“I lost 25 pounds in 6 months and I am at a better fitness level than the goal picture I showed my YMCA Trainer in March 2018. The picture was of me in San Diego doing a half marathon at my peak fitness level, my perfect running weight. I knew the Y could get me where I needed to be to run an ULTRA marathon (100 miles in 55 hours) in December 2018.
October 24, 2018
As an active reservist in the Navy, Jessica needs to keep her body at a certain level of readiness at all times. In March of 2018, Jessica decided to train for another 100 mile race after successfuly accomplishing a 100 mile race in 28 hours in April 2017.
"I knew if I could do one, I could do another. I trained in San Diego with a wonderful group of runners where I had that “family” comradery. When I moved out here to CT, I didn’t have that. I knew coming to the Y would give me that “family”. When I moved out here for the first two months, I let myself go and went from 177 – 195. Changed to a new job. I did not exercise like I wanted to. I knew I couldn’t get to my goal of running the Ultra in 9 months in the shape I was in. That’s why I came to the Y. Tried the classes. Worked with a trainer to get back to the 177 or less. With the knowledge my trainer had, I was able to get better upper body strength, better core strength. Over the past 6 months, I have lost 25 pounds. My posture is a lot better. Three weeks ago, I completed a 50 miles in 11 ½ hours. That’s half of what my goal mileage is. I have another day and half of the 55 hour race) to complete 50 more miles. If I get to 100 miles and I still have half a day left, I will run more to get my PR. I’m stronger now than I was in April of 2017. I’m stronger physically, mentally, spiritually. I didn’t have the community or the one on one training to give me the extra push. The Y community is with me. I'm not doing this alone."
Jessica's main reason for joining the Y was that she was now living in Middletown. She also knew she wanted to get involved with a place that had equipment AND group exercise classes. Being in the military, she knew that a group environment would work best for her.
"When I started in March, the classes were pretty much the only thing that drew me in. I knew I had a goal to do a 100 mile race in December and I needed to get there. I knew this place had more fitness options. I went to almost to EVERY SINGLE class from 6am to noon to see what worked for me to get me to my goal. As I evolved and got to know the programs here, I am where I am today. I couldn't have gotten this far without the Y staff."
Jessica has experienced some physical challenges during her past 7 months of training at the Y. It was the connected relationships with the fitness staff that provided the support she needed to keep training hard.
"One particular problem with my right calf for about 6 – 8 weeks. I had pushed myself to the limit. It took a lot of work. A lot of guidance to get that calf back to work properly. If it wasn’t for the stretch Craig showed me, I could not have gotten that calf to release without that stretch."
Like many others who join the Y, Jessica found a supportive, welcoming and encouraging community. For Jessica, it was the relationships with the Welcome Center Staff, Group Exercise Instructors, Personal Trainers and fellow Boot Camp Participants that have made such a huge impact in her wellness journey. When Jessica was stationed in San Diego, her PT was completed three times a week in the gym on base. She knew in her heart that the Y was going to be the place that she needed to be because of it's rich history in core values of Caring, Responsibility, Respect and Honesty. It was the history of courtesiness that she had heard from other people.
"Here at the Y, you are family. That is what I want. I want that family feeling. I especially see it when we do boot camp on Saturday mornings. The encouragement from others is so amazing. Everybody is working so hard and smiling at the end. An amazing relationship with my trainer, Craig. The trainer has to know you and you have to know the trainer to accomplish your goals. I couldn’t have gotten this far without Craig. He has the knowledge and I have the ambition. It was a perfect match. Lee has been a great asset for the circuit classes and the MX4 class. LOVE MX4. Sarah for the spin class. When I first started coming here, I knew from previous training that cycling was a good to way to give my endurance a jump start. Sarah’s class kicked my bahooty, but it was so worth it! Kelly at the Welcome Center has guided me. Answered all my questions. If she didn’t know it, she could direct to me to the right person."
When you see Jessica training at the Y, be sure to introduce yourself and encourage her with her training. The race is in Texas on the last 2 days of December and the first day of January. She is looking forward to starting the 2019 year with a buckle!
While the the ULTRA Marathon in December is the primary goal for her to set her own personal record, Jessica will take a few months off and then "just for fun", she will do another 100 mile / 48 hour race in Vegas.