Competition Corner: Jessica “Stormy” Weather

Competition Corner is where we attempt to give a peek into the world of one of our members who is taking the leap, going out, and putting it on the line as they contend with other athletes and/or teams in order to improve their own athletic skills and to evaluate objectively how they match up against their peers but more importantly achieving their own goals and expectations.

Alright Stormy the microphone is yours, tell us a bit about yourself:  I’m originally from Jacksonville, FL, but have lived in the Triangle for the past 12 years, minus a 2-year stint in Philadelphia (which is when I started CrossFit!).  I graduated from the Duke Physician Assistant Program in 2012, and currently work in a retail health / primary care clinic in North Durham.

And What/Where/When are you competing:  Although CrossFit is my primary sport, I ‘accidentally’ got myself into the New York City Marathon, which is on November 4, 2018.

Terrific, is this your first time or are you a grizzled veteran:  It’ll be my 6th marathon, and I truly never expected to do another one, but NYC is just special to me.  I actually completed it in 2014, but was injured at the time, so didn’t really have the experience I wanted.  I entered the 2018 lottery (7% odds) on a whim this past fall when I was in NYC with friends — and then promptly forgot I had done it.  When a mysterious auto-charge hit my credit card on March 1st, it took me a solid five minutes to figure out what it was! 🙂  While I’m not sorry to get another crack at this race, I’m also not focused on a particular finishing time.  My goal is just to reach the start line healthy (without losing too much strength/muscle during all this endurance training) and soak up every minute of (what I already know is) a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What have you been doing to train for it:  That’s a complicated question, because my training plan has evolved a lot over the past few months — first due to a mild foot/ankle injury, and second, because as we’ve gotten closer to the race and mileage/volume has ramped up, recovery has had to ramp up also. At first I had 5 or even 6 total sessions per week, but now, less than five weeks from race day, I’m down to just 4 sessions. In general, each week includes one long run, one day of skill work + sprints, one ‘normal’ CrossFit day, and a second CrossFit day with a super long endurance-y metcon (which peaked last week at 104 minutes!). And while I’ve still got a fair amount of barbell and dumbbell work, weightlifting is obviously a lot lighter and higher-rep these days, more focused on muscular endurance.

What have you liked best about preparing: Realizing that, thanks to CrossFit (and specifically Faith! ;)), I’m a lot stronger and faster than I’ve ever been before. It’s been fun to bring a new set of capabilities back to an old/familiar context. Eating 3000 calories a day isn’t bad either! 🙂

What has sucked the most: Sooo many things, haha, but mostly the fact of having to put in so much time toward something I don’t really love, and thus simultaneously having to cut back on the stuff I DO love. Training is normally my favorite part of any given day, and it hasn’t been fun to feel it evolving into a chore. The logistics are also more isolating than I remembered — getting up at 4:00 to run a dozen miles in the dark before going to work, for example, or going to the track for a two-a-day workout after a full clinic shift, when all I want to do is go home and go to bed. Also, in terms of injuries, my feet have always been my Achilles’ heel (pun intended!), and they have definitely been majorly taxed lately. (Huge shoutout to Virginia and Kelly — without their voodoo magic, I’m not sure I’d be WALKING right now, let alone running!)

How do you feel about the race:  I actually feel pretty calm and excited about the event itself, because I’ve done five previous marathons when I was much less fit.  Barring some major injury or catastrophe, I know I can cover the distance. My main anxieties are really just centered around staying healthy over these next few weeks!  I’d rather stand at the starting line 100% healthy and slightly underprepared, versus have crushed every mile of my training but then be in suboptimal physical condition on the day when it matters. I’m planning to thoroughly enjoy the day, because it’s a special experience and marks the culmination of a long period of hard work — but it’s additionally exciting as a ‘metaphorical’ finish line: once this is over, I finally get to focus on regular CrossFit again. (2019 will be my first year as a CF Master, and I’m actually way more excited about THAT than I am about the marathon!)

What brought you to Homeward:  Coincidentally, I actually completed the 2015 Open here at Homeward (back when it was CF Chapel Hill!), because I was a member of CF Renowned at the time — so a lot of these friendly faces were already familiar to me. 🙂 But it was really the incomparable Faith Stewart who drew me back here this time — apart from being one of my favorite humans, she’s been writing my programming for almost 18 months now (with some pretty awesome results), so it only made sense to follow her!

Who are you outside of the gym:  PA, world traveler, introvert, bookworm, writer, Broadway fan, foodie, city mouse. Fun fact: my undergraduate degree is in linguistics, and I spent two years living in the Netherlands, so I speak fluent Dutch. My original career plan was to become a government interpreter, and to this day, my idea of the perfect job is for someone to pay me to travel the world, learn a dozen languages, and write about it! (Pretty sure there’s no such career, but hey, a girl can dream. :))

Thank so much for the fun and informative peek into your current endeavor!

Make sure you take the time to wish Stormy well and send encouragement her way.  If you want to further follow her adventures, you can read more on her Tumblr blog, Instagram feed, or just connect with her on Facebook.

UPDATE:  Read about Stormy’s experience at the NYC Marathon here.

By |2018-11-28T14:58:27+00:00October 30th, 2018|Blog, Competition, Members|