Debi Lantzer: 14 Half Marathons In 2014

Blake LeaInterviews

This week’s interview is with Debi Lantzer from the Blog 2014 And Beyond. Debi is an incredible Goal Achiever who ran 14 half marathons after being told she would never run again. She survived a near-fatal car accident with injuries that consisted of an open book pelvic fracture, a crushed knee cap, fractured knee, fractured sacrum, fractured tailbone, fractured nose, and fractured eye orbit.

The Achievers Story

Tell us who you are, where you’re from and something that people would find interesting about you?

I grew up in the Akron, Ohio area and later moved to a suburb of Cleveland. In 2000, I moved to Sarasota, Florida when my son graduated high school.  I played the drums in the high school band in the ‘70’s but never played again until 3 years ago when I became a praise team drummer at my church!

Give us a brief overview about the goal you achieved and why it was so important?

I set out to do 14 half marathons in 2014 and I achieved that goal. It was very important because following a near-fatal car accident in 2012, I was told I might walk, but I would never run again.

Every story has a beginning, middle, and an end; where we’ve been, where we’re going, and everything in between. Give us an example of what your life was like before achieving this goal?

I started running in 2007 after quitting a 30+ year smoking habit. By 201o, I qualified for the Half Fanatics, having done 3 half marathons in 16 days. By 2012, I had completed 14 half marathons and many other distance races.

Help us understand what caused you to move in a different direction?

After my accident, after the doctors said I wouldn’t run, I knew that with God’s help, I could prove them wrong and set out to do 14 half marathons in 2014. I made this decision and asked for God’s help while still sitting in a wheelchair unable to walk!

Give us an example of what your life is like today, since achieving the goal?

This year, in 2015, I just want to become stronger, and not have such a long recovery after each race. I signed up for my first full marathon, which will be in November, 2015. I just came home from a half marathon in Cleveland, and will begin my full marathon training from scratch.

Overcoming The Obstacles

If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that obstacles like fear, time and money among other things can prevent us from or motivate us towards achieving goals.What are the top 3 obstacles you faced, why were they obstacles to begin with, and how were they conquered?

  1. I was terrified, but I trusted God and conquered the fear
  2.  I ran even when I was told I never would
  3. To do 14 half marathons with travel can be very expensive, but race directors donated registrations, and strategically placing them near family members, I was able to minimize the expense.

The Triumph

The next part of the interview is the Triumph. The triumph is all about taking the success of achievement to the next level of personal greatness. The idea of greatness can be different for everyone. For me, greatness is all about the pursuit rather than the destination. What does greatness mean to you and how has achieving this goal contributed to that idea? 

I am not great, I am ordinary but God gave me great strength and power to achieve the goal that I set out to complete. He had a plan for me – I just did the legwork.

Roadmap To Goal Achievement

What are some of the resources or tools that helped you achieve this goal?

Local race directors who knew me (or learned of me) provided registrations in exchange for my blogging about the event and my successful completion of each half marathon.

What did you do to stay motivated throughout the process?

First I prayed. Second, I took the responsibility seriously that people were kind of counting on me to inspire/motivate them to pursue their dreams, to achieve their goals and if I failed, they could easily quit trying before their miracle could happen.

Is there a book that helped you achieve this goal? If so, how?

The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter’s Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete by Matt Long. This guy got so banged up that he made me look like my task was a walk in the park!

What blogs and podcasts do you recommend?

My own blog, 2014 and Beyond! Other than that, all the other Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors I had the opportunity to work with over the last 5 or 6 months all have fabulous blogs.

If you were advising someone on how to achieve the same goal or something similar, what specific steps would you have them follow?

I would tell them to do everything opposite of the way I did it – particularly, I would urge them to train for the races to avoid the strain on their bodies like I did.

What’s the best way for people to connect with you?

Is there anything else you would like to share before we conclude?

To quote myself: “Don’t let anyone set your limits. Don’t even set your own limits. We are capable of so much more than we know. Choose a goal – not a limit but a goal – then push right through that goal.”