing orthopedic shoe.  I went back to the SWCC classes and made "hop/clop" modifications wearing one surgical shoe and one running shoe.  I thought I still got a pretty good workout.  

Before breaking the bone in my foot, I had committed to playing in an outdoor women's over-60 soccer tournament at the Huntsman World Masters' Games (an event similar to the one in Italy) in St. George, Utah, in October (which was scheduled for about five weeks after the injury occurred). Though not in "soccer-shape," I wanted to see what I could do there.  

Meanwhile, my husband, an avid tri- and duathlete (he's done over 100 multi-sport events, while I've done fewer than 20), asked me to join him in participating in the Sprint Duathlon (run-bike-run) National Championship, an event for all ages, in Tucson on October 26th. I procrastinated, saying I wanted to see how St. George tournament went, before making the commitment.  I did fine in Utah (a little beat up from the soccer, but no real injuries and the recently broken bone wasn't really a problem), so registered for the Tucson event.  Since the broken bone, though, I hadn't been doing distance running (a different aerobic training compared to that required for soccer) and hadn't ridden my racing bike in months. Some people train all year to be ready for one race.  For this event race, I was able to ride my bike twice and ran for distance three times before participating.  We both, however, made it onto Team USA in our age groups (mine is 60-64; his is 65-69), which is the only way to become eligible to compete in the Duathlon World Championships in Spain in May 2014. We just registered for Spain, so I guess we're really going now.  

The reason for the story is this: I wasn't "race-ready" at all, hadn't planned to participate in the national championship duathlon in Tucson, and certainly hadn't trained with the broken bone - but was in pretty good shape, overall, and attribute this to the workouts from Triple Threat and Heavy Metal fitness classes, which kick my butt every time - and pay off in surprising ways.  

Thank you to Debra for sharing your incredible story with us!

We love hearing stories from the amazing people who make up SWCC so please keep them coming!


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